First off, tell us a little bit about your novel, Shrinking Violet.
Shrinking Violet is about an extremely shy teen that is trying to reach her dreams. She aspires to be a DJ and will not let any obstacles stand in her way. It is a book about being yourself, sprinkled with humor and romance.
What inspired you to write Shrinking Violet?
I was inspired to write the story because I wanted to write about something I love—music. The idea of having a character that wants to be a DJ is pulled from my experience working at a radio station. From there Tere was born.
Are you anything like your main character, Tere?
I was shy growing up but not nearly as shy as Tere. We both share a love of music and a desire to be ourselves.
Did you do any research while writing Shrinking Violet? If yes, please explain.
I met with the owner of a local radio station to make sure I was up to date on all the technology and equipment that they are using at the station, Slam, in the book. I also read Helen Keller’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, since she’s a huge inspiration to Tere.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing Shrinking Violet?
The most difficult thing was writing the character of Tere’s mom, Delilah. There are a few scenes where she is really mean to Tere and I actually felt bad for Tere when I was writing them.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes! I wrote my first book in first grade, a class assignment. I thought it was so cool that I could write whatever I wanted. I still have that book today. From there I was hooked and knew that writing would always be a part of my life.
What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer? Did they help you in any way as a writer?
I’ve held a wide array of jobs since I started babysitting at twelve. I worked at a video store when I was fourteen and a movie theater when I was eighteen, with plenty of jobs in between. In my adult life I’ve worked in advertising and taught creative writing and language arts to middle school students. I consider every job that I’ve had as potential life research for my books.
When and where do you usually write?
I either write in my home office or my out of home office (Starbucks). I write whenever I get a moment since I have three young kids. I am a night person by nature but have had to get used to writing more in the morning.
Is there something that is a must have for you to be able to write?
I like a clean work area if possible, coffee and sometimes chocolate! I like working at Starbucks because there are no dirty dishes or piles of laundry calling my name.
What author or book most influenced you as a writer or in general?
I can’t pick one or even two because I have been touched by some many books throughout my life. A book that I devoured as an older teen was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I’m also a big Judy Blume fan and before I wrote Shrinking Violet I was really inspired by White Oleander by Janet Fitch, just because it’s such a great read.
What are currently reading?
I’m reading a couple books at once, Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert and My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman. Both are fabulous reads so far!
What book are you anxiously awaiting?
I have been following the Tenners and there are so many awesome debut books coming out next year that I’m dying to get my hand on!
Can you tell us anything about your next YA novel?
Indigo Blues is a novel told in two points of view—Indigo and Adam. It’s the story of what happens when someone writes a hit song about your bitter break up and dealing with being thrust into the limelight. It is scheduled to be released July 1, 2010 from Flux Books.
The Hiding Spot is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Is there a place, activity, or person that is your hiding spot?
Music is my hiding spot. No matter how I feel I can find a song to fit my mood. I would say that Bob Marley is a staple for me because whether I’m having a good or bad day, he fits the bill.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
I like brussel sprouts!
I just wanted to thank you for having me here on the Hiding Spot and for supporting Shrinking Violet!
HELP SAVE SHRINKING VIOLET!
Find out more information here!
If you are participating in some type of Shrinking Violet Campaign, whether it be through Danielle’s LiveJounal, Stephanie Kuehnert’s blog, The Book Butterfly’s blog, etc, or by reviewing promoting the book on your own blog, and provide a link or prove to me that you are, you will get +5 extra entries to a contest of your choice at The Hiding Spot!