Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since my last post so I apologize for that…crazy summer. But I’m taking part in the Children’s Author Blog Hop. My friend and fellow Ohioan Jody Casella invited me to be part of this interview hop in which each author answers four questions and then links to other children’s authors. It’s a great way to learn about books and authors you might not have heard of.
I had the privilege of blurbing Jody’s upcoming debut THIN SPACE which received a starred review from Kirkus! It’s a story about a teen named Marshall who, after losing his twin in an accident, goes on a desperate search for the mythical “Thin Space,” a point between this world and the next that is thin enough to pass through. It’s available September 10th! I had the pleasure of having dinner with Jody when I was in Columbus for a YA panel at Cover-to-Cover Bookstore last March. She is just a lovely person and I’m so excited for her book to come out. It’s a terrific, unique and stunning debut.
Onto the interview questions:
1. What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a contemporary young adult story that I’m currently calling SIX WAYS TO SUNDAY. It features a fifteen-year-old girl named Sunday (“Sunny”) and deals with child abuse, teen pregnancy, and adoption. I’m trying out differing modes of storytelling with this one, trying to get out of my comfort zone of present tense linear narrative.
2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?
I’m mixing it up with chapters that include epistolary writing, past tense flashbacks, prose poems, meta-fiction, and some other interesting “way out there” angles. It’s challenging, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s a new path in my writing journey that I’m excited about.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I think I’m drawn to young adult stories because my own young adulthood was so traumatic. I was bullied pretty badly so it all left me kind of raw inside. I’ve never 100% gotten over it. Plus, I’ve worked with teens my entire life…as a social worker at a residential treatment center for teens and now as an adjunct writing instructor at a university. I’ve never really left the realm of young adulthood. Also, the period of young adulthood is unlike any other phase of life. It’s a period of “firsts” that can never be repeated. First love, first heartbreaks, first driver’s license, first job, physical changes to the body, and then the seeking of independence from parents. It’s a special-horrible-wonderful time in a person’s life that creates a deep creative well for me to draw from.
4. What is the hardest part about writing?
B.I.C Syndrome. Butt in chair. Then Facebook, TV, and internet distractions. I’m currently on Facebook hiatus because it eats up so much of my time. :/
And now here’s a little bit about my writer friend:
I met Z through the Apocalypsies, my debut author group. She writes exciting under-the-sea adventure tales! Her books The Vicious Deep and The Savage Blue feature a 16-year-old mer-hottie named Tristan who is in an epic battle to claim his rightful place as king. One of the things that makes her YA series unique is that the stories are told through a male perspective. (Not all merfolk are female, ya’ll!)
A little story about how amazing Zoraida is…I had the chance to hang out with Zoraida when I visited New York City last fall for a reading. We walked around the city, bookstore to bookstore, signing stock together. The thing I’ll always remember is how she walked me to my hotel and made sure that I arrived there safely and without getting lost. She’s an amazing person all around and a terrific writer so check out her books, okay?