What inspired you to write books for young adults?
When I was in film school, one of my projects was a short film about three teens in a love triangle. I loved writing it, I loved directing it, and I loved the finished product. I felt like I really connected with the actions and motivations of teenagers--interpret that however you like! A couple of years later, I ended up working at a TV production company, developing shows for kids and teens. I got the idea for "Bad Girls Don't Die" at that time; I think it came naturally out of the focus of my work.
What is your favorite young adult book?
There's a book called "This Place Has No Atmosphere" by Paula Danziger that has remained one of my favorites since I first read it in sixth grade. It's about a popular girl whose family decides to move to the moon, and how she deals with the shift in her "position" and lifestyle. There's also a Gordon Korman book from the late 1980s called "Don't Care High" that made me laugh out loud many times--quite an achievement for a book!
As for modern books, I really have a soft spot for "The Princess Diaries"--it's the ultimate "what if" read! Who doesn't want to find out she's actually a princess?
What's your favorite part about being a writer?
My favorite part is also the most difficult part--the freedom in my schedule! I love that my time is my own, but at the same time, you have to really buckle down and make yourself do the work.
I also love connecting with readers. I've met some awesome people via their reviews and emails.
Are you working on any other books?
Yes! Disney-Hyperion decided they wanted "Bad Girls Don't Die" to be a three-book series, so I'm working on book 2, which will be out in early 2011.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
Over the years, I've had other aspirations, but the nice thing about being an author is that you can be a producer AND an author, or write for TV AND write books. I'd say I actually put the idea of being an author out of my head for a few years, first of all because I was in film school and my focus was on screenwriting and directing, and second of all because I thought being a published author was some exalted thing that normal people could never achieve. I'm glad I got over that particular way of thinking!
Bad Girls Don’t Die Questions-
What do you like most about Bad Girls Don't Die?
Let's see... I think my favorite part is Carter and Alexis's relationship, and the fact that Carter is drawn to Alexis because of all the things she thinks make her repellant.
What gave you the idea for Bad Girls Don't Die?
I was daydreaming one day about a pair of sisters who don't know anything about their family, so they start making up stories. Then the younger sister starts behaving as if the stories are true, and creepy things start happening. That basic idea evolved into the present-day book.
Did you have to do a lot of research before writing it?
Nope--the nice thing about ghost stories is that you can make up your own mythology, as far as what ghosts can and can't do. The complicated thing is writing the sequels according to those same rules!
Where did you get the names Alexis and Kasey from?
I sort of chose them based on how I thought of their parents--not really "out of the box" type people. They're common names and they don't really stand out. I didn't want the names to take over the characters. Since I wrote this book, I've actually been a little more creative in naming my main characters--picking something that not only the parents would like, but something I would like, too.
How do you feel about the cover?
I adore my cover. It took my breath away. The designer brought out a beautiful, gothic feeling that I think adds a lot to the reading experience.
Thanks for the interview, looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
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