What am I working on?
Ha! You'd all like to know this, wouldn't you? You'd like to know when my next book will be released? Well, I'm not going to share those details with you (because deadlines are a very tricky thing when you have three adorable, mischievous girls), but I will tell you what it is I'm working on. I decided not too long ago that I haven't written anything contemporary. I've done fantasy, high fantasy, and dystopian. So now I'm working on a contemporary paranormal novel. It's about a senior in high school who's at the bottom of the social food chain and then finds out she has some pretty freaky powers, which make her feel like, well, even more of a freak. But then she finds out the popular girl has some pretty nasty plans in the works to make this the best homecoming ever, and Constance has to embrace those powers to save the day. It's been a lot of fun.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There is so much inappropriate material out there for tweens and teenagers. I've read quite a few books that the language was atrocious or there was a lot of sex. Why does it even have to be there? Not every teenager out there has a potty mouth of feels the need to be sexually active. So I write clean reads--books that when my girls are teenagers, I won't think twice about having them read it.
Why do I write what I do?
I write whatever strikes me at the moment. I hadn't intended for The Burn trilogy to be dystopian, but a wise beta reader told me after reading a draft that Terra's underwater world was so much more interesting than the land, and so after rewrites, the corrupt government--and thus the next two volumes in the series--was born. I just write the kind of stories I'd like to read.
How does your writing process work?
I didn't use an outline for Dragon Sister or The Burn, and I thought from those experiences that I'm not an outliner. Boy, have I changed my story. Writing sequels has of necessity made me an outliner, and that skill has spilled over into my other books as well. I don't necessarily hold the outline sacred--I make changes all the time--but it's really nice to know where I'm going and the basic structure of how I'm going to get there.
And that's the basic gist of how I write. And now check out another fabulous YA author to see how she writes:
Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small--so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys. When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys goth clubbing, cosplay, snowboarding, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure—playing videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their dog Mesquite.