Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
For this book I wanted to take a regular high school girl and let her see what it would be like to be in a position to have her dreams come true. We all think we know how we’d handle it if we were put in that position or given that opportunity, but what would our day to day life be like if that were an option? I wanted to explore that and also give it some humor as it wouldn’t be quite as perfect and glamourous as we dreamed.
The Andrew storyline of him struggling to deal with his fame came from a common theme I saw in many of the biographies of different performers that I watched. I wanted to write this storyline to gain a better perspective on what so many of them deal with for myself and for the readers.
Where do you get your storylines from?
I get inspired by music, tabloid articles, you name it. I do take inspiration from my own teen years as well as from daydreams I had back in math class back in the day. Math class was always my most creative time. Just don’t ask me to do math in my head though!
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
This book took a different turn while I was working on it because as I was writing it, I had a lot of difficult things happen in my life rapid fire which impacted me and it made me view things differently. It was like someone lifted a veil and suddenly I was seeing what was really important, so I kind of used that to give Andrew some perspective as he was dealing with his own struggles of being a well-known pop star and dealing with anxiety and the stress of living in the public eye.
Do you only write one genre?
No, besides young adult books, I have a middle school series called the Landry’s True Colors Series, which is a funny series that deals with all the issues you face during those middle school years. I’ve also been working on writing women’s fiction as well.
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
I write mostly in my office which has a desk, a large table cluttered with notebooks and stacks of manuscripts, and bookcases arranged just like Cecily’s: by genre and the non-fiction books by subject. Cecily doesn’t like her used books touching her new ones and neither do I!
I have a lot of windows in here, but I’m so private so I always have my blinds shut. I have a lot of cute decorations like stuffed animals, Funko Pops, and other cute things that are sent to me. My desk always has some little toy on it that makes me smile.
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I was always making up stories for my Barbies when I was a kid. I think the fact my parents let me watch soap operas as a kid really got me into creating my own worlds and fantasy lands. I remember my mom’s cousin making comments about how she’d never let her daughter watch that stuff and my mom squirmed at the time, but I used it to fuel my imagination and create my own stories. You never know what will influence a kid.