Blog Tour for Wish by Alexandra Bullen

Please welcome Alexandra Bullen, author of Wish, to the blog!  Alexandra is in the midst of a blog tour to promote her debut novel, which I loved.  (Check out my review).  Alexandra has held a lot of jobs and I immediately noticed the list in her author bio on the back flap.  I asked her to share with us how those many (and varied!) jobs have influenced her writing.  I know that my students tend to think that authors sit down, write a book, get it published, become famous, and never work a regular job.  They think you have to “do something big” to get inspiration for writing.  Bullen proves that wrong in today’s post!

(Be sure to stay tuned at the end of the post for a chance to win a signed copy of Wish, courtesy of Scholastic!)


**********Alexandra Bullen, author of Wish**********

Part time jobs are a writer’s best friend. At least, this writer thinks so. Over the years I’ve done all kinds of different things, none more or less exciting than the jobs that everybody works in college, or over the summer, or when they’re trying to figure out what to do with their lives. I’ve worked in restaurants and bakeries, I’ve sold furniture,clothes and antiques, I’ve taught yoga, I’ve reviewed film scripts and answered phones.

Some days, I was good at it. Most days, I was a nightmare. But every day, I was a writer.  Even during the months when I was working two or three jobs at a time—gardening during the day, waitressing at night, teaching yoga on the weekends—and not ever writing a word. I was learning things that I could never learn in front of my computer, or in a writing workshop.

Some of the things I’ve learned have helped me to be a better writer. Now, when I’m writing a story that takes place in the spring and I’m trying to set the scene, I know which flowers are blooming, which plants are seasonal and how they smell. I know what the earth feels like in April, how the leaves are buried under layers of frozen dirt and sometimes pieces of recycled trash, hidden in the compost.

Some of the things I’ve learned have helped me to be a better and more functional human being. As a waitress, I learned math. I’m not kidding. It was the first time in my life that I ever really needed it. I learned to multi-task, and prioritize—things that come in handy now when I’m trying to do things like pay my bills or organize my day. I also learned how not to be a jerk to your waitress; probably the most important life lesson of them all.

But the most valuable lesson I’ve learned working countless part-time jobs is the fact that not once did I ever wish any of them turned into something more. I never wanted to “move up.” I was always perfectly content knowing that even if I was burning my hand on the espresso machine six hours every day, I was a writer, too.  And as long as I had something to go home to, some project to work on, some imagined deadline to meet, it didn’t matter how anybody else defined me.

Writer, human, mediocre waitress.

(I guess something’s always gotta give…)


Interested in reading Wish?  Scholastic has generously donated a SIGNED copy of the book for one lucky winner!  Leave a comment by Friday at midnight to be entered in the giveaway.  The winner will be chosen at random and you will need to submit your address to me, to pass on to Scholastic.  (All entrants must be older than 13!)

Check out Alex’s next stop on her blog tour  at Luxury Reading on January 14, where she’ll be doing a guest post about San Francisco (where Wish takes place).


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10 Responses

  1. Loved the great comments Bullen makes about life. I would agree that a good writer must draw from his or her life experiences. I have had quite a few in my fifty some odd years, unfortunately, unlike Bullen you also have to have a talent for capturing those experiences in a way that will captivate an audience. I would very much like to read Wish, and will certainly look for it (unless of course I get lucky and win a coy :)

  2. do we all wish for a magic lamp… cool if it a dress if your a girl.. bummer if your a boy

  3. From your review, my students would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance!

  4. I’m really looking forward to reading this and sharing it with my students!

    mearley22 at yahoo dot com

  5. Wish sounds simply fantastic! I would love to be entered!

  6. Hmmm… Sometimes I wish I had had more interesting, different jobs (all my jobs have been bookish ones). But I guess there’s still time for that! Thanks for the post and the giveaway! Wish is on my TBR list and I’d love to win it! :)

  7. I always enjoy hearing other writers’ comments on their process and where their ideas come from. I’ve always gotten my best story ideas from my jobs where I encountered odd characters – selling shoes, making coffee and driving a bus.

  8. sbd1988@hotmail.com … I want to be entered.

  9. This book sounds great, and like my sixth graders will love it. I also think my husband, the teacher/stay-at-home dad/always a writer, will like her comments about jobs!

  10. I am looking forward to reading this book and sharing it with my middle school students!

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