What inspired you to write a novel for young adults?
I never stopped reading YA books so I guess it just seemed natural to write the kind of book I would want to read. I much rather read children's/YA fiction over adult fiction anyway. I don't know if it because I relate to that world more, I don't want to leave it behind, or I feel like it passed me by without realizing it. Whatever it is, it feels natural.
Are you currently working on any other books?
I'm always working on a few books, or at minimum a few ideas! My next book is a fish out of water story about a street-smart city girl who is taken to the country by her crazy ma and immediately locks horns with the local community. I also have a middle-grade fantasy brewing but it's nowhere near to being finished.
Personally, what's your favorite YA book?
That question is always hard to answer because different books are favorites depending on time and mood. I guess the book that left the biggest impression and find myself rereading is The Year of the Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty. I like how she says so much about her characters without actually having a "proper" narrative. And she always makes me laugh.
Who inspired you to become an author?
I always wanted to be an author, so it was always just a matter of when it would happen. My mother has always been very supportive as well so that was a big help. That said, the authors who I read while growing up certainly were influential in the respect that I wanted to be like them: Willo Davis Roberts, Mildred D. Taylor, Nancy Saxon, Cynthia Voigt just to name a few.
Where did you get the idea for Of All the Stupid Things?
The idea came to me one evening when the phrase, "Brent Staple is such a banjo" came to me. That led me to think why he was a banjo (a bit of a wanker, but also someone you'd love to hate) and what were the consequences of him acting the way he did. I knew I wanted three protagonists and they were each going to have their own problems in relationships. The story just developed from there.
Is the cover what you imagined it looking like?
I honestly didn't know what I wanted the cover to look like. I didn't have any ideas of how to represent the story I'd written, but I assumed it would have something to do with 3 for the different perspectives. Not being artistic in that sense, I would have never thought of the symbolic cover, which really does work well.
The characters names are pretty unique, where did they come from?
They just the names that popped into my head the same night the idea did. As I was plotting it out with pen and paper, I originally had the names Pinkie, Whitney, and Blaire but quickly realized that Whitney and Blaire were suitable only for the same character. Tara's name floated in my mind and then they all felt right. If my brain had a reason for choosing these names, it hasn't told me!
Did any part of Of All the Stupid Things come from your life?
Not really, just small elements. The closest circumstance is being involved with a boy who never phoned but always seemed thrilled to see me, similar to what Pinkie has with Nash. I do pick small aspects or tidbits from life which I find interesting and then work it into a new scenario. For the most part though, what I write is fiction because it lets me experience something I haven't.
Thanks so much, Alexandra and I agree about The Year of Secret Assignments- amazing book!
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