First Draft Episode #232: Maureen Johnson
Maureen Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of several YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and Truly Devious: A Mystery. She has also done collaborative works, such as Let It Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), and The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan).
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Something Queer series, written by Elizabeth Levy and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, included Something Queer is Going On (A Mystery), Something Queer at the Library, Something Queer in Outer Space, and more
- The Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol
- One day Maureen plans to pursue writing non-fiction and humorous essays, like David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames
- Maureen’s friend and agent is Kate Testerman with KT Literary
- Janklow & Nesbit Associates is the literary agency where Kate worked her way up before moving and forming her own agency
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashears and Sarah Dessen books, including Saint Anything, Once and For All, and her newest, The Rest of the Story (hear Sarah Dessen’s episode of First Draft here) were the only YA books around when Maureen started watching
- After John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars was turned into a movie by the same name, his other books Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska were also optioned and turned into a movie and TV show. Then came Let It Snow with Lauren Myracle and Maureen Jonhson, now available on Netflix!
- Some of the crew of YA writers who wrote with Maureen in New York when they were beginning their careers included: John Green; Emily Jenkins a.k.a. E. Lockhart, author of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks; We Were Liars, and the forthcoming Again Again; Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series, The Dark Artifices series, and the forthcoming Chain of Gold, which kicks off the Last Hours series; Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire, and the forthcoming Mother Daughter Widow Wife (listen to her First Draft episode here); Holly Black, author of The Cruel Prince series, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and more (listen to her First Draft episode here); Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Leviathan; Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar.
- I can’t miss an opportunity to dig at the ending of Lost
- Knives Out is a great example of a mystery. Go watch Knives Out!
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