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Hey lovelies! It’s almost thanksgiving, where has the year gone? That aside it’s time again for #ATO Tuesday here on the Legendary Saga blog, and we’ve got New Adult author Amy Patrick! She’s talking to us about her 20 Something series, and I gotta say it sound good Check out my interview with her to learn more 🙂
- You’ve written four books in your New Adult contemporary 20 Something series this year—three have been released with the fourth coming out this month. What’s your writing routine?
I write almost every day, usually about three hours per day, usually at the same spot in my local library where I do NOT log onto the internet. I think the routine helps my productivity because when I get to my spot my brain knows it’s “writing time” and doesn’t wander. I also plot my books out first, down to the scene level, which enables me to write quickly without too many wrong turns. I’m lucky to have a wonderful critique partner who reads everything I write as well as a great editor.
- What are some of the most useful things in your writer’s toolkit?
A lumbar pillow for my squidgy back.
An outline that I print and fill out (in pencil) during my pre-writing stage. It’s from the amazing book, My Story Can Beat Up Your Story, by Jeffrey Alan Schechter. It’s what I follow for my story structure, but I also keep a good eraser on hand in case inspiration strikes and I want to make changes. I’m a plotter, but not rigid about it—things can and do change as the story progresses.
My Kindle Fire—I use its text-to-speech feature to listen to my manuscript being read to me. It’s a great way to proofread and also to identify sentences that are awkward or unclear as well as gauge story flow.
- Have you written anything else? What’s next for you?
I wrote a YA murder mystery last year that my agent is submitting to New York right now, and I’m writing the first draft of the fifth (and likely final) book in my 20 Something series.
I’m also *really* excited to be working on a YA Fantasy series again. My 2013 Golden Heart finalist manuscript, HIDDEN DEEP, is the first book in The Hidden Trilogy. It’s finished and ready to go. The second and third books are plotted and waiting to be written as soon as I get the chance. I plan to release them in 2015.
Thank you so much for having me here for ATO Tuesday. It’s been fun!! And heres more about my series!
CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING (20 Something #1) : 22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life”. She has her first reporting job, her first apartment, and a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.
Heidi secretly longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she left the security of home for new places and new people, things didn’t go so well. Disastrously, in fact, and she came running back to a local college and a “safe” boyfriend.
Aric Serrano is definitely not safe.
He’s six-feet-four-inches of missing-Hemsworth-brother-hotness and plans to stay in small-market-Southern-Hell just long enough to grab a cup of coffee and put together a kick-ass “escape tape”. He’ll serve his one-year contract, then he’s taking off for a higher rung on the TV sports ladder—alone—the way he likes it. Then he meets his new co-anchor.
Heidi would be so much more comfortable if she could simply ignore Aric. He’s just her type—the type she’s so careful to avoid these days. But that becomes impossible when she’s forced to work closely with him on the weekend newscast. Now the attraction between them is growing even faster than the ratings, and what happens behind the cameras is the real news.
STILL YOURS (20 Something #2): 23-year-old Mara Neely knows who she is and what she wants—she’s an ambitious reporter with a taste for himbos— beautiful dumb guys who don’t even tempt her to get involved past wham-bam-thank you-sir. When she takes a TV news reporting job in Providence, it’s a great step up career wise, but it’s also a little too close to home … and to him, the only guy who’s ever tempted her to let go and love someone.
To billionaire web entrepreneur Reid Mancini, Mara was like a rare comet– beautiful, exciting, and impossible to hold onto. Now his first love is on his television screen and back in his life, and this time, he’s got a surefire plan to catch a star and make her fall.
STILL ME (20 Something #3)–23 year old Kenley Moran is going through a mid-life crisis… WAY early. Pushed since childhood by a nightmare stage-mom to use her looks to “land a rich man”, she’s reeling from a broken engagement and regretting the day she gave up her career in TV news for a guy.
