Monday, January 28, 2008

Interview with YA Author: Sara Hantz

How long have you been writing?

I’d been thinking about writing for a long time before starting. I actually started writing toward the end of 2002, and early 2003 found some online writing communities and also the Romance Writers of New Zealand. Once I’d joined these I began to write seriously with the goal of being published.

Why Young Adult?

Before writing for teens I wrote chick lit. I noticed many authors I admired starting to write fiction for young adults. And after trying to persuade all of my critique partners to try it, I finally decided I would instead. And it turned out to be a perfect fit. Plus, I’ve always been around teens from when I was lecturing and do have a couple myself (my son especially has given me so many ideas, thanks to his exploits).

What’s your writing process like?

Little and often. I have a very low attention span and am easily distracted. So, I open my manuscript up first thing in the morning and dip in and out of it during the day. Some times I get more done than others, depending on how busy our motel is and how sidetracked I get on the internet.

What’s your favorite part of being a writer?

Being able to make things up. I spent many years in academia, having to research and write papers on some very dry and boring subjects. Writing is like a breath of fresh air. Oh yes, and being able to wear track pants every day. Now that really is heaven!

What sparked the idea for THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN?

This story was different from ones I’d written in the past because I didn’t have the idea straightaway, it sort of evolved. I had a title in mind, which I loved - Virgin on the Ridiculous - and I wanted to write something around that (as you can see it’s not the title I ended up with, but that’s okay because I love the new title even more). I remember brainstorming with one of my critique partners and she told me about virginity clubs. I researched them on the net and came up with the idea of someone lying about being a virgin so they could join. And the rest of the story developed through brainstorming and planning.

Can you describe Suzy in three words?

Yikes…… just three words… let’s see… quirky, fun, and irreverent.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I loved writing the prologue because it took me back to my teenage years. Originally it wasn’t in the book but my editor wanted me to come up with something to show the contrast between old and new Suzy.

Any possibility of a sequel?

I’ve been asked this a lot. I have thought about doing Maddie’s story. Even though we don’t actually meet her in person, she seems to be a character people enjoy.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on a book called Dating The Megan Russell Way, which is about a teenage girl who sells psychic dating advice to pay off a huge debt.

Interview by Lisa

January 2008

Enchanting Review: The Second Virginity of Suzy Green

Young Adult Contemporary
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1139-3
Trade Paperback – Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Suzy’s busy transforming herself into a good girl after the death of her sister, Rosie. Gone are her wild ways, her all black clothes and her knack for getting into trouble. Now she’s all about good grades, good behavior and good boys -- which kind of explains how she finds herself not only at a Virginity Club meeting, but joining the V.C. The only hitch: she’s sorta missing the qualifying factor.

But that doesn’t matter to Suzy. Everyone at her new school, at least all the kids who matter, are part of the V.C, including the new hottie, Guy, she has her eye on. So what’s the harm of a little lie? Especially when no one is ever going to find out right?

All seems to be smooth sailing until the one person who knows for sure comes back into her life. Is Suzy’s past going to cause her life to crumble down around her?

I really enjoyed this book. Suzy’s a typical teenager, struggling to fit into her new life in a new place and make a fresh star. But even more importantly in her mind, to make amends for her role in her sister’s death.

THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN is Ms. Hantz’s debut novel and I look forward to reading more from her.

Enchanting Reviews
January 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Enchanting Review: Queen Geeks In Love

Berkley JAM
ISBN-13: 978-0425217177

Rating: 3.5 Enchantments

Shelby Chapelle is back. And life this summer is anything but easy for this Queen Geek. Between her boyfriend Fletcher, and her best friend Becca, not too mention her involvement in QUEEN GEEKS, Shelby's summer is teetering on the brink of complicated.

First of all, Shelby isn't sure she wants to be as exclusive as Fletcher would like to be. In fact, she wants to run screaming the other way when he turns too much into a boyfriend. Becca has HUGE plans for the Queen Geeks this summer and Shelby gets pulled in along for the ride, even if she thinks Becca's plans are a wee bit impossible. And when Becca finds herself in a mini-love triangle involving of all things, a guy in a giant rabbit costume who writes poetry, it seems like it's up to Shelby to keep things running smoothly for both the Geeks and their friendship.

Can the Queen Geeks survive Becca's almost impossible-to-succeed plans for the club? And will guys be the reason the Queen Geeks finally split apart?

