1. What do you think the future for Young Adult literature looks like? What do you think is missing? What are you looking forward to?
Such a great question and at the same time such a hard question to answer because it’s constantly reinventing itself and evolving. I definitely see more diversity in YA books in the future. It’s something that I think is missing and I personally would love to see more of. As far as what I’m looking forward to I’d have to say the next big trend. Trends fascinate me and they also encourage me to read out of my comfort zone.
2. You write both YA and NA. How much of your work comes from personal experience?
I’d say a little less than half is from personal experience. All my characters have little quirks that were inspired by my own or by someone I know. The stories themselves I take bits and pieces from personal experience, but also from stories I’ve heard on the news and my imagination. Home is Where You Are, Anna talks about a gum wall. In the town I grew up in there is a gum wall. A place where people just put their chewed gum. It’s disgusting, but it’s something I remember from my childhood and it’s still there. Also in the book, Anna’s mom is an antique dealer. My mom collects antiques and I grew up in a house with some really cool things. The wooden pogo stick that is mentioned is something my mom still has hanging on the wall and I used to jump on it when I was a kid.
3. How do you come up with your characters?
Most of my characters come to me. They just start talking in my head and as I sit down and write them they begin to develop.
4. What genres are you most comfortable writing? Have you ever thought about paranormal?
Contemporary romance definitely. I have thought about writing paranormal and I’m actually currently working on one. It’s massively different from what I’m used to and completely out of my comfort zone, but I’ve been having fun with it.
5. What are some of your favorite books to read? Favorite TV shows?
I have so many! Anything Sarah Dessen, Simone Elkeles, Toni Blake, Susan Mallery, J. Lynn, Erin McCarthy’s True series, I just read Wallbanger by Alice Clayton and loved it! TV Shows, if you follow me on FB you would know I”m a Dawson’s Creek Fanatic. I also love Vampire Diaries, The Fosters, True Blood, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Hart of Dixie and I’m going to stop now 🙂
6. Tell me about your books and your process.
I write YA and NA contemporary romance. You can check them all out on my Goodreads page. I don’t have a set process. It changes with every book. I have a full time job so writing is usually done at night, the weekends or my lunch break. I squeeze it in wherever I can. I’ve become Pinterest obsessed, so now before I start writing a new story I create a Pinterest board. Visuals always help me when I’m writing and before Pinterest I actually pinned pictures to cork boards.
7. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
When I started writing seriously I was reading Alyson Noel’s Evermore series. I had checked out her website and she had advice for writers and it was BIC. Butt in chair. I think that is the best advice. You can have a million great ideas, but unless you force yourself into that chair and start writing them, you’ll never turn that idea into something great. Even if you think it’s awful just keep going. You won’t publish everything you write and that’s okay. Some times you need to get those stories out of your system before you can find the one. Also critique partners. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They are my support team, cheerleaders, and help make my stories the best they can be.
8. Do you have any upcoming releases?
Home is where You Are will be out September 30th and the third book in the Beds series, Lonesome Beds and Bumpy Roads, will be out later this year.
Thank you so much for having me!!!
Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble
Kaylee Sperling is a social butterfly with a million acquaintances, but no real close friends. The closest thing she has is her pet gerbil, Mr. Pippi, and 150 notes from a random classmate who won’t reveal who he is. But she’s crossing her fingers it’s the self-proclaimed magician and total hottie, Nate Hatfield.
Nate needs an assistant for the upcoming talent show. When he spots Kaylee folding herself in half during gym class stretches, he nervously asks for help with his magic act. But after a disappearing mishap, resulting in an accident with one of Kaylee’s only friends, Mr. Pippi, Nate must figure out how not only to keep his assistant, but someone who’s come to mean much more to him than his illusions.
Anna’s life reads like a check list.
Straight A’s (Check)
Editor of the school paper (Check)
Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)
Ivy League (So close she can taste it)
Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)
Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.
Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.
Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer under her real name, Theresa Paolo. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.