YALLFest Interview: Jocelyn Davies

The countdown is on! We’re less than two weeks away from YALLFest, the biggest young adult book festival in the South! (How lucky am I that it’s in my home state?!) Today, we’re getting ready for this spectacular event with another author interview.

Jocelyn Davies is today’s featured author. You may know Jocelyn from her Beautiful Dark series (A Beautiful Dark, A Fractured Light, and A Radiant Sky). (I’m ashamed to say that I still haven’t started this series.  Like so many others, it’s definitely on my “to-read” list.  I’ll get to it as soon as I can…especially since I fully intend to get the entire series autographed in just a few days!)

Let’s learn a little more about Jocelyn!

JocelynDavies

Images from Goodreads

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

COFFEE! And a cocoon of silence.

Describe your book in 5 words.

Girl has angel blood, torn.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

It differs from book to book–really, it’s anyone’s guess! Sometimes, the first line is hardest, because I’m just getting started and I’m not warmed up yet, and by the time I get to the end, I’ve got the momentum of an entire book to propel me into that last line. Then again, sometimes a first line just pops into my head, and the whole idea unfolds from there. There’s usually no way to know what is going to happen until it’s happening, which is often the approach I take to writing.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Create interesting characters, give them an excuse to meet, and the story will write itself.”

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

  1. I’m a dog person–cats kind of freak me out.
  2. I was a theater kid in high school. I used to dream of being an Oscar-winning actress.
  3. I love everything about autumn.
  4. I live a few blocks away from my best friend from high school.
  5. In my day job, I’m also a children’s book editor.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To read?

I love magical realism—a novel that’s set in the real world, but ever-so-slightly different.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

I usually have a pretty strong sense right from the moment the idea comes to me. I start writing knowing I’m embarking on a novel.

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To whet your appetite (and mine) for meeting Jocelyn Davies at YALLFest, let’s have a look at the book trailer for the first book in her series, A Beautiful Dark!

That’s all for now.  I hope you’re gearing up for YALLFest like I am.  If you’d like to learn more about YALLFest, check out the event on FacebookTwitter, and the YALLFest website!  See you there!

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YALLFest Interview: Lisa McMann

Okay…so I’m kind of fangirling a little over today’s YALLFest interview with Lisa McMann. I’ve read several of her amazing novels, and those I haven’t read are definitely on my to-read list. Here’s a list of Lisa’s books:

Lisa has also been a featured author in Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction and Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories.

Let’s learn a little more about the fabulous Lisa McMann!

LisaMcMann

Images from Goodreads

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Silence.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Think of the one thing your main character would never, ever do. Now make her do it.”

What are you working on now?

We’ll be ramping up the releases of books 5, 6, and 7 in the Unwanteds series, so I’m working on Unwanteds book 5 right now.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To read?

I really enjoy writing in a variety of genres, from realistic to paranormal to dystopian fantasy. At the moment, fantasy is winning, but that could change at any moment. My favorite genre to read is memoir.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

As soon as I have a one line concept that gives me a little shiver.

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I’m so excited I have the opportunity to meet Lisa McMann and dozens of other fantastic authors at YALLFest!  Join me, won’t you?

If you want to learn more about YALLFest, check out the event on FacebookTwitter, and the YALLFest website!  I know the keynote with Veronica Roth (!!!!!!) and Rae Carson is sold out, but I think tickets are still available for the YA Smackdown. Everything else is free!

YALLFest Interview: Michelle Hodkin

YALLFest is just a couple of weeks away, and we’re getting ready with another interview with fabulous YALLFest author, Michelle Hodkin.  Michelle is the author of the acclaimed Mara Dyer series.  (I haven’t read any of these books yet, but they are near the top of my to-read pile…which is dangerously high at this point.) I don’t know if I’ll get to the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, before YALLFest, but I can almost guarantee I’ll make time for it soon!

Without further ado…here’s Michelle Hodkin!

Image from Goodreads

Describe your book in 5 words.

Romeo and Juliet meets Hitchcock

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

I spend a lot of time thinking about my first lines. A lot of time. Too much time. Luckily the last lines usually come to me as I write.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To read?

What I love about YA is that I don’t have to choose a genre. I can blend elements and mess with conventions from all of them—horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, whatever. I’m not sure I could choose a favorite, if I were ever told that I had to. And my reading is all over the place, but right now I’m reading a lot of old school sci-fi and fantasy, with some literary fiction thrown in.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It’s not YA, but it is about a teenager who reminds me of my teen self. And maybe also my adult self. Anyway. I basically push the book into the hands of everyone I meet. It’s just that good.

What are you working on now?

A secret project that is secret. But I’m wildly excited about it, and I think my readers will be too.

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Are you excited to meet Michelle and all of the other wonderful authors at YALLFest? I certainly am!

Stay tuned this week for even more YALLFest goodness, and be sure to check out the event on Facebook, Twitter, and the YALLFest website!

YALLFest Interview: Lisi Harrison

Listen up, all you fans of Monster High, Alphas, and The Clique! It’s time for an interview with Lisi Harrison, YALLFest guest and author of these popular series! Let’s get to it!

