Q&A with Daria Snadowsky

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Daria Snadowsky is an author of two young adult novels, Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl, which deal with the tough choices teenagers must make. She recently sat down with A&E editor Jennifer Walsh to answer a few questions.

Q: What inspired you to write Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl?

A: All young couples in school face a serious dilemma:  Either they can try to stay together and see what happens, or else they can break up and get on with their lives with the faith that they’ll get back together when they’re older if they’re really right for each other. Of course the latter option makes a lot more sense … but if you have good chemistry with someone, it’s difficult to imagine breaking up “proactively” even if the timing is bad. And if couples do choose to break up proactively, they face another decision…do they break up right away, or do they stay together and “have fun” until graduation or some other major life event separates them? And will staying together make breaking up even harder? […] So I wanted to portray this kind of crossroads in YA novels.

Q: Was it harder to write the first book or the sequel?

A: Not harder, but it was totally different. With Anatomy of a Boyfriend, my editor requested a major rewrite, but the central story and themes never changed. With Anatomy of a Single Girl, it took forever to come up the main story and themes, but once I did, the first draft required minimal editing.

Q: What message would you want someone to take away from your books?

A: Both Anatomy books are nonjudgmental. They simply present Dom’s thought process and the consequences of her decisions so that readers can formulate their own message without being swayed by the author. That being said, I do hope the books empower readers—especially high school girls—to think seriously about what they want out of a relationship and not to compromise on their needs. It’s insidiously easy to “lose yourself” in love or lust, or to settle for something you’d never wish on your own best friend.

Q: If you could go back in time and tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?

A: Don’t worry, you don’t die from a broken heart.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for young writers?

A: Remember that writing requires a lot of re-writing. I remember being really bummed when my high school teachers returned my papers dripping with red ink (which today I supposed has been replaced with Microsoft Word track changes). I wish I appreciated then that revision is your best friend. Sometimes you’ll “get it right” in the first draft, but most prose benefits from aggressive editing and some time away.