Now Kenley’s determined to change her life, shunning makeup and fashion and fighting her way back into the highly competitive career she loves, off-camera this time. When she lands a producing job at Worldwide News Network in Atlanta, she plans to keep her head down, work hard, and prove she’s not just another pretty face. And vows NO ONE is EVER going to make her compromise herself again.
WNN anchor Larson Overstreet has it all—old money, good looks, a prestigious job, and more women than he can count throwing themselves at him. Problem is… none of it is real. He’s known his whole life that people are only interested in him for his fortune and his famous family name, in that order. Except for Kenley. The shy news producer isn’t interested in him at all.
Working closely with the anchor of her new show, Kenley’s dismayed to feel an instant spark. Larson’s everything she doesn’t want. He’s too good looking, too charming, and worst of all, too rich. She’s not looking for another big money honey. In fact, she’d prefer a nice little guy from the mailroom, maybe a guy who lives at home like she’s been forced to do.
But when they must travel together for a special report, Kenley realizes Larson’s not the spoiled pretty rich boy she pegged him as, and she’s not as immune to him as she’s pretended to be. Now, even at the network level, what happens behind the cameras is the real story.
STILL BEAUTIFUL (20 Something #4)– 20 year old double-engineering major Cinda Moran is the smart one. Her older sister Kenley… is the pretty one. Their nightmare match-making mom has always made their roles pretty clear, and it’s no mystery which daughter she prefers. So while Kenley played the passive dress-up doll, Cinda did the opposite, refusing any attempts to prettify her and make her into “billionaire bait”. Instead, she’s fiercely focused on academics and her internship at an Atlanta TV station.
And as far as romance goes—please—she’s not even sure true love is a “thing”. As she does for everything else in her life, Trekkie-girl Cinda’s got a logical plan: select a sensible mate, come to a mutually satisfactory agreement, and decide to stick it out for better or worse.
Then she meets Blake Branham. He makes no sense for her at all. He’s a reporter at the station, years older, and has ambitions to work at the network someday while she intends to stay put in Atlanta. Even worse—he’s a total alpha. With her own Mr. Spock personality, the last thing she needs in her life is a swaggering Captain Kirk taking stupid risks and tempting her to do the same.
And he is tempting. When she’s forced to work closely with Blake on live shots and gets to know him outside the station as well, Cinda feels things she’s never felt for another guy and starts to wonder… should she boldly go where she’s never gone before? Should she give love a chance… even if it’s not logical?
And there it is lovelies! I hope you all enjoyed it, come back next Tuesday for the next ATO.
<3 always LH
#ATO Tuesday is here again lovelies! And I’ve got a special treat for you today. This author kicked off the ATO this year and now she’s back again for part 2 of her takeover. Welcome back Shawn McGuire with her fantastical amazing The Wish Makers series and her AWESOME SAUCE covers! Take it away Shawn.
First let me shout out a big “THANKS!” to L.H. for letting me do a second ATO. These are so fun. I love reading about other authors. While I was pondering what to talk about this time, Mandy and Crissy took over my take over! (They’re the main characters from STICKS AND STONES and the soon-to-be-released BREAK MY BONES.) They have a tendency to do that to me. “We’re going that way, girls,” I’ll say and point. “Um, no,” they’ll say, “you need to follow us this way.” Then Crissy will give me an eye-roll or Mandy will try to tempt me with something yummy from her kitchen. So, Mandy and Crissy, have at it!
Mandy: Shawn, you get to talk all the time.
Crissy: Yeah, the books are about us so we should get to talk about them now and then.
Mandy: The story is about your wish this time.
Mandy: Shawn, why did you decide to give Crissy a wish this time?
I didn’t decide. The universe decides what wish gets granted. At least that’s what Desiree claims. And don’t you think that Crissy was deserving of having a wish come true? I mean, her home life and that boyfriend of hers?
Crissy: I think I was deserving. So, thanks. Or should I thank Desiree? Either way, things are going better now.
I know and I’m really glad.
Mandy: Like mine, you wishes journey wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.
