Inkpop Blog

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inkpopper of the Week: anilawrites

Posted by inkpop on December 8, 2009

“I can’t believe there are people who like the things I made up.”

This thought is still swirling around the mind of anilawrites (aka Anila Gill), the November inkpop Top Picks champion author, for her book, Dude. The modest 19-year-old George Mason University English major is coming down from her “adrenaline rush” of an experience.

inkpop: It’s cool that as soon as you became a Top Picks champ, you spread this message on inkpop: “I encourage you to take Dude off your Picks lists and give the spot to a project that needs/deserves it.”

anilawrites: Uploading Dude on inkpop was never about getting Picks or hitting the top rank. I’d only shared my writing with a few people before I joined inkpop. When my friend Ashlie (aka Ashurrii) introduced me to inkpop, I was more interested in hearing what a community of writers had to say about my work than I was about amassing Picks. After Dude hit number-one and went to the editors, I didn’t want to draw attention away from the many other wonderful projects on the site. 

inkpoppers make an effort to communicate genuinely, and inkpop is a comforting environment where it’s easy to make friends. This feeling of a tight-knit community is individual to inkpop. It has just the right amounts of literariness and socialness to make a great writing site. 

How did you gain initial attention for Dude?

My Top Picks experience was the most mentally exhilarating thing I’ve ever been through. When I uploaded Dude to inkpop, it hit number 54 within hours. When I woke up the next morning, it was number 12—that might’ve been the last time I slept for a few days. Within 24 hours, Dude was the number-4 Pick, and 12 hours later, it was number 1. To have it immediately received with so much enthusiasm really blew my mind.

I don’t know how I got initial attention for Dude. Ashlie was a medium-ranking Trendsetter, and she’d already read Dude, because I sent her chapters of it while I was writing it. We’ve always had a literary-based friendship. Incidentally, this is why I like inkpop so much—writing buddies are important and it gives us a platform with which to make them.

Anyway, Ashlie picked Dude right away because she’d already read it, and her Pick got it noticed. After reading around, I found a few people whose writing I respect and asked them to give my book a read. It just went from there.

How’d you come up with the idea for Dude?

My inspiration for Dude came from my little sister—she’s a feisty, quirky, snarky 12-year-old.

I derived my main character’s personality from her, and my book’s central theme also started with my sister—I  was doing something gross and boyish, like chewing with my mouth open, and she looked at me and said, “God, Anila, you’re such a dude.”

It was interesting that she associated poor manners with masculinity. The exchange festered in my mind for weeks. One night, the story just erupted in my mind. I immediately thought, “I have to write this down.” And Dude was born.

inkpop Forums Topic: How was your story born?

The inkpop blog is written by inkpopAmy

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