1. Both of your young adult novels (Switch and Snap) deal with some kind of paranormal element. Did you set out to write in this genre or did the ideas simply arrive this way? And you have switching bodies and ghostly images...what would you like to tackle next in the paranormal/fantasy world?
The first teen novel I attempted didn’t deal with the paranormal at all – it was more like a watered-down version of my adult books, which are basically romantic comedies. Then I had the idea for Switch and discovered how much fun it could be to make up my own rules of the universe. When I started playing around with ideas for a second teen book, I knew I wanted to go paranormal again, both to appeal to Switch readers and because I enjoyed stretching my imagination. As for what comes next: right now I’m playing with some ideas for a ghost love story.
2. What about Snap was the hardest to write? What about the easiest?
I had a terrible time deciding what, exactly, Madison Sabatini was doing in Sandyland. In my first take, her father was involved with some criminals who burned down their house, so they ran away in the middle of the night and changed their identities, and – oh, it was awful. The easiest part was writing the dialogue between Madison and her friends. In general, dialogue comes pretty easily to me.
3. Do you find writing for teens is a lot different than writing for adults? Do you find you have a preference?
For the most part, writing is writing. I come up a premise and characters, and then, page by page, I build a narrative. I don’t really have a preference between adult and teen books; I enjoy writing both because it keeps me from getting in a rut.
4. Reviews are great for authors when they are positive, but what are your thoughts on negative ones? Do you feel they hinder a book's sales? Where (site, magazine, newspaper) was one of the best places you've been reviewed?
I value negative reviews as much as positive ones because they give me the opportunity to learn and grow. Ha! Kidding! Like most – okay, all – authors, I hate negative reviews and have been known to say some very bad words at my computer screen. However, I have long since accepted that not everyone will like my work, and bad reviews come with the territory. Anyone who can’t accept that shouldn’t be a writer. (And anyone who becomes a writer should know enough to avoid double negatives.) With that said, if I hear the same criticism from multiple reviewers, I do try to learn from it. I don’t know how much harm bad reviews do. What I really fear are no reviews! So many books disappear from the stores before anyone’s even heard about them. With four books currently in stores, I’m fortunate to have had a lot of people say nice things about my work. Probably the biggest honor was having the American Library Association choose Switch as one of their “Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers.”
5. Who would be at your ideal party (dead or alive)?
My grandparents -- three of the four died far too young, and I wish I could have gotten to know them. Besides, what’s a party without a few ghosts around to liven things up?
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