Crissy: That’s kind of the thing with wishes though, isn’t it? They get granted, things go sort of carppy for a while, and then it ends where it’s supposed to.
Crissy: My little sister repeats what I say so I’m trying to keep it clean.
Okay, I have to say something here as the author. Drama, tension, conflict, being mean to the characters makes for a better story.
Crissy: Really mean.
I’m sorry. But if you would’ve just skipped off into the sunset it would’ve been a really short and supremely boring story.
Mandy: I agree. Sorry, Crissy.
Crissy: We already knew that Desiree has a nasty side. Apparently Shawn does too.
I’m a very nice person. You know that. Sometimes, though, a person has to hit rock bottom before they can start climbing their way out of the pit.
Crissy: Whoa, that’s deep. *rolling my eyes* You’re just trying to justify your deep-seeded need to take out your frustrations on poor, unsuspecting wish makers.
Mandy: Nice, Crissy. Maybe you should be a psychiatrist instead of a photographer.
Just doing my job.
Mandy: I heard a rumor.
Crissy: I try not to listen to rumors.
Mandy: I know, but I heard Desiree is getting a wish in book #3! Shawn, is this true?
It is, but let’s focus on Crissy’s story for now, okay?
Crissy: She’s going to take a shot at Desiree? Oh, I’m so there. Payback is a bit—not nice thing.
Focus, Crissy. We’re talking about you right now. You know, one of my writer friends told me that she thought your story could save lives.
Crissy: Really? That would be sort of awesome.
Mandy: I read BREAK MY BONES. I agree. It’s kind of intense in places, but the way you learn to defend yourself against Brad…
Crissy: Are you crying?
Crissy: So why do you think this could save lives?
Mandy: Duh! You totally learn to defend yourself, as in fought off an attacker self-defense. And you learned that it’s okay to say no even after you’ve already said yes. And that it’s even okay to say no to your boyfriend.
Crissy: Is it okay to say no to my best friend?
Of course it is.
Crissy: Cool. But I was kind of joking.
It’s important for girls (and guys) to protect themselves physically and sexually. But it’s also important to stand up for what you believe in. I’m proud of you for doing both, Crissy.
Mandy: I like in the story how you decide you don’t want to live your life the way your mom and sister expect you to. Everyone should be able to decide what’s important and right for themselves and then fight for it. I’m proud of you too, Crissy.
Crissy: Thanks. Couldn’t have done it without you. And a few other people in my life.
We’re taking up a lot of space on L.H.’s blog. Maybe we should wrap this up.
Mandy: Okay. But there’s more we could talk about.
We’ll talk more later. Maybe you two can take over my blog sometime.
This was a lot of fun but seriously, BREAK MY BONES deals with some topics that I feel very strongly about. Things like living your life the way that you want to live it. Deciding for yourself who and what you are, what you stand for, and what you want to do with your life. (I know, that’s hard for a kid. It’s hard for adults sometimes too.) The other really important topics in this book are dating abuse and rape. Everyone is the ruler of her or his own body. No one should ever be pressured into doing things they aren’t comfortable or ready to do. No means no even if yes was already said. And it keeps meaning no until yes is said again. It’s a huge topic and my ultimate wish is that this book touches the life of kids and maybe, yes, saves a life.
Here’s a short excerpt from BREAK MY BONES. I hope you read it. And if you do, please, tell me honestly what you think of it.
BREAK MY BONES – Chapter 1
A car with a loud muffler pulled into the parking lot of the Lakeside Drive-In. Only one car in town sounded like that. Brad’s 1980-something Camaro. His baby. I slouched way down in my seat and watched out of the corner of my window as he pulled into a spot across the lot from where Mandy and I were parked. I’d told him I’d be home all night tonight. If he saw me here, he’d be mad. Accuse me of lying to him.
