Robin’s Early Career

We’re still here in northern California, getting ready for Justine’s last west-coast gig tonight at Not Your Mother’s Book Club. (Thursday, 7PM, Books Inc., Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA.) But luckily, Robin had so much fun guest-blogging yesterday that she has returned instantly and without delay. She loves you guys!

So without further ado, take it away, Robin . . .

I guess I’ve made painfully clear my current position on writing. Having written (as in being finished, done, computer off, dancing shoes on): Rocks.

Currently writing (as in sitting in front of my computer bleary eyed and wondering why the magic idea monkey who’s supposed to live under my desk has been on vacation for the last several years, leaving me to make stuff up on my own which, as it turns out, is kind of hard work): Sucks.

But keep in mind I don’t know how to do anything else. (And don’t want to.) So I guess it’s my own fault that I’m chained to this computer, and here, for those of you who are curious, is the story of how I got here. (For those of you who are 100% not curious, you can scroll down to the bottom for my take on the eternal vampire/werewolf question. I’m still working on the unicorn/zombie thing.)

This is the first book I ever wrote:

I was in fifth grade, and it was a truly horrible ET rip-off. It was also only 32 pages long with some really big spaces between the lines, so when I say you guys are ahead of me, with your piles of notebooks and epic novels hidden under the bed, I mean it.

Fast forward a few years, through high school writing classes . . . through college, when I decided I’d never be a Real Writer . . . through to my summer internship at Scholastic, the summer before senior year. And the second book I ever wrote:

Coincidentally, this book also had 32 pages. (With about ten words per page. And, um, some of the “words” were actually pictures.) Still, it’s a real book. With a cover and an entry on Amazon. Thus it was officially the most awesome thing I’d ever done in my life.

After college, I went to work at Scholastic, where I spent most of my time editing other people’s books. (If you had a DragonBall Z coloring book when you were a kid, or were forced to read the rather tedious adventures of the Boxcar Children, you have me to thank.)

Turns out working in publishing is an excellent way to learn about books. Making them, reading them, and writing them. It’s also a good way to sucker your bosses into letting you write some of your own. Even if they’re a little…embarrassing:

Yes, I wrote a ton of those collections of “embarrassing moments from kids just like you and me!” (Spoiler alert: They’re almost all “from kids just like me, by which I mean, me.” I fall down a lot.) I wrote a lot of this stuff — movie novelizations, sleepover activity guides, glossy factoid books about one hit wonders who used to be on the radio and probably now work at Radio Shack…

Fast forward another couple years. In a grand gesture, I quit my job, packed all my stuff in the car, drove cross country, moved to LA, and…went to grad school. Except ignore the grad school thing, because it’s not particularly glamorous and doesn’t actually have anything to do with this story, except for the fact that I figured I was leaving New York and publishing behind forever.

But my grad school was unpleasant. Hideously unpleasant. So to entertain myself, I started coming up with book ideas. Not embarrassing moments collections or movie novelizations or ET rip-offs, but ideas of my own. For the first time in what felt like forever, I was writing for myself again. And for the first time pretty much ever I stopped writing what I thought other people would want to read and just wrote something I wanted. That turned out to be the beginning of the first book in the Seven Deadly Sins series.

I sent what I had to an editor at Simon & Schuster. (Disclaimer: Usually, it’s a good idea to submit to an agent instead of submitting straight to a publishing company, but I lucked out — thanks to my old job, I knew someone who worked at S&S, and, being the extremely fabulous and generous person that she is, she agreed to take a look.) Then I waited. Waited more. Drove myself insane. Along with everyone I else I knew.

Yesterday someone asked me where I was when I got the Call, the life-changing-we’re-going-to-publish-your-book-and-no-this-is-not-some-cruel-joke-Call. I was sitting in an insanely boring European history class, doodling pirate faces in my notebook and wondering why the 108 year old professor was actively trying to put us to sleep. I went outside at the break (this was winter in LA, so picture sunshine and shorts), checked my messages . . . and almost had a heart attack.
Ten minutes later I went back inside, looking like a grinning zombie and thinking, “I’m a writer I’m a writer I’m a WRITER…”

Eventually, I packed all the stuff back into the car, drove back across the country, moved to New York, and started doing this writer thing full time (here’s where the head-banging and the Advil come in), and here I am. For all my complaining — and clearly, I do a lot of it — it’s exactly where I want to be.

Although NY winters totally suck.

