And happy Sunday! Today is a special post. Today I’m chatting with Charlotte Huang, author of For the Record. As you know, I loved it. I loved that it focused, not just what happens on stage, but also what happens off the stage. I loved it so much I needed the scoop on it. So I reached out to author Charlotte Huang, and asked if she’d be willing to answer a few questions. And graciously, she did! Lucky for us!
And this is what we chatted about …
BookBandit (BB): Can you tell a little about yourself and about your path as a writer?
Charlotte Huang (CH): I grew up in the Boston area and wanted to be a writer since I was maybe in second grade. I always loved to read and make up stories but it was a very long time before I approached writing in an organized way. After college I worked in a bank, went to graduate school for business, and then worked in advertising in New York for several years. But when my husband and I moved to Los Angeles we didn’t know anyone here so I decided it was the perfect time to take writing classes. I consider that to be the point that I started to pursue writing seriously.
BB: What was the inspiration behind your debut, For the Record?
CH: A piece of writing advice we hear a lot is, “Write what you know.” Because my husband and many of our friends work in the music industry, I’ve been to hundreds of shows and listened in on many conversations about the business side of being in a band. And I thought about how being a rock star is such a popular dream and yet there’s so much that goes into being successful in a band that not many people know about. I wanted to explore and bring that to light more.
BB: In terms of For the Record, what was the best part of writing it, and what was the hardest part?
CH: The best part of writing it was being able to use all the little bits of information and anecdotes that have been taking up space in my brain for years. The hardest part was probably deciding what to exclude. I still have so many stories—I could probably write another book.
BB: If you had to describe your debut using only three words, what three words would you use to describe it?
CH: Fun, authentic, adventure-filled.
BB: What kind of research did you do in preparation of writing For the Record.
CH: I didn’t have to do a lot but when I didn’t know something, I had a lot of experts to call upon. I consulted with a friend who is in a band, a tour manager friend, my husband, and a girl friend who does live on a tour bus from time to time.
BB: For the Record is filled with a lot of great characters. Which one of your character would you say you see yourself most in?
CH: Hmmm, honestly, I’m a little bit like all of them. I’m probably most like Beckett though. I think of him as being creative but practical at the same time. He also gives people a chance but expects a lot from those around him.
BB: If have to ask this — who is your favorite musician and/or band?
CH: I don’t have a favorite! It truly varies with the situation and my mood. In terms of live shows, I love going to see the Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, and The Pixies, but I rarely sit around my house listening to their albums.
BB: If you were to create a playlist to describe For the Record, what bands and songs would be on it?
CH: I always say I really hope people will picture a band that they personally love when they’re reading about Melbourne. That said, here are a few songs that I think feel right:
“Bros,” by Wolf Alice
“The Mother We Share,” by CHVRCHES
“Our Own House,” by MisterWives
“How to Be a Heartbreaker,” by Marina and the Diamonds
“Punching in a Dream,” by The Naked and Famous
“If I Could Change Your Mind,” by HAIM
BB: Can you tell anything of any upcoming projects you are working on? With that, will us readers see Chelsea in any upcoming books?
CH: I’m just in the final editorial stages of my second YA novel from Delacorte, which is called, GOING GEEK. It’s due out in September and it’s another standalone contemporary! Unfortunately, Chelsea doesn’t have a role in this one but you never know–maybe she’ll make another appearance one day!
BB: What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?
CH: When I was starting out, I asked a screenwriter friend to read something I wrote. She wasn’t particularly impressed but she said, “I think you’ll be successful one day because you actually finished something. Do you know how many people say they want to be writers but never actually finish a project?” Now when someone tells me that they’re interested in getting published, that’s one of the first questions I ask. So my best piece of advice is, you have to finish something. I firmly believe that there’s something psychologically important that happens when you finish and also that you have to get to the end of at least a draft before you really know what you have.
So there you have it readers, isn’t Charlotte great!? I want to say THANK YOU to Charlotte for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me/the blog. Readers, she’s awesome, and you shoud all run out and pick up a copy of For the Record. In the meantime, check her outline for more information about her, her writing, and obviously her books!