I have a very special treat today! Tina Ferraro, Author of How to Hook a Hottie and Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, has stopped by my blog to answer some questions about writing and books in general. We even get a sneak peek into her book coming out in the Spring '10!!!!
Here's what Tina has to say . . . .
So tells us, what was it like when you got 'the call" for your very first book offer. What were you doing at the time? What was it like?
Warning, this is NOT your average story. My youngest son, 11 at the time, had broken his arm in half on the school playground and required emergency surgery. I had been up all night with him in the hospital when my cell phone rang. It was my agent, telling me that she had a formal offer from Krista Marino at Random House for Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. I was so overwhelmed with exhaustion and emotion that I could barely process the enormity of what was happening. It wasn’t until hours later, when my son was home in his own bed, that it truly hit me: I’d sold a book!
I had the honor of meeting your editor, Krista Marino, this past April. She seems like a fabulous editor. Tell me, what is it like working with Krista?
Fabulous is the right word. She’s smart, intuitive, funny, and always right!
What is your writing routine like?
No two days are the same. Some days I write like a house on fire, some days I don’t write at all. Some days I just edit or research or take notes. But usually I do my best work in the morning and when my kids are at school. In the evenings I’m more distracted and tend to do promo and blog work, and chat with writers and readers on MySpace.
How long did it take to write "How to Hook a Hottie"?
Coming up with the idea and the first couple chapters to submit took me probably three months. I had a serious case of Second Book Syndrome, wanting to follow up with something “the same, but different.” My daughter and I took long walks in the evenings, kicking around ideas, but I always came back to a girl who started a matchmaking business for all the wrong reasons. So I went with it. Once Krista approved the partial, the writing of the rest of the book took four or five months, written in big bursts of inspiration that left me exhausted.
How many revisions did you have to complete before it was ready to go to print?
Only two. Krista thought I did a good job with the storyline and the pacing, much to my relief!
What was your favorite part about writing How to Hook a Hottie?
I had great fun creating the hexagon. I thought it was possible I’d finally lost my mind, kept expecting to look back to it and be horrified. But every time, I still liked it!
What was the most frustrating part about writing How to Hook a Hottie?
Keeping the hook-ups straight. I kept charts, but it didn’t keep even me from getting confused. I ended up including that confusion into Kate’s characterization because if I was confused, it stood to reason she was, too.
What writing advice would you like to give new and aspiring authors?
I decided a long time ago to build on the adage to “write what you know,” to include “writing what you don’t know,” as well. I find that tackling projects outside my comfort zone elevates my enthusiasm and abilities. So I would encourage others to stretch themselves, to attempt writing projects that seem at first out of their reach. Because you never know what you’re capable of until you try.
Can you tell us anything about your current work in progress?
Sure! It’s called WHEN BAD FLINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD GIRLS, will be released in the Spring of ’10. Here is the work-in-progress blurb:
It took 17 years for Brandy Womack to get her life just the way she wanted it--and about 17 seconds for it to fall apart. Her well-intending best friends tell her it's time to stop working so hard and "get a life." By this, they mean a boyfriend, and they give her the summer to find one, or they're going to go hunting the halls themselves. Not realizing that adding a boyfriend to her hectic AP and robotics team schedule, she'd have zero time for them.
Away at her uncle's cabin, Brandy sets out to find a guy who will "break her heart," so she can return from summer in need of her friend's TLC, rather than matchmaking skills, and then can resume her well-planned life.
She quickly finds the perfect candidate. But hooking up with the user/loser lifeguard proves harder than she can imagine. Even with the help from his nice-guy friend who seems to have his own reasons for getting them together--and to keep them apart...
What is the most recent book that you have read? I almost finished with Tera Lynn Child’s Oh.My.God. TLC, as we call her at the Buzz Girls blog ( www.yawriters.blogspot.com) is a good friend, but friend or no friend, her book is a terrific read. Heartwarming, funny, and a real page turner.
What are some of your favorite books? In no particular order and with no bias because I do not know any of the authors, I have loved reading: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (assistant edited by Krista Marino, as it turned out!), the Kinsey Millhone mystery series, the Myron Bolitar mystery series, the Stephanie Plum mystery series, Austenland by Shannon Hale, Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella...
You can check out my review of How to Hook a Hottie by clicking Here
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