Author interview

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?I'm the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 18 novels for teens and adults, including THE IMMORTALS series: EVERMORE, BLUE MOON, SHADOWLAND, DARK FLAME, NIGHT STAR, EVERLASTING--the RILEY BLOOM series: RADIANCE, SHIMMER, DREAMLAND, & WHISPER (04.24.12) and a new YA series, SOUL SEEKERS, set to debut with FATED on 05.22.12, to be followed by: ECHO, MYSTIC, & HORIZON in 2012/13! I was born and raised in Orange County, California, I’ve lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan, and I’m now settled in Southern California where I’m working on my next book.

Where'd you get your ideas for "The Immortals" series?The Immortals Series was inspired by grief. A few years ago I lost three people I loved in five months, and shortly after that I nearly lost my husband to leukemia (he’s in full remission now!). Experiencing that sort of intense grief and fear got me thinking a lot about life and death, mortality and immortality, the bonds that tie us even after a loved one is gone, and how our youth loving culture sort of seeks physical immortality by trying to remain youthful looking for as long as we can—and yet, what would happen if we really could achieve it? What would it mean for us, our loved ones, society in general?  And since I’ve been interested in all things paranormal since I was a kid, Ever and Damen’s story seemed like the perfect vehicle to explore all of those themes.

What do you do when you are not writing?Even when I’m not at my desk, in front of my computer, I’m still writing! Everything I do, everywhere I go, I’m constantly watching, thinking, jotting down notes—you never know where inspiration for the next story will hit.

That said, when I do take the rare day off, I like to hike, go to the beach, go to art museums, meet with friends, go out to dinner with my husband, watch movies, read (!), and travel! Even after spending way too many years as a flight attendant, my number one hobby is still travel. My travel size shampoo bottles are always filled up and ready to go on a moment's notice!

Is Ever from "The Immortals" series based off a real person or purely imagination?
Most of my stories are based on personal experience—I steal from my own life all the time, and my motto is: If it didn’t kill me, I will find a way to write about it! So while Ever’s character is mostly fiction, the grief she experienced over losing her loved ones, was very much the grief I experienced over losing mine. As the story progressed, she began to heal from her grief as I did mine—it was a cathartic experience for both of us!

Is there an author that has inspired you?J.D. Salinger and Judy Blume are two of my childhood favorites. At twelve I read my first Judy Blume book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and decided then and there that I wanted to be a writer. That book felt like it was written just for me, and my friends, and all the things we were going through. It made me realize how a story could be so much more. Later, in high school, I read Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger and that book confirmed I wanted to be a writer. I had a tough adolescence and reading about Holden’s feelings of alienation made me realize I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

What is one of your favorite books that you haven't written?Oh, I love so many books for so many reasons, but as for more current reads, I really enjoyed, Andrew Fukuda’s – THE HUNT (debuting this May!), and AS King’s EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. Sadly, I don’t have a lot of time for recreational reading, but I keep buying books, waiting for that day to arrive!

What does your family think of your writing?
I’m lucky to have a really wonderful, really supportive husband that totally understands when I go into my office and don’t emerge until very, very late! He takes care of everything so I can concentrate solely on writing—I couldn’t do it without him!

When you were a child did you want to be author? If not, what did you want to be?Well first I wanted to be a mermaid, and then a princess, but the day I finished my first Judy Blume book I knew I wanted to be a writer.

What are your current projects?Right now, I’m working on ECHO, the second book in THE SOUL SEEKERS series and so far it’s been an absolute blast creating new characters and building a whole new supernatural world. The first book, FATED, will be out in stores May 22, 2012 and I can’t wait to share it with everyone! It’s a young adult paranormal, about a sixteen-year-old girl who, as the daughter of an on-location makeup artist is used to a vagabond, movie-set existence until she begins having terrifying visions her grandmother recognizes as the call to her ancestral legacy, and summons her to New Mexico where she teaches her to walk among the Upperworld and the Underworld and trains her in the magick she’ll need to battle the malevolent forces that have lain dormant for years but are now rising again…Oh, and of course there’s a high school, friends, and a guy so hot my fingers get scorched just typing him!

Who designed the covers?My book covers are designed by my publisher’s (St. Martin’s Press) amazing art department. Their creativity and talent never cease to amaze me!

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