Author Crush Friday with Molly E. Lee
Glitter girls, you have pressing questions for your favorite authors and we have their answers. Welcome to our weekly segment, Author Crush Fridays.
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Molly E. Lee, author of the new topical YA, Ask Me Anything (May 7, 2019; Entangled Teen). Thank you for talking to us today, Molly! We’re honored! Readers, we have one question for you. Are you ready to smash the patriarchy, one answer at a time? Well, two questions. Will you order this amazing novel from Molly E. Lee. If you haven’t picked up Ask Me Anything yet, run, don’t walk, to grab this one at your local bookstore as a bonus you can be entered into Molly’s epic giveaway! See the details down below.
GLITTER: Tell us five things that people might not know about you.
1) My first movie crush was Indiana Jones…and I’m still in love with him lol
2) I played poker in college to pay for classes and my books
3) I have a weakness for villains like Loki, Jax Teller, and Deadpool
4) I decided I wanted to be an author when I was in the second grade and worked toward that goal for the rest of my life
5) I recently used my skills in research and the power of persuasion to track down a century lost family heirloom and return it to my dad. 🙂
GLITTER: How would you describe your writing to a new reader?
MOLLY: I write strong female heroines who aren’t afraid to challenge their male counterparts, but are still vulnerable enough for love to sneak up on them.
GLITTER: How do you find the emotional truths in your writing?
MOLLY: Digging deep. That’s the only way to describe it. It’s letting the character take full control and you’re simply a vehicle for their journey. Amber’s emotional truths were real, raw, and at sometimes incredibly painful, but I’m proud of where she found herself in the end.
GLITTER: What one question sparked the whole plot of Ask Me Anything?
MOLLY: It wasn’t really a question but more of an…anger? My editor and I were collaborating and we were just craving a strong female lead who is tired of remaining quiet about the injustices in our current social climate. And then Amber walked into my mind and it was all over J
GLITTER: Is Ask Me Anything a personal book for you in any way?
MOLLY: It is deeply personal to me. Not only the themes or the content but the character, Amber. She’s experienced some darkness that is sadly, tragically common in our world, and yet she found solace in helping others in similar situations. I admired that about her and gained inspiration from the positive outlook she clung to regardless of the stakes. It was an honor to touch on some of these controversial topics and shed light on the fact that perhaps they shouldn’t be controversial. Perhaps, in light of the things occurring in today’s world, seeking sexual health advice, or sexuality advice, or advice after a trauma, isn’t as controversial as one might think. Exploring those concepts was an emotional and enlightening experience which also made the book incredibly personal to me.
GLITTER: Did any research go into writing Ask Me Anything?
MOLLY: Yes. An insane amount of research went into these pages. A huge chunk of it being the hacking culture. Amber and Dean’s characters are representing a very real community of people and I was not going to make a mistake. Luckily, I have a super-secret source for all things hacker and he helped me with every single detail in this book. Regardless of how small or how large, he made sure I was authentic as possible, and that was months and months in the making.
GLITTER: Do you have any particular writing rituals?
MOLLY: I usually do an outline, numbering off each chapter, and writing one or two sentences about the particular scene. Sometimes I do this before I have a hold of the characters, but for Ask Me Anything it all started with Amber. Her character was fully flushed in my mind before I sat down to plot and she truly steered the story to its conclusion. Other than that, I try to write every single day, and since I have two little ones that means waking up at four a.m. to squeeze out the words before they’re awake.
GLITTER: What character do you relate most to?
MOLLY: There are pieces of Amber’s character that resonate with me—especially her relationship with her mother. My mom and I are incredibly close and growing up we had an open-door policy where I could always go to her with any question without fear of judgment. That dynamic helped shape the woman I am today, as it shaped Amber’s bravery when she, despite the risks, created a blog to help those in need of a safe space to speak.
GLITTER: We know you love antiquing. What has been the coolest thing you’ve found while searching antique shops. Did you purchase it?
MOLLY: Oh, that’s a tough one! I think one of my most favorite finds are always first editions of books! I’ve found several Dr. Seuss books and an early copy of Good Night Moon, too. Books are always the first thing I’m drawn to in old shops and I’ve been collecting for my kids’ library before they were even on this earth lol! I’m a sucker for Beatrix Potter books, regardless of edition, and usually snag them whenever I see them tucked into the corners covered with dust.
GLITTER: What one piece of advice could you give any teen going through difficult times now?
MOLLY: You are not alone.
You are worthy.
And you will find your strength again.
Ignore the negative on social media and reach out to those in the same situation. Together, through a shared experience, you’ll find the strength to heal. Also, there is a giant world out there that has nothing to do with the people currently crowding you…so in the grand scheme of things those toxic people are insignificant to your journey.
GLITTER: Did any of the authors you read in high school affect how you write now?
MOLLY: Yes. Whether it was a book I enjoyed or couldn’t fall into, it shaped me as a writer. I took something from each one—character descriptions or dialogue choices or the ability to be vulnerable and raw in your writing. So many elements combined to create this writer’s voice in my head…the same one that usually hushes up when the character comes onto the page and takes the reins lol.
GLITTER: What are you passionate about in life?
MOLLY: So many things. Obviously, my family. I’m so lucky to be the mother of a girl and a boy and being charged with their minds, responsible for how they will treat others and what changes they’ll make on the world, is an incredible gift. I’m doing my best to help them both be open-minded, compassionate, and fierce in their passions. Having married my best friend, I’m lucky to have a partner in crime when it comes to raising tiny humans.
I’m also passionate about reading and all forms of art and how vital they are in our world. They help mold us. Help us release old traumas. Help open our minds to new perspectives. Help encourage us to be stronger or slower to react. Help us travel to places we may never see in real life. Help us experience the world through new eyes. It’s soul-shaping stuff that I never tire of and is one of the reasons I wanted to become an author in the first place.
GLITTER: What are you working on right now?
MOLLY: I’m working on a super-secret project filled with angst and suspense and heart and humor. I can’t wait to be able to tell you all about it!
I’m so grateful you had me over today to chat! I hope you’ll enjoy ASK ME ANYTHING when it releases on May 7th! Be sure to check out the EPIC giveaway I’m hosting in celebration of its release! Spoiler alert—there is a laptop up grabs!!! https://www.mollyelee.com/ask-me-anything-pre-order-giveaway.html
Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels: the Grad Night series and the Love on the Edge series. She is a 1001 Dark Nights Discovery Author for 2017. Molly writes adult and young adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English bulldog, Molly loves hiking, enjoying the outdoors around her mountain home, and digging for treasures in antique stores. Visit her online at https://www.mollyelee.com.