Carrie Mesrobian

Andrew Karre

Carrie Mesrobian is an instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Her debut novel, Sex & Violence, was called one of the best books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly and was a finalist for the American Library Association’s William C. Morris Award for best debut young adult novel. A native Minnesotan, she lives with her husband, daughter, and dog.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“Don’t believe in God; love the world just the way it is” – said by Taylor Markham, in Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

I’m a big fan of Ian McEwan. I also love Jeannette Winterson. And Andrew Smith beguiles me.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I’ve always liked words, but I didn’t intend to write stories. I liked poems more when I was young. I guess I fell into writing novels because I’ve become more long-winded as I’ve gotten older.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

I think it’s important to enjoy the process of writing. I don’t know why you’d do it if you didn’t enjoy it. And when I enjoy writing, when I please myself, that’s when it’s really good work, anyway, happily. We’re taught that work is something difficult and grueling, but that is not my experience when it comes to making up stories and playing with words. There’s the tortured writer stereotype, for sure, but for me, being okay with the fact that it’s fun and feels like playing, that it feels really good to write and tell stories – understanding that has made such a difference in how I approach what I do.