1.Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an Arizona native, desert-rat born and raised. I’m back in school after a long hiatus -- there’s my Finish School pitch. It’s never too late to go back, and if you’re in it, stay there! I’ve been married for almost four years, and came up with the idea for my first published novel PARTY while on our honeymoon. (Nine months after we were married.) :)
2.What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?
I’m a storyteller by nature, and started writing in second grade. I just never really stopped! I write primarily YA because, looking back, I had the best time of my life in high school, where I met the guys who would become my best friends. We’re still best friends all these years later. There are so many stories to tell, and young adults generally have more exciting tales to tell than any other age.
3.Tell us about you
r most recent/ upcoming release?
PARTY is set in Santa Barbara on the night of a raging end-of-year party. It’s told from 11 different perspectives, with 11 teenagers getting one chapter to tell their version of what happened that night. The topics range from racism and violence to faith (or lack thereof) as well as, of course, getting the guts to talk to your biggest crush…
4.Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?
Generally I just start writing; lately I’ve started plotting out a little bit more than I used to. But I would never sacrifice story for an outline. Sometimes the characters have a different tale to tell, and I follow their hearts rather than mine. If that makes sense.
5.Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?
…I should have read all the questions first, I see. :) Yes, they do talk to me. Not all of them, not all the time, but I’ve noticed if I try to force them into a plot, or even a theme, they will rebel, and I get nowhere. It’s a very strange phenomenon.
6.Who is your favorite character (of your own)?
Don’t make me pick! Oh, all right…Beckett. There’s a part of me in all the characters, of course (for better or worse), but Beckett’s voice was one of the strongest in my head. I think she’d been in there for a long time - years, I think - and it was great to finally meet her. So to speak.
7.What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?
Up until recently, I’ve been running a nonprofit mixed-use arts venue and directing plays there. Theatre has been my other great love along with writing. But now I’m looking forward to hanging out with my friends more often, playing with my dogs, pretending to play guitar, and spending more time with my wife and her family.
8.If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?
Probably something in library science. I still might, actually.
9.Where can readers find you online?
10.Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?
How old are you? Seriously. Because I’m starting to wonder how many YAs read YA anymore! :)
Thanks so much for your responses Tom. I've been looking at Party at work, now I see this is definitely another title to add to my wishlist. I really like the idea of a story from so many different perspectives.
And to be the first to answer your question, I'm 26. I didn't start reading YA until I hit my 20's. I read a bit of it in High School, but back then I was reading more Romance than anything else (and I still read a lot of Romance). :)