Debut YA author Lily Anderson, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU (St. Martin’s Griffin, May 17, 2016), discusses how her inner fangirl influences her writing.
“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something.” – Simon Pegg
I’ve always been unapologetically geeky. I was obsessed with musical theater from preschool onward and if there’s something that mainstream pop culture basically never understands, it’s theater geeks. (Like right now, it’s way cool to like Hamilton but people still don’t want to talk to me about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s part in the 2009 revival of West Side Story.) My fandom was always isolated to a small group of people in real life and a very niche community online. It meant hunting down out of print books and overseas recordings and getting tattoos that literally no one has ever recognized as showtune lyrics.
Being a writer was weirdly similar. I only ever knew one person in real life who wrote books (and she was infinitely more talented than I was). So, I bought books and talked on forums and shared fan fiction and crappy poetry with strangers. Getting a book deal meant telling people that I wrote YA, which was met with placating, confused smiles, the same reaction I got when I said I loved Sondheim or Star Wars or TV shows that got canceled 20 years ago.
And I think if I hadn’t grown up accepting that no one cared about how much I loved musicals (and Harry Potter and manga and Joss Whedon) that might have hurt more. But being a geek means not letting your enthusiasm be diminished by people who don’t care.
I really care about the symbolism of the leitmotifs in the Into The Woods score.
I’m going to ship Ginny/Draco forever.
I love writing YA.
All of these things are for me, to spark my joy without fear of anyone else understanding why. Because being a fangirl means never having to explain why.
About Lily’s debut novel, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU:
For girls who devour comics, overanalyze Doctor Who, mourn the cancellation of Firefly, and are competitive brainiacs, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU (St. Martin’s Griffin / On Sale: May 17, 2016) is the contemporary young adult debut novel they’ve been waiting for. Heavily infused with pop and nerd culture, this Much Ado About Nothing retelling is a fresh spin on the classic rivals-to-romance story, and as Kirkus Reviews says, it’s “good fun”.
Debut author Lily Anderson found her inspiration as an elementary school librarian as she saw nerd culture become more mainstream. She says, “I wanted to write a story that would showcase this new generation of smart, proudly geeky kids.” She does just that with the brilliant and witty love story of Trixie and Ben.
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. THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU is her debut novel.