A: I’ve been going to RT for the last six years, and I love it. I’ve always found it to be a welcoming environment, a chance to meet and interact with lots of readers and to have fun and catch up with my writing friends.
Q: As far as busy schedules go, do you find time to read for yourself? If so what are some of your current favorite books?
A: Absolutely! I have to have time to read. Oh, it’s so hard to pick favorites! Ones I’ve recommended lately include Anna and the French Kiss, The Hunger Games (of course!), The Hate List, and Siren. I was also lucky enough to read an ARC for Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy (June 2011), and it was amazing!
Q: So many adults are enjoying the YA genre now. Do you feel like your writing has messages for the targeted audience of young adults, or do you keep in mind the cross-over audience as well?
A: I think one of the best things about YA is that people of any age can enjoy it. Even if you aren’t seventeen now, you were once and probably remember pretty vividly what that was like! I don’t think I write with either audience specifically in mind. I just do my best to tell the story honestly and to be true to the characters.
Q: Do you ever get “star-struck” meeting other authors or have “fan-girl” moments?
A: Oh, heck, yes! I may be a writer, but I’m a reader, too, and I’ve been a reader for a lot longer, you know? I love meeting the writers who’ve created these amazingly real characters, some of whom seem almost like old friends when I go back and re-read the books. Meeting those authors is awe-inspiring and nerve-wracking, all at the same time.
Q: Since Romantic Times has an emphasis on romance, who are some of your favorite romantic couples of fiction, or ones perhaps you’ve created?
A: Katniss and the person she ends up with (don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read the Hunger Games books). Han Solo and Princess Leia (yeah, I know they’re from a movie instead of a book, but I adore them in Empire Strikes Back!). All time favorite romantic couple–Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet
Q: Are there certain things you have to have to write, like snacks or music?
A: I’ve learned I can write pretty much anywhere (love writing in airports and on trains, believe it or not), so I don’t have to have anything. But if possible, I like to have a cup of Earl Grey tea and my Pandora stations on my iPod.
Q: Writing seems to be such a personal thing, is it hard to send your work out into the world? How do you deal with getting feedback from so many different people?
A: Writing is a deeply personal thing. You put so much of yourself into the words, the world, and the story that it makes you feel vulnerable, exposed. It is hard to send your work out, knowing that not everyone will like it (that is an unavoidable fact because we’re all different!) But I’m very lucky in that I’m surrounded by amazing and brilliant people who help me make the book the very best it can be. I value their feedback greatly and I know they’ll tell me–in the kindest way possible–when I’m not quite getting it right!
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to young adults (on anything), what would it be?
A: Hmm. Based on my own experience, I think what I struggled with the most was being myself instead of some version of me that I thought people would like better. It caused a lot of angst and heartache. So, I would say, be yourself and try to be comfortable with it, even though I know how difficult that can be. You are who you are, and eventually you’ll find people who like you for you. I’m a sci-fi geek, a hopeless romantic, a word nerd and a variety of other things, and when I got to college, it was a delight to discover I wasn’t the only one!
Q: What is your opinion on the steady popularity of supernatural elements in YA fiction? Do you think that the Vampire (were’s, angels, demons, fairies) trend is here to stay?
A: I think the paranormal elements in YA fiction are here to stay, much as they’ve stayed in adult romance. Whether the trend will always be this predominant, I don’t know, but I love it!
Q: As writers of Young Adult fiction, teens (and some adults for that matter) can get kind of obsessed with characters and the authors that created them. Do you enjoy the fame and attention you have gained from writing or is it more of a nuisance?
A: I think if you have created a character that people love and think about outside the book, then that is possibly the highest compliment a writer can receive. You’ve brought someone to life for those readers, and how amazing is that?
Q: What is next for you? Any exciting news you could share…or tease us with?
Thank you so much for the chance to speak with you today!