Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What's Fresh with Tanya Lee Stone's A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl

Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy--a cool, slick, sexy boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt, each girl struggles with how much to give up and what ultimately to keep for herself. How do girls handle themselves? How much can a boy get away with? And in the end, who comes out on top? A bad boy may always be a bad boy. But this bad boy is about to meet three girls who won't back down.

Hi Tanya, thanks for agreeing to chat! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Tanya: I was an editor for 13 years before trying my hand at writing. We moved away from a publishing hub and since I had been developing titles as a Managing Editor for years, I asked my publisher if he would let me try writing one of the books I had just developed as part of a series. I had always written for myself, I was an English major in college, and I found that I loved it more than anything. A bit of an odd way to get my foot in the door, but it made sense! That very first book, 10 years ago, was Celebrity Activists, and it featured celebs who had a deep, authentic connection to a particular cause. It was really a collection of interview/essays. But I was off and running.

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.

Tanya: I'm a Mom, so my typical day begins with making breakfasts and lunches and getting the kids on their way. At about 8 am, I am free to begin writing, which I generally do until lunchtime. Then I take a break, eat, chat on the phone, answer email, for about an hour. I have until 2 ish to get some more work done before it's time for that Mom hat to go back on my head.

Please tell us about your latest novel, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, and what we can expect from your characters.

Tanya: A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl is just now out in paperback after a great year in hardcover (Random House/Wendy Lamb). A couple of notable differences between versions--this sexy new cover and a Bonus Reading Guide in the back to jumpstart some good book discussions. The characters are brave and honest and you can expect them to fall and get back up again!

Great, Tanya! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Tanya: I'm finishing up the next novel. And I'm working on a great book about the women who began astronaut testing in 1961, did as well and better than the men, but were still kept out of the space program. It's another story of female strength. That book is called Almost Astronuats. There will be two more books about before it that also feature strong women--a picture about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who started the movement for women to get the right to vote. That's called Elizabeth Leads the Way. And a Young Adult biography of Ella Fitzgerald, who had an amazing story of triumphing over great obstacles.

Thank you again for sharing, Tanya! I wish you the best with your writing career. Let's close with what you hope readers will gain from reading this novel?

Tanya: I hope girls will be more aware of the red flags to look out for when it comes to guys, and trust their own instincts over what anyone else tries to persuade them to think or do. I also hope it opens the door to better communication about what's going on in their relationships, and that they will understand that everyone feels this way at one moment or another. They are not alone.

Tanya Lee Stone is the author of more than 80 books for young readers. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl is her first Young Adult novel. She has a degree in English from Oberlin College and a Master in Education degree from Southern CT State University. In addition to her books, publication credits include VOYA and the New York Times.

She loves chocolate-covered pretzels and Wild Berry Skittles. She hates the word tasty.

3 fresh comments:

Melissa said...

Wonder interview Kelly and Tanya. You're both doing a great job keeping YA fresh and relevant!

Melissa said...

EEk! That was supposed to say wonderful interview....I need another cup of coffee.

Kelly Parra said...

Thanks, Melissa!! :)