In What's New, Writing

Welcome, OneFourKidLit readers and everyone following the chain of posts from YA authors who are publishing their debut novels in 2014. My debut is The Secret Side of Empty, about life as an undocumented teenager. But these “next big thing blog hop” posts are about what each of us are working on next. Here are my answers:

1. What is the working title of your next book?

I am working on two books simultaneously, one a YA novel, one a memoir. Neither have working titles yet. For simplicity, let’s talk about the YA novel.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s a book about relationships and how we sometimes fall in love with the wrong person. So… I’ve got substantial personal experience. I wanted to examine the consequences of a romance gone awry in the digital age.

3. In what genre does your book fall?

Contemporary YA.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?

I’m always bad at this question. I kind of like the idea of unknown actors making it huge in a movie about my book. But if I had to pick I’d take a 16-year-old Cate Blanchett and 28-year-old Jude Law playing against type at his blue-collar best. But that’s probably why I’m not a casting director.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A high school senior falls for the wrong, older guy. When it all goes viral, there are consequences she could have never foreseen.

6. Who is publishing your book?

My publisher, Running Press, has an option on my second YA book, but they haven’t seen this yet. So the answer is, “I don’t know.”

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Still in progress. I started working on it about six months ago. I’m a “sprint” writer – I can put in 10,000 word days when I’m really on, but then I put things down for too long, particularly since I’m amidst final edits for Secret Side.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I haven’t seen too much like this, but that’s probably because it’s morning and I’m foggy and every writer thinks her book is unique.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

All my broken love affairs. Plus all my friends’ sob stories. I tried to imagine what it would be like for a girl finding her romantic way in the world of Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and…

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

There’s an interesting sub plot about a plucky artist just trying to get home to her dad and a little kid being groomed for a life of crime. And the “wrong guy” is romantic and delicious, as they always are.

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