A year ago, I didn’t know E. Kristin Anderson. Even now, I wouldn’t say I “know know” her but because I read her blog regularly and I’ve spoken with her at a couple of Austin kidlit events, I know her voice. She has a strong voice. Whether she is exhorting me to write every day or singing the praises of a new book she has absolutely fallen in love with, EKA’s voice is fiercely her own. Passionate. Funny. Smart. I feel lucky to know her even a little bit.
When I asked her what was her favorite quote about writing, this is what she said:
“Okay this is sort of nontraditional (shocking, I know, coming from me), but one of the quotes that has guided me since I was a teenager is: It works if you work it. Taylor Hawkins (drummer for Foo Fighters) said it in an interview for, I want to say, Nylon magazine when I was in high school. It applies to so many things — bad days, fashion mishaps and, of course, writing. It’s about turning something that might not work, might not be perfect, might even be considered wrong or bad or disappointing into something awesome — an opportunity, a new friend, a new dress (I used to sew a lot using recycled fabrics, still do sometimes), a new story. And to hell with anyone who thinks you’re crazy. You’re not crazy, you’re eccentric!”
You see what I mean? Her voice is inimitable and ferocious and, again, funny.
Because we’re writers, we often can’t narrow our favorite quote to just one so she gave me another that bolsters her spirits as a writer.
“I also adore this quote from literary agent Jennifer Laughran: There’s always a market for awesome. She’s said that a few times on Twitter and on her blog in response to writers asking about trends and saying, “My book is about x but I heard x won’t sell.” Laughran’s quote inspires me to write the best book I possibly can, to kick ass and take names when it comes to my writing. Because even if I’m working on a near history right now — notoriously tough to sell — if it’s awesome, I can totally make it happen.”
Yes, EKA, you can totally make it happen.