Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus Q&A
Best known for their book which inspired the film The Nanny Diaries, authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus sit down with Kidzworld to discuss their new teen book, Over You!
Over You Summary
Over You follows 17-year-old Max Scott who dropped out of high school and moved to New York City after having her heart broken. There she launched her own company - Ex Inc. - helping girls whose lives have been shattered by the boys they love. But when Max’s ex-bf invades her new territory, she struggles to take her own advice. Sometimes getting over someone is easier said than done.
Q&A with Emma and Nicola
KW: The first book you two wrote together was The Nanny Diaries. What made you decide to team up instead of writing books on your own?
- Nicola: Neither of us were writing at the time. I was acting and Emma was working in an office. Neither of us were happy, but we never imagined that we were embarking on a new career. This was just something we were meeting up after work to do, like a school project. I quit acting first, but Emma waited until after The Nanny Diaries came out to quit her job and come on board full-time.
KW: Do you ever find the collaboration a struggle?
- Nicola & Emma: Some days. And not even whole days. But if it was all the time we would have quit by now. We know now after thirteen years that if we disagree about something then it’s an area of the story that hasn’t come clear yet. Fortunately when it comes to the big picture stuff - what book to write next, hiring or firing people (yes, we do that) - we always agree.
KW: To date, the two of you have written 7 books together. Do you ever plan to write any books separately from each other?
- Nicola & Emma: Not now. We had a small taste of it two years ago when our kids were born and we had to tag each other out. It was crazy lonely. For whatever reason the universe decided that we would share a brain.
KW: Your most recently published novel, Over You, is your second YA novel. Can you tell us a little bit about it and what inspired you to write it?
- Nicola & Emma: Getting dumped! We are old (so old) and we still have friends who are getting heartbroken and we looked around and there was no system in place for helping the ladies get on with it as fast as boys seem to. So we thought, what if we invented a girl who has a full-proof system? Max Scott is 17-years-old and runs a business out of her parents’ basement called Ex Inc. She is the girl you want standing over you at the moment of dumping impact. She will be by your side to guide you through the anguish and get you ready to kick butt again.
KW: Which of the characters in Over You is your favorite?
- Nicola & Emma: Ooh, that’s tough, because all our characters are our kids in a way, even the douchy ones. We love Max, of course, because she’s strong and smart and sexy. She’s the ultimate fantasy of who we wish we’d had along for our own rejection rides. But Ben, who crushes on her, is such a cutie - he really took us by surprise and we totally fell in love with him. And Zachary, Max’s best friend, has a special place in our hearts for being fabulous.
KW: Do you plan on writing more books for young adults in the future?
- Nicola & Emma: We would love to write more of Max’s adventures and we write a lot about crazy parenting in our adult books so we’d be totally into exploring those dynamics in YA. We also have another YA title, The Real Real, about a girl who gets sucked into an MTV reality show and what that would reaaaaally be like.
KW: For teens who haven’t read your novels, what other YA authors could you compare your style to?
- Nicola & Emma: Candace Bushnell, we think. Our characters are smart, sassy and snappy.
KW: Your adult novel The Nanny Diaries became a movie. Do you hope to see either of your YA books hitting the big screen?
- Nicola & Emma: We are negotiations right now. Fingers crossed!!!
KW: If you weren’t writing novels together, what careers would you pursue?
- Emma: Interior Designer
- Nicola: Doctor or Dog Groomer
KW: What are some of your hobbies?
- Nicola & Emma: Does TV count as a hobby?
KW: Do you have any pets?
- Nicola & Emma: We both have old lady dogs. They sit quietly in the corner playing Mah Jong and waiting for their Social Security checks.
KW: Which of your own books is your favorite?
- Nicola & Emma: The Nanny Diaries will always have a special place in our hearts because it’s the first.
KW: Growing up, what was your all-time favorite book?
- Nicola & Emma: When we were kids we both LOVED Bunnicula. When we were teens we both LOVED Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. It’s a classic.
For more info on Emma and Nicola, check out their website!
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