Frolic Interviews: New York Times Bestseller Nic Stone

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Nic Stone. Be sure to check out Nic’s new YA novel ‘Out One Out‘]

Frolic: What is the most exciting part about being a part of Miami Book Fair and meeting fans?

Nic: Honestly, the most exciting thing about any book festival is tangible excitement about books, but with Miami specifically, I’m looking forward to the weather and the food, lol. A book fair in one of America’s hottest cities—literally and figuratively—sounds like heaven on earth.

I read your most recent book and loved it! Is there a favorite character that stood out for you that was intriguing and fun to write?

My favorite characters in Odd One Out are, by far, Britain and Golly. I spent a large chunk of my junior and senior years of high school in the company of a ragtag group of rowdy varsity football and basketball players. They were “jocks” in the stereotypical sense, but they also were all mush on the inside. Brit and Golly, and even Coop a bit, are my tribute to them. 

As an author, how do you best prepare for your next writing assignment? Any advice on inspiration?

How I prepare depends on what the assignment is (Draft of a new book? Edits of a previous draft? Short story? essay? Op Ed?), but I typically start by organizing my thoughts by jotting ideas and taking down handwritten notes. Inspiration is everywhere. Just gotta grab it as it strikes you and WRITE IT DOWN. 

Who is your favorite YA author currently and why and how do they inspire your writing style?

Definitely Jason Reynolds. Every book he writes is rich and authentic, and I know that if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have the courage to creates the books my heart desires to: books for the kids like me who rarely have an opportunity to see themselves reflected in literature. It’s also really inspiring to see a big, quintessentially *cool* black dude writing about everything from love (The Boy In The Black Suit) to superheroes (Miles Morales) to grief (Sunny) to police brutality (All American Boys, written with Brendan Kiely, another favorite) to gun violence (Long Way Down). He’s a master. Just don’t tell him I said so. 

Any advice for fans looking to write as well and get their big writing break?

Honestly, the most useful piece of advice I can give to people looking to write for a living is this: get okay with rejection. I personally think succeeding at this and staying mentally sound in the process involves a level of belief in yourself and your work that borders on delusions of grandeur. Because the rejection will come—at every stage—and it will sting. But if you want it bad enough, you’ll keep pushing.

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