Skip to main content

Q & A with Author Corey Ann Haydu


Was “Life by Committee" inspired at all by Post Secret?

Actually, no LIFE BY COMMITTEE was inspired by a film I fell in love with-- LOVE ME IF YOU DARE. I loved the way the film explored how something fun can turn into something dangerous. I do love comparisons to PostSecret, though, as I think that's a really cool project!  

There were also some parts of the book that reminded me of the movie Mean Girls. Did you feel that way too?

You know, the part of the book that tends to remind people of Mean Girls-- namely the ending-- was based on something that happened at my high school when I was a sophomore. It never occurred to me that it was similar to Mean Girls at all, since the scene was so much based on my own experience. But again, that's a movie I love, it simply wasn't an inspiration here. My own life was the real inspiration for this book!  

I love that Tabitha buys used books with annotations. Is that something that you like to do too?

Yes! I love active reading. It helps me engage more with books when I write in the margins and underline things. It helps me focus and feel more excited about what I'm reading. I also love seeing what other people have noted in their copies of books.  

What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would your career look like in an ideal world?

I really honestly just hope to get to keep writing books and exploring new ideas. Of course I want the best for my books-- tons of readers and attention and love-- but above all else I want to keep living a creative life and to be able to be a professional writer. It's a total dream come true. 

Which writers inspire you?

SO many. Growing up I loved Sylvia Plath and John Irving and Lois Lowry and Sandra Cisneros.  I was really inspired by all of them-- they all have different strengths as writers. They also taught me to write what you care about and to explore the themes that interest you. I think with all of those writers you can see what they care about. 

Give us an insight into how you create your main characters. 

There's a fairly organic process to finding characters. I think a name is really important, and so is their general physical look, including their personal style. Those superficial things help me learn more about who they are inside. I'm interested characters who are very complicated. I don't have interest in writing inauthentic, perfect characters. I stay very aware of what bad choices my characters make and what their flaws are. I think you learn the most about characters through their mistakes and flaws.  

What are you working on right now?

Currently I'm working on a middle-grade novel that deals with grief and magic as well as another YA novel that is a little bit of a departure for me-- it is about community and the pressure we put on young girls, as well as love and tragedy.  

How much research do you do before writing a book?

It absolutely depends on the book. My most researched book was my first, OCD LOVE STORY. That required many levels of research-- academic, intellectual and emotional/personal. LIFE BY COMMITTEE probably required the least amount of research. I did do some research on teenagers in communities online, but otherwise I didn't need to do much research.  

Why do you write?

I've always written, it's a part of who I am. I'd like to say I have amazing, lofty intentions. And certainly I love when my books reach people and help them. But honestly I just love writing. It's my calling, it's a huge part of who I am and always has been.  

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I've learned a lot, writing my first few books. I think I'm more and more interested in taking risks-- structural, plot-centric, genre-wise. I've learned that I want to push myself and challenge myself always. I think my creativity has really opened up as I get more and more comfortable with the idea of trying new things.  

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Not comparing myself to other writers is what I struggle with most. Not letting things like jealousy occupy my brain and steal time away from the work.  

What is the easiest thing about writing?

For me the easiest thing is showing up. I know that's not true for everyone and may not be true for me forever. But at this time in my life I find discipline and self-motivation come easily. Everything else is hard, showing up (for me, right now) is easy.  

What book/s are you reading at present?

I just started Adam Silvera's MORE HAPPY THAN NOT and I'm very excited about it. I recently read Courtney Summer's ALL THE RAGE, which I recommend highly.  

How can readers discover more about you and you work?


I'm always on twitter: @coreyannhaydu. That's the best place to find me and hear about my writing, my life, my books! And you can keep up with me on my website: www.coreyannhaydu.com










Read my review of Corey Ann Haydu's book, Life by Committee!

Popular posts from this blog

El Deafo | Cece Bell

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel/Memoir. Number of Pages: 233. Perspective: First. Location: Virginia.
This graphic novel follows the author throughout her time as a young girl in the 1970s and her experiences losing her hearing from meningitis at the age of four. She learns how to make friends and accept herself. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was a beautiful story about someone who copes with becoming deaf. I took an American Sign Language course in college and we talked a lot about the deaf culture; it was interesting to learn about some of the daily challenges that someone who is deaf faces. This book explains those challenges in a way that children can understand and relate to. We have come a long way with accessibility since the 70s, but we all could use …

5 Reasons Why I Hate Book Series

Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I hate trilogies: 

1. The first book is perfected.

Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut. 
2. The waiting is torture. 

Part of the reason why the …

Hex | Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves."
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: Third. Location: New York.
Hex is the story of a town that is cursed by a witch with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She shows up in houses and just stands and stares for days at a time. The people of the town can never leave and are plagued by the fear of what would happen if the witch’s eyes and mouth are ever opened. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This book started off kind of funny and light-hearted. The middle starts to get a little creepy and suspenseful, and the end is downright strange. It was an enjoyable book, but you’ll have to wait a long time for the climax. The bulk of the action happens in the last 50 pages. For me, that felt rushed and left me with more questions than answers. 
Hex was originally written in Dutch and translated to English. With that in mind, I am utterly impressed with the flow and readability of the story. Th…

Ten Things Writers Need to Know

This is a guest post by Heather Weidner. I was asked recently what advice I would give to someone who wants to write. Here’s my list…
1. Read. Read. Read. 

Read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about the genre. Learn about techniques and style. See what works and what doesn't.



2. Seek out writers like you. 

Find a writers' group. I write mysteries, so Sisters in Crime was a perfect fit. I am also in the online community, Guppies. They have tons of resources and advice. And they are so supportive and helpful. 
3. There are a lot of books out there on the craft of writing. 
My favorite is Stephen King's On Writing. Invest in books that help you. But use your library too. FREE is good.



4. If you are serious about writing, find a critique group. 
It's an investment in your time to read the submissions. Make sure that the feedback is helpful. Critiques need to be constructive and not personal. My critique group specializes in mysteries and crime fiction. And that works fo…

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently Before Self-Publishing

This is a guest post by Mark Benjamin. 
About three-quarters into 2015, I decided to self-publish. My novel was stuck in that phase of completed / nearly done, and I had been agent shopping for three years prior, and the brief thought (if at all) of self-publishing had been pushed out of my mind by the traditional method. That is, until my wife, Lucy, sent me the Amazon Kindle Publishing link. At the end of May 2016, my debut novel, A CHANGE OF HEART, Book One of The Royal Blood Chronicles, was released, an urban fantasy novel bringing back vampires from whence I first found them, cue in Lestat and Louis. There was a lot to learn throughout the entire self-publishing process; emotions ranging from doubt to hope, anxiety to determination, fear to belief. I would like to share my experiences, then and now, and how I would have done things differently.


1. Just Do It
Those three words are the beginning and end of it all. The story hit me and I ran with it. I could have waited until I thought …

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required