Oh, hello. So this blog hop thing has me back in the blogging saddle. The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is celebrating authors’ works in progress, the stuff we have up our sleeves, and all that jazz.
I was tagged by the amazing Ilsa J. Bick, a long-time friend of mine from the Dear Teen Me project and beyond. She’s the author of the ASHES trilogy (read with the light on, dudes), DRAW THE DARK and most recently THE SIN-EATER’S CONFESSION, which I’m so psyched to read. You should definitely stop by her page to learn more about this amazing woman and perhaps join her in a bit of Star Trek nerdery.
1: What is the working title of your book(s)?
COME ON EILEEN- with Priya Chand (between drafts)
GRUNGE – in progress
AUGUST TIDES – out there in the submission ether, thanks to Agent Christina & team!
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
GRUNGE came to me in a dream. I dreamed I was kissing a boy in the 90s and he looked a lot like Kurt Cobain. I woke up and wrote down the scene as a YA romance, and put it aside. When I decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo in 2011, I decided to expand on this scene, and to write the story of two teens from opposite social circumstances mourning Kurt in 1994, just a few months after his suicide. It has proven to be a challenge that takes longer than 30 days to draft. Much longer!
COME ON EILEEN is the product of a prompt from the MACHINE OF DEATH 2 anthology. My short story didn’t make the anthology, but after changing the book’s machine of death into a mechanical fortune teller with spooky accuracy, I took my 1986 New York City romance about a girl who will die when she hears “No More Words” by Berlin to my friend Priya Chand, who came in to write the time-traveling love interest, Rahul, from 2012 Chicago. This was one of the most fun books that I’ve ever written and I hope Priya will entertain the idea of writing more books with me.
AUGUST TIDES also came from a short story, this time a piece I wrote in 2006 before I had any clue what I was doing with prose. I come from a background in poetry, and I was so helpless with prose before I really started reading like a fiend. When I picked up the story again in 2010, I decided to rewrite the whole thing for NaNoWriMo. I can’t remember the original idea for the story, other than there was a pretty boy from the ocean and a girl stuck on an island in Maine after being struck by family tragedy. I also know I wrote the short story shortly after reading THE SEAS by Samantha Hunt, so no doubt I owe Ms. Hunt a debt of gratitude.
3: What genre does your book come under?
My books tend to fit in the magic realism category. They usually read like YA contemporary, but tend to have a paranormal or sci-fi-ish twist.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh my. I have such a hard time with this because I write YA and I am so bad at keeping up with the younger actors/actresses. I think that Claire, the main character in AUGUST TIDES, would be done supreme justice by Jane Levy of Suburgatory, who has the perfect hair to play her and is also a really dynamic actress. I think Carly Chaikin, who plays Dalia on the same series, would make a great Eileen from COME ON EILEEN. So much sass!
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In AUGUST TIDES, Claire O’Malley is stuck on the island for the summer after coming home to help her ailing father and falling ill herself; now recovering, and determined to spend her summer moping, Claire is surprised to wake one morning to find a beautiful stranger at her doorstep — a stranger who might hold the key to solving her family’s mysteries.
In COME ON EILEEN, Eileen Archer has just found out she’s destined to die the next time she hears her favorite song, so color her surprised when quirky Rahul shows up out of nowhere — literally — to turn her world on her head; meanwhile, if Rahul can’t figure out how to get back to the future, both he and Eileen are doomed to live (or die) in the 80s forever…or at least until the 90s, or whatever.
GRUNGE is the story of Eric Watts and Trish Benson, two very different teenagers who once lived in the same trailer park, who once were best friends, and whose worlds are colliding once again in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I have one traditionally published book, DEAR TEEN ME, with Zest Books, and my other work are represented by Christina Hogrebe at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
AUGUST TIDES and COME ON EILEEN were both NaNoWriMo books, so they both took a month! GRUNGE is taking me for-EV-er.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A friend once compared my work to John Green and Molly Ringwald (her films), which was extremely flattering. Personally, I draw a great deal of inspiration from Laurie Halse Anderson and David Levithan. Also, The X Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even though I don’t write straight up sci fi or fantasy.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
AUGUST TIDES was very inspired by THE SEAS by Samantha Hunt, and also the culture of small towns in Maine, the way we are so attached to the ocean there. GRUNGE and COME ON EILEEN come from my love of writing near histories, exploring pop culture and how it affects us as teens and as people.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I write a more literary style of YA, but I like to infuse it with ridiculousness and romance and pop culture and laughs. So I’m hoping it will appeal to folks who just enjoy a good story.
Below is a list of my
victims writer friends who will be joining the blog hop on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. Book mark these writers and check in next week to hear from them about their WIPs and New Releases! Woo!
1. Priya Chand
3. Lynne Kelly