How did you start writing for YA?
I started writing online, on a social network that was very popular in Brazil in the early 2000s, called Orkut. It worked in a system of communities and forums, making it the perfect place for teenagers who dreamed about being writers to start doing it. I started my first real YA book in 2007 when I was 16 years old. So, I was a young adult writing YA.
What is the YA writing community like where you are?
Since the Brazilian market is very hard, most of the writers are very united and help each other. There’s room for everyone to grow and the market is getting better year by year, mostly because of the internet and its power. We have a generation of authors like me, who started on Orkut, that now are published by traditional publishing houses. More than that, we have new generations coming from other forms of self-publishing, such as Wattpad and Amazon.
What are some of your favorite YA books? Are there any other Brazilian authors we should know about?
Meg Cabot was responsible for me falling in love with YA novels, so I’m forever a fan. Couldn’t love Princess Diaries, Mediator, and 1-800-where-r-u more than I already do. More contemporary, I just love Stephanie Perkin’s and Jennifer E. Smith’s writing. In Brazil, I’m Aimee Oliveira’s and Larissa Siriani’s biggest fan and they have indie translations on Amazon. You can also find a couple of Brazilian writers published in the USA that are absolutely wonderful, such as Vitor Martins and Lucas Rocha.
What’s your advice for other YA writers?
Trust your guts and enjoy the journey. Sometimes we get so focused on our goals (being published; being read; giving autographs; having an adaptation and God knows what else) that we forget to enjoy the ride. Our path is not easy, but it’s worth it. Neil Gaiman once gave a speech (that later became a book) that I like very much and always come back to when I feel like a fraud. It’s called “Make Good Art” and I think it explains perfectly what I’m trying to say here.
Where do you find inspiration?
In the small things, really. I always have sharp ears for conversations or quotes I hear in my day-to-day life. If you are in line with me at the supermarket, be aware: I’ll be listening, and you can become a character inspiration for my next story. Besides, I think the small moments in life are enough material to write tons of books. Some of my life events are so crazy that I’d probably never consider them plausible, if I read them in a book. Living is crazy.
Are there any upcoming YA books you’re excited about?
Yes! Well, I don’t know if it could be considered upcoming to you, but sometimes releases arrive later in Brazil due to rights and translation bureaucracies. I’m eager to read the second book of the Legendborn series by Tracy Deonn and just love the premise from “Queen of the Tiles” by Hanna Alkaf. As for Brazilian writers, I’m waiting for books both from Aimee Oliveira and Larissa Siriani that are going to be published this year.
What’s your name, books, and best ways to reach you?
My name is Clara Savelli, my most well-known book in Brazil is “As Férias da Minha Vida”, but I have a couple of short stories translated on Amazon.
You can find more about me and my books at www.clarasavelli.com. The website has an English version! You can also find me on most social media at @claraguta. And by e-mail on email@example.com.