Give a warm welcome to these five lovely ladies–all Young Adult authors I had the privilege of sitting down with and interviewing. All five have new YA novels out, and through a series of really fun questions, I was able to learn more about their books, their favorite book universes, writing influences, and more. Trust me, you don’t want to miss their answers! Enjoy, and click on the titles to find out more about their books. You’ll find their full bios at the end of the interview.
Jen Brooks (IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT)
K.R. Conway (CRUEL SUMMER)
Lori Goldstein (BECOMING JINN)
Trisha Leaver (THE SECRETS WE KEEP)
Jen Malone (MAP TO THE STARS & YOU’RE INVITED)
And now, for the questions!
Describe your book as “this meets that.”
Jen Brooks: If I Stay meets Every Day (David Leviathan)
K.R. Conway: Goonies meets Jaws
Lori Goldstein: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Trisha Leaver: The Lying Game meets Vanishing Girls
Jen Malone: (Map to the Stars) This is What Happy Looks Like meets Catch a Falling Star
Biggest book or TV show or movie that influenced either your writing or this specific book?
Jen Brooks: Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and Star Wars (writing)
K.R. Conway: Jaws, The Breakfast Club, and Saving Private Ryan (book)
Lori Goldstein: The Vampire Diaries (book)
Trisha Leaver: The Road by Cormac McCarthy (writing)
Jen Malone: Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never (book)
The Zombie Apocalypse is happening: which character from someone else’s book do you want with you and why?
Jen Brooks: Azra from Lori’s book Becoming Jinn
K.R. Conway: Celaena from Throne of Glass – that girl takes on Skin Walkers, so she sure as heck can deal with Zombies!
Lori Goldstein: Jonathan from Jen’s Book In a World Just Right
Trisha Leaver: Elizabeth Bathory (countess known for being a serial killer)
Jen Malone: Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones
What food would be the best accompaniment to your book?
Jen Brooks: Hot chocolate
K.R. Conway: S’mores (made with a beachside campfire, or course)
Lori Goldstein: Chicken Tagine & Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Trisha Leaver: Pizza with Banana Peppers
Jen Malone: Crepes
What song would be the best accompaniment to your book?
Jen Brooks: Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
K.R. Conway: For Undertow – Evanescence, Bring Me to Life
Stormfront – Gin Wigmore, Kill of the Night
Cruel Summer – Ane Brun, All My Tears
True North (upcoming 2016) – Royal Blood, Figure It Out
Lori Goldstein: Hey Ho by The Lumineers (reflects the arc of the story)
Trisha Leaver: Say Something by A Great Big World
Jen Malone: Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (tone matches book)
Jen Brooks: Harry Potter
K.R. Conway: STAR TREK, Battlestar Galactica, The Avengers, X-Files. Did I mention Star Trek???
Lori Goldstein: Game of Thrones
Trisha Leaver: Outlander
Jen Malone: Star Wars
What author would you totally fangirl?
Jen Brooks: J.K. Rowling
K.R. Conway: Sarah Maas!! Mad skills, woman!
Lori Goldstein: Rainbow Rowell
Trisha Leaver: Sarah Dessen
Jen Malone: Meg Cabot
What book universe would you choose to live in?
Jen Brooks: His Dark Materials
K.R. Conway: Harry Potter – I seriously need a Cloak of Invisibility and a snarky Sorting Hat. Like, now. I better not be relegated to a mere muggle though. I’d be pissed. Oh – and the flying car! I need that for tourist season desperately.
Lori Goldstein: Harry Potter
Trisha Leaver: The Cat in the Hat (colorful, fun, & everything cleaned up at the end of the day)
Jen Malone: From the Mixed Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
What ability/characteristic do you have that would help you survive if you were in your main character’s predicament?
Jen Brooks: Learns things quickly
K.R. Conway: Ummm . . . a sharp tongue and a morally compromised psyche???
Trisha Leaver : Chronic people watcher (watch what is going on and fill in the blanks)
Lori Goldstein: Organization
Jen Malone: I believe in happy endings (hope, optimism)
What are you reading at the moment? Or planning to read if you aren’t reading something at the moment?
Jen Brooks: Alive by Chandler Baker
K.R. Conway: Kiera Cass – The Heir; Sarah Mass, Heir of Fire; Katie O’Sullivan, Descent; Lance Rubin, Denton Little’s Death Date — My full TBR list can be found on YouTube here.
Lori Goldstein: Cruel Summer & Game of Thrones, Book 4
Trisha Leaver: The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Anderson
Jen Malone: Judy Blume’s New Adult Novel, In the Unlikely Event; Exit Stage Left by Gail Nall (out in September)
What specialty drink do you like?
Jen Brooks: Water (with lemon)
K.R. Conway: Iced Mocha Latte from Nirvana Coffee in Barnstable, MA
Lori Goldstein: Earl Grey Tea with Vanilla & Sugar (Argo)
Trisha Leaver: Frozen Sangria Margarita
Jen Malone: Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Want to know more? Here are the bios for these five Young Adult Authors:
Lori Goldstein: My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency. Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.
Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press.
Jen Malone writes books for tweens and teens. Her debut middle grade novel At Your Service (Simon & Schuster) published in 2014. Next up is the co-written series You’re Invited (S&S, 2015 and 2016) and three young adult titles with HarperCollins, beginning with Map To The Stars (Summer 2015). Jen is the Author-in-Residence at a middle school outside Boston and has presented workshops at SCBWI conferences, the Baltimore Book Festival, Girl Scouts of America Adult Learning symposium, the Princeton Children’s Book Festival, the Writer’s Loft, Savvy Authors, and others. She also teaches creative writing to tweens at popular library and school workshops.