He and his cousin got out of the Camaro and went up to the order window. Brad knew the cook and always ordered at the window so he could say hi. Then he’d let one of the rollerbladed serving girls bring the food to his car. He stayed at the window this time and waited for his order—almost certainly a triple bacon cheeseburger, no onions, and monster-size chocolate cherry malt. Good. That meant he was taking his food to go. A few minutes later with bags in hand, they went back to the car and Brad peeled out of the lot. I watched him drive away and only sat up once he was far out of sight.
I felt Mandy staring at me the whole time. If I had looked, I would’ve seen that frown. The one she wore every time the topic of Brad came up. This time all she said was, “Good thing he doesn’t know my car, hey?”
“Yeah,” I exhaled and closed my eyes, listening for the sound of that engine. Even though I couldn’t hear it anymore, I couldn’t relax. He could come back. I’d left instructions with Mom to call me immediately if he stopped by the house. Lakeside wasn’t that far away, Mandy could have me home in less than five minutes if he was there waiting.
One of the servers rolled up to the car with our food and attached the tray to Mandy’s window. The smell of French fries and deep-fried cheese curds swirled in the air around the car and my stomach rumbled.
Mandy smiled as she handed me my mug of root beer, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. She was waiting for me to say something, to defend myself. The last thing I wanted was to get into yet another discussion about why I should break up with Brad. I’d heard it many times. Her vote had been registered.
My throat practically cried with relief as the foamy, vanilla and licorice goodness slid down. I pressed the icy mug against my neck. Hottest freaking June in years and our A/C was out. Again. When Mandy called, asking if I wanted to get a root beer at Lakeside, our dinky-town Minnesota version of a Sonic, I jumped at the chance. The ride in her chilly car felt like a reward for being shackled to two five-year-olds and a baby all week.
She held her mug out to me in a toast. “To your first week of babysitting. How was it?”
Seventeen-year-old Crissy Sheets was so sure Brad was the one, she believed him when he swore the first bruise was an accident. She believed him when he told her he loved her after the second. Now trapped in an abusive relationship with no idea of how to get out, she’s all but given up on ever having the life she dreams of. With little to lose, Crissy wishes for a better future.
She’s told her wish has been granted, but nothing has changed. Her house is still a dump, her mother is still drinking, and Brad still wants to control her every move. Then Lance moves into the house across the yard. He’s hot, chivalrous, and wants to help Crissy break free. Will standing up for herself push Brad too far?
Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid: she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, the small town that inspired the setting for Sticks and Stones and Break My Bones. After graduating college she moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
Love the teaser chapter and I love Crissy and Mandy. Such fun characters and most certainly on my TBR list! Come back for next week’s ATO!
Later lovelies <3 always LH
Hey lovelies! Time again for the #ATO We’ve got another cool one today: Ann Videan and her new YA series Song of the Ocarina!
Take it away Ann!
What do movies, involvement of future readers, and bad-boy rock stars in New Zealand have to do with my stories?
I often tell a story, when I speak as an author, about my emotional reactions while watching the movie Back to the Future in 1985.
I found my life’s inspiration in the scene where Marty’s dad receives his box of books. I remember watching Biff running in the front door, carrying a large cardboard box yelling, “Mr. McFly! Mr. McFly, this just arrived… I think it’s your new book.” The whole family gathers around to admire George’s first novel.
In my mind, a choir sang Hallelujah as he brought forth the first volume from the box. I remember thinking, as I sat in the dark of the theatre, “Someday, I’m going have my own box of books, just like George McFly.”
As a fun aside, I went to college at Arizona State University in the late 1970s with the actor who played the role of Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson). Tom and I were movie buddies, and I adored his sense of humor. He now does stand-up comedy and voice-over work, among many other creative endeavors. I saw him for the first time on the big screen in Back to the Future and I was thrilled to witness his big break.
I actually experienced my own George McFly moment in 2011 when I received my box of Rhythms & Muse, my first self-published women’s fiction novel.
