posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary
Young Adult author Tina Ferraro was one of our very first guest authors here in the Lair, and we are always happy when she can come back and pay us a visit! Aunty is tickled pink to sit down today with her buddy Tina and talk about her new release, changes in the YA market, and a cool new thing called “webisodes!”
AC: Welcome back, Tina! Please tell us a little about your new release with the fantastic cover -- The ABCs of Kissing Boys.
Parker Stanhope has played soccer practically since she could walk. And now that she’s a high school junior, everything she’s worked for is finally coming together. She’s paid her dues on the field, and as an upperclassman, she’s a shoo-in for the varsity team. But that’s not what happens. This year, the coach moved up every JV player but two-and one of those two was Parker. Now, she’s stuck with the freshmen, and her friends are cutting her loose. But Parker is determined to get her life back. She has to get on the varsity team, and she has the perfect plan. All she needs now is the right kind of coach.
Which comes first for you, the plot or the characters? And how did you come up with it/them for this story?
I had the idea that a girl-doesn't-get-moved-up-with-her-team floating around, as well as a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque parental feud.
(Shakespeare fan AC rubs her hands together with glee!)
But it didn't come together until I decided on my (admittedly ridiculous) title, and had to figure out how to tie those things all together with the heroine learning "everything there is to know about kissing." My critique partner, Kelly Parra, was wonderful in helping me sort out my thoughts, and before you knew it, I had a storyline, and I started writing.
So that was a really long way to say "the plot first."
AC: This is your third Young Adult release in as many years. What changes have you seen in your sub-genre since you first started writing in it?
Tina: Wow--I am no expert on Young Adult fiction, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But it does seem like the most popular books today have fantasy/paranormal themes, while when I started targeting YA, the books on people's lips were more contemporary high school stories, like Gossip Girls and (the now-defunct) Dorchester Smooch line. As for the future? Well, everything old is new again, right, so I imagine things will circle back.
AC: What new and exciting things are coming up in your future?
Tina: I have another book coming out in the summer of 2010, which I am really excited about. Here's a blurb:
When Bad Flings Happen to Good Girls
It took 17 years for Brandy to get her life the way she wanted it--and about 17 seconds for it to fall apart. Her well-intending 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 for them.
Away at her uncle's cabin, she 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 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 keeping them apart...
AC: Sounds like another fun read Tina! Now what other fun things have you been up to?
A "webisode" version of my second book, How to Hook a Hottie, is currently being shopped at TV studios. A "webisode" is a mini-episode, especially geared at websites. You'll find them popping up on TV channel websites in the forms of brand-new programming, and "extras" from your favorite TV shows. For instance, "The Office" just ran a three-part webisode series on the NBC website.
Anyway, yeah, so wish me luck on that.
AC: How exciting, and GOOD GOOD LUCK!
Tina will give away a copy of her newest release The ABCs of Kissing Boys to one lucky commenter today.
AC: Since Tina’s book is all about kissing, why not share one of your favorite kisses (first or otherwise) in a book you’ve recently read. Hey, Tina! You can go first!
Tina: I liked the first time Ranger kissed Stephanie in Janet Evanovich’s series. WOO HOO! Hot stuff!
AC: NO arguments here! Okay Banditas and Buddies, lay the kisses on us!