It has been an honor to collaborate with Amy Poeppel. Amy is such a smart sweet person. I have enjoyed talking all about her newest novel, “Small Admissions”. After reading the novel I had several questions that I wanted to ask and Amy so kindly answered them. Continue reading to hear everything Amy had to say.
let’s show Amy some love by following her on Instagram @amypoeppel or twitter @amypoeppel also.
You’ve worked in Admissions in the past, did that position/job inspire you to write this novel?
My work in an admissions department certainly played a role as I wrote my novel SMALL ADMISSIONS. But the real inspiration came from my experiences as a parent as I interviewed for schools with my husband when we were moving to New York City. My husband and I had no idea how stressful the experience would be! We were unprepared, contradicted each other in front of the admissions counselor, and did a pretty poor job in general. That experience inspired me to start writing a series of comedic scenes of parents interviewing for private schools. I wrote about ten different scenes and eventually turned those into a full-length play. I was attending sessions at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit at the time, and they invited me to workshop the play there; that was an amazing experience!!
A few months later, my agent suggested I turn the play into a novel, so I did. I think the scenes I initially wrote work better in prose form than they did as dialogues in a play.
What’s your favorite clothing store/brand?
I am a very casual, jeans-and-t-shirt kind of girl; I’m not a big fan of dressing up. My faves are Paige or Joe’s jeans, Lucky boots, and a good old Gap t-shirt! Or when I have to get a bit dressier … Black jeans, a black Lush “Perfect roll tab” shirt, and black Sam Edelman boots. I tend to wear uniforms!
If there ever were an author who you had to read every book this person wrote, who would it be?
Margaret Drabble. I have read two of her books and loved them both. She writes beautifully! I recently found out that she has written close to twenty novels, so I have a long way to go!
If you were taking a vacation, where would you take it to?
I would love to take a trip that allows me to do my three favorite things: 1. Read on a beach, 2. go site-seeing (museums, cathedrals, etc.), and 3. Eat fabulous meals and drink lots of wine. So… I think the best solution would be to take a trip to Italy!
Are there plans of another novel by you?
I’m working on new novel called Limelight, the story of a woman who stumbles onto the celebrity scene when she encounters a spoiled, entitled popstar who has been cast in a new show on Broadway. I’m thoroughly enjoying talking to theater people, learning about rehearsals and choreography, and trying to understand the mindset of a bratty, unanchored megastar. It’s been a lot of work but so much fun. I am so excited for Limelight to hit the shelves in Summer 2018!
If someone were planning a trip to NYC, what restaurant would you HIGHLY recommend to them?
Good question!! And a tough one! How much are we spending?? (I’ll stick to my neighborhood just to keep things simple!) There’s a little place called Tartine in the West Village that I love – the food is great and you can bring your own wine. The jerk salmon at Miss Lily’s is AMAZING! But I also LOVE splurging on sushi at Lure Fish Bar! My go-to spot is Jane on Houston – Terrific gnocchi with gorgonzola!
Amy Poeppel grew up in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Wellesley College and worked as an actress in the Boston area, appearing in a corporate industrial for Polaroid, a commercial for Brooks Pharmacy, and a truly terrible episode of America’s Most Wanted, along with other TV spots and several plays. While in Boston, she also got her Masters in Teaching from Simmons College.
She is married to David Poeppel, a neuroscientist at NYU and Director of the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt. For the past twenty years, they have lived in many cities, including San Francisco, Berlin, and New York City, and had three sons along the way. Amy taught high school English in the Washington, DC suburbs for several years, and after moving to New York, she worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Trevor Day School, where she had the fulfilling experience of meeting and getting to know hundreds of applicant families.
She attended sessions at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit and wrote the theatrical version of Small Admissions, which was performed there as a staged reading in 2011. Because the admissions world provided so much material, she expanded the play into a novel of the same name.
Amy is currently working on a new novel and is blogging weekly for The Debutante Ball. Her writing has appeared on The Rumpus, Working Mother, Bookish, The Higgs Weldon, In The Powder Room, and Literary Mama.