We had the good fortune of connecting with Brenna Yovanoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brenna, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Ever since I was a weird, tiny child, I’ve loved to sit and think about things that aren’t real—particularly monsters. When I was five or six, it was my greatest ambition to move to Hollywood and become a special effects maven with an emphasis in horror. I spent a lot of time flipping through giant (indecipherable, way above my reading level) manuals on how to construct prosthetics and practical effects. Over time, however, my interests got more refined. I didn’t really want to build the monsters, I wanted to invent them. I wanted to tell the stories. The particular delight of fiction is that it lets you get very deep into hard, convoluted topics very fast by bypassing fact and theory and replacing them with metaphors (shall we say, monsters). A really clever horror story can be insightful and illuminating in the same way as a work of philosophy or history, even though it’s rendering in loving detail things that do not exist, and the freedom to wander around inside ideas and figure out how they work and what they mean is one of my favorite things about being a novelist.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m the New York Times Bestselling author of a number of dark, peculiar YA novels. I knew I wanted to be a writer from a fairly young age and was prepared for it to take a long time, but I probably hadn’t fully appreciated exactly HOW long it would take. Not only does writing involve a lot of rewriting and rejection, each manuscript can take months or years to finish. Most of the work happens in private, just putting one word after another. Luckily, I’d played competitive soccer for most of my life, so I was pretty comfortable with the idea of an endurance sport.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in Denver for over 15 years and I never get tired of showing it off! Some of my personal top destinations are the Botanic Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, and Lake Steam Baths. For drinks, we’d probably hit Forest Room 5. Dinner would be The Kitchen or Sushi Den, and definitely Little Man Ice Cream!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Writing is one of those professions where you put in a lot of hours before there’s ever any concrete evidence that you might actually succeed. My very first writing group after college was indispensable, both in terms of encouragement and accountability, and my parents and my husband deserve a lot of credit for never trying to talk me out of it and always just treating me like I would get it done.