Not only was finishing a book a thrill, but the experience of self-publishing — doing everything myself except editing and front-cover art — also brought me a new skill set to provide to clients. I’ve owned Videan Unlimited, my own home-based marketing firm, since 1996. Now, in my day job, I help other writers and entrepreneurs write, edit, self-publish and generate word-of-mouth marketing.
This broad marketing background led to a unique aspect in the writing of my pending second novel, Song of the Ocarina. Before I get into all that, though, let me give you a quick synopsis to give you an idea of what it’s about. Here’s the blurb:
“Desperate to understand her place in the world, teenage musical prodigy Lark Tūrehu unwittingly follows her handsome music teacher Noel Stone into the parallel realm of Delfaerune. With her extreme height and long, silver-white hair, she already considers herself a freak in her Queenstown, New Zealand university, so how can she possibly deal with the added burden of her role as the Noble Fae’s leading musical spell caster?
Not only must she retrieve and master the Kura Ocarina to earn the title of the realm’s “Maestra,” but the faefolk expect her to use the ancient wind instrument to save the human race from extinction at the hands of the Dark Fae.”
This first book in my Delfaerune Rhapsody series represents writing in a new genre for me. It’s a new-adult fantasy — geared to readers aged 18 to 25. So, from a marketing perspective, I felt I needed to look at some different, creative avenues to involve my new audience members. A key aspect of word-of-mouth marketing involves engaging your audience in the process of what you’re creating. So, as I went along, I started asking future readers and young adults I encountered to provide input into the story, with the promise of including their name on my Acknowledgements page.
I requested and received input for a set of Roshambo (rock, paper, scissors) symbols and hand gestures for my Fae characters’ use. Readers sent in their favorite songs to add to Lark’s ever-present iPod playlists. They also shared recipes to feed my vegetarian Fae at parties and events described in the story.
A unique marketing aspect for my Rhythms & Muse story in 2011 was a complementary music CD of five original songs I composed and performed. I plan to compile an original music “soundtrack” for Song of the Ocarina, too. This time, though, I will enlist the talent of a couple young rock bands to help me create the music. You can also watch for a Spotify playlist of all the nearly fifty songs that come up in the story.
Through all this input and exploration I discovered I love, love, love creating new worlds, especially for young-adult fantasy stories. In this series, I got to create a fresh, unique world where music joins with Earth energy to conjure balance among all creatures, extinct and mythical creatures talk and live peacefully, and the Dark Fae bad boys — like Mikk, Kert and Axyl — pattern themselves after burned-out human rock stars.
The setting played a key role in the story as well. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting than New Zealand in which to place my story. My family visited the country in 2008, and I completely fell in love with everything about it. The beauty. The power of nature everywhere. Its straightforward people. Its sense of other-worldness. The sheer magic of the place spoke to me.
It helped me develop the way the magic works — or doesn’t — in a fantasy world. If you’d like a full description of how the magic works, here’s a link to a Song of the Ocarina excerpt from my ANVidean.com blog
So, now you know how my writing was influenced by Back to the Future, bad-boy rock stars, and New Zealand. I hope you enjoy the input provided by my future readers once the book is complete. Watch for it next month on Amazonat www.tinyurl.com/ANVamazon.
Win my second copy of Song of the Ocarina!
When I open my box filled with copies of Song of the Ocarina, I will lift out a copy for me, of course. The next copy I lift out could be yours…signed, sealed, and delivered. J
If you comment about this post on either Ann Narcisian Videan’s or L.H. Nichole’s blogs or Facebook pages, you become eligible to win the second copy of this new-adult fantasy adventure. It’s book one in my pending Delfaerune Rhapsody series.
