I fibbed. Again. She isn't really a princess. But she is an awesome YA novelist (whose first novel, Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress, has been recommended by Stephenie Meyer!) Remember to check out Tina's website, as well as YA Fresh and Books, Boys, Buzz - where she blogs with a host of other fabulous YA authors!
1. List the books you've written. Which one are you most proud of? Which was the hardest to write?
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, 2007
How to Hook a Hottie, 2008
The ABC's of Kissing Boys, 2009
When Bad Flings Happen to Good Girls, 2010
At the moment, I am most proud of How to Hook a Hottie since Romance Writers of America has nominated it as one of three finalists for Best Young Adult Novel of 2008. (Like how I got that plug in???) The hardest was the last one because I was very distracted with real-life stuff. I have yet to edit it, and I'm suspecting my editor will want lots of changes!
2. What three words would you use to describe yourself? (Donâ€™t use the words 'nice', 'pretty' or 'good' because your Grade Six teacher will read this and be very disappointed)
I'd be delighted if my Grade Six teacher read this. (Hi, Mrs. Strauss!) Okay: Focused. Scattered. Loyal. (And while those first two adjectives seem to cancel each other out, people who know me would agree: I am scattered in a focused way.)
3. Complete this sentence: My teenage years were...
really good research material.
4. Have you always wanted to write for young people? Or did you set out to become a brain surgeon and wind up stumbling down this path? Was the road to publication rocky for you?
I have been writing since I could hold a pencil. I did some other jobs along the way to pay the bills, but nothing resonates with me like storytelling. I sold my first short story shortly after college, but it was quite a few years later that I got serious about writing books...and a few more until I told my first. Yes, "rocky" is a good description.
5. Who were your biggest inspirations and idols growing up and today?
I have always looked at literary figures, screenwriters and songwriters as inspirations, anyone who could tweak emotions with words. So I'll mention some giants who have turned my head throughout my career: Bruce Springsteen, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Phil Collins, J. J. Abrams, Tina Fey...
6. Who are your favourite authors and what novels do you love best?
Oops, started answering that earlier. Okay, here's some books that *I* consider classics: Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, Christy, Catherine Marshall, The Stand, Stephen King, A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly, Looking for Alaska, John Green...
7. If you were in a novel (any one you've read), who would you be?
Hmmm...well, can't go wrong with Miss Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, especially at the end!
8. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? (Or today? Don't worry; we won't call the men in white coats on you)
No one has EVER asked me this before, and I'm happy to report the truth here: I did not. I wanted one, but I couldn't make it happen. Instead, I think I had scores of characters waiting offstage to come to life!
9. Complete this sentence: My life outside of writing is...
blessed. I believe in embracing the good stuff and giving the rest a swift kick, so I choose to look at my life as lovely.
10. If you were a superhero, what would be your name, power and costume?
Definitely a princess and the color is pink, So Princess Pink Pillow ('cause I'd love the power to manipulate people's dreams). And may no coincidence, I'm told my father carried me around on a pink pillow when I was a baby!
11. Xena Warrior Princess or Sabrina the Teenage Witch?
Again, I think I just answered this. I'll go with Princess!
12. Have you read Twilight? Did you enjoy it? Do you secretly believe your own books are better? (I know you do, don't try to lie…)
Yes, I have read Twilight, and while I am not vampire or paranormally inclined, I did enjoy it. And just like in the first question, I found a ripe opportunity for Blatant Self-Promotion, here I go again! :) Stephenie Meyer, bestselling author extraordinare, creator of the Twilight Phenomenon, is a fan of my book. Yep. (See attachment...I can prove it!) At her 2007 book launch, she recommended Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress to her readers. And it doesn't get any better than that, does it???