Friday, November 7, 2014

It's a Blog Post, Charlie Brown!

Howdy friends!

Life has been pretty amazing the past two months since my daughter was born. Every day is a dream and I'm so thankful it's my reality.

Cutest baby ever, obvs. 

A friend and agent-mate, Isaiah Campbell, author of The Troubles of Johnny Cannon, tagged me in a blog hop, and I found it to be the perfect reason to hop back over to my lonely little blog.

What are you working on?

What am I not working on might be the shorter answer! Not really. That would be long too. Just last week I turned in the second round of revisions for my second book to my editor. It's called WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED and it's scheduled to be published in spring of 2016, also from Bloomsbury. It's about a classic movie-obsessed sixteen-year-old girl with unrealistic expectations when it comes to modern boys. As for what I'm drafting, I'm trying my hand at two different middle grades, and another young adult.

How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Well... it came from my weird brain, so there's that! I like to think of my stories as realistic with somewhat of a fairytale element. Not magic stuff (yet), but more like "This would never really happen... but it COULD!" Wish You Were Italian is a fit for readers with varied interests. Not only did I try to depict a travel destination in an immersive way, but I threw in self-discovery, growth, and family issues, while trying to keep it realistic and emotionally compelling.    

Why do you write what you do?

I tried to write paranormal early on. It's what was popular, so that's what I thought I should be writing. Then I went to a teen book con where I listened to a panel of YA contemporary authors (Stephanie Perkins, Lindsey Leavitt, and a few others), and I left there feeling completely inspired. CONTEMPORARY! That's what's inside me. The gushy sweet stuff. The almost-kisses. The fast heartbeats. The tingles. I want to grow as an author and push myself to write new things, but I think I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for realistic fiction because it changed my life.

What does your writing process look like?

I'm a bit backwards here. I have a whole list of book title ideas. A title pops in my head and then I think up a story seed to fit the title. SO WEIRD, right? When I think of a story idea first, the title seems to take FOREVER to come to me. I get stunted with drafting if I don't have some sort of title to anchor me. I might write bullet points, or beats, of what might happen in the story, but I won't necessarily stick to that. Sometimes my characters say things that surprise me, and I have to be flexible enough to let myself explore that. Speaking of flexible, I don't have to write in order either. With Italian, one of the first things I wrote was a version of the last scene. And if I have an idea of bits of convo I want to come later, I write it and just work toward it. I like super clean first drafts, so I read back through parts I've already written each time I sit down to write. Not only does it help me get back into the head of that character, but I catch more mistakes, or find better ways to word things after distancing myself from it a little. So when I finish a first draft, it's already been edited quite a few times. Makes my revisions much more manageable doing most of the work on the front end. 

That was fun, writing about writing! My lovely friend Anita Saxena has allowed me to tag her, so you're it!