Monday, February 22, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies Contest & Interview w/author Lynn Weingarten

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

Lynn Weingarten spends a lot of time writing in coffee shops while occasionally reading strangers’ laptops over their shoulders. In the past she has been a book editor, a barista, a counter girl at a bakery in Ireland, a waitress at a bar, and a seller of tiny homemade clay animals. She lives in New York City. Wherever Nina Lies was her first novel. Please visit her online at
Visit the book website here.

  • The concept of Wherever Nina Lies still has me confounded. How did it come to you? Did you plot it that way or was it revealed as you wrote the book?

LW: The whole idea came about in kind of a backwards way. Scholastic and I were talking about me possibly writing a book for them and they mentioned wanting to do a YA novel with pictures/drawings. And so I tried to come up with a plot for which pictures would be a natural fit. I wrote a pretty detailed outline and by the time I started writing I knew all the big story beats, although most of the smaller beats and all of the details I made up as I went along.

  • Did you know where your characters were going to be like going into the book? Or did they come to you?
LW: A lot of the big/basic things I had planned out ahead of time, but many of the details were things I figured out while I was writing. Random people I know or used to know contributed various personality traits to various characters in the book.
  • What is your writing process like? Outline/Free flow?

LW: It definitely varies according to the project, and I think I’m still figuring out what works best for me, but at this point I basically like to have a detailed enough outline so that I know where the story is going and I know that the plot has a definite arc/things are moving forward, etc, but at the same time, I like to leave enough room in the outline so that the writing process doesn’t end up feeling like putting together a set of Ikea shelves.

  • How many drafts did you go through? When did you actually finish the book?
LW: I did one big revision and a couple rounds of line-edits, but I was making little tweaks right up until the very last-minute. And I still don’t feel totally done with the thing! I have a copy of the book that I’ve used for readings and it’s all marked up with little squiggles and arrows pointing to new lines. Basically every time I look at it I find something I’d like to change.
  • How much of the book was fiction and how much was true? Were there parts that you took from your personal life or that of someone you knew?

LW: When my mom was sixteen she really did pretend to be French for a summer. That’s the one part of the book I took directly from real life. There are characters that have traits in common with people I know/have known and I’ve had various experiences that are kind of similar to a few things in the book, but overall it’s definitely mostly fiction.

Thank you Lynn for answering my questions! I'm giving away 3 copies of the book in paperback! Fill out giveaway entry form here.

Please do not enter via comments!

Until next time,


    I am dying to read this book! And I really love the new cover.

  2. "...while occasionally reading strangers’ laptops over their shoulders." I do that too! It's so interesting to see what other people are doing online.


  3. It's cool that the idea for Wherever Nina Lies came backwards.

  4. This book is definitely intriguing to me--and so much more than I thought it was going to be...thank you so much for the interview :)