1. Why YA?
I sometimes ask myself this question. Why do I like writing stories about teenagers? Shouldn't I be writing about issues that adults face? Isn’t that a more “serious” subject? Well, I’m not so much interested in such teen problems as...who do I take to the prom? Or why is that girl staring at me in biology? What I do enjoy is looking at human issues through a teen’s point of view. How they see the world. Their hopes and dreams. Their fears and concerns. Their view of the world. I know what adults think about and quite frankly, it’s not that interesting because I'm already living through that. But I enjoy writing stories about extra-ordinary teen characters who lead fascinating lives. Living through their eyes is like a fountain of youth. You get to see the old world in a new way.
2. The best part about being a writer is...
Receiving an email from a reader saying that they love what you wrote.
3. If you weren't a writer what dream job would you want to do?
I would be a film director. If my college had a film school, I would have gone that route. Maybe a movie producer as a second choice. I so love movies!
4. How does your experience writing screenplays help you now?
Screenwriting helped me refine my dialogue, to make it sharp and to the point with subtext built in. It's taught me to write visually, to show what's happening and not to rely solely on narration to tell the story. It's also helped me economize my writing by saying more with less words, which to me is ideal for the young adult genre. Good story structure that makes me think of my novels in terms of three acts and a strong midpoint in the second act. Screenwriting also gave me the courage to tackle writing full novels, something I thought I could never do when I started writing.
5. What is the inspiration for “Rivals” and of course “Skid”?
6. What's special about your work?
In terms of young adult literature, I think my approach to writing YA is a little different. I tend to write larger-than-life stories. They're filled with more escapism than realism. I'm not so much about featuring contemporary issues that teens face, although some of those issues do rise to the surface during the course of my novels sometimes. But there's not a conscious effort to write a novel about those issues. I see my job as providing a teen reader with entertainment, not to preach to them.
7. What is your ultimate goal in life?
My ultimate goal is to earn enough money to make a living as a professional fiction writer. Thanks to the birth of eBooks that now can be a reality. Quitting the day job and do nothing but write would be heaven on earth to me. I would be quite a happy camper.