Saturday, March 21, 2009

So, so sorry!!

Okay, so I am aware I have not blogged in months and months and months. But 2009 is a new year and (BTW, I'm in NYC right now) since my good friend Danielle (a.k.a the fantastic Frenetic Reader) has inspired me to, I'll revive my blog! Aren't you guys just so excited?

So, for y'all who are knowledgeable in the literary world, I met Maureen Johnson last night, and I met Scott Westerfeld, Rachel Cohn, David Leviathan, Coe Booth and Walter Dean Myers today.

For those of you who don't know who they are, I met Lauren Graham today!!

If you don't know who she is, I saw Clinton from "What Not to Wear" Wednesday.

And if you don't know who he is... I'm out of people I met. LOL.

(Just so you know, I will be coming back with lots and lots of reviews later on. Especially Jodi Picoult.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Interview with Mary Castillo

Today I've got an interview with Mary Castillo, author of Switchcraft, In Between Men, and Hot Tamara. Thank you so much, Mary, for doing this interview!

1. Why did you start writing?
It was the only thing that I felt I was good at. I was in my second year at USC and about to flunk out. (I was a history/pre-med student, which was not a good fit for me at all!) During spring break I really had to think about what I wanted to do and I realized that it was writing. I loved it enough that I'd do it for free or if I had to live in my car. So when I went back to school, I finished that semester by the skin of my teeth and then following year, took my first screenwriting class. From that point on, I've never looked back or had to live in my car.

2. Who/what inspired your stories?
Each story is different. Hot Tamara was inspired by a conversation I overheard in a restaurant. In Between Men was inspired by all the single mothers I'd met at the places where I worked. Switchcraft was inspired by my pregnancy. I always have ideas for new books but I pick the one that screams the loudest and insists on being written.

3. Did you always want to be an author?
No, I wanted to be Wonder Woman. And then I thought about becoming a film director and then a doctor and until finally I realized I was meant to be a writer. Once I committed myself to writing, my career evolved. I've always made my living as a writer - writing advertising, PR and briefly, for newspapers. Books are not my sole source of income and so I freelance for magazines.

4. Could you see yourself doing anything else?
Sure, but even if I didn't sell another book I'd still write them.

5. Is it difficult to write stories about fields of which you know nothing?
This is where my history degree and my journalism skills have come handy. I'm also a naturally nosey person and love learning things that I know nothing about.

6. How time-consuming is it?
Writing is my job and my passion. I'm very lucky to do it full-time. But when I had a "real job", I wrote my books during my lunch hour and at night after work. Occasionally, I have to write at night after my son goes to bed. The thing is, we writers have to stay fresh and connected with the outside world. You never know when you'll overhear a conversation that ignites a story, or catch the rhthym of the way someone talks that inspires a character.

7. Do you feel it's rewarding?
Absolutely. But selling books, oddly, is not the most rewarding part of the job. (I know, you want to kick me for saying that!) The best part of what I do is when I come out of a scene knowing that I was completely swept away by the characters and the story. The second best part is finishing that first draft even though I'll go back and rewrite it three or four times before its ready to be read by my agent and editor. The third best part is hearing readers who connected with the story and the characters.

Wow, I totally agree with her answer for the last question. Thank you so much for doing this, Mary!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Interview with Lori Jakiela

Yo, yo (Yeah, I said it twice, got a problem with that? LOL!). Today I've got an interview with Lori Jakiela (and another one with Mary Castillo coming up). Lori is the author of Miss New York Has Everything. Doesn't it sound good? I just know I'm going to look for it ASAP! Anyway, thank you, Lori, for doing this interview!

1. Why did you start writing?
I started writing when I was very young. I was an only child, and maybe I was lonely, too, but mostly I think I liked to make sense of things. I would have loved to have been a painter or something like that, too, but the only things I can draw are stick guys in hats, one of those three-D boxes, and a pig made out of ovals.

2. Who/what inspired your stories?
I've always written a lot about my family and about Pittsburgh and about the little town outside of Pittsburgh where I grew up. Trafford, Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the chocolate-covered pickle, among other things. I think family and place are the two most important things to me, both as a writer and as a person.

3. Did you always want to be an author?
I always wanted to write. I'm not sure I ever thought about the word author. It still makes me feel funny to say it. But writing was one of the only things I was good at in school, and writing was one of the things that always made me happy.

4. Could you see yourself doing anything else?
I was a flight attendant for years. I still miss it. The traveling part, anyway. I liked the layovers -- nice hotels -- and I liked the people I worked with. But even when I was flying, I was writing, so I guess I could imagine doing a lot of things, but I could never imagine doing them without writing.

5. Is it difficult to write stories about fields of which you know nothing?
I was also a journalist for a while, and that experience taught me that it's important to be a generalist. To know a little bit about a lot of things, then fill in the blanks with research. It's great practice for all kinds of writing.

6. How time-consuming is it?
I'm such a slow writer. I have friends who can do a book a year, that sort of thing. But it takes me a long time. I revise a lot, am pretty compulsive about it. I'm always trying to be satisfied and am hardly ever satisfied. Actually, I'm never satisfied. The best I can usually do is come close.

