Please welcome fellow young adult author and friend, Tera Lynn Childs, to YA Fresh! She has been nice enough to chat with us about her career and newest book--and to offer up a signed, hardcover copy of that release, Forgive My Fins, to one commenter. So let's get started!
Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
My first sale came after writing seriously for about three years. When I sold Oh. My. Gods. it was my fourth complete manuscript and, after tons of agent rejections on my previous projects and then a bunch of editor rejections on this one, we finally found the right editor at the right house at the right time. I was in Florida, driving to a movie, when my agent called. "You're driving?" she gasped. "Don't be driving!"
Too funny! Now, 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.
My writing schedule varies pretty widely, depending on how far away my deadline is. But, assuming it's getting close and I'm being more productive than usual, it goes something like this: Get up, splash face, get dressed, grab bag o' writing goodies. Bag contains Alphasmart, project notebook, and a collection of pens, pencils, post-its, markers, and highlighters. I head to the nearest friendly coffee shop, get a weather-appropriate beverage, and scout out a comfy chair. I write with the beverage at my side, the alphasmart on my lap, and the earbuds blasting my latest playlist. I'll write or revise for anywhere from two to six hours, until my brain melts.
Please tell us about your novel, Forgive My Fins, and what we can expect from your characters.
Forgive My Fins is the story of Lily Sanderson, a half-mermaid princess who goes to high school on the mainland. After discovering her mother was human, she comes onto land to live with her aunt and find out more about the human world. She finds herself seriously crushing on the school's swim star, Brody, but her every effort to tell him how she feels gets thwarted by her biker boy neighbor, Quince. There's a case of mistaken identity, a magical kiss, a trip to an underwater kingdom, and lots of splashy good fun.
What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Oh yes! First up will be the sequel to Forgive My Fins, called Fins Are Forever. That will be out next summer (June 28) and will pick up right where the first book leaves off. Then, starting next fall, I have a new trilogy about triplet descendants of Medusa who discover it's their destiny to guard the door between the world of monsters and that of man. It's kind of Charmed meets Buffy meets mythology.
Sounds wonderful. Now, would you like to close with a writing tip?
Besides reading lots and writing lots, the single best thing an aspiring writer can do is finish the book. I know all about BADD (Book Attention Deficit Disorder) and the lure of shiny new ideas that seem so much better than the crappy one in progress. But finishing that book is critical for three reasons: 1) to prove to yourself that you can, 2) to realize that it's not so crappy after all, and 3) to have the chance to revise it and learn how to make your writing better on the first try next time.
I couldn't agree more...and thanks, Tera, for chatting with us!
Now, before I explain about the contest, a fun aspect of this book for me is that there is a character named (a-hem) Mrs. Ferraro. And this is no coincidence. Tera named her Mrs. Ferraro as a gift to me. So although there IS a right answer to the following question, let’s forget that for now and just have fun guessing.
Who is Mrs. Ferraro in Forgive My Fins? A crazy cat lady? A lovely mermaid? A dentist?
Make something up!
The winner will be chosen at random from those comments and announced on Monday! Good luck!