Author Interview: Trish Doller

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trish Doller
Website / Blog / Twitter

  • Something Like Normal (June 2012)
Travis Stephenson is a nineteen-year-old Marine on leave after his first deployment to Afghanistan. Back home in Florida, Travis struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, adjusting to civilian life, a disintegrating family, and friendships that no longer fit. When his path crosses that of Harper Gray, a girl whose reputation he trashed with a middle school lie, Travis feels like he might have found something to hold onto--someone who helps him feel normal. Whatever that means.

Describe your book in 5 words or less.

A Marine's life after Afghanistan.

What has your road to publication been like?

A bit of a roller coaster, really. I actually wrote a book before SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL that was cancelled by the publisher while it was in the editing stages. My agent and I sent it out on submission again, but it didn't sell a second time--a pretty disheartening experience. But while I waited, I started writing SLN. I sent a bit to my agent, who suggested we show the partial manuscript to a few editors. To my surprise, there was interest in the book and it sold at auction to Bloomsbury. While not having my first book published was disappointing, I feel like SLN is a much stronger debut novel and I can't wait for people to read it.

If Something Like Normal had a theme song, what would it be?

What a tough question! I have a few songs that touch on one part of the book or another, but I guess the one song that seems to sum it up is LIKE A SOLDIER by Johnny Cash. It's not really about a soldier at all, yet the lyrics still seem to fit the story.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time as a writer?

My goal as a writer is simply to write books that connect with readers. Sure, it would be cool to win critical acclaim or make a bestseller list, but ultimately the people whose opinions matter most are the readers.

What's something surprising about yourself that most people wouldn't think was true?

I'm a punk rocker. No, really! In reality I look more like a soccer mom than a riot grrl, and instead of dying my head green or blue, I struggle just to keep the gray away, but I can totally hold my own in a mosh pit.

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what book would you choose? Why?

Gah! Another tough one! I have so many favorites! But…I think I would have to choose JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta. Not only because it's a well-written story with characters I love, but Jonah Griggs is my favorite YA boy ever.

Where can we stay up to date about you and your novel?

You can find my website at or follow me on twitter (@trishdoller).



Bookseller by day. Writer by night. I'm kind of like Bruce Wayne. Only not rich. Or a dude. Or a superhero. Come to think of it, I'm not much like Bruce Wayne at all. I've worked as a newspaper reporter and a radio personality, but I gave all that up to sit on the couch in my pajamas and talk to imaginary people.

I am a member of The Apocalypsies--a group of writers whose young adult, middle grade, and picture books will debut in 2012--and I'm also a member of the YA Outside the Lines group blog.

I live in Florida with my two dogs, two mostly grown kids, and one husband.

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