Introducing Another New Member: Adam Silvera!

Adam Silvera

Photo by Margot Wood

Yesterday we introduced Pub Crawl’s newest member, Janice Hardy! If you missed her interview, check it out! There’s a chance to win one of Janice’s books.

And on to our newest member…

Welcome, Adam Silvera!

We are so excited that Adam is joining the Pub Crawl gang, and bringing some much needed male insight to our publishing discussions. And boy do those insights cover a ton of ground…

Adam was born and raised in the Bronx where he wrote fan-fiction in between competitive online gaming and napping. His first foray into the publishing industry came with a job working in the children’s department at Barnes and Noble. He also worked as a marketing assistant at Paper Lantern Lit and currently reviews children’s and young adult novels for Shelf Awareness. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, will be available from Soho Teen in fall 2015, and you can visit him via his website or Twitter.

I (Erin) had the pleasure of meeting Adam at BEA last year, and rest assured he is just as fun in person as he is online. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Adam, kindly answering my questions for today’s intro post:

1. As a soon-to-be-published author who previously worked in other areas of the industry, you bring some unique insights to PubCrawl. Can you tell us a bit about what you did at Figment and Paper Lantern Lit? How about your current job as a bookseller and reviewer for Shelf Awareness?

For anyone who isn’t familiar, Figment is a website geared towards young writers who are sharing their stories—sometimes finished novels, other times published serially. It’s a really awesome platform to receive feedback and meet critique partners. I assisted with moderating the forums, judging some contests, writing fun posts about YA, and working with guest authors who would (virtually) stop by to share tips. Figment really prepared me for my role as a marketing assistant at Paper Lantern Lit —a literary development company—where I created campaigns for each PLL title across all social media networks. And I was fortunate enough to assist editorially from time to time.

As for bookselling, I actually started off working in the café at Barnes and Noble and was eventually relocated to the children’s department when my managers caught on that I was talking up new favorite releases while brewing coffee. But I also wanted to work in publishing so I applied to become a book reviewer for Shelf Awareness and I’ve been happily reviewing children’s and young adult titles for almost three years. I mean, I get free books all the time. It’s awesome.

2. Ha! I love that you were babbling about books while brewing coffee. Speaking of books, when we first approached you to join PubCrawl, your deal for More Happy Than Not hadn’t even been announced yet! Was it difficult to stay hush-hush about the news? And while we’re on the topic of challenges, what was the biggest challenge in writing MHTN?

I know! It’s crazy. I think we were putting the finishing touches on the submission list at that time and everything happened fairly quickly from there. We sold the book exactly one month after going on sub and we thankfully only had to wait a few days before we could announce it. (Confession: I told a good 20 people before the announcement went live.) (Confession Part 2: I actually told a good 30 people.)

The biggest challenge with writing More Happy Than Not was cleaning up the many messes I made in the 95,000 word first draft. There was a character that did NOT belong in this book and I was so stubborn because I had put so much time into making him a primary player and it just never clicked. Eventually he got the boot and the book was finally, you know, kind of readable afterwards.

3. I’ve been there before with cutting (or sometimes combining) characters. Acknowledging the edit is needed is a huge part of the battle. On that note, do you use a critique partner or beta reader as part of your writing process?

Nope, no critique partners. I have a very solid agent (shout-out to Brooks Sherman!) who is on the same wavelength as me—usually way more elevated than me, actually—and that’s sort of enough for me. Yes, I will sometimes share snippets with my best friend and he’ll throw out some praise and helpful tips, but that’s about it. (And he’s awesome about making sure I’m using “bring” and “take” correctly because I’m simply not wired in the head to get that right.)

But before I even share revisions with Brooks I find it helpful to review my own book. I get how this can sound egotistical, but it’s not! You write about what you believe the strengths are and ESPECIALLY tackle the things you know aren’t working. And after each revision, you write a new review until you are personally glowing about your own book. (Okay, I’m an egotist after all.) I learned a lot about the book with this method.

4. Love this strategy of reviewing your own work to help pinpoint existing weak spots. Do you think working on the business end of things has better prepared you for what lies ahead as a debut author?

Totally! I understood how subjective this business is when we launched into submission and was lucky enough to have very honest conversations with Brooks about how we would proceed since I understood how some gears turned. But knowing how everything goes down was admittedly once a noisy hindrance because I’ve followed so many blogs over the years where one author says this do this, another says do that, and I treated their word like law because they’re bestsellers, award-winners, etc. I eventually accepted that we all have our own methods and that I wasn’t expected to freak out if I operated differently.

5. YES. Couldn’t agree more. Uh-oh… There’s a creeper at the pub! What book are you reading to avoid him?

Hold up—is this creeper tall, handsome, smart, funny, and a Harry Potter fan by any chance? If so I’ll put down whatever I’m reading and will propose on the spot. If not I’ll probably read more of Tim Federle’s literary cocktail guide, Tequila Mockingbird, to help the bartender mix me a Berry Potter. (Fingers crossed this bartender is tall, handsome, smart, and funny.)

6. I might have to fight you for that tall/handsome/smart HP fan. 😉 Eep—Looks like a pub brawl is breaking out! What weapon are you wielding?

I grew up in the South Bronx—I AM THE WEAPON.

(Just kidding. Brooks fights my battles for me. He really works for his cut, you know.)

Ha! Thanks so much for answering all our questions, Adam!

Where Things Come BackAnd now for our readers… We’re offering up one of Adam’s favorite YA reads. To enter the giveaway, use the widget below for a chance to win a paperback copy of Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. The contest is open internationally, and we’ll draw a winner a week from today.

We also have one more new member being introduced tomorrow, so stay tuned!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


48 Responses to Introducing Another New Member: Adam Silvera!

  1. Julie Jan 14 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Loved this interview! It’s so great to welcome you here to PubCrawl Adam!

  2. Leandra Jan 14 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Yay! I get to be the first to welcome Adam! Welcome, Adam! =) Also, I just got up not long ago, and I’m really thirsty, so a Berry Potter sounds good, whatever the heck that is…

    • Leandra Jan 14 2014 at 7:42 am #

      Nevermind, I get to be the second, lol!

      • Julie Jan 14 2014 at 7:56 am #

        Aw, Leandra! We can call it a tie. 😉

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 10:54 am #

      I would like a Berry Potter right now too, please. The ingredients in Tim’s book just sound magical.

      And thank you!!

  3. morgynstarz Jan 14 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Looking forward to MHTN. Betting Adam’s ‘voice’ is one of the good ones!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Yay! Thank you so much. Fingers crossed I don’t disappoint! 🙂

  4. Chris Bailey Jan 14 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Welcome, and thanks for the review strategy. That’s such a good idea on several levels–like, I need to improve my reviewing, anyway. And just thinking about what I want a review to say about my book shows me where I might need some shoring up.

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 11:01 am #

      Glad it was helpful! I may do a full post on how I approach reviewing your own work in the future.

      And thank you, Chris!

  5. Melody Jan 14 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Adam!!!! This news made me smile! I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to read your posts! Great interview! Welcome!!!

  6. jodimeadows Jan 14 2014 at 10:54 am #

    So glad to have you with us, Adam!! Loved the interview. I love the idea about reviewing your book before revising it. What a cool way to prepare for a revision!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Many thanks, Jodi! That technique stemmed from my reviewer roots, obviously, but I find it really helpful! Especially when you’ve been working on a book for so long and you SWEAR all the details are on the page when actually they’re just in your head. It’s a good fact-checking opportunity, I think.

  7. shivani Jan 14 2014 at 11:03 am #

    hey … welcome to you adam.. i really enjoyed this interview.. 😀

  8. Anna J. Boll Jan 14 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I love these questions. Adam I do something similar to the review before I revise. I write myself a editorial letter. I usually have to let the mss sit for a month or so before I can see it clearly though.

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 11:58 am #

      Hi Anna! So happy to find someone else with similar methods. And I’m normally too impatient to take a month away from the book so I’m normally jotting down notes as I go through each revision lap in the same way I would when reviewing the pros/cons of a finished book for Shelf Awareness.

      Do you write editorial letters for each revision round?

  9. Jinpachiro Ikao Jan 14 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Welcome Adam!
    Can’t wait to read more tips from you 🙂 I haven’t heard about More Happy Than Not, but it sounds interesting, and it is set in Bronx which I haven’t read book with that setting 😀 Looking forward for the book! (ugh 2015 why)

  10. Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 11:59 am #

    Many thanks, Jinpachiro! Can’t wait to introduce you to the Bronx….in 2015. (I know – the wait is killer on me, too.)

  11. Elena Jan 14 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    YAY ADAM!!!! I actually had a sneaking suspicion that you would be one of the new additions and I’m so happy (insert obligatory pun on your book here) that I was right.

    Love the idea that you were peddling books even as a barista. I’m going to join Erin in fighting you for the HP loving handsome stranger. So excited to see you on Pub Crawl and so excited for your book!!!

    • Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 14 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      AHHHH! How did you know?! Man, our readers are GOOD!

      • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 9:43 pm #

        Seriously, Elena, if could be less psychic and back away from my HP-lovin’ man, I’d appreciate that. Thanks! 😉

        (P.S: More shorty-tall-y hugs in our future, please.)

  12. Natalie Aguirre Jan 14 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Awesome interview. Congrats to Adam. And I love Shelf Awareness. That’s so cool he writes reviews for them.

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks, Natalie! I really hold the Shelf dear to me. My editor there, Jennifer M. Brown, remains to this day my favorite person in publishing.

  13. Cait Jan 14 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    This is such a great (and totally interesting) interview! I think that’s super interesting to review your own book to help with critiques. I’ve never thought of that before…

  14. Jessica Jan 14 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Wonderful interview, particularly the last few questions! And his personality really shines through.

    Congratulations, Adam, and welcome to Pub(lishing) Crawl!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 9:45 pm #

      I have personality? Hooray!

      Thanks, Jessica. 🙂

  15. Erin Bowman Jan 14 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Yay, Adam! So glad you’re officially part of the gang. <3

  16. Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 14 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    HOLD UP. Wait wait wait. No critique partners? Okay, so I might be the 3425th person to have offered, but man, if you ever want someone to beta read / critique, I AM YOUR WOMAN. Seriously.

    Oh, and EEEEEEEEEEEEEE I AM SO GLAD you joined our ranks!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Hahahaha! In some alternate universe we are soulmates. I will definitely call on your help with Book #2 which I’m working on now. Thank you!

  17. Jessie Humphries Jan 14 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Wow, that was a fun interview. A Berry Potter? Sounds delicious 😉 Great advice to review your own book–I never thought of that one. And uh-oh, I’m a tough critic.

    • Adam Silvera Jan 14 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Aww, thanks, Jessie!

      And RIGHT? Berry Potters sound awesome. That Tim Federle is a smart lad.

      Let me know if you try out the reviewing method! Hopefully by being a tough critic on yourself from the get-go will allow you to reach a cleaner manuscript sooner. Or you’ll just hurt your own feelings and will end up hating me. Time will tell. 😉

  18. JoSVolpe Jan 14 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    Yay, Adam!!! So stoked to have you join Pub Crawl, and even more excited for your book! 2015 is too far away 🙁

  19. Tough Guy Jan 14 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Woof! = Adam’s my boy!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 17 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      WOOF! = Tough Guy, you’re my favorite little guy in this game called Life.

  20. Alexa S. Jan 15 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    YAY ADAM! It makes me so happy that Adam is joining this incredibly awesome team of people, as he’s pretty much the epitome of awesome too. I had the pleasure of officially meeting him at BEA last year, and seeing him at multiple book events in NYC since. He’s a great guy, and I’m looking forward to his debut novel’s release!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 17 2014 at 7:45 pm #

      Thanks, Alexa! You’re incredibly awesome, too. 🙂

  21. Cailtin Vanasse Jan 16 2014 at 1:55 am #

    Welcome Adam, I love that Where Things Come Back is one of your favorite books. My best friend passed it to me and although she has a much more positive read of the ending than I do it was definitely a great book to discuss! I look forward to seeing how you stir up the dynamic at Pub Crawl!

    • Adam Silvera Jan 17 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Hi Cailtin! I love that book so much. I’ve read it once a year since 2012 and am due for a reread soon. Love that ending!

      And thank you!

  22. tracikenworth Jan 18 2014 at 8:12 am #


  23. Adria Alberico Jan 18 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    “More Happy Than Not” — I love the title of your upcoming novel!

  24. Courtney Jan 20 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Welcome 🙂

  25. HollyB Jan 20 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    I know I’m late to the party, but WELCOME, Adam!! I was shocked – SHOCKED, I say! – to see the other day that not one, but TWO nice young men had been added to the blog. Way to go, ladies! You picked some excellent talent for the first representatives of the other sex 😉

    I have followed Adam on Twitter for quite some time now, and he pretty much always makes me smile – and sometimes laugh out loud. I’m so thrilled about the soon-to-be-published book, though it can’t come soon enough, in my opinion. I’m looking forward to hearing Adam’s voice on the blog!

  26. Ameriie Jan 20 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Glad you are here, Adam! ^_^

  27. freedogs winter Oct 14 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    Very good information. Lucky me I came across your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book-marked it for later!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.