Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Contemporary YA
Synopsis: Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people...
Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.
As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed.
The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.
1) What inspires you to write?
I write character-driven stories, so everything begins with a character for me. I joke around that I’ve always had voices in my head because for as long as I can remember, I’ve been watching stories like movies in my head. Daydreaming is my favorite thing to do!
Eventually, one voice will get louder than the others. If I listen, a story will start to unfold.
2) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Let yourself enjoy writing. I think aspiring writers (myself included) get too focused on the end result—the completed novel, the literary agent, the publishing deal, etc. But all of that is just chatter, and it takes away from what you need to be doing, which is enjoying developing your craft.
Be silly. Make mistakes. Throw away your outlines. Take wrong turns. Write scenes you have no intention of keeping. Create characters with deep, complex back stories—and then kill them off so you can create new characters. Play with your craft. Read. Copy your favorite authors. Write bad fanfiction. Write great fanfiction. Explore writing to its fullest.
Actually, this is good advice for me, too, because even though I have two novels published, I’m still aspiring to be the best writer I can be. (☺ Thankfully, I already excel at being the cheesiest writer I can be. ☺)
3) What do you do when you are faced with writers block?
Wallow in paralyzing self-doubt and pity. Usually large amounts of sugar consumption is required.
Then, when I’ve wallowed enough (and made myself sick from eating one too many Swedish Fish), I’ll refocus. I recently went to hear Rick Yancey, author of The Fifth Wave, speak, and he had some great advice that helped me. And since writers are all thieves, I’ll steal it and pass it on to you.
Rick Yancey says that when you find yourself blocked, it means that your mind is trying to do two things at once. It’s trying to be creative, and it’s being judgey. Now, here’s where you guys suffer from me retelling this, because I’m pretty sure Rick Yancey had a better way of saying it. I’m pretty sure “judgey” wasn’t a word that came out of his highly educated mouth. But you get what I’m saying, right?
When you’re stuck, it’s probably because in the middle of trying to create something from nothing, your brain has switched gears on you and is analyzing everything you’ve just written. And of course your judgey brain is being a total jerk and telling you that your beautiful creation is crap, so the creative part of your brain freezes and then you find yourself eating two bags of Swedish Fish, which, if you’re wondering is seventeen portions more than any human should ever eat in one sitting.
So, do like Rick Yancey says, and turn off the jerk side of your brain so you can keep creating.
Or just call me, and I’ll send you some Swedish Fish.
4) Do you have an email subscription or a street team for me and my followers to follow to keep up to date on your books?
I do! Right now, the street team is called The Backstage Crew because we’re working hard to make sure Becca and the LIFE AFTER JULIET gang get their chance to shine on stage. If you’re interested in joining the crew, fill out this form.
If you ever want to email me or follow me on any social media platform (Instagram is my new favorite playground!), then you can find links to all of those on my webpage.
And if you want to receive my newsletters (don’t worry, I’m terrible at news so there’s only maybe four that go out a year, but they are always worth the wait), then you can sign up here!
Thanks so much for hosting me! Happy reading!