1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
~I never know how to answer this question. I didn't purposely or thoughtfully come up with anything. It just sort of "hit me." My ideas usually come to me out of the blue and then I play with them and mold them until I have something concrete enough to begin writing. I guess I was just at the right time of my life.
2.How did you come up with the names for the characters?
~Anna, Jay, and Patti are all named after special people in my life (a great friend named Ann who's like an earthly angel to me, my brother Jason who passed away when I was younger, and my Godmother.) All of the other character's names were found online at baby name sites. For example, when looking for Kope's name I Googled "African baby boy names." Then I scrolled through until something felt right.
3.How much are you and the characters alike?
~I definitely had some of Anna's innocence and naiveté when it came to boys when I was a young teen. But I didn't have her will-power. I was more like Veronica as I got older.
4.Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
~I do read a lot unless I'm in writing mode. I just finished THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski, and it was wonderful! I mostly gravitate to non-contemporary stories with romance.
5. What made you decide to go Young adult?
~My whole adulthood I've had a heart for teens. I remember those years so clearly, and I want to help and guide and entertain however possible. I taught high school English for a couple years and I worked with the high school girls in our youth group. It's a fascinating time of life - they're on the brink of so many changes.
6. How did the cover come about?
~I had nothing to do with the covers. The publisher came up with everything and I just have to give my approval. I've been very happy with what they've done, and I'm happy they put Kai on the covers with Anna. For me, the tone of each cover matches the book well.
7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
~I'm independently publishing an Irish folklore romance (YA) called SEE ME on St. Patrick's Day 2014! After that, who knows? I'm open to anything!
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
~I'm a full-time writer, but family comes first. No day job anymore (except cleaning the house - ugh).
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
~I've always loved writing, and through the years I started many books but never finished them. Sweet Evil was the first book I completed.
~I was, and still am, nervous about how people will take my books. I worry about whether people will see the heart of the story. If they'll "get it," and not everyone does, but many do. I've had to stop reading reviews and just focus on the fans now. Reading is subjective. It's very personal.
10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
Thanks so much for the interview! xoxo
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