Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday + Author Interview


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

A Match Made in High School
By Kristin Walker
Release Date: February 4, 2010

Synopsis: When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes. --GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: So, this one “called” to me the moment I saw it pop up on GoodReads. The description sounds like loads of fun, and I love the “arranged marriage” plot for high school students. I couldn’t help thinking back to my HS days and who I would have enjoyed partnering with for this kind of project. I think the cover is pretty cute as well.

Kristin Walker was nice enough to do an interview for me. I enjoyed her answer about what she learned from writing MATCH. It was a lot of fun getting to know her and I hope y’all enjoy the interview as well. Thanks again Kristin!

Interview with Kristin Walker:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom to three boys. My kids are hysterical and give me lots of story ideas. I started writing so I could have a creative outlet (and possibly a supplemental income) while I was home with them. I was an actor pre-kids, and I nearly became a nurse before my second son came along. But once I started writing, I became obsessed with it and with getting published. And now I am! And it only took ten short years.

What made you want to write a YA novel, and what inspired A Match Made in High School?
I worked up in age-range from picture books to young adult. I've always loved YA novels, but I wasn't sure I could write one. I finally realized that if I wanted to get published, YA was the way to go. So I gave it a shot. Now I LOVE writing for teens. MATCH came about because I was determined to write a funny YA. The teenage years can be difficult and depressing. Teens need some laughs, too.

How did you chose your characters names?
I'm terrible at names and titles. It wasn't until I was revising the first draft that I realized I had three characters named Carl. But I've always loved Fiona. If I'd ever had a daughter, I probably would have named her that. Johnny Mercer popped into my head, and I later found out that Johnny Mercer is the name of a famous lyricist. I figure I must have heard that at some point in my life and some little neuron was still connected to it. And how cool that both Johnny Mercers are into music? For the rest of the names, I used the names of my friends' children. My brother had twin girls during edits, and I had to sneak their names in there!

What is the hardest part in writing a book? And what did you learn from writing A Match Made in High School?
For me, the hardest part of writing a book is finding time to do it. That was especially the case before I was published. I felt guilty taking time away from other responsibilities, especially the boys. But it was (and is) important to me to have something of my own. One of the things I learned from writing MATCH is that I could do it. I'd never written something so long and complicated before. And the caliber of YA novels out there is very high. It's very hard not to put too much pressure on yourself. I absolutely stink at that. But line for line, I slowly built the novel. There was no instant gratification, that's for sure. Writing is all about delayed gratification.

What do you think of the cover? Did you play a role in choosing the cover?
I love my cover! It's so inventive and eye-catching, and uses my favorite colors. I had absolutely nothing to do with it, other than asking for a couple adjustments to the photographs. I never would've been able to visualize something like that on my own, let alone create it. Mad props to the art department geniuses at Penguin! They even let me add pictures of two teen family members. So cool!

What three words would you use to describe A Match Made in High School?
Funny, sassy, yummy

Match will be released tomorrow (February 4th), do you have any teasers for our readers?
Here's the cover copy:

CONGRATULATIONS!
YOUR SCHOOL HAS INVITED YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN A
REVOLUTIONARY MISGUIDED COURSE CALLED
TRYING THE KNOT!

When a mandatory course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life couldn't get any worse. Until her crush is paired with her arch enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend). But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks leave Fiona wondering: is there something her “best friend” hasn’t told her? Could there be more to Johnny Mercer than an awesome music collection? And most intriguing, could Todd Harding have a heart beneath his pretty-boy exterior?

If Match were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as your characters?
I have several struggling actors as friends, so it's hard for me to answer that question! But I can say that I'd want the leads to be totally unknown actors. There could be a couple bigger-names as secondary characters, you know...for box-office draw. :)

Do you have a particular place to write? Do you like peace & quite, or prefer to have music playing?
I'm pretty good at tuning out noise, but I do prefer quiet. It's so easy to get distracted. I have a laptop, so I usually hole-up in my bedroom and write.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
There are so many.Any thing from Lucy Maud Montgomery, Richard Peck, Annie Proulx, and JK Rowling. Also John Green's books, Louis Sachar's... And of course, my Debs and Tenners sisters like Kristina Springer (THE ESPRESSOLOGIST), Mandy Hubbard (PRADA AND PREJUDICE), Saundra Mitchell (SHADOWED SUMMER), and Suzanne Young (THE NAUGHTY LIST)

Can you tell us about any current projects your working on?
Right now I'm putting the finishing touches on a middle grade paranormal manuscript. I'm also developing another YA for Razorbill.

Where can we find you?

5 comments:

  1. Great WOW! By the way, you have award at my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry, I totally forgot the link! Haha well, here it is!

    http://romanticscholar.blogspot.com/2010/02/one-lovely-blog-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great interview! Woah, two teen family members got on there? I'm going to have to go back and try guessing. :)

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  4. Hey. I don't normally leave comments, but I just wanted to say thanks for the great information. I have a blog too, though
    I don't write as good as you do, but if you want to check it out here it is. Thanks again and have a great day!

    Fury Warrior PvP

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the interview. This one has been on my radar for a while now too!

    ReplyDelete

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