What inspired you to write novels for young adults?
I’ve kept a daily diary since my sophomore year in high school so I think I tapped into my YA voice early—plus those years are still so vivid to me. I also enjoy reading YA novels more than any other genre.
Are you currently working on any new books?
I’m always working on something new. Right now I’m researching a new novel that’s kind of different from what I usually write. And I just sent my agent a story about a teen art prodigy who wants to keep her painting private, but her dad hangs her artwork in a museum exhibit for the whole world to see—and things get kind of crazy.
What is one book you think every teenager should read?
I don’t think there is one book everyone should read. And I remember that I immediately didn’t want to read a book my mom, or some even more annoying adult, recommended (but I was kind of stubborn that way). One thing I wish I’d done as a teen was to start keeping a list of all the books I read (I didn’t do this until my 20s). It’s really fun to see how reading tastes change over time. Plus, I think you are what you read to some extent.
Is there a specific author/person that inspires you?
My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader and she’s the first one who reads my stories. As far as authors, I love so many and read as much as I can to learn what works well in other books. I do have to say that I really value the personal relationships I’m developing with other writers. I get together regularly with other writers in Utah, meet up with writer friends at national conferences, and I love my online friendships with the 2009 Debutantes and the Class of 2k9 authors too.
Where did you get the idea for Swoon At Your Own Risk?
Over the years I’ve had several friends who’ve changed themselves to fit the guys they’re with—to the point that they don’t even know who they are outside of a relationship. I wanted to write about a girl like that.
The character names in Swoon are pretty unique (Kipper, Sawyer, Sonnet)- how did you come up with them?
I spend a lot of time thinking about names, reading through my collection of baby name books to find meanings and connotations until I find something that works. I also write down names I like so I can use them in the future.
What part of yourself/your personal experiences did you put into Polly's story?
One summer a cute neighbor guy kept skateboarding down the street early every morning. One time I watched him curve gracefully down the street, shirtless, with a coffee in one hand, talking on his cell phone with the other—and I thought, you’re just begging to be a love interest. I also wanted to write about having Grandma move in (my mom lived with me for about six months—and while she’s not an advice columnist, she is a psychologist). And then there was a scary boat trip—so, yeah, most of it came from real life.
If you could meet any of your characters, from any one of your novels, who would you choose and why?
I guess I’d want to sit down with Jory from My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters and talk about self-doubt, boys, and finding hobbies that you love. Plus, we could laugh about our poor driving skills!
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.
Let me know if you want me to add your blog to my list or link to your contests.
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!