What inspired you to write a book for young adults?
My voice, and my ideas, most naturally fit in Young Adult literature. And I think the being a teen is such a critical turning point, and an intense time, in everyone's life. Talk about great fodder for a writer. But most of all, the books I most remember reading, and still love, are all books I read as a teen and pre-teen: Lois Duncan, Ellen Emerson White, Mildred Ames, L.M. Montgomery, the Sunfire Romance series... I have those and many more beloved books sitting on the shelves behind my writing desk!
What is your favorite young adult book?
Wow, I can't pick just one (doesn't everybody say that?). Let's see. Here's one favorite near to my fingertips, one I read as a teen: "Anna to the Infinite Power", by Mildred Ames. it's all about a girl who was cloned when she was a baby, and the dark implications of that. Great story. And, I desperately wanted hair as thick and curly as the girl on the cover! What's your favorite part about being a writer?
I love creating a stage for my characters to play on. For me, writing is a kind of performing. And as a published author, it's thrilling to know that some people will be buying "tickets" for my "performance".
Are you working on any other books?
Sure. I just finished a revision of the YA novel that Egmont has slated for their Fall 2010 list. And I'm playing with ideas for the next...
What was your favorite part to write in Candor? (Try not to include any spoilers!) (:
Well, the last two chapters were my favorite part to write. And of course I can't give too many details on that! Also, I loved writing scenes that Mandi Able was in. She's just a kick in the pants, as my grandmother would say.
Did you have to do a lot of research before writing?
I did research brainwashing a fair amount, and also looked into the legality of brainwashing. (I'm no lawyer but as far as I can tell, what's happening in Candor, Florida is NOT illegal!). I also researched what it's like to live inside a cult, and how cults change people's thinking--Candor isn't really a cult but I think the Messages "overwrite" people's individual desires in a way similar to a cult.
Where did you get the characters names from?
Character names are SO hard and I'm really picky about them. I use babyname books, and I also look at US Census records to see what names are common and uncommon during the years my characters would have been born. One of the characters in CANDOR, Sherman, got his name from a record album that hangs above my desk. I have framed "storybook" albums--records that read books out loud to kids--above my desk. One of them is for Mary Poppins, and Richard SHERMAN was credited on there. I thought "ah! Sherman. That's a good name!". Of course I should hasten to say that Sherman is in no way modelled after Richard Sherman!
How do you feel about the cover?
I love the cover. I think the orange color is a nice shock, and it directly ties to the story, as does the cool spraypaint font. The dude wearing the headphones sure is easy on the eyes, too. Most importantly, I think it's the kind of cover that makes people curious enough to pick up the book... then read the flap copy... and then hopefully decide to read the whole book!
What made you decide to write a book dealing with brainwashing?
I am horrified by mind control of any sort. People's thoughts should be their own, and I just can't imagine a worse violation than someone reaching into your head and controlling what goes on there. I even hate going to those silly hypnosis shows--they make my skin crawl! So I felt that brainwashing would be lots of creepy fun.
Authors/Publishers: I would love to review your book! I pretty much read anything in the young adult category. I'll also hold contests, interviews, etc. Please email me at email@example.com for more info! See my full policy here.
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Fellow bloggers, I'd love to swap books with you. Especially if you have any from my wish list! E mail me if you're interested!
If you want any book suggestions feel free to email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Also, any YA authors who are coming to New Jersey or New York City please let me know, I'd love to attend!