You probably get this a lot, but self-doubt is probably one of the most difficult things about it. No, the writing’s great. Creating words and getting that feeling of accomplishment when you finally share them with the world is amazing. But I’m my own worst critic and it sucks. And when someone has something negative to say about your writing? Well, that’s when you have to learn to separate yourself from your writing because unless a reviewer is personally attacking you, it’s all honesty and most likely well-meaning. But I mean, as an author, you are your writing. You love it so, it’s your heart. So not so easy.
Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
Okay, so my book is about a teenage girl, Sabine, who deals with something many of us probably do: she’s socially awkward. And she’s just trying to figure out the meaning of her existence. She finally has the realization that maybe she doesn’t have any, and so she commits suicide. Only thing? She doesn’t go to heaven, or to hell, but is stuck on Earth in spirit form to see how her death has impacted those around her.
What inspired you to write this book?
I mean, I grew up shy. I had a hard time making friends (why do you think I started writing?), and I’ve had my share of dark nights. So it’s a very deep, self-expressive story. But it also taps into something I’m sure all of us have wondered at one time or another, even those who aren’t exactly depressed: if I were gone, how would I be remembered? How would everyone react, and would I be missed?
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I wouldn’t exactly go by hours, because I don’t have a set time that I can make it to my desk and a set time that I stop. I’m the kind of writer that takes a notebook with me wherever I can and writes under the table at dinner. I write on my break at work, in the car (when I’m not driving, obviously… or not…), and even when I really shouldn’t (for example, in the pool). At this stage of my life, it’s kind of a whenever-I-can sort of deal.
Name your top five favorite books.
Bringing out the tough ones, aren’t you?
Maximum Ride series – James Patterson
Singularity – William Sleator
Imaginary Enemy – Julie Gonzalez
The Boy Who Couldn’t Die – William Sleator
The Cardturner – Louis Sachar
What are you working on now?
I’m working on another novel that I’ll (hopefully) be able to release by Spring/Summer 2018. It’s an LGBT sort of romance but not really, with Christian tones. Love—and what it truly means—is a strong theme. I’m really excited for this story!
Title: Forget Me
Author: Chelsea Vanderbeek
Genre: YA Christian Fiction
Sabine is a budding poet who was practically born with a pencil in her hand. Though her intelligence and maturity far surpasses that of those around her, she lacks the confidence and social graces to come out of her shell.
She’s been forced on numerous occasions in the past to slip inside the glass double doors of Hilltop Baptist Church. The youth group was her mom’s idea, really. A shot-in-the-dark way for Sabine to try and make some wholesome friends in a wholesome place. Not that it ever worked out—at least she was usually able to make it out with minimal negative attention as her plain-old invisible self.
This time was different. She always hoped it would be different, but not like this. When Sabine decides she’s had enough of this life, she ends it and becomes more visible than she’s ever been before. Is it possible she wasn’t as forgettable as she once thought? The only way to find out is to watch the aftermath unfold, and no matter the outcome, she can’t do a thing about it. No one can…
…or can they?
Well how-day! My name’s Chelsea, and I’ve been writing fiction and poetry for the past eight years or so. Me? I’m that crazy writer you see scrawling an idea on a napkin while I’m out to dinner with some people—a dirty napkin, if need be. Then again, I’m not that frivolous that I’d forget my notebook at home. But I think you get the point. Desperate times…
I’ve been published before in Warren County Community College’s literary magazine, Ars Poetica, and also on the writer’s website Narrator Neighborhood. I live in New Jersey with my fam, and I also happen to be the founder of a publishing company.
The main genre I like to stay in is YA realistic fiction, but my writing tastes tend to be diverse. That is, I’ll read and write anything I find to be interesting, even if that crosses over into romance/horror/fantasy. I would encourage you to check out my blog at www.chelseavanderbeek.com. You can get a pretty good idea of my writing voice by looking there. And, y’know, say hello.
Barnes & Noble