Okay, vampire/werewolf: Sorry, wolf-lovers amongst you, but it’s vamp all the way. This isn’t an Edward/Jacob thing, it’s a Spike/Oz thing. I won’t say I’m the biggest Buffy fan in the world — because I happen to know the biggest Buffy fan in the world, and she’d beat me to a pulp with her Angel action figure if she heard I was claiming her title. But suffice it to say, my heart belongs to Spike. Yes, the whole no-sunlight (and no soul) thing would be a drag, but so would locking your boyfriend in a cage for a few nights a month. Plus, maybe he (love of my life Spike) would let me borrow his leather jacket.

PS from Scott:
Spreadshirts, the home of Wearable Extras, has free shipping for the next two weeks. Just use these s3krit codes:

66 thoughts on “Robin’s Early Career

  1. Oh here’s the most important question: who would win in this fight: the Cullens and werewolves vs Order of the Phoenix?

    Or this (this question is almost equally important) fight: Voldemort and Death Eaters vs Volturi and guard?

    Ideas anyone?

  2. IT’S THE WEEKEND!!!!!
    sry i needed to get that outta my system. ooooo gosh i’m tired. loooong week. BUT IT’S THE WEEKEND NOW!
    i’m okay now. :mrgreen:

  3. I have to say, I’d think the Potter factor would when against the Cullen factor just about every time. They have more practice in fighting, seeing as SPOILER ALERT(Breaking Dawn): In Breaking Dawn there was totally no fight scene which I was incredibly looking forward to. And In the rest of the books, they’re really weenie and lame fight scenes seeing as she doesn’t wanna kill her characters. No problem with that, but that fact in my opinion means Order of The Pheonix and Voldy and the Death Eaters would own them. I’m a little more sketchy on the second senario though, cuz The Cullens wouldn’t be fighting and I don’t think she’d give a thought when it comes to killing the Volturi and the ‘turi have much more expertise in this area, so the Volturi might stand a chance since Voldy was so weakened and his DE’s are idiots…hmmm…These are the questions we ask….LoL.

  4. Tally and zane,I totally fet where u r coming from.i was a devoted fan of the cullens and stephanie meyer.i stayed up until midnight f breaking dawn! but I was so disappointed.the ending was horrible. stephenie meyer is NO J.k. rowling,that`s 4 sure

  5. answers: batman would win against harry potter. now the joker vs voldemort question is harder. if it was the heath ledger joker, then the joker would win. if it was the jack nicholson joker, then voldemort would win. cullens and werewolves vs order of phoenix? cullens and werewolves cuz the order would be too dazzled by edward! voldemort and death eaters vs volturi and guard? death eaters cuz the volturi are too lazy to do anything and the guards do all the work. and voldemort isnt afaid to avada kadavera some vampire asses. but then again, its harder to kill a vampire… but the death eaters could use fiend fire. (you know, the crazy fire that was in deathly hallows inside the room of requirements!) so yeah…


  6. The first book I ever wrote was in first grade, and it was a very awefully hand-illustraded ABC one. You know, the kind that go “A is for Apple, B is for Bear, etc., etc., etc….
    Oh, I remember the Boxcar Children! I think I had only read three or four of them (I was a big Magic Treehouse Fan), but I had liked them quite a bit. And that embarassing story book is in my school book order EVERY TIME! Saw the Seven Deadly Sins series at Borders today, and when I saw the author was like OMG! Unfortunatley, I didn’t get to buy it. Next time I go to a bookstore, I’m making sure I have Donald Trumps credit card on me, lol.
    I actually love north-eastern winters. The last few have been kind of sucky though, due to lack of snow. It stuck to the ground for about four days, tops.
    Go vampires! I’m not that exposed to Buffy, though I’ve heard other people with raving review on it. But lately I’ve been OBSESSED with vampire books. Am I the only one who’s noticed that since Breaking Dawn came out, they seem to be dominating the YA section? Well, not really dominating, but atleast 10 books, which is quite prominant, even with all the chick lit sorrounding it.
    Don’t know how these face-off questions got started, but Voldemort would beat the Joker, Cullens would beat the Order of the Phoenix (just because of all the stregnth & whatever, though I do like HP more), and death eaters would beat the Volturi (did they do ANY fighting?!).

  7. my first book was in 2nd grade it was 5 pages go me!! it was about a dog that got lost and gets rescued by a bear lol i know its weired but oh well

  8. oh tally or…. well nobody relly comes close to tally but sticking to the hp theme tally or hermine? thats waaay easy but anyway TALLY ^
    not spelled right!

  9. Ok, the kenny thingy sounds JUST like somehing I would do. Except I don’t realize I’m doing it untill the book is done and I read an old Manga comic book I haven’t seen in forever.The first time I did that it went like:”Oh, I haven’t seen this in a while.@&%#^\*(*&!!!!!!!! Then it was more like: Hey, I haven’t seen this in a while.CRAP!!!!!Now it’s more like:Dang.

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