AS YOU WISH by Chelsea Sedoti

AS YOU WISH doesn’t come out until January, but I couldn’t wait to feature it. I love Chelsea Sedoti’s plots (as evidenced here) and this book promises to be yet another compelling read.

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

In our last interview, you said, “My biggest priority is simply to be present.” Is this still a priority for you, and in what ways do you try to attain it? 

I think being present—not just in writing, but in all areas of life—will always be important to me.

Being present can mean different things. It can mean being available to friends or family (or even aspiring writers who need words of advice.) It can mean being aware of the world around me, and open to whatever flows my way. So many of my ideas for books or characters come from random things I stumble on in daily life. Being present can also mean living in the moment instead of getting caught up in the past or present—something which has a tendency to trip me up.

So yes, I’d say being present is definitely still high on my priority list.

Mine too. And I love the premise of AS YOU WISH! In what ways do you think wishing complicates happiness and why?

In AS YOU WISH, wishes have a tendency to take a dark turn. It’s not that the wishes get twisted by an unseen power. Instead, people get exactly what they wanted: only to discover what they thought they wanted might not be what’s best for them after all.

Wishing allows people to achieve goals without ever working for them. It gives people power they might not be ready for. And, of course, making such a monumental decision like what your one wish will be at eighteen has consequences as people grow up and learn more about the world.

In the book, wishing can be a gift and a privilege. But sometimes it’s also a curse.

Very well put. If there was something you could tell your younger writing self, what would it be and why?

When I was much younger, I thought writing—well, any creative work, really—was based solely on talent. If you were talented you could become a writer. If you weren’t talented then oh well, too bad for you.

That’s absolutely untrue.

Talent only takes you so far. What really leads to success is being willing to put in a lot of time and effort. Hard work, persevering through rejection, continuing to believe in yourself when you don’t think anyone else believes in you… Those are the qualities that help you get ahead.

There are plenty of writers in the world who are so talented they’d put the rest of us to shame. But if they only rely on their talent, we might never read their books. I wish my younger self knew this. It would’ve saved me a lot of time agonizing about “not being talented enough.”

That helps us other writers too! If you could recommend three books besides your own that your readers would enjoy, what would they be? 

I love recommending books, and this past year I read several that I fell in love with. Here are a few of my favorites:

KAT AND MEG CONQUER THE WORLD by Anna Priemaza: A hilarious and heartbreaking contemporary YA about geeky gamer girls, friendship, and finding your place in the world.

THE GALLERY OF UNFINISHED GIRLS by Lauren Karcz: Magical realism about a girl who discovers a mysterious building where she’s able to create perfect works of art. (I wouldn’t mind finding a building like that in real life.)

LITTLE MONSTERS by Kara Thomas: A dark, twisty thriller about manipulation and obsession—with a creepy haunting thrown in for good measure.

Chelsea’s books:

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

Chelsea’s recommendations:

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound