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An Interview with YA Author Charlotte Huang

The following post is from Food, Fitness & Fiction Contributing Editor Josh Flores.

During my day at the recent Pasadena Loves YA book festival, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to Charlotte Huang, the young adult author of both For the Record and Going Geek (see photo of us below). Not only do her books speak to the awkward and challenging aspects of being a teenager, they also present relatable and positive characters for teens of all ages to respect and identify with.


Below are some of the highlights from our conversation about her upcoming work, her latest book, Going Geek, and her inspiration.

FF&F: What first gave you the idea to write Going Geek, a story about a girl who attends boarding school going through the challenges of senior year?

CH: Well, I went to a boarding school, but I was a day student, so it is an environment I’m familiar with. But I think the germ of the idea was Legally Blonde meets Revenge of the Nerds. I wanted to write a book about a girl who everybody underestimates, who goes on to challenge the power structure of her school and takes it down.

FF&F: Was writing Going Geek very different from writing For the Record?

CH: Not that different. They are both settings that I know pretty well and felt like that part of it really flowed. I approached them in the exact same way: fast drafting, a lot of editing, and then seeing what my editor had to say.

FF&F: What has been your best/funniest memory about being an author?

CH: I think it’s funny how my sons go back and forth between thinking that me being an author is really cool and important and thinking it’s the most boring thing. The other day we were in a parking lot at UCLA and my son was like, “Isn’t it weird how you’re just walking around like a normal person but really you are this famous author?” And I just started laughing because he clearly has no idea that most of us aren’t famous people.

FF&F: What does a day in the life of Charlotte Huang look like?

CH: It’s definitely includes waking up, the family going out the door and off to school, doing some physical exercise, and coming back and writing.

FF&F:  If you weren’t a writer/author, what profession would you choose?

CH: Well, I was a bookseller through college. I worked summers and winter breaks. I liked that and I’ve always wanted to have my own little bookshop. It’s a really hard business, but I think I would want to try it. I like anything book related.

FF&F: Which authors or books have had the most influence on your writing?

CH: I really like a lot of the contemporary YA authors who are popular now like Morgan Matson and Jenny Han. I love their books and they have definitely influenced my desire to write something different. I take a little something from every book that I read.

FF&F: Are you currently working on another novel? If so, what details can you share with readers?

CH: It’s so early, but I will say that it’s not a YA. But I do have ideas for a YA, but what I’m currently working on is not.

FF&F: How do you like to #moveitorloseit (stay active) with your busy writing schedule?

CH: I am a believer in getting physical activity and I would probably go crazy if I didn’t. So I go to spin classes and I do pilates and yoga. Those are my three things. I like the balance that all three provide.

FF&F: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

CH: I would say that you’ve got to finish something. That’s the main piece of advice that I always give. Even I have friends who get fifty pages in and then don’t finish. You have to show yourself that you can really do it by finishing.

You can learn more about Charlotte Huang and her work by visiting her website.

Joshua Flores, a junior from Tustin, California is currently an editor for the Beckman Chronicle and enjoys both reading and writing. He spends most of his free time writing, and coming up with weird characters for the novel he is working on. You can follow him on Instagram at @booklover41899.


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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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