Who doesn't want to be a cover girl?
London Abrams's first love is volleyball, so why does she enter an online modeling competition? Answer: superhottie Brent St. John. London spots Brent signing in contestants at a store, and she gets in line simply to say hi. But she never dreams she'll make it into the competition!
London's now up against fourteen hungry fashionistas willing to do whatever it takes to win. All she wants to win is Brent's heart...but the money prize couldn't hurt. If London plays this right, she can win the contest, the boy, and the cash. GAME ON!
Hello Debbie, welcome to YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
Debbie: My background is in magazine journalism. I've climbed my way up the masthead working at different mags, including Seventeen, Twist and TV Guide's start-up Inside TV. It's been an amazing experience, and I connected with teen readers in the process. All the while, I knew very little about book publishing. Through a co-worker, I met Adrienne Ingrum, a former book editor for a major publisher. She's the person I contacted when I was researching how to get a book published. It turned out to be kismet because, at the same time, Adrienne was in search of clients for her new literary agency. My first sale was a novella titled Double Act featured in Kimani Tru's anthology HALLWAY DIARIES, a book Adrienne packaged.
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.
Debbie: I work from home full-time, so every day presents another opportunity for me to improve my daily writing routine. Through trial and error (and much to my chagrin), I've found that I'm at my most productive when a deadline is looming. On a typical day, I'm sitting in front of my laptop by 10am. After I return/send out emails, and check out my favorite YA blogs and news sites, the real work begins. I force myself to sit there and write until 5pm, whether I'm writing blog posts, a story synopsis, outlines, query letters, or a few pages of a book I'm working on. On occasion, I have freelance editing assignments to complete or school visits and writing workshops to prepare for. But only when I'm on deadline do I seem to churn out an impressive amount of pages a day.
Please tell us about your latest novel Perfect Shot and what we can expect from your characters.
Debbie: PERFECT SHOT (Simon Pulse, 12/1/09) follows what happens after a 15-year-old volleyball player London Abrams is struck with a crush attack. There's no telling when a crush attack will strike and how wacky we'll react to it. In London's case, she impulsively signs up for a modeling contest just to come face-to-face with cutie Brent, the photography intern collecting contest applications. But when London gets a call back from contest judges instead of Brent, she finds herself in a fierce modeling competition and it's all documented on Brent's camera. PERFECT SHOT is the first of the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies to feature an African-American main character, so that's also exciting. The setting is a fictional metropolitan town in New Jersey's stone's throw from New York City, and the multicultural cast of characters is a reflection of that.
Awesome! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Debbie: I'm working on another romantic comedy as well as a paranormal book. Fingers crossed, I'll be able to share more details about them after the holiday season.
Thank you for sharing with us, Debbie! Best of luck with your writing. Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Debbie: Let it flow. Sometimes when it comes to writing, it's best not to over think things. No matter how unpolished or incomplete the idea, write it down anyway. The process of writing helps bring more ideas to the surface and may creatively steer you in an exciting new direction.
Debbie Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines—namely, Seventeen, Twist and CosmoGIRL!. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians and other social figures, but enjoyed interviewing “real” girls the most. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie lives in Bermuda with her husband. Visit her website, www.debbierigaud.com.