This is pretty much what happened when she found me on Twitter :)
Also, I miss this show.
That I love meeting other YA writers and sharing stories and experiences. I rarely ever blog and I’m not as active on Twitter as I’d like to be, but I’m trying to reach out more.
What’s the first thing you wrote for fun? (that you can remember!)
I wrote a lot of short stories for fun when I was a kid, but the first ‘book’ I attempted was a science fiction/romance mashup called “The Crew of the Alpha IV ship.” Think “Star Trek” meets “Love Boat.” Words cannot describe how lame it was.
Give us a little insight into your writing journey so far.
For years, I wanted to focus on my writing, but something always got in the way: college, grad school, a career, having kids. In 2008, I decided to get serous about writing, and drafted an epic, 190,000-word (!) historical fantasy romance. Three years later, after a bunch of classes, numerous critique group meetings, and lots of editing, I turned it into an 85,000-word YA novel called THE FALLEN PRINCESS and sent it out into the world. I had a decent request rate, but ended up shelving it last summer.
I started my current ms, PIPER GIRL, in Feb 2012. It’s a modern twist on The Pied Piper fairy tale, set in a slum in Los Angeles. After nine months of writing and editing, I thought it was done, but in November, I decided to revise it again after a lot of feedback. It should be ready to query by February.
Star Wars, Star Trek, or…Firefly?
Star Wars all the way. BUT the original trilogy only (Star Wars IV, V, and VI – the movies that came out in the 1970s and 80s)
What song’s been stuck in your head lately?
Last week, I saw an amazing community theatre production of “Next to Normal” (a Broadway musical that came out in 2009). I’ve had those songs stuck in my head for days. (Alex's note: My BFF from high school was recently in a production of this! I think I need to buy the soundtrack now...)
Why do you write/read/lurve YA?
I’m not sure why YA is my favorite genre to read and write. Maybe it’s because I remember being 17 and feeling like the world was wide open. That age is such a pivotal time, when you feel like anything can happen. I’m also a sucker for coming-of-age stories.
Do you have a favorite place/time of day to write?
Yes. Mid-morning, in my ‘office’ (a computer desk in my bedroom), with a big cup of coffee.
If you could only pick one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m going to cheat and pick the entire Harry Potter series.
I love that pretty much EVERYONE has kind of cheated with this answer :P
What was your favorite book of 2012?
“Seraphina” Rachel Hartman and “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer.
Is there a 2013 book you’re looking forward to?
Lots of them—but the two that come to mind are “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer and “Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo.
And, since I won an award for culturally under-represented authors: If you could pick a culture that you might not be totally familiar with to research and write a story about, which culture would it be? And why?
I actually did this when I wrote my historical fantasy epic: the settings and cultures were based on 16th century Iran, Ottoman Turkey, and Ming Dynasty China. But if I could write about a different culture, I’d pick India. I lived there for five months in 2009 and only scratched the surface. It’s an amazing place, full of fascinating religious and cultural traditions.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Carla!
Right. So. Tomorrow I'm leaving on a jet plane and hopefully landing in the Big Apple 'round 11AM! Fingers crossed snow and ice doesn't delay me!
Stay tuned for another interview tomorrow, and a potentially awkward virtual tour of the conference hotel...