Interview with House of Secrets Author Ned Vizzini + Giveaway (International)

Interview with House of Secrets Author Ned Vizzini + Giveaway (International)

I recently got the chance to chat with Ned Vizzini, coauthor of newly released House of Secrets, about life, storytelling, and his new TV series Believe on NBC. Check out what he had to say!
 

Ned Vizzini is the New York Times bestselling author of young-adult books It's Kind of a Funny StoryThe Other NormalsBe More Chill, and Teen Angst? Naaah.... In television, he has written for MTV's Teen Wolf and currently writes for NBC's Believe, forthcoming in March 2014 from J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, and the New Yorker. He is the coauthor with Chris Columbus of the fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. His work has been translated into 25 languages. He lives in Los Angeles.
 


Thanks for chatting with us today, Ned! First off, tell us a bit about yourself.

Oh jeez, who cares? I'm a writer. I have a wonderful wife and son. I'm 32.


Hey! We're the same age! (And now I feel quite unaccomplished after reading your bio...) Moving on!

Your latest book, HOUSE OF SECRETS, was on the NYTimes Bestseller list for 5 weeks straight. (Congrats!) How did that make you feel?
 
It's a relief.  House of Secrets is a big book. It's physically big and it's big for the publisher. It also has big characters:
b2ap3_thumbnail_ImageProxy.jpg
[Fat Jagger from House of Secrets]
 
 
Big, indeed! You co-wrote HOUSE OF SECRETS with Chris Columbus. How did you guys meet and why did you decide to co-write a middle grade series?
 
In 2011, Chris was looking for someone to collaborate with on House of Secrets. (The book wasn't called that then; the title came later.) He liked my books Be More Chill and It's Kind of a Funny Story so we met up and got into it. It really came out of a desire to do something freeing. 
 
 
Where did the inspiration behind HOUSE OF SECRETS come from? 
 
Chris went jogging in San Francisco like 15 years ago and had this vision of a house floating in the ocean, getting attacked by a pirate ship.
b2ap3_thumbnail_ImageProxy1.jpg
[BAM son that's called INSPIRATION]
 
 
Wow. So this idea has been 15 years in the making. I'm guessing Chris has an affinity for pirate ships. Goonies, anyone?
 
What is co-writing a book like for you?
 
Co-writing is great. I have been working collaboratively since 2008 with Nick Antosca in TV and film. We wrote for Teen Wolf together. The great thing about it is that you can pass work off. For example, right now, I'm answering these questions instead of working on something creative. Not that answering questions isn't creative. I mean -- oh, you know what I mean!

 
We know what you mean. And, hey, thanks again for taking the time to chat with us. What is your favorite thing about this series and the characters? 
 
My favorite thing about House of Secrets is the straight-up evil people. My favorite thing about the characters is when they fall in love.
 
 
What is your favorite paragraph from the book and why? 
 
I don't have a favorite paragraphI have a favorite line. It's when Captain Sangray says, "Shoot to disfigure!" I love that. That's the kind of thing I would say. I love all the pirates in the book:
b2ap3_thumbnail_ImageProxy2.jpg
[Gilliam the pirate from House of Secrets]
 
 
Yikes. Those pirates have some serious tatts and jewelry. How is the novel process different from the script-writing process?
 
Novels engage with love of language. Scripts engage with love of story. 
 
 
You're currently working on a new TV series called BELIEVE, coming to NBC in March 2014. Can you tell us what it's about?
 
Sure, Believe is about a 10-year-old girl with supernatural powers named Bo who gets paired up with an ex-convict named Tate and sent on a journey to help people as she's menaced by mysterious forces.
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_54ed985f61a765230c749c649c78f74d.jpg
[Bo and Tate from Believe]
 
You can keep up with the proceedings by following the Believe writers room on Twitter. We even have the blue checkmark! How amazing is that?
 
 
Blue checkmark FTW!
 
This TV series has some major names attached: not only you, but also JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón, who directed my personal favorite Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner from Azkaban. How has it been working with these two talented producer/directors so far?
 
It's great. Alfonso is one of those people you just want to love you. JJ I spoke with about BASIC programming. You'd be surprised how many TV and film people have computer science in their backgrounds.
 
 
How did you become a scriptwriter, and what do you love most about it?
 
I started working with Nick Antosca on a TV idea in 2008. We moved to Los Angeles in 2010, working as a team, and we're still at it. What I love most is the big margins on the page.
 
 
Rejection comes with the territory when you write for a living. Certain books never get published, and certain television series never make it past the first season. How do you stay positive in this industry and keep moving forward?
 
Kyle MacLachlan came by the Believe writers room the other day; he plays billionaire Skouras on the show
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_BO2iPYDCQAAXRlN.jpg
[l. to r.: Believe writers Sneha Koorse, Kari Drake, Brynn Malone, Seamus Kevin Fahey, Holly Harold; BELIEVE STAR KYLE MACLACHLAN; Believe writers Nick Antosca, Ned Vizzini; Believe writers assistant Alex Leibowich]
 
We all talked about the lifestyles of billionaires. One thing Kyle said stuck with me: the past doesn't exist for billionaires. The past is over. It's the future, and future deals, that mean something.
 
It's hard for me to live like that, but it's something creative people can aspire to: keep your failures in the past, where they actually happened.
 
 
That's great advice. Between writing your own novels, co-writing the HOUSE OF SECRETS series, screenwriting, and being a dad, how do you keep up with it all? Are you secretly Superman?
 
I don't play video games.
 
 
Yeah, me neither. *quickly minimizes World of Warcraft*
 
If you hadn't become a writer, what do you think you'd be doing right now?
 
I'd be a computer programmer. Hopefully at this point I'd be supervising other computer programmers. 
 
 
Thanks again, Ned. Now we can let you get back to sharing some of that workload with Nick. :)
 
Check out our review of HOUSE OF SECRETS here.
 
Want to win a copy of HOUSE OF SECRETS? Fill out the form below! One international person will win. Good luck!
 
 
Cover Reveal: HEXED by Michelle Krys + Giveaway (I...
Giveaway: When the World was Flat (and we were in ...

Related Posts

 

Comments 24

Already Registered? Login Here
Guest - Jessica Longwisch on Thursday, 18 July 2013 13:07

House of Secrets is on my "to-read" list and "Believe" sounds amazing too.

0
House of Secrets is on my "to-read" list and "Believe" sounds amazing too.
Guest - Tammy on Thursday, 18 July 2013 13:51

The secret to getting everything done, no video games or social media. Too bad that's not me.

0
The secret to getting everything done, no video games or social media. Too bad that's not me.
Marlene Moss (website) on Thursday, 18 July 2013 18:32

Love the drawings for House of Secrets - would love to read it. I'll keeping my eyes out for Believe too.

0
Love the drawings for House of Secrets - would love to read it. I'll keeping my eyes out for Believe too.
Danielle Schneider (website) on Thursday, 18 July 2013 18:58

I really like the drawings as well. They really make the story even more intriguing.

0
I really like the drawings as well. They really make the story even more intriguing.
Crayton Young (website) on Sunday, 21 July 2013 17:10

It's very interesting that he co-wrote Teen Wolf. it's such a great show.

0
It's very interesting that he co-wrote Teen Wolf. it's such a great show.
Guest - Daniel M on Thursday, 25 July 2013 21:51

sounds like a fun one!

0
sounds like a fun one!
Guest - Cathy on Saturday, 27 July 2013 09:28

Looking forward to that TV series!

0
Looking forward to that TV series!
Guest - komal on Monday, 29 July 2013 10:49

Teen wolf, co writer?! thats awesome!

0
Teen wolf, co writer?! thats awesome!
Michelle Parsons (website) on Monday, 29 July 2013 11:43

I actually want to see believe Great interview. Love a good book with good evil characters

0
I actually want to see believe :) Great interview. Love a good book with good evil characters :p
Stacy (website) on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 16:18

I love pirates! Looks like a cute book, even though it is BIG.

0
I love pirates! Looks like a cute book, even though it is BIG.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meena Harris debuts with an empowering picture book about two...
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The West Highland Terrier that brought Harvey Comes Home to...
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to...
The Hunt
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. Being...
Swallowed by a Secret
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One dead father. One lying mother. ...
Circus of the Dead Book One
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
There are many ways to die at the Circus...
Roaring
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division...
Court of Lions
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Court of Lions is the long-awaited second and final...
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a...
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After the events at Llethanyl, city of the elves, Zed...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: We think of the glitz, glamorous mega-stars, and classic movies when we think of the Golden Age..."
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
 
3.0
"Paola “Pao” Santiago loves science and hanging out with her best friends, Emma and Dante. She doesn’t love how superstitious..."
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
"KAMALA AND MAYA'S BIG IDEA is a picture book based on a true story about pursuing your goals and doing..."
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
"HARVEY HOLDS HIS OWN is a contemporary middle grade told from three perspectives: Maggie, Harvey, and Austin. Maggie is starting..."
The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2)
 
4.0
"Alice Proserpine thought she was mostly back to “normal” life after breaking from her story in the Hinterland, but when..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"Jewell Parker Rhodes writes electrifying middle grade stories that pack emotion into every sentence, and GHOST BOYS showcases that skill..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school..."
Sunshine in the Shadows: Book 2 of the Sunshine Series
 
4.7
"This one is probably the least exciting out of the 3 books, but its lovely getting to know the characters..."
Sunshine Reigns: Book 3 of the Sunshine Series
 
5.0
"This my favourite book of the 3-part series. Sunny comes into her own with a very satisfying ending."
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
"THE ADVENTURERS GUILD: NIGHT OF DANGERS by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is the culmination of a Middle Grade..."
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
"AND THEN I TURNED INTO A MERMAID is a cute and funny middle grade fantasy that follows Molly. Molly is..."
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
"AFTER THE WORST THING HAPPENS is a compelling middle grade about dealing with death and loss. Army Morand absolutely adores..."
Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life
 
4.7
"Like most other people, I grew up devouring Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. His fairy tales are the first stories I..."
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day
 
4.0
"SHEEP DOG AND SHEEP SHEEP: BAAAD HAIR DAY is a comical picture book about haircuts. Sheep has lovely curls that..."
My Words
 
3.5
"MY WORDS is a cute picture book about language and the power of words. Ava shows the reader how words..."
Sun Flower Lion
 
5.0
"SUN FLOWER LION is a great early reader picture book. Told in very brief chapters, the book captures a brief..."
1789: Twelve Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, & Change
 
4.0
"What worked: Fascination collection of essays that show the impact of the year 1789 in the world.In this anthology, twelve..."
The Pros of Cons
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: I genuinely can't imagine four different events happening simultaneously in the same complex, but it happens..."
BRB I'm Going to Disneyland
 
4.0
"'BRB: I'm Going to Disneyland' by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails,..."
 
5.0
"Loved it!"