First Draft with Sarah Enni

First Draft Episode #216: Mallory Kass (a.k.a. Kass Morgan)

Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100 and Light Years (a.k.a. Mallory Kass, senior editor at Scholastic). Supernova, the sequel to Light Years, is out now!

Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode

  • Kass’s father wrote for Seinfeld

  • Paula Abdul (her iconic Forever Your Girl is a great starting point) and Janet Jackson (oh my god, where to begin? Rhythm Nation is a must, and The Velvet Rope is everything— also apparently she wrote a book! True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself) were two pop stars Mallory was totally unaware of when she moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles at age 11

  • Once she figured out that she was not destined to be an academic, Kass moved to New York and started an internship at Scholastic with Arthur Levine, who edited a little book series called Harry Potter (when she started at the publisher, Levine was working on Deathly Hallows in secret)

  • Kass’s bosses at Scholastic, Rachel Griffiths and David Levithan (New York Times bestselling author of Every Day and Boy Meets Boy), were instrumental in making her feel comfortable pursuing writing as well as editing

  • Cheryl B. Klein, associate editor at Scholastic and Kass’s co-worker, encouraged Kass to talk to Alloy Entertainment, a book packaging firm known for projects such as Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar and Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith. Alloy contacted Kass to work on a new project, The 100!

  • I loved Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, which features a space school, and so did Kass!

  • Looking for Alaska by John Green (which is about to be a Hulu show) is the type of boarding school narrative that we’re more accustomed to reading — Kass threw the boarding school into space!

  • My humblebrag about moderating a panel on worldbuilding which featured N.K. Jemisin (and also Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer, and Joe Hill!) at BookCon.



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Have a question about writing or creativity for Sarah Enni or her guests to answer? To leave a voicemail, call (818) 533-1998. You can also email the podcast at 

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Every Tuesday, I speak to storytellers like Veronica Roth, author of Divergent; Linda Holmes, author and host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast; Jonny Sun, internet superstar, illustrator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gmorning, Gnight! and author and illustrator of Everyone’s an Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too;  Michael Dante  DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender; John August, screenwriter of Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; or Rhett Miller, musician and frontman for The Old 97s. Together, we take deep dives on their careers and creative works.

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Direct download: Mallory_Kass_FINAL_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PDT