Q1. What is your favourite colour?
It wavers between pink and purple. I'm very girly! :) I wear a lot of both colors and would have my house decorated in them if my husband wouldn't object to it.
Q2. While not writing, what can you often be caught doing?
My husband and I like to go kayaking during the warm weather. We also like to travel, especially to historic sites. We're both history geeks!
Q3. Out of all your books, what is your favourite? Why?
I love them all, and it's really hard to pick one. I do have a special fondness for my first published book, Something to Blog About. The characters have lived in my head since I was fifteen and it's the book that got me where I am today. So it will always be very special to me.
Q4. How old were you when you started writing?
I always told stories as a kid, but I first started writing them down when I was eight. I started writing with the idea of getting published one day around the age of eleven. That was when I figured out that authors were just regular people who loved to write and that maybe I could become one some day.
Q5. What has been the happiest moment in your writing career?
Getting my very first fan mail. I had the privilege of meeting the girl who wrote to me because her mom ran the bookstore where I did my first book signing. It felt SO good to get that letter and know that someone in my target audience actually liked my writing. I love hearing from readers and it's the best part of the job!
Q6. Do you have any bad habbits when it comes to writing?
I rarely ever plan my books ahead of time! I could probably save myself so much work if I would start writing with some kind of idea of what will happen in the book, but my brain usually doesn't work that way. I have to figure out the story as I go along, which means that I change my mind a lot while I'm writing. My first drafts are so complicated and confusing no one else would ever be able to make sense of them.
Q7. Do you write with or without music?
I write without music, but I always make up playlists for each of my books. I only listen to them when brainstorming though because I find the music too distracting to listen to while actually writing.
Q8. Where do you get ideas for your stories?
Lots of different things. Troy High was inspired by my love of Greek mythology and my experiences with high school rivalries. Something to Blog About was inspired by an event that actually happened to me. A lot of ideas come from things that have happened to me (though I change them a lot for the story) or even from things I've read about. News articles have sometimes sparked ideas in my head or even places I've visited.
Q9. What would be your advice for people who want to start writing?
The first thing I suggest is to read a lot. Read the kinds of books you want to write, and then also read outside of that genre. Study the way the plot is put together and how the characters are developed. Then write and get a good group of people who will give you an honest opinion of your work. My critique partners are invaluable to me. We all help each other work through story problems and they've suggested things in my work that I hadn't thought of before. And they point out when things aren't working. It's sometimes really hard to see your own work with a critical eye because you're too close to it. So it helps to have other people read and give feedback. Parents usually aren't good at this, however. They tend to spare our feelings and don't really give the criticism a writer needs! My critique partners are fellow writers, so they understand what kind of advice I need in my drafts.
Q10. What is your favourite book that you've read?
My absolute, hands down favorite book ever is Emily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I know everyone always says they love the Anne of Green Gables books best of LM Montgomery's work, but my favorite is Emily. Emily Climbs is the second book in the Emily of New Moon trilogy, and I like the other two books as well, but this one is my favorite. It covers a lot of Emily's growth as a writer and I've always found it very inspiring. I've reread my copy many, many times!
Q11. If you could speak another language, what would it be?
Okay, I'm about to reveal myself to be a huge dork, but it would be Sindarin, which is the Elven-tongue in Lord of the Rings. I'll pause a moment for everyone to laugh...
I told you I'm a huge dork! :) If we're talking real world languages, I'd really like to be able to speak Spanish better than I currently can. Three years of it and I still struggle with sentence construction.
Q12. If you had a super power, what would it be?
Super strength, because I'm super wimpy and it would be nice to be able to open the jar of pickles on the first try.
Q13. Who is your celebrity crush?
Right now, it's Channing Tatum. *fans self*
Q14. Sweet or savoury?
Sweet, but a fruity sweet.
Q15. Who is your favourite author?
Meg Cabot. Her books are so fun to read, and I love that she writes in different genres and isn't afraid to try new things in her writing. And she seems like a very fun and happy person too.
There is also a giveaway of The Boyfriend Thief!
My review: http://rowanknight.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/boyfriend-thief-by-shana-norris.html
Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.
The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.
Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?
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