Summer is upon us, friends!
How fun is this .GIF of the Summer Days and Summer Nights cover? I love that!
I really enjoyed Stephanie Perkins first anthology My True Love Gave to Me, so I’m excited to share a little from Stephanie about this new book.
I’ve had the pleasure to meet Stephanie twice and she is SO sweet. I like her books and also enjoy her anthologies, so be on the lookout for this one because there is surely an author that you like!
This is the second anthology you’ve edited. What was the inspiration? What did you give your contributing authors in the way of guidance or prompting as they began their stories?
The inspiration for the second anthology was . . . the first anthology. Working with my friends was such a joy, and I relished the opportunity to work with eleven new authors. All of them had so much to teach me both as an author and an editor. I’m always looking for opportunities to become better at my craft. Pulling apart these stories, inspecting their seams, digging in deeper—it’s a brilliant way to learn new tricks. And I’m a good editor, so I think/hope that my work was helpful for them, too.
I gave the authors only three guidelines: Their story had to take place during the summer, romantic love had to be involved, and—no matter how dark the situation got—it had to end on a note of hope.
Why did you decide to bring these particular authors together for this anthology?
I reached out to authors who are writing stories that I love. All of them have strong voices and—whether or not they primarily write romance—a kind and romantic heart.
The crazy and fantastic thing is that there are literally dozens of other YA authors who also fit this description. There are so many talented, inspiring writers in this industry! I had to make some tough decisions, and a lot of it just came down to keeping a balance between the genres.
How does editing a short story collection compare to writing a full-length novel? Did your process as an author influence your process as an editor?
It’s easier. A lot easier. I only had to come up with original content for 1/12th of the 400 pages! My writing process is slow and generally agonizing, so . . . yeah. It’s just not even close.
But it’s a huge part of the reason why I love to edit. I’m a slow drafter, and I prefer the tinkering, shimmering stages of editing and revising. It’s where a good story becomes great. My nitpicky brain loves working on that level—finding a better word, a tighter theme, a more developed character, a more textured setting. And I absolutely love helping other authors to find their own deeper, truer stories.
I think most authors become a better editor as they become a better writer. I’m the opposite. I started off with stronger editorial skills, and, as they improve, they’re helping me to become a better writer.
But, being an author, I will say that when I’m wearing my editorial hat, I heap a LOT of praise onto the other authors. I leave tons of notes for them in the margins and mark every single passage or phrase that I love. Writing is difficult work, and I always appreciate it when my own editors take the time to mark their favorite bits. Praise also shows me how to revise my work! It teaches me which parts are the good parts! And that’s revising in a nutshell: adding more good parts, removing the bad parts.
How did you choose what stories to include in this anthology?
I asked eleven other authors to contribute. Whatever story they turned in was the story that I edited, and they revised. I trusted that they would know their own best idea.
What can we expect to see from you next? Are there any plans of releasing a new full-length novel soon?
My next novel is a teen slasher, which hopefully (if I finish it on time!) will be published next year. I’m having such a blast writing in the horror genre. And it’s honestly not as big of a departure as it seems. There’s still an attractive boy, an intriguing setting, and quippy friends. It just also contains a lot of murder.