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writers you love - author q&a

Gimme a Call writer Sarah Mlynowski dishes on Devi

Gimme a Call is a story we can relate to, so we called up Sarah Mlynowski for an Author Exclusive. Check out our convo with her below:

Q: We love the idea of being able to talk with your younger self. Where did the idea come from?

A: Thank you! Well, one day I dropped my cell phone into a fountain and…just kidding. I did drop my cell phone into the bath, but the results were not exactly  magical—I had to get a new phone. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time travel. And my favorite part of a time travel story is when a character bumps into herself at a different age, so I thought what if she could talk to herself at another age?  What kind of advice would she give? What would the younger self ask the older self? About her family? Her friends? Or would she cut right to the chase and ask for the winning lottery ticket numbers?  

Q: We all seem to know a girl like Devi—the kind that gets a boyfriend and will drop everything, including her BFFS, to be with him. Is Devi based off someone you know? Don’t worry, we won’t ask you to name, names!

A: It definitely is. There was this one totally love sick girl who blew off her friends and little sister to spend the summer traveling with her boyfriend.  Oh, wait. That was…me.  (Aviva, do you forgive me yet? I’m sorry! I’ll make it up to you! )

Q: If you could call your 14 year-old self, what advice would you give you?

A: You mean besides to buy the winning lottery ticket or invent Facebook? I’d tell her to appreciate the full fridge, laundry service and allowance. Oh and to not kiss two boys in one day, because she will get mono. 

Q: Sometimes heartbreaks can teach us something about ourselves. If you knew about the inevitable heartbreak, would you really want to go back and never date a guy? 

A: I’ve definitely had my heart broken by a boy—once I even got dumped on my birthday. But heartbreaks, like mortifying moments (anyone else accidentally wax off half her left eyebrow?)  do make you a stronger person. Or at least a more empathetic one.  And now that I'm a novelist, I draw on that real life pain when I'm trying to make my characters' emotions believable. So…. I’d have to leave the past alone. Sorry, high school me. Your eyebrow grows back! 

Q: What can readers expect to learn from Gimme A Call and Devi’s bizarre, er, awesome gift? 

A: That finding balance is key. And that when people become overly obsessed with any one aspect of their lives—be it a boyfriend, their grades, a sport—they might miss out on other great experiences. 

published July 18, 2013
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