I really enjoyed this book. Shelby's a fun character and I liked her immediately from the first page. One of my favorite scenes is when the Queen Geeks decide to hit Comic-con in full costume and end up shadowed by the guy dressed as a giant rabbit. Truly a laugh out loud moment. Overall, a fun second book in the QUEEN GEEKS series. I look forward to reading more!

YA Director
Enchanting Reviews

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Interview with AOTM Tina Ferraro

What sparked the idea for How To Hook a Hottie?

No single thing. I liked the idea of a girl putting her
ambitions before her experience and talent, and liked
the idea of hooking hotties (whatever that meant) and
just started writing until the storyline and the characters
became clear.

How long did it take you to write?

About two months to write the first chapter, then about
four months to finish the book. I always labor over the
first chapter.

What's your favorite quality about Kate?

Her self-confidence. At her age (17), I was still very
unsure about myself and my place in the world, but
she's convinced that she's special and can do it all.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I liked the date with Brandon. He is one of my favorite
characters, and the words simply flowed. It felt more
like copying than writing.

Describe the story in three words.

High school matchmaker

Who would you say you're more like, Nic or Kate?

Nic--hands-down. I'm talkative and outgoing and I
over-think everything, just like Nic.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That in my teen years, I won a first place golf trophy.
The reason this would really surprise people is that I
don't play golf. It was during a phase that I was trying
to learn, and since I was the only girl who entered the
tournament, I won. I promptly quit the lessons...just
like Jerry Seinfeld, I believe in going out on top. :)

What's one thing you can't write without?

Well, I really like my array of hand creams and body
sprays, which line the corner of my desk.

What are you working on now?

My fourth contracted book, presently untitled, and
all I can say is that it involves a girl, a really good guy
and one really bad fling...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Enchanting Review: Midnight Alley

Young Adult Paranormal
ISBN 978-045-22238-1

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Claire Danvers, college student, pledged to a Master Vampire...well a slave of the Master Vampire, has a full life and is only 16 years old. Claire, though extremely intelligent, still finds herself making mistakes. Huge mistakes. Morganville, Texas is not your ordinary small town, but a town ruled by Vampires, one in particular - Amelie, the same vampire Claire enslaved herself to in order to save her family and friends. If all of this was not bad enough, Claire's boyfriend, Shayne, is being a jerk; Michael went from house ghost to vampire; Monica, her sworn enemy is being nice; and Claire now has to work with a psychotic vampire to save the vampire clan.

Can this be what it means to be protected – ha, enslaved is more like it - by a vampire? Does the fact that Amelie can now order her around, offer her up as kibble to another vampire, and having everyone pissed at her, is that what protected really is?

MIDNIGHT ALLEY, the third in the Morganville vampires series, is addicting, yes, thrilling, well yeah, but so sweet at times with Claire's view of the world that any person young or old will enjoy reading it. My only regret is that I caught the series in the middle and was not able to meet each of these characters from the beginning. The ending itself is a teasing temptation into what is to come and I am going to find the find the first two (and reread MIDNIGHT ALLEY) as I wait on the forth addition of the story. Not much romance in this, but a great read!

Ms. Caine has a true talent and a unique voice and mind. Her work is not-to-be missed, no matter what book you get your hands on. Though I will warn you, you will find yourself looking for others in the series.

Enchanting Reviews

Enchanting Review: Vampire Academy

Paranormal Young Adult
ISBN-13: 978-1595141743

Rating: 3.5 Enchantments

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a powerful blend of vampire blood and human. She's dedicated to the dangerous role of protecting her best friend Lissa from the evil Strigoi – the most dangerous vampires – who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

The girls have been on the run for the last two years. But now they've been caught and brought home to the St. Vladimir's Academy, where they are quickly separated. Or so everyone thinks, but Rose has a secret. She can get inside Lissa's mind, a powerful bond that will help to save Lissa on more than one occasion. But someone seems to know about Lissa's special talents and is doing their best to drive her over the edge, tormenting her in an effort to out her skill. Can Rose and her new trainer Dimitri protect Lissa from the threat of both Strigoi and whoever is after her?

It took me awhile to get into this book but once I did, I really enjoyed Rose and Lissa's story. A very unique twist on vampires, with the Moroi (vampire royalty); the Dhampirs (the protectors) and the Strigoi. In VAMPIRE ACADEMY, Ms. Mead lays the groundwork for what no doubt will be an interesting paranormal series.

YA Director
Enchanting Reviews