Interview with Alison Cherry

Author photoTell us about your publishing journey…

RED wasn’t the first novel I wrote—I spent 2007-2010 working on another contemporary YA that focused on a toxic friendship between two girls. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, so the book was very light on plot and about twice as long as it needed to be. Unsurprisingly, that manuscript never ended up going anywhere. But one of my dream agents read it in late 2010 and said that although she didn’t feel like she could sell that particular book, she loved my writing. She wanted to know if I was working on anything else, so I sent her a few chapters of RED, which I was drafting at the time. She liked them much better than my first attempt and told me to finish the book and send it straight to her. After about six more months of work, I did, and she signed me four days later. From there I got very lucky—we sent RED out on submission in early September, and it sold to Random House in early October, along with my second book!

If you were to cast ‘Red’ who would play the leads? 

Yikes, I’m not very good at this game! Here’s my attempt:

Felicity: Holland Roden (though she’d have to dye her hair a little redder)

Haylie: Annie Thurman

Ivy: Emma Stone

Ginger: Christina Hendricks

Jonathan: Adam Brody, circa 2000

Gabby: Naya Rivera

Ms. Kellogg: Amy Adams

Brent: Taylor Kitsch

If you can have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Provided she were willing to pull her nose out of her books and pay attention to me for a little while, I would have dinner with Hermione Granger. We would eat a meal entirely composed of items from Honeyduke’s: chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavor Bean (but not the vomit or earwax ones.) We’d wash it all down with some butterbeer, and then I’d make her teach me how to do a summoning charm.

What inspired you to write ‘Red’? untitled

I first thought of the idea when I read a very alarmist article about how redheads would likely go extinct in the next one hundred years because our genes are so recessive! Fortunately, the article turned out to be a hoax started by a hair dye company, but it made me wonder what would happen if redheads really were an endangered species. Would people create redhead sanctuaries and try to save us the same way they try to save lions and pandas? And how would one of those sanctuaries look from the inside?

What life advice have you been given, that you wished you’d got sooner?

When I was a teenager, my mom told me never to assume that I could change another person. If I’d listened to her between the ages of 15 and 22, my life would’ve been a lot less dramatic.

 Where can fans find you online?

My website is, and you can also find me on Twitter @alison_cherry! I spend an excessive amount of time there, usually when I’m supposed to be writing.


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