We will pick the winner at random from among the comments received on these sites:
- Ann Narcisian Videan’s Words.Music.Village blog: ANVidean.com
- Ann Narcisian Videan’s Facebook page
- L.H. Nicole’s blog: AKA this post
- L.H. Nicole’s Facebook page
Ann Narcisian Videan is the author/singer/songwriter of Rhythms & Muse a women’s fiction novel and accompanying music soundtrack. Currently, she’s writing the Delfaerune Rhapsody Series, a trilogy of young-adult fantasy adventure novels about an 18-year-old New Zealander who discovers she’s the fae musical prodigy who must retrieve and master three ancient instruments to save her worlds. Ann also serves as a fiction editor for sweet-romance publisher Desert Breeze Publishing, writes and edits marketing content for authors and visionary entrepreneurs, and offers a 30-year marketing background focused on strategic word-of-mouth consulting. Find her at anvidean.com, videanunlimited.com, her blog and LinkedIn
Alright alright! What a cool post right? Not gonna lie, I’m one of Ann’s critique partners, so I’ve read this book with a red pen. I gotta say, it’s a good one! Perfect for Fantasy lovers.
<3 always LH
Let the ATO commence!
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?
You mean besides looking up how a dead body looks after decaying for six months or how a gunshot feels? J The latest is: how long does it take a human body to bleed out?
- Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
It is all from my imagination, although I believe in ghosts and have had a couple of ghostly experiences. One I blogged about on the group blog, Laffienated Ink, http://laffeinatedink.com/2014/04/24/do-you-believe-in-ghosts/
- Do you have a specific writing style?
I have a very conversational voice, which makes writing first person ideal.
- How did you come up with the title?
The title took forever, lol. I wanted it to reflect a chick lit tone because that’s Piper’s voice. And since she’s a horror movie junkie, it felt right to use a variation of the line from Sixth Sense. Each future title is also a line from a movie the book is inspired by. The second book will be called We Are the Weirdos, from The Craft. The series is called Disturbia Diaries, which is a wave to another horror movie—Disturbia.
- When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
Technically, I first started writing in middle school, and my first completed book was at age 19 (that doesn’t include all the short stories). But I became serious about writing in 2005, on my birthday, and finished my first book in 2007. It was a romantic suspense that I still have but will never see the light of day. 😉
- What’s your favorite line from any movie?
I don’t have one. I love movies, especially thrillers and horror, but I’m afraid I don’t remember any specific lines. J
I SPY DEAD BODIES (Disturbia Diaries #1)
Horror movie and junk-food junkie, fifteen-year-old Piper Grimaldi wishes for three things:
- to help her true crime novelist father solve a mystery,
- to settle down and make one town their home, and
- to have a social life, which includes a BFF and a boyfriend (even if she’s not allowed to date for another year).
It looks like her dreams will come true when on the first day in Hollow Ridge, MA, she befriends her next-door neighbor, mauls a cute boy, and spies on teen soap star, Linzy Quinn. But then the boy rejects her kiss, and Piper finds Linzy’s dead body. To make matters worse (as if that’s possible), Linzy’s ghost appears, in full color, and won’t leave Piper alone.
Piper desperately wants to help Linzy move into that darn light, but Linzy’s more interested in seeking revenge on all the people she believes did her wrong … including the person who killed her. If Piper can’t find Linzy’s killer, she just may be the next true-crime victim of Hollow Ridge.
Jennifer Fischetto hears voices.
They tell her to wait in the dark for her next unsuspecting victim.
They tell her to kill.
She writes down every whisper, every threat promise to frighten.
“Write what you know” is easy when you’ve spent your life plotting murder and revenge on annoying classmates and nosy neighbors.
When not burying evidence in her yard, cooking another batch of poisonous brownies, or dealing with ghosts and other supernatural baddies, she sits in the corner of her creaky, damp basement, writing fun, humorous mysteries for teens and adults–to cover her tracks, so no one notifies the FBI or calls for a straitjacket.
Seen as a nice girl, her friends and family assume her books are filled with multiracial romance and journeys of strong, smart, sassy women and girls of all shapes and sizes.
Not dead bodies.
Before you go be sure to enter in the giveaway! You could win an eCopy of I Spy Dead People or my book Legendary! It’s so easy how could you resist?
