About Micol Ostow
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. book editor, children's and young adult fiction
Q. Favorite job
A. writing fiction for teens!
Q. High school and/or college
A. I went to a Jewish day school for high school called Solomon Schechter, and I went to Tufts University for college.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. FAVORITE? I'm a big fan of The Wrens and The Kimballs--two NJ-based indie bands. Does that work?
Q. Favorite movie
A. Anything Kubrick.
Q. Favorite television show
A. Anything cheesy reality, anything medical drama, anything police procedural. I'm easy that way.
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. coffee, keyboard, sunshine, dogwalks, catnaps, coffee, keyboard, coffee.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."--E.L. Doctorow
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Oh, that one's too easy: a day in bed with no deadlines looming, a stack of books I want to read, my doggie, my fiance, and some good movies on demand. Oh, and an endless supply of coffee.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Running out of story ideas. And heights.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Right this very second I am sitting on a cozy couch overlooking the swimming pool and the sun-drenched InterCoastal here in Palm Beach--not too many complaints.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. I don't know that I identify with her per se, but I grew up reading the "Little House" stories and I was fascinated by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. I am in awe of the entire faculty at Vermont College of the Fine Arts, where I received my MFA in writing for children and young adults. Brilliant minds, all of them, and amazing mentors.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. You tell me--I'm sure you'll find them in my books!
Q. What do you regret most?
A. I always wished I'd learned to play a musical instrument when I was younger. These days I'm way too busy/lazy/old.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would LOVE to be able to dance. Lovelovelove. I took tap and ballet as a teen, but neither quite "stuck." I love to watch all forms of dance.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Well, that kind of depends on one's priorities, no? I'm still pretty astounded to be making a living writing books for teens--definitely a lifelong dream of mine.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. "High-strung" would be putting it kindly.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I'm a little bulldog. Seriously, I'm quite determined when it comes to the things that are important to me. I'm dedicated to my close friends, I will work round the clock to turn a manuscript in, I will reach out to help emerging writers in whom I believe...you get the picture.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. Um, me, but maybe a few inches taller and less inclined to oversleep in the morning and to bite my nails.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. Some people say I'm funny. Also, I get very very tan in the summer.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. It's always changing depending on what I've read lately. I was blown away by THE HUNGER GAMES and Katniss. Wasn't everyone? I also loved Tabitha of the upcoming PURE.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. If you will permit me a moment of immodesty, I'd say Paige Andrews from my own Bradford Novels series. She's a mean, mean girl, and I love her!
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I have some thoughts about this--but they are for me to know and you to (maybe) find out!
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. It drives me bonkers when my fiance leaves his sneakers on the living room floor. I also can't stand excessive air-conditioning. I'm one of those annoying people who is always cold.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Teaching and editing, or some combination thereof. Both take me out of my own head and enhance my work.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Are you kidding? Teen novelist!
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. 1) loyalty 2) determination/hard work 3) creativity
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Chocolate or coffee. I suppose some sort of hybrid cafe mocha-type beverage.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Whatever my hipster brother has loaded onto my ipod most recently. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Regina Spektor.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. This could be a while! Way too many to name; I read books like some people drink water. I just finished my MFA and some of my faves from my program include: Carrie Jones, Louise Hawes, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Kathi Appelt, Kelly Bingham, Emily Wing Smith, Varian Johnson, the soon-to-be published Mariana Baer, Jill Santopolo, Mikki Knudsen... Some of my favorites from my own writing class: Shani Petroff, Taylor Morris, and Heather Duffy Stone... And from the file marked "misc:" Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gayle Foreman, John Green, Maureen Johnson, Judy Goldschmidt, Rachel Cohn, Lynn Weingarten, Aimee Friedman, David Levithan, etc., etc., etc. I could literally go on forever. Thank goodness, there are SO MANY great books and talented writers out there.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. This is a hard one. My best attempt: 1. Bridget Jones' Diary, Helen Fielding 2. On Writing, Stephen King 3. Different Seasons, Stephen King 4. Feed, MT Anderson 5. Holes, Louis Sachar
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. I read "Bridget Jones' Diary" at least once a year. I usually need it for a laugh when I'm struck with a dreaded winter flu.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. The only way to be a writer is to write. Don't worry (at least, not for a while) about getting published. Just put butt in chair and (proverbial) pen to paper.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. I get a lot of questions about whether or not there is a sequel planned for "30 Guys in 30 Days" (not as of this interview, sorry!). People really want to know what happens to Claudia in the long-term.