Image from Goodreads

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

A scented candle. Each book has it’s own scent.

Describe your book in 5 words.

Popular freshmen’s secret journals revealed.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

First. 100%

Best writing tip you ever received?

Stop writing in the middle of a chapter instead of the end. It will be easier to start up again the next day.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen?

Stargirl.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

  1. I can’t run.
  2. I have a tattoo with a type-o. It’s supposed to say, “creativity” but it says, “dry.”
  3. In college I thought it would be cool to get a tattoo written in Chinese characters.
  4. I was supposed to be on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. I changed my reservation at the last minute. Now every time I look at a clock it says 9:11.
  5. I can’t stand being asked about my “favorites.” I don’t have favorites. If I did I’d forget what they are the minute you asked and would remember them the minute you leave. It’s maddening.
  6. I prefer to give 6 random facts.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

My office.

What are you working on now?

Pretenders #2: License To Spill.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To read?

What did I just tell you about “favorites?”

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When I can describe it in one sentence. And do it without cringing.

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There you go, ladies and gents!

Want to meet Lisi Harrison in person? Make sure you attend YALLFest, the biggest celebration of YA literature in the South! (I’m guessing.) To learn more about YALLFest, go to go to http://yallfest.org/Facebook, or Twitter.

YALLFest Interview: Shannon Hale

Get ready, boys and girls, for another interview with an author appearing at YALLFest next month! Today’s interview is with Shannon Hale, author of such notable series as Princess Academy, The Books of Bayern, Austenland, Rapunzel’s Revenge, and Ever After High.

Image from Goodreads

Describe your book in 5 words.

Boarding school for children of famous fairytales

Best writing tip you ever received?

People remember a story for its characters.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. It’s smart, engaging, and discusses so many things I was struggling with.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

  1. I have 4 kids (including identical girl toddler twins).
  2. My husband likes to wear masks and hide around the house to scare me.
  3. I like to read while lying on my belly.
  4. I love the sky.
  5. I’m not a very good speller.

What are you working on now?

The third Princess Academy book.

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For more information on Shannon Hale, visit http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html.  To learn more about YALLFest, go to go to http://yallfest.org/Facebook, or Twitter.

YALLFest Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Today’s YALLFest interview is with author Melissa de la Cruz. I’ve read a few of Melissa’s books, but, considering just how much she’s written, that’s not saying much!

Image from Goodreads

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Fear. Sometimes rage. I find that to truly focus I need to feel panic, and then suddenly everything in my manuscript becomes clear. I work best under duress, which is something my editors have learned and they’re quite good at instilling fear in me. I appreciate that! I also work well with many distractions, I think it’s because I had a day job for nine years and had to write my books in the middle of doing my real work.

Describe your book in 5 words

Post-apocalyptic. Zombie. Dragon. Pirate. Fantasy.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first, definitely.

Best writing tip you ever received?

To introduce the love interest in the first 30 pages, not that specifically but learning that there was CRAFTING involved in writing a novel, not just voice.

What one young adult novel you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Harry Potter. Because! I don’t think I have to explain.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

  1. I was a child model.
  2. My favorite One Direction guy was Harry, but now it is Louis.
  3. I have a Maltese named Mimi. She is not named for Mimi Force, our kid named her.
  4. I learned to drive at 34.
  5. I like savory treats better than sweet.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

In a cubicle, surrounded by softly ringing phones and people murmuring. Sadly this is no longer possible for me.

What are you working on now?

My new series THE RING AND THE CROWN coming next spring from Disney-Hyperion.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To read?

YA Fantasy and Paranormal. My favorite genre to read is “literary” fiction, but I would have to say I really enjoy bestsellers just as much, I like popular fiction, no matter what genre, I like to read what a lot of people are reading and take the pulse of the culture. But for my own taste, I love smart angry women writers like Lionel Shriver and Kate Christensen.  Also cookbook memoirs.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When we’ve sold it!

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This Sunday is a big day for Melissa.  A new Lifetime series based on her book, Witches of East End, premieres Sunday at 10pm EST.  Based on everything I’ve seen, this is definitely a show I plan to watch!

Melissa de la Cruz will be at YALLFest in November. For more information on the event, go to http://yallfest.org/Facebook, or Twitter.

YALLFest Interview: Kami Garcia

Today, we’re getting ready for YALLFest with an interview with author Kami Garcia! This featured author is especially close to YALLFest. (Kami’s writing partner in the Beautiful Creatures series and the upcoming Dangerous Creatures series is event sponsor Margaret Stohl.) Kami’s latest book, Unbreakable, the first in her new Legion series , will be released tomorrow! (Yes, it will be downloaded on my iPad ASAP.)

Images from Goodreads

Images from Goodreads

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.

Describe your book in 5 words.

Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

  1. I don’t know how to ride a bike.
  2. I used to be an artist (a painter).
  3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing.
  4. I believe in ghosts.
  5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and surprising than the first book.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To read?

My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal, but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.

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If you haven’t already, you must make plans to visit YALLFest in November! For more information on the event, go to http://yallfest.org/Facebook, or Twitter.