Hometown: Laguna Niguel
Family: Married, no kids
First job: When I was 16, I was a member of the Bullock’s Department store Teen Board, which led to a job in the Women’s Suits department.
Worst job: During my 20s, I lived in Mykonos, Greece, for seven years, where I spent one summer helping to open a new hotel – a job that involved, among other things, everything from working the front desk, to tending bar, to cleaning rooms. Cleaning rooms was, hands down, the absolute worst job I’ve ever had!
Biggest break: Well, there were two – selling my debut novel, “Faking 19,” in a two-book deal to St. Martin’s Press back in 2004. I’m now under contract with them for 21 books. And “Evermore” hitting the New York Times best-sellers list for 41 weeks – 10 of those weeks at No. 1. It opened up a whole new world of readers that I hadn’t accessed before.
Secret to your success: Perseverance is key. When I first started out, I had no idea how difficult it was to break in, but instead of getting derailed by those early rejections, I vowed to work harder.
Advice to other women in business: I know it’s a cliché, but always go with your gut. I’ve yet to regret a decision that was based on my instincts, though I’ve regretted plenty that were led by my head!
Favorite all-time book: The two books that changed my life early on are “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” by Judy Blume. I read it in sixth grade and was blown away by its realness, and I knew that someday I wanted to try to write like that, too. And “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger. I was a high school misfit and could really relate to Holden’s feelings of isolation. Both of those books made me realize that a good story could be a transcendent experience.
With more than 5 million copies in print, Alyson Noël’s books have been published in 36 countries and have been best-sellers here and abroad.
In 2010, her middle-grade “Immortals” spin-off, the “Riley Bloom” series, sold to St. Martin’s Press for seven figures. Most recently, Noël signed another seven-figure deal for a new young adult series, “Soul Seekers,” to be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2012.
As if that wasn’t enough, film rights for her adult novel “Fly Me to the Moon” have been optioned to Fox 2000, and rights for the “Immortals” and “Riley Bloom” series have been optioned by a major studio.
“I may be biased, but these days some of the best writing out there can be found on the Young Adult shelves,” Noël says. “There’s such poetry and immediacy to the storytelling, and it’s the only way for an adult to experience all of those wonderful firsts once again!”
OC METRO'S 20 WOMEN TO WATCH FOR 2011
Carol A. Taylor | Staci Brillhart | Kay S. Napier | Eve Lowey
Julie Lim | Kate Klimow | Monica Wise | Marcy McKenna
Victoria Wade | India Hynes | Farrah Emami | Lisa Wolter
Mary-Christine “M.C.” Sungaila | Shirley Balarezo
Renee P. McLeod | Laura Khouri | Alyson Noël
Brenda Brkusic | Cathy Thomas | Sue Swenson
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