I'm still out on maternity leave, so I'm continuing to post interviews of YA authors.
Today I'm chatting with author Linda Joy Singleton, author of THE SEER series and the DEAD GIRL trilogy, both from Flux.
AB: Tell us something about yourself.
LJS: I started writing young and with my father's help submitted short stories to a teen magazine at age 14. I didn't sell then but by the time I was 30 I'd made my first book sale; a chapter book called ALMOST TWINS. I have a supportive, wonderful husband who built my second-story office and also a home library for my girl series book collection. I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling for writing events where I'm often a speaker. I'm also an animal lover and have cats, dogs and horses.
AB: Tell us about DEAD GIRL IN LOVE.
LJS: This is the 3rd book in my DEAD GIRL trilogy with Flux. High school senior, Amber Borden, literally becomes her own best friend when she body-swaps into her best friend's body. She discovers that her best friend has family secrets that involve graveyards and seeking something that's lost. While trying to solve this mystery, Amber is romanced by a Dark Lifer who wants her body and soul.
AB: Pretty cool! How did you get the inspiration for it?
LJS: Originally it was going to be called DEAD GIRL DATING and I had plans to focus on finding romance for her best friend. But darker plots emerged in the form of a charming body-thief named Gabe who recites poetry and died for love (literally) centuries ago. I enjoyed the romantic out of body scenes and hopes readers do, too. I also wrote about best friends because of my experiences finding out that I didn't know some serious things going on with my best friend when we were kids. So I wanted to explore the depths and secrets of friendship.
AB: What authors do you read?
LJS: MANY! I devour YA and midgrade books. Some favorites are Suzanne Collins, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Ingrid Law, Nancy Werlin, Maria V. Snyder, Jeanne DuPrau, Scott Westerfeld, Eva Ibbotson plus many more (I rate my favorites on GOODREADS).
AB: Who is your favorite character (from your own books or any other books out there)?
LJS: Judy Bolton by Margaret Sutton, a vintage girl series I read, collect and I also knew the author.
AB: What five things are always in your purse?
LJS: Fun question. Keys, date book, pink wallet, cell phone and usually a book.
AB: What music are you currently listening to?
LJS: When I'm in the car I listen to audio books now instead of music (although I love lots of music). I'm currently listening to EVERLOST, a fantasy by Neal Schusterman.
AB: Tell us about your pets (if any).
LJS: I have 3 cats: Snowy is white with a racoon tail; Molly is a beautiful calico who likes to be petted but won't let me hold her; Kiki is smokey gray and prefers to roam outside. And I have a small dog who is my constant companion: Lacey has curly white with black fur and she follows me (or my hubby) everywhere.
AB: One item of makeup you can't live without.
LJS: Auburn eye-brow pencil which matches my hair color of choice.
AB: Worst high school memory.
LJS: Realizing shortly after receiving an antique opal ring from my grandmother that I lost one of the three opals at school. Never found it but my parents replaced the stone with a lovely fire opal. Still I always felt bad for losing the original stone (even though since the ring is a size 5, no way can I wear it now!). If I ever have a granddaughter with an October birthday, I'll pass it on like my grandmother did.
AB: Tell us your best prom story, and you get bonus points if you let us post your prom picture. (Oh, come on, we had to ask!)
LJS: I didn't go to the prom. Instead my fiance (yup, I was engaged my senior year) and I went to a Hoot Owl Dance with our teen square dance club. It was an all night dance and we stayed up till around 2AM, dancing. I was proud to do something different than what kids at my school were doing and I had a great group of friends in our dance club. I was also part of the only teen round dance (like ballroom dancing) exhibition group in the US. Our group was called the Rainbow Stars and occasionally those of us still near the Sacramento area have a reunion. I'll include a picture of myself round dancing with an ex-boyfriend.
AB: Wow, folks, we have a winner! Linda, you're our first guest to let us post a prom pic...you rock! Great pic, btw. Looks fun! OK, moving on. If you could go back in time and talk to the teenage you, what would you tell her?
LJS: Well I don't want to change any events since I have a great husband and family. But I'd love to talk to myself and tell her that she'll have a writing career and the family she dreams about, and to have more confidence and not feel compelled to marry the first guy who asks her. That girl I was would have been amazed to know the things ahead. Of course if I'd known, I might not have worked and struggled so hard to become published. Anxiety pushes me into action and makes me try new things and work harder. Still it would have been cool to know that my dreams would come true.
AB: Great advice. What are you working on next?
LJS: I'm writing a contracted book with Flux that's a spin-off to my THE SEER series. It's about Goth girl Thorn who has the gift of psychometry. I'm not sure what the book will be called since THE FINDER, the original title, is similar to something that came out recently. The book is about Thorn moving to a conservative town in Nevada and finding a locket which leads to buried bones and secrets involving a rock star who used to go to her new school. I'm having lots of fun with this since I've never written such an anti-social, sarcastic heroine. This book is due in March and will be published in 2011. And in September 2010, THE SEER finally gets one more book: working title THE SEER #6 MAGICIAN'S MUSE.