So excited to have author Lily Anderson today on the blog for a quick interview as part of the promotional tour for her debut novel, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You.
I had so much fun reading this book and I highly recommend it to contemporary readers. That’s why I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ask Lily a few questions about her debut novel, pop culture and other stuffs. I hope you guys enjoy the interview and check the author’s bio and book’s description that follows after the interview.
Interview with Lily Anderson
Suppose you met someone in the elevator and had only 30 seconds to describe your novel, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You. What would you say?
It’s a retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing set in a high school for geniuses. (Is that flashy enough? Um, NERDS FALL IN LOVE AND TALK ABOUT DOCTOR WHO!)
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is a fun read. The banter between Trixie and Ben are not just ridiculously fun but also smart. How much fun did you have in writing Trixie and Ben’s story?
I had a blast writing for Trixie and Ben! Their banter evolving from hurtful insults to coded flirtations was super fun. In Much Ado About Nothing, the second Beatrice and Benedick find out that the other has feelings for them, they do a total 180 and start being completely nice to each other. Because they’re seventeen and awkward, Trixie and Ben’s transition into friendship is slower. Even the change from Trixie referring to Ben by his first name instead of his last takes probably half of the story. I loved figuring out which moments would lead to one of them softening toward the other until they could finally meet in the middle.
I love the inclusions of pop culture references in The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, how much does this reflect your own life? Are you a fan of Dr. Who yourself like Trixie? Do you feel like you are writing yourself or pieces of yourself in The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You?
I’m a pop culture junkie. The reference-heavy dialogue of TOTWTMIY is pretty true to my real life. I’m a fan of a lot of things referenced in the book—Doctor Who, Sherlock, Marvel comics, Brian K. Vaughan, Douglas Adams, Back To The Future, etc. But, for me, a character starts to feel real to me when they like things that I don’t (that I then have to research to understand why they would like it). For Trixie, the first difference of opinion was Spider-Man. She had Spider-Man pencils and notebooks and umbrellas. She was buying every Spider-Verse comic. And (other than my BELOVED Miles Morales), I straight up don’t care about Spider-Man. Her perfect man is Tony Stark. Mine is Deadpool (not Ryan Reynolds; Deadpool). She loves Game of Thrones. I could take it or leave it. I can’t look at Jared Padalecki without seeing Dean from Gilmore Girls, so Supernatural has never worked out for me.
But, to a certain extent, writing is always highlighting pieces of myself. I’m a snarky fangirl like Trixie and always looking for the worst thing to say like Ben and lawful good like Peter and pretentious like Harper and overly analytical like Meg and an overachiever like Cornell and generally sort of over it like Mary-Anne and the black sheep like Jack.
If readers could take away one thing from having read The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You what would you hope it would be?
Surround yourself with the best people. At the beginning TOTWTMIY, Trixie hasn’t made a new close friend since the third grade. By opening herself up and letting herself be sort of uncomfortable, she expands her social circle to include people she would never have thought to be friends with—class clowns, jocks, princesses (okay, now it just sounds like the cast of The Breakfast Club). I think it’s really easy, especially in high school, to stay safe with your same old crew, but some really spectacular things can happen when you interact with people who don’t know everything about you and don’t love the exact same things you do.
Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?
Right now, I’m working on a small town mystery series and another book about nerdy geniuses. I can’t say much more than that!
Thank you so much Lily for stopping by today and for answering all the questions above. I’m looking forward reading another book from you so I hope you’ll write more for us and maybe drop by here again.