10 Quick Questions with Suri Rosen

August 6, 2015 | Christine

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Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen Cover ImageHi everyone!

I recently posted my review of Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen, a very enjoyable summer read. I have since had the chance to do a small interview with her (Thanks again, Ms. Rosen!), and have posted her answers below.



1. What inspired you to write Playing With Matches?

I was hanging with my teenage daughter a few years ago and a thought popped into my head. What would happen if someone in her class was living a secret double life as an Internet matchmaker with legendary matchmaking superpowers, and no one had any idea that she was just a grade 11 high school student? The possibilities for mischief and mayhem just seemed so awesome!

2. How did you come up with the title?

I have a friend who is a wild genius. He fell in love with the manuscript and decided that the original title was kind of lame. So he came up with thirty (literally) new titles and read them to me in ascending order, from least likely all the way up to “this is going to be the title of your book, Suri.” And in the end, it sure was.

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Learning how to take all kinds of scenes — hilarious, emotional, sad — and weave them together in a structure that makes you unable to put the book down until it’s done. I was lucky to work with fantastic editors at my publishing company.

4. When did you start writing?

I was always writing as a child, as a teen, and as a young adult. But somehow, I ended up becoming a professional artist for many years. I created illuminated manuscripts based on medieval designs and taught art at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, as well as in a Toronto high school. But everywhere I turned in my house, I’d bump into snippets of my stories: in the backs of drawers, in cupboards, in the basement. I couldn’t drown the stories out anymore, so six years ago I started writing again, and here I am.

5. Who is your favourite author and how do they inspire you?

John Green was one of my first favourite young adult authors. I really admired his ability to combine humour with self reflection. I was also inspired by Rob Thomas. Right now, I’m in awe of the thrillers of Linwood Barclay. I love the way he depicts ordinary people being thrust into extraordinary situations. His timing is perfect; he’s a master of ratcheting up the tension in a way that leaves you guessing and unable to put his books down.

6. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Yes! Particularly when I do Q and A sessions about my book. ;-)

7. What is your favourite subject to write about?

I’d say that my favourite subject happens to be whatever book I’m working on at the time. Playing with Matches was a fun adventure into the world of matchmaking, but also into an internal world of repairing broken relationships and making amends.

8. What books have had the most impact on your life?

There have been many books throughout the years that have touched me in so many ways. I’d say that as a young adult writer, I found there to be something about Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian that just blew me away. He tackled the heaviest issues and the most tragic circumstances with such humanity and gentle humour. His ability to seamlessly weave together such disparate elements is certainly a sign of a great writer.

9. What books are you reading right now?

Janet Evanovich (the Stephanie Plum series) for her humour, Harlan Coben (Tell No One) for the tension, Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See) for his use of language.

10. Final question: if you had to choose, cake or pie? What kind?

Not even a question! I live in a universe of cake. Straight-up chocolate with an embarrassing amount of fudge icing.