Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on LGBTQ Young Adult author Kelly Quindlen.
kELLY, can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing?
I live in Atlanta and I write stories about queer teenagers trying to understand themselves and their hearts
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
I always recommend Bookshop.org as well as my local indie here in Atlanta, Little Shop of Stories.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
I’m pretty active on Twitter and Instagram (@kellyquindlen) and I also post on Tumblr sometimes, especially to respond to reader questions (littleoases.tumblr.com).
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from She Drives Me Crazy?
I write coming of age novels about nuanced, insecure teenagers who are trying to find their place in the world while integrating their queerness into their identity. In She Drives Me Crazy, you can expect my usual focus on self-growth, friendships, and romance, but this time it’s with a campy teen rom-com structure
What was the inspiration for She Drives Me Crazy? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
I wanted to write the lesbian teen romcom I never got to see as a teen. She Drives Me Crazy is an homage to all the great teen romcoms I loved growing up – 10 Things I Hate about You, Say Anything, Can’t Buy Me Love…the list goes on. It’s funny but it also has a lot of heart, and at the center of everything is the love story between Scottie and Irene.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
I *loved* writing Irene because she’s so complex and surprising. She’s the type of person you can’t put into a box. Head cheerleader, resident popular girl, but also extremely clever, ambitious, and self-assured. Anytime she opened her mouth, I never knew exactly what she was going to say – but I knew it would be powerful and funny.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
At the root of all writing is self-trust. It doesn’t help to compare yourself to other writers or to measure your development against theirs. In your heart of hearts, writing has to be a sacred thing you do for yourself.
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions, Kelly!