<3 always LH
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hi ya lovelies! #ATO Tuesday is here again! We’ve got another interview set up for you, this time from the cool chick author Kelly McClymer! And guess what, she’s talking about her YA book The Salem Witch Tryouts
You’ve got my attention just from the title! And that cover, one word, FAAAABULOUS! Like several of the other ATO’s we also have a giveaway, but this time we’re going a little witchy different, at Kelly’s request! Two lucky people who comment on this blog, or on either mine or Kelly’s Facebook pages will win books! The Salem Witch Tryouts will be available in either paperback or eBook, winner’s choice. And same goes for my book, Legendary.
Now enough of me, time for the takeover. Ready….Set….GO!
- Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
As a reader, I never liked reading a heavy handed message story, so I didn’t set out to write a “message” book. However, part of any good story is making sure the protagonist needs to call upon all her resources to solve her problems by the end of the book. In The Salem Witch Tryouts, Pru is already a positive, ambitious teen, but having to move away from her friends, the boy she likes, and go to remedial magic class challenges her to dig deep and believe in herself when she isn’t on top of the world. I guess that reflects what I believe – that being positive and believing in yourself will (eventually) pay off.
- Did you see writing as a career?
I never really saw writing as a career, as much as a creative need. I wrote for my high school newspaper, took creative writing classes in college, and sent off my first short story submission when I was 20. I pictured myself working and writing short stories forever. Fortunately, I have been able to call novelist my career for over a decade now. But, like Pru in The Salem Witch Tryouts, I had to believe in myself for a very long time before I reached that goal.
- Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t travel much for my books (signings, talks, etc.). For my writing, however, I like to travel to research potential sites for story settings – and I always travel for writing get togethers, courses, and conferences, of course. I think having been somewhere really helps me get in touch with characters and motivations. Right now I have a trip to the ghost town Bodie, in California, that I’m working into a story.
- If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can’t ask for more wishes)
Hmmmm. Not easy (especially since in all the genie stories, the genie turns the wish against the wisher, but…)
1. That whatever human impulse leads us to “other” each other would be swamped by whatever human impulse leads us to feel compassion for those who are different.
2. That every human could speak mathematics fluenty.
3. That every human could speak and read two languages fluently.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
That my endings aren’t as good as they could be (true, and I work on it with every new book…I guess I’m just not very good at saying goodbye).
- What has been the best compliment?
That my work has unexpected twists and turns that please my readers.
- Tell us something you hate doing. Why?
I hate washing dishes by hand. I have a dishwasher, but for about 10 years, I didn’t. Washing dishes for a family of five turned my hands into soggy prunes. I don’t like the feel of hand lotion, so it was a double whammy. Thank goodness for dishwashers.
Prudence Stewart had it all at Beverly Hills High: straight A’s, the cutest crush, and a sweet gig as captain of the cheerleading squad. Then poof! Mom and Dad announce they’re moving to Salem, Massachusetts. Turns out, Pru comes from a long line of witches and it’s time for her to learn the craft. Buh-bye, Beverly Hills High — hello, Agatha’s Day School!
But Pru’s not about to trade in her spirit stick for a broomstick! She’s sure she can keep her kewl at her new school — until she discovers it’s all magic, all the time, and she’s failing Witchcraft 101. Worst of all, even the cheerleaders bring a special “spirit” to their routine. As in, triple-back-somersault-with-a-twist kind of spirit.
It’s time for Pru to cast a spell and prove she’s just as enchanting as the next girl — and somehow make cheering tryouts a flying S-U-C-C-E-S-S!
Kelly McClymer started out writing plays for her sister to perform for their parents. She branched out to writing for her high school newspaper, and then began a futile attempt to write science fiction. At last, with her historical romance novels, she achieved the goal of published author. And then, in a leap of faith, she left romance for the Young Adult world of fantasy and witchcraft. She may be secretly working her way back to science fiction, but mum’s the word on that one.
Okay, your turn lovelies! PLEASE leave us your thoughts and comments and you could be one of our two winners! And then come back next week for the next ATO, with another great YA author!
<3 always LH