Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Author Spotlight : Interview with Tina Ferraro

How did you start writing?
I have been daydreaming and making up stories for as long as I can remember. When I was about seven, my teacher told my mother that my short stories were the best she’d seen for that grade! My mother was thrilled, but I was confused. Writing stories was just fun...like skipping rope and going down a slide. How could anyone be “good” or “bad” at having fun? :)
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I am a big fan of my partners, The Buzz Girls: Stephanie Hale, Tera Lynn Childs, Dona Sarkar, Marley Gibson, Wendy Toliver, Heather Davis, and my YA Fresh partner, Kelly Parra!
What I love about your books is the characters always feel so genuine, Are they inspired by real people or are you that in tune with the teenage mind?
Why, thank you! All my characters are a part of me, with outside influences from my lifetime factored in. For instance, I think that Nicolette in Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress was a lot like Teen Tina--only with many of her characteristics ratcheted up. She said what she thought, she acted on her dreams, she held her head high when I would have likely backed down.
In How to Hook a Hottie and the ABC's of Kissing Boys there is a lot of business talk and different kissing techniques (respectively), did you have to do research in writing these novels?
Yes, and that was so much fun! For How to Hook a Hottie, I read Donald Trump’s book about the principles he used to become successful, plus queried everyone I knew about tips to hook guys. (The Starburst wrapper idea came from my teenaged niece!) For The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, I read several books on the art of kissing. For Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, I got help from a fashion friend and my editor. The Dress changed a lot from beginning to end!
Do you have a favorite of the books you have written? Mine is Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, though the ABC's of Kissing Boys placed a permanent smile on my face while reading.
Why, thank you! My favorite changes, depending on my mood. I am often partial to Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress because it was my first published book, but the other day, in a social situation, I was introduced as an author. The woman I met asked me what I’d written, and surprised me by knowing my books. In fact, she said several times that she was so pleased to meet the author of How to Hook a Hottie! Which suddenly became my favorite--haha!
Have you ever / will you ever write something other than contemporary or YA? And what is if that you love about that genre?
Yes, before writing YA, I tried my hand at adult romantic suspense books simply because I liked to read them. But they were difficult for me to write, probably because third person adult doesn’t flow as easily for me as first person teen. I don’t see me going back to adult any time soon.
Name a really good book you have read lately.
Carolyn Mackler’s Tangled. I do not know her personally, but I sent her a Facebook message, which she kindly answered. Tangled takes three seemingly unrelated story threads and “tangles” them together for a grand finish. I was captivated as a reader by the story, and as a writer about her process. I definitely recommend it!

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