How’s your week so far? Had a very busy long week and only get a chance to post here.
Today, I am featuring A.V. Geiger (Viv), author of the Follow Me Back and Tell Me No Lies (duology). After the success of the PH Blog Tour of Tell Me No Lies (Follow Me Back #2), I am lucky enough to interview the ever kind, generous and amazing Viv. This is long overdue and supposed to be posted after the tour but things happens.
A.V. Geiger is an epidemiologist who spends far too much spare time on social media. By day, she studies women’s psychiatric and reproductive health. By night, she can be found fangirling, following people back, and photoshopping the heads of band members onto the bodies of unicorns. Her writing career began with celebrity fan fiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with online fan culture. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on the story-sharing website Wattpad, ranking as high as #1 in the mystery-thriller genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.
Are you excited? So with out further ado, here’s my interview with Viv:
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?
For me, writer’s block happens when I let criticism get in my head. My worst writer’s block ever latest about a month while my agent was shopping Follow Me Back to publishers, and I kept getting this steady drip-drip-drip of rejection emails… I had to learn how to take the constructive feedback but otherwise ignore all the negativity and trust in my own writing process.
Have you ever designed your own book cover?
I design most of my Wattpad book covers myself. I love playing around with graphics! I leave the published book covers to the pros, though. The covers for Follow Me Back and Tell Me No Lies were both done by professional graphic designers hired by my publisher, Sourcebooks.
Do you carry a book when you travel?
Not so much anymore. I take my e-reader, but not a physical book. I made the transition to ebooks and never looked back.
Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen?
Pen? What’s a pen LOL? I basically live on my phone and laptop… For book signings, I like to use a metallic marker or gel pen. Something shiny!
Coffee or tea?
Coffee by a mile!
What or who inspires you to write the duology of Follow Me Back?
It started with my own celebrity crush on a pop star. For me, it was Adam Levine of Maroon 5, but I didn’t really write these books about him (or any celebrity in particular). It was more about the psychology and emotions that lie behind online fandom. After going through a phase of intense idol worship, I had a lot of questions that the whole experience brought up for me: How is it possible to be obsessed with someone you’ve never met? How does social media create this false impression that you know someone when you’re only really seeing their public persona? And is there a line where fandom becomes harmful, either to yourself or to the person you’re obsessed with?
What is the hardest part in writing Tell Me No Lies?
The first draft wrote itself in a matter of weeks, but the revision process was brutal. I spent months on the first round of editing with huge rewrites and plot changes. My goal was to make the published book quite different from the draft version that my Wattpad followers had already read online. That meant replacing some key characters, completely revamping others, and introducing whole story arcs and plot twists that didn’t take place in the Wattpad version.
What is so special about the duology of Follow Me Back?
For me, I’d say the mixed format elements set these books apart from other stories I’ve written. Follow Me Back amps up the suspense by weaving together tweets, direct messages, and fragments from a mysterious police interrogation transcript, alongside the main storyline. In Tell Me No Lies, I had so much fun pushing the mixed elements even further. In addition to Twitter, the main character Tessa migrates onto Snapchat, and readers get to explore a new social media platform through her eyes. Meanwhile, the police interrogation transcripts continue to frame the main narrative, and those fragments really drive the buildup of tension all the way to the end.
What realizations do you think you want for your readers to realize after reading Tell Me No Lies?
People are complicated. As humans, we have a tendency to rush to judgment, but no one is all good or all bad. The person you think has your back might turn out to betray you… and the person you hate most might be the one who’s there for you in your hour of need.
What is your favourite quote from Tell Me No Lies
In Follow Me Back, there’s a well-known internet meme that the characters tweet to each other, and it serves as a major theme in the book: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” That saying turns up again in Tell Me No Lies. There’s a moment toward the end when Tessa revisits it, and she realizes how it might be overly simplistic: “Her entire worldview, summarized in meme form. If only life were truly that black and white. She still believed in kindness, of course. She believed in battles too. It was the ‘always’ part she could no longer stand behind.” That quote from Tessa is my favorite because it captures how her character has matured from the beginning of the duology to the end. She’s still kind, but not kind to a fault. As a mature young woman, Tessa has grown strong and self-confident enough to give others the benefit of the doubt without being a total pushover.
What do you think guys? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section.
Also, don’t forget to buy her books!!!
FOLLOW ME BACK Paperback Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/UC2V30aBzK2
Book Depository: http://ow.ly/Ny2E30aBAiP
FOLLOW ME BACK E-Book Buy Links
TELL ME NO LIES Preorder Links
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/ECW930gNssz
Book Depository: http://ow.ly/NOE430gNszq
P.S. Did you know that FOLLOW ME BACK is free on Kindle? No? Well, don’t miss your chance!