Today, we are hosting Lily Anderson in Hollywood News Source to talk about her latest novel NOT NOW, NOT EVER. It is her sophomore book which is a classic rom-com inspired by The Importance of Being Ernest.
NOT NOW, NOT EVER follows the story of Elliot Gabaroche who smartly deceived her parents to send her to a nerd summer camp where she could possibly win a full-ride scholarship to her dream college.
You can check out the Q&A below:
Who’s your favorite character in NOT NOW, NOT EVER?
Definitely Elliot. She’s so different than me—she’s sporty where I’m slothy and brave where I’m scared and into Sci-Fi where I’m into romance novels and musicals. I loved being in her head for the year I was writing the book.
What is your writing process? Are you a pantser? (That would be especially interesting given the literary conversation with the plays). Outliner?
I’m an outliner and my outlines get more serious with every book. With NOT NOW, I outlined a three act structure which was basically “Elliot runs away. Elliot is at camp. Camp is really hard.” If I were outlining the same story now, it would have a chapter by chapter breakdown with character beats.
Using The Importance Of Being Earnest as a guide, Elliot Gabaroche runs away from home to compete for a college scholarship.
Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
Any scene that happens in the Mo-Lo library. As a librarian, I took particular joy in creating a giant fantastical library of my dreams (and putting some swoon inside).
What do you most hope that readers take away from your novels (either or both)?
I want all my readers to take away a sense of happiness. NOT NOW, NOT EVER and its predecessor, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU, are fluff. Hopefully well crafted, artisanal and organic fluff but fluff nonetheless. NOT NOW is very much a story about choosing a path, but also realizing that the paths don’t close behind you. I want my readers to have hope for Elliot’s path and their own.
What is next?
My next book, UNDEAD GIRL GANG, comes out from Penguin Razorbill on May 8,2018! It’s Veronica Mars meets The Craft in the fat Wiccan Latina book I’ve always wanted to write.
Do you have a dream cast for if there was ever a movie version of NOT NOW, NOT EVER?
In four or five years, I think that Marsai Martin (Diane from Blackish) and Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) would be a perfect Elliot and Brandon. Wendell Cheeseman, the professor in charge of Camp Onward, was written with Paul Scheer (from my all-time favorite podcast, How Did This Get Made, and TV shows like Fresh Off The Boat and The League) in mind.
Lily Anderson is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You