Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Debut Authors

Once again I find myself playing catch-up on Debut author interviews... these six ladies are bringing you books about beauty pageants and mystery, faeries and time travel, family and loss. Whatever your reading desires, I'm certain you can find them in this list, and the Same 5 Questions...

I have a bit of a writer crush on Sarah Ockler. She is one of the nicest people in the world. She is funny and she is a WRITER. I mean it. Twenty boy Summer is the kind of book I want to read (and write). Buy it here.

1. What is your preferred writing brain food?
Coffee. Not really a food but if they sold it in chewables, I'd be all over it! I also love chocolate dipped in peanut butter, but that tends to make a mess of things on the keyboard.

2. What is the soundtrack to your debut novel?
California Stars by Wilco. That pretty much says it all for Anna and Frankie and their summer of twenty boys!

3. Describe your perfect writing space.
I love my current writing space - it's perfect! I finally got my own home office this year, and my favorite husband built me a desk to go with my shelves. I love being surrounded by books -- all of my old favorites and an ever-growing collection of YA titles -- it inspires me. I also have pictures of my loved ones, trips I've taken, and my collection of sea glass. I just need a few more photos and a funky purple carpet, and I'll be all set! Okay, so I wouldn't say no to an ocean or mountain view, but that's just not going to happen in Buffalo, NY. :-)

4. Tell us about one of the secondary characters in your debut novel. How did he/she come to life?
Jayne Perino, Frankie and Matt's mom. She's not related to the main character, Anna, but the families are so close that Anna calls her Aunt Jayne. She was one of my favorite and most difficult characters to develop. Her teenage son dies, and her grief is so impossible and raw and at times all-encompassing, yet somehow, she finds a way to get out of bed each day. And though her mothering took a back seat in the months following her son's death, she truly loves her daughter Frankie, and I love how she tries so hard to come back into Frankie and Anna's lives on their California trip. Aunt Jayne came to life in my mind through many broken-hearted moms I've met over the years; all who have loved and lost and still found a way to keep going. We only get to see a small part of Aunt Jayne in TWENTY BOY SUMMER, through the eyes of Anna, but it's an important part and I loved writing her character.

5. What did/will you do on your launch day?
I don't know yet. Is that bad? I hope to be in NYC, but as long as I'm with my husband, I'll be good. :-) Maybe a little celebratory ice cream and champagne, wherever we are!

I'm especially excited about Mandy Hubbard's Prada and Prejudice right now because I get to meet Mandy this weekend, and do a signing with her... she came all the way from Washington! Also, you may know this already, but Abigail Breslin is reading Mandy's book right now.

1. Diet Coke. Lots and lots of Diet Coke. Gummy Bears or Blowpops when I remember to pick them up!

2. I can't list all the songs without making it obvious what happens later, but in the opening chapter, "SEE YOU AGAIN" by Miley Cyrus fits my character. One of the lines in the song is: "The last time I freaked out, i just kept looking down, I st-st-stuttered when you asked me what I'm thinking bout, felt like I couldn't breathe, you asked what's wrong with me, my best friend leslie said-- oh she's just bieng Miley."

That is definitely the person Callie is in chapter 1!

3. My perfect writing space is my office at home, on a day when it's completley pouring outside so I don't want to be out there (sunny days are just horrid for writing) and no one is around to interupt me, and I have lots of soda and candy.

4. Victoria is a middle-aged Duchess, and the mother to Callie's love interest. It wasn't until the very last round of editing that I really came to understand her--and it was due to a seemingly unrelated plot change! I can't say much without spoiling it, but I hope readers will get to know Victoria in a whole new light by the end of the novel.

5.I'm going to drive around to bookstores and look for my book, and maybe sign some stock if they will let me and not kick me out of the store. :-)

Cynthia Liu
has not one but TWO books coming out this year. And she is in charge of the amazing Author's Now site... Paris Pan Takes the Dare is available here.

1. What is your preferred writing brain food?
Diet Dr. Pepper and Snickers bars (together!).

2. What is the soundtrack to your debut middle grade novel PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE?
A Simple Plan's "Welcome to my Life"
"Unwritten" by Natasha Beddingfield
"This One's for the Girls" by Martina McBride
"Man, I feel like a Woman" by Shania Twain

3. Describe your perfect writing space.
I can write practically anywhere. But I always dream of a cabin in Maine, snow outside, and Bambi-esque deer outside my window.

4. Tell us about one of the secondary characters in your debut novel. How did he/she come to life?
Mayo is the embodiment of every mean-girl I ever did meet in elementary school and junior high. She does just enough to break people down without other people noticing.

5. What did you do on your launch day?
I wanted to bring PARIS PAN out in a way that really fit the book and who I am as an author. It's called Take the Dare: Show You Care. As a result of the PARIS PAN launch party, we raised $15,000 for a Title I school in Tulakes Oklahoma. The party rocks on at Latecomers are always welcome!