If you had to describe the premise of The Start-Up in a tweet (140 characters or less), what would you say?
Greed, Entrepreneurship, College, Sex, Feminism, Technology, Family, Aspiration, Ambition.
What inspired you to write The Start-Up?
I've lived and worked in Silicon Valley for quite some time and been picking up stories along the way. I’ve always wanted to write them, but wasn’t ever sure exactly what the narrative thread would be or even what format to try (A novel? A screenplay? A series of tech-haikus?). So when my publisher (Backlit Fiction) approached me with the idea of a Gossip Girl-esque series set in Silicon Valley, I was immediately on board. I loved the idea of writing a female tech geek protagonist. That really excited me. As a woman, I've experienced both inspiration and discouragement in the business world, and The Start-Up would give me a chance to draw on that in my writing. Another element was that, though I've read lots of books about entrepreneurship, I’ve never felt that experience and world been fully captured. So now it was my turn to try. Finally, Silicon Valley continues to fascinate me as a setting. It’s a world that is both exotic and accessible—it’s the gold rush for the 21st century. The Start-Up was born!
Have you ever based a character off a real-life person?
I often borrow details from people I know personally or have worked with. But they’re really just starting points. Things get altered, added on or removed, backstories and anecdotes get swapped out or dramatized... eventually each character ends up being pretty different from whatever initial “real-life” inspiration there might have been. Still, it’s been great to have a lot of memorable characters and stories to draw upon.
How do you use social media to connect with readers? How important do you think this is?
I’ve been using Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads to connect with readers, as well as reaching out to bloggers (like you :)). It’s been really rewarding for me as a writer to be able to have such immediate contact with my readers and to hear their feedback. I think it is incredibly important to have an online presence, both for connecting with readers as well as gaining exposure.
I really love your book covers: what kind of process did you go through to have them created?
Thank you! I wish I could take the credit for them! I brainstormed with my publisher around concepts but a graphic artist did all the design. There were a couple rounds of, “Is she too pretty? Are his pores too big?” which were kind of hilarious, I felt like I was working at Cosmo…
What are 3 random facts about you that you’d like to share?
Christmas is my favorite holiday, I’m an excellent parallel parker, and I LOVE tacos.
When a college freshman's breakthrough software program catapults her into the limelight, she and her twin brother must navigate a treacherous world of money, power, and envy: Silicon Valley.
In a world of tweets, apps, and mobile games, The Start-Up is a fast-paced and exciting serial story with a new episode released each month
Find The Start-Up on Goodreads & Facebook.
- 1 winner will win a Kindle copy of "The Start-Up"
- Open US only
- Ends February 6 at midnight EST
- Winner will be chosen using random.org; their email address will be forwarded to Sadie who will then supply them with the download
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