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

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