[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Molly E. Lee and ask her five(ish) questions. Eva’s novel ‘Ask Me Anything‘ is out May 7th!]
Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Molly: The inspiration for Ask Me Anything came from a collaboration between myself and my editor Stacy Abrams. Given the current social climate we were both craving a strong female heroine who is so done with being told how to behave, think, and what is expected of her as a woman. It evolved into something so much more and Amber’s character really took me on an unexpected and totally soul-searching journey that I was honored to have been a part of.
What character do you most relate to and why?
I probably relate most to Amber’s character because she deals with a ton of issues and stereotypes that are all too common for girls. She grapples with complex emotions because of the situations occurring at her high school and I remember feeling overwhelmed and angry and hopeful during that time in my life too. I wish I could code as well as her though!
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
I feel like there is this collective pain in the young adult world right now from teens who are seeing what is happening in the current social climate and are wanting to take action to change their future. I believe art is the first form where true rebellion can take place—showing the world without a filter or creating a futuristic setting which is much darker to show what will happen if we stay on this path. Young adults are where the difference will be made. The actions they take and the example they present is what will give us a positive change in the world, and that is why young adult books are crucial right now—always crucial, honestly. I believe books have the power to heal us, encourage us, enrage us, and enlighten us, and all of these emotions are needed to spark positive change.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
Ask Me Anything is about an amazing girl coder who is fed up with her high school’s dark age approach to sexual education. She creates an anonymous blog where her peers can write in for sex advice, identity advice, and so much more. She intends to create a safe space for her peers to learn and connect without the fear of being judged, but it quickly becomes overwhelming with how many people are seeking help.
Readers can expect to see Amber trying to break down stereotypes and fight her school’s patriarchy despite the risks. Expect to see a hero who supports the strong female lead (I love that about Dean…he knows when to step aside and let Amber take the reins) and some crackling heat between them. Also, you can expect Amber to not shy away from topics that might make some uncomfortable because she doesn’t hesitate—no matter the content—when it comes to people seeking her help.
What’s next for you in the book world?
I’m working on several secret projects at once right now. I’ll continue to be a hybrid author and hope to announce the details on my next book soon!
What’s your favorite writing method that you follow for inspiration?
I like to try and write every single day but sometimes I have to take days off because life lol. Music is always a must for me as well as notebooks. I have a slight notebook problem J They are essential to my writing process—it’s where I sketch the characters, plot the storyline, and write out scenes that are on repeat in my head. Once I have a general idea of the book on paper, then I can sit down (with the book playlist) and crank it out!