What's Fresh with Tina Ferraro's Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
Sophomore year, Nicolette Antonovich was dumped two days before prom by the hottest guy at school. As a result, she became the proud owner of one unworn, perfectly magical pink vintage dress. But Nic is determined to put that night behind her for good. She's a junior now— older, wiser, and completely overwhelmed by a new set of problems: (1) The bank's ready to foreclose on her childhood home. (2) Her father's too busy with his "replacement" daughter to care. (3) Her best friend's brother is an eternal thorn in her side. (4) Her best friend isn't exactly the rose attached to that thorn. (5) Rumors are flying around school that could get her kicked off the volleyball team, which would (6) ruin all chances of a college scholarship. (7) She still likes the boy who dumped her in the first place. (8) And what in the world do you do with an unworn prom dress, anyway? Strangely, it's getting to the bottom of this last dilemma that just might hold the answer to all Nic's problems.
Hello Tina! Thanks so much for agreeing to chat. But then, since you're my critique partner, you had no choice. *wink* Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale, Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress, to Delacorte Press?
Tina: Although I had sold about 75 short stories, I got serious about writing full-length fiction when youngest went to kindergarten. I joined the RWA in 1999, networked, and tried my hand at several genres inside romance writing. I finally found my niche with Young Adult writing in 2004. At the end of that year, I was lucky enough to sign with agent Nadia Cornier, and she sold my book, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress to Krista Marino at Delacorte Press in 2005!
Great, Tina! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.
Tina: My life isn't glamorous, but I love it. I'm up early since two of my three kids start school at 7:00. I usually check e-mails and websites while they're getting ready, and am powered up to write when they leave. I will then write on-and-off until mid-afternoon, around errands and kid pick-ups. Usually I'm creatively exhausted in the evening, and the most I'll do is re-read pages I've written, or critique or judge for others.
Please tell us about your debut novel Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress--which is releasing TODAY (woo-hoo!!)--and what we can expect from your characters.
Tina: Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, Delacorte Press, will be in stores on March 13. Nicolette Antonovich is a high school junior and brave survivor of every girl's teen nightmare--being dumped by your date. Even though it happened last spring, she can't fully get over the fact that the most popular guy in school ditched her when his equally flawless girlfriend popped back into town. To help her cope, her mom has ordered her to compile a list of 10 alternative things she can do with a prom dress. Through school stresses, boy dilemmas, and parental problems, her prom dress gives her something beautiful to hold on to.
And I can add that Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress is just as great as it sounds! So what's up next for you, Tina? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Tina: My next book, How to Hook a Hottie, is scheduled to be released in Spring of '08 by Delacorte Press. The heroine, Kate DelVecchio, is determined to become a millionaire before she's 20, and sets forth making money by hooking up people in her high school with their secret crushes. The fact that she doesn't exactly know what she's doing is only a minor deterrent, as is the fact she's suddenly looking at her best buddy, Jason Dalrymple, through totally different eyes...
Another winner indeed! Thanks again, Tina, you know I wish you the best with your novels! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Tina: Sure! Although I am a believer in "writing what you know," some of my best work has been writing what I didn't know. I have never worn a prom dress, nor did I have an obsession with them (until recently). I had no idea how to "hook a hottie" until my character announced her intention to find out. So while you'll probably never see me set a book in ancient China, or do a close-up on a character landing a Black Hawk, I recommend stepping outside your comfort zone a bit and seeing where your imagination can take you.
Tina Ferraro spent much of her high school days people-watching, which didn't do much for her grades, but later proved one of her better mistakes. A long-time resident of southern California, she lives with her husband and their three kids. She loves to travel, and can ask where the bathroom is in many languages. Visit her website www.TinaFerraro.com.