7. Do you feel it's rewarding?
It's one of the most rewarding things in my life. It helps me make sense of things -- my world, my place in it, other people. When I'm writing, I'm happy and content just to be moving words around on a page and seeing what bubbles up. When I come across something that feels really true, that seems to open something new up for me, that's really something.

I agree completely with what she said about doing other things- I'm a writer and that's just who I am, but even when I'm doing something completely unrelated to writing, I'm still writing. Thank you, Lori, for a wonderful interview!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random ramblings?

I know this is a book review blog, but sadly, I haven't read much lately. The library by my house is closed, and as pathetic as it is, I'm almost 17 and can't drive, so the other library is out of reach. I miss reading! I'm totally going insane over here.
Man, I'm totally out of ideas as to what to rant about. That's unusual. I guess I'll end this, then. Toodles!

Sleepless, by Terri Clark

From Terri Clark's website:
"Eighteen-year-old Trinity Michaels has the ability to dream walk. It's a power she doesn't want, but it forever alters her life when she's unable to find an abducted teen before she's killed. While Trinity does help police capture the killer, Rafe Stevens, her involvement makes her his next target. Stevens pleads insanity and his convincing performance, aided by his despicable attorney, get him sentenced to a mental institute where a diabolical physician experiments on him. Now Rafe's escaped the sanitarium and he's after Trinity. Like her, he now has a special ability, one that allows him to stalk Trinity through her dreams. If he kills her in her sleep, she'll die for real. To survive she must find him first and the only person willing to help her is Dan Devlin, disillusioned son of the shady lawyer who knowingly aided Rafe in getting away with murder. Can she trust Dan with her safety, not to mention her heart?"

Does that sound great or what? I'm so reviewing it when I read it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Interview with Alyson Noël!

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a while! But I've been so, so, so busy writing, and also, the library near my house is closed for a year, so going to the other one is kind of hard, considering I can't get there by myself. It sucks, I know. Anyway, I have an interview with the amazing Alyson Noël, author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Kiss & Blog, Saving Zoe, First Kiss (Then Tell)- an anthology, Cruel Summer, and the upcoming Evermore series, out in 2009. She's an extremely talented author, and I've read the first three books I mentioned and they were excellent. So here's the interview!

Why did you start writing?
I started writing really bad poetry that thankfully, no one will ever read, back in seventh grade. I was going through a very turbulent time dealing with junior high, my parent’s divorce, etc. and writing was a good way for me to deal with my feelings. Then later, in my high school AP English class, I used to hand in short stories instead of the critical essays my teacher assigned (don’t try this at home!). And I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful teacher (shout out to Mr. Sawaya!) who graded them as though I’d written the assignment. Then after graduation, I somehow switched from actual writing to talking about writing, until 9/11 happened and I was working as a flight attendant in NYC, and I knew that from that day on, my job would never be the same, so I figured it was as good a time as any to go after my dream--- and I’m so glad I did!

Who/What inspired your stories?
Most of my stories are inspired from my own life. In my senior year of high school I was sort of lost—just like Alex in my debut novel, FAKING 19. And like Rio, in ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS, I know what it’s like to be the new girl and have everyone hate you. SAVING ZOE came after a period of intense grief when I lost three people I loved in five short months and was faced with the serious illness of two others, and like Colby in CRUEL SUMMER, I lived in Greece too, Mykonos actually, for seven years!

Did you always want to be an author?
Well, first I wanted to be a mermaid, and then a princess, but after I read my first Judy Blume book, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, I knew I wanted to try to write like that too. Even though I’d always been an avid reader, Judy Blume’s books were the first I could directly relate too. They felt like they were written just for me, and my friend’s and all of the things we were going through. I was lucky enough to meet her last year, and I’m happy to report she’s as awesome as I hoped she’d be!

Could you see yourself doing anything else?
Well, I could see it, though I don’t like it! I’ve had so many jobs before this- babysitter, department store sales clerk, administrative assistant, office manager, tour guide, jewelry designer/T-shirt painter, flight attendant . . .but this is the only one where they actually pay me to make stuff up. And the fact that I get to do it in my sweatpants and slippers makes it pure heaven!

Is it difficult to write stories about fields of which you know nothing?
Actually, I really enjoy the research part—learning something new is one of the best perks! For my new paranormal series, EVERMORE, (coming Feb. 2009), I took a three-day seminar with world-renowned psychic/medium James Van Praagh. And though I myself didn’t see any dead people, I was completely amazed by a lot of the other exercises he put us through, and I learned a ton of stuff that helped with the book!

How time consuming is it?
Very. No, scratch that. Extremely. Seriously. But I love what I do so I am not complaining!

Do you feel it’s rewarding?
Absolutely! Writing young adult is the coolest experience ever! I get so many e-mails from teens saying they used to hate to read until they read one of my books, and for me, there are no sweeter words than that!

I was so surprised when I saw this email, I didn't think I'd ever get an interview with someone as awesome as her! And I know the pictures are out of order, but I couldn't do anything about it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I kind of forgot to let everyone know that I was going to be away for a while, but here I am, telling you! I'm currently in D.C until Friday, and then I'm going down to Myrtle Beach, and I won't be back home until the 15th, but I will be reading a lot (and I've already read several books) so you can expect tons of reviews when I get back.

Everyone have a great week, and I'll see you soon!