Ally Condie is the author of the international bestseller Matched, and its newly-released sequel, Crossed. Matched was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten, named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010, selected as the #1 Pick on the Winter Kid’s Indie Next List, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. In a starred review for the sequel, Crossed, Kirkus called the Matched series an “addictive, layered dystopic trilogy.”
A former English teacher (who still keeps her license current, just in case!), she lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.
A Day in the Life of an Author (at Home)
by Ally Condie
This is a typical Thursday…one of my better writing days. On T/Th I have two hours when all three kids (ages 8,6, and 3) are in school. M/W/F are a little bit tougher because I have to do all my writing at night. Luckily, I’ve been writing daily for as long as I’ve had kids—eight years now!— so I am used to working around their schedules.
6:45 a.m.- Wake up, get in a quick 3-mile run in before the kids are up.
7:15-9:00 a.m.-Breakfast for the kids, dress the kids, check kids’ homework, go over the day’s schedule, eat, throw a load of laundry into the wash, pack lunches, get self dressed, eat breakfast, etc.
9:00 a.m.-Older two boys to school.
9:00-10:00 a.m.—Move laundry, play with three-year-old, answer an e-mail or two if anything has come in for work that is urgent.
10:00 a.m.- Walk three-year-old around the corner to the neighborhood preschool.
10:05 a.m. – Run down to the basement, move laundry to dryer, go into next room “office” to write. I have an hour and forty-five minutes, and it’s morning—not late, when I’m tired, so these are precious, precious minutes.
11:50 a.m.- Pick up preschooler.
12:00 p.m.- Pick up kindergartener.
12:00 p.m. -1:00 p.m.- Make the two boys lunch, eat with them, clean up lunch, take three-year-old upstairs for a nap.
1:00-1:30 p.m.-Kindergartener decompresses with an episode of Go, Diego, Go while I answer a few more e-mails and move more laundry.
1:30 p.m.-Babysitter arrives to stay with sleeping toddler while my son and I go to speech therapy.
3:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.- Get home from speech therapy, pick up third grader, wake toddler up from nap. Help kids with homework, piano practicing. Go outside with them to play and blow off steam.
5:30 p.m.-Husband (Scott) home. Yay!
5:30-7:00 p.m.-Make dinner, eat dinner, dinner clean-up, etc.
7:00-11:00 p.m.- Scott takes over while I write in the basement. (I often go upstairs to read to the boys when they are in their beds. Scott handles baths, brushing teeth, pajamas, and sitting in the hallway to return various boys to their rooms until they all finally fall asleep. Yes, he is a saint.)
I will admit that this time of day is really hard for me to write, but since my kids still wake up ALL NIGHT LONG, I have a hard time getting up before 6:45 a.m. So I sit down and try to work through the fatigue in the evenings. Sometimes, I quit earlier, around 10:00, if I’m to the point where the words aren’t coming and it would be better for me to just SLEEP. ;)
Read a Crossed chapter sampler here and see the trailer here! You can also visit the Matched website here and get the Facebook app here.
Thanks to Ally for the guest post and, if you're in the US, check back tomorrow for a very cool giveaway!