Author Holly Black will be a guest lecturer at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. She is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was published in 2002 by Simon & Schuster and received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and was included in the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults. Two other books share the same universe: Valiant (2005), and Ironside, the sequel to Tithe. Valiant was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award for Young Readers and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.
Holly collaborated with Caldecott award-winning artist Tony DiTerlizzi to create the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, Lucinda’s Secret, The Ironwood Tree and The Wrath of Mulgarath, the last of which climbed to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. These were followed by the lavishly illustrated Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to The Fantastical World Around You, The Notebook for Fantastical Observations, and Care and Feeding of Sprites. To date, the books have been translated into 32 languages. The Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series also includes The Nixie’s Song, A Giant Problem and The Wyrm King.
The Spiderwick Chronicles were adapted into a film by Paramount Pictures in conjunction with Nickelodeon Films. Released in February 2008, the film stars Freddie Highmore and Sarah Bolger, with Mark Waters as the director.
Holly frequently contributes to anthologies, and has co-edited three of them: Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci, 2009), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier, 2010), and Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner, 2011). Her first collection of short fiction, Poison Eaters and Other Stories, came out in 2010 from Small Beer Press. She has just finished the third book in her Eisner-nominated graphic novel series, The Good Neighbors, and is working on Red Glove, the second novel in The Curse Workers series; White Cat, the first in the series, came out in May 2010.
Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library. For more about Holly Black, visit her website at http://www.blackholly.com/ or her blog at http://blackholly.livejournal.com.
Once you started writing seriously, how long did it take you to sell your first piece? What were you doing wrong in your writing in those early days?