Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's Fresh with Mary Hogan's Pretty Face

That's what I am. A funny girl. A friend. Nobody's girlfriend. The girl with the pretty face.

Hayley wishes she could love living in Santa Monica, blocks from the beach, where every day—and everybody—is beautiful and sunny. But she just doesn't fit in with all the blond, superskinny Southern California girls who have their plastic surgeons on speed dial. Hayley is smart and witty and has such a pretty . . . face. Translation: Don't even think about putting on a bikini, much less dating superhot Drew Wyler. A bikini will never be flattering, and Drew will never think of her as more than a friend.

Just when Hayley feels doomed to live her life in the fat lane, her parents decide to send her to Italy for the summer—not for school, not for fat camp, just for fun. It's there, under the Italian sun, that Hayley's vision of herself starts to change. She's curvy, not fat. Pizza isn't evil. And life is so much more than one-size-fits-all. Who knows? Once Hayley sees herself in a new light, maybe the girl with the pretty face will finally find true amore.

Hello Mary, thanks so much for visiting us at YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Mary: I wrote my first novel in third grade. It was called "Eggward, the Unwanted Egg" about an unhappy egg who rolled away from home. He was scrambled in traffic, fried on the sidewalk, etc. Clearly I was a drama queen...even as a kid.

Many years later, I made my first book sale (THE SERIOUS KISS, HarperCollins) the old-fashioned way--I was rejected by thousands, accepted by one.

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.

Mary: I write everyday, from 9:30 to Oprah.

Please tell us about your latest novel PRETTY FACE and what we can expect from your characters.

Mary: My latest novel, PRETTY FACE (HarperCollins, April 08) is set in Southern California where everyone is blond and thin and perfect...except Hayley--the girl with the "pretty face". Hayley is smart and funny. But, it's not until she spends the summer in Italy (and meets a dreamy Italian boy) that she really learns how to appreciate her curves. Her self. PRETTY FACE is a love story...with pasta.

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

Mary: I'm currently finishing the fourth (and final) novel in my SUSANNA series. The first book, SUSANNA SEES STARS, is about a plucky high-schooler who snags a summer internship at a celebrity magazine. Her philosophy: If you can't get in the front door, climb through a window. (I realize this sounds like a burglar's philosophy, too. But, Susanna's is metaphorical.) This whole series is a run romp through celebrityville. In book two, SUSANNA HITS HOLLYWOOD, Susanna goes to the Academy Awards. Book three: SUSANNA COVERS THE CATWALK, takes place at Fashion Week in NYC. By book four, SUSANNA FALLS IN LOVE...IN LONDON, our girl is a better reporter--and person--than most of her coworkers. This series is the ultimate underdog tale. Where there is Susanna's will, there is always a way!

Thanks again for chatting, Mary! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Mary: My writing inspiration is taped over my computer: "Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground." Hold your ground. Write what you love. Use spell check.

Mary Hogan is the author of seven young adult novels. Her first, THE SERIOUS KISS, is semi-autbiographical...but don't tell her parents or they will semi-disown her. Mary's books are translated into several languages...German, Portugese, Thai...and sell all over the world. To contact her--in any language--check out her website

4 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks for visiting with us here at YA FRESH, Mary, and what a great title! The book sounds terrific--as do all the books in your Susanna series. I'll definitely check them out.

bria said...

Wow! Another great looking book - I need to hide in a closet and start reading to catch up with all your great suggestions.

stephhale said...

What a fun interview! I will definitely be putting this one on my TBB list. :)

Diana Rodriguez Wallach said...

I love how she writes from "9:30am to Oprah." Personally, I write from "9am to General Hospital **break** then 4pm to 6pm." It's the beauty of working from home. :)