Friday, June 03, 2011

The Sweetest Thing GIVEAWAY

We welcome author Christina Mandelski to YA Fresh today, to talk about her debut novel,The Sweetest Thing. And be sure to comment to be entered to win a signed copy!

Hi, Christina! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Christina: I've wanted to be a published author since I was very young -- I can remember going to the library in third grade and going to the spot on the shelf where my books would someday sit. I was a big journalism geek in middle and high school and then ended up getting a degree in English/Creative Writing. After college it took about ten years before realizing that if I ever wanted a book on a shelf, I'd actually have to finish one. It took another decade to make it happen.

My first sale came about after finding a great agent. Nine months after signing with Upstart Crow Literary, Egmont USA made an offer on my manuscript. It really was a dream come true.

Wonderful! 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.

Christina: I like to start my day getting the busy work out of the way -- I answer emails and take care of any publicity projects that I'm working on. I also update The Sweetest Thing's Facebook page (and peek around to see what's going on -- though I really have to give myself a time limit!). After that, I write. Soon I'll start a brand new manuscript, which I hope to complete (first draft, anyway) by the end of the summer. I do have two daughters, both middle school age, but I still try to get in about 3-4 hours a day, if possible, then spend the rest of the day being a mom.

Please tell us about your novel, THE SWEETEST THING, and what we can expect from your characters.

Christina: The Sweetest Thing is about a 15 year old cake decorating prodigy named Sheridan Wells. Her mother deserted the family years earlier, and Sheridan's fondest wish is to get her mom back to decorate cakes with her in their quaint western Michigan town. Just as she's finding some solid clues about her mother, Sheridan's father, a celebrity chef, announces that he's been offered a reality cooking show and he wants the two of them to move to New York City. So this is Sheridan's attempt to fix her life, with bittersweet results.

I’m looking forward to reading it! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Christina: I've been working on what I'd describe as a Cinderella story with a Faustian twist. Very fun stuff. And I've just had a new idea (that I mentioned above) that I'm hoping I can crank out this summer.

Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Christina: I get this question a lot and I always feel compelled to give the same answer -- the most useful writing advice I've ever gotten is from my mother. Whenever I'd call her complaining about a plot problem or whining about being stuck, she'd say "Oh, Chris, just finish it." It's true -- for years I'd start something and the minute it got hard, I'd quit. But think of it this way -- if you write a story, it may never be published, but if you never finish it, the results are guaranteed. Just. Finish. It. Words to live by. Thanks, Mom!

And now for the book giveaway! Simply leave a comment telling us “a sweet thing” you enjoy. Be it a cupcake flavor, a smile from someone special in your life, a candy bar, a purring kitten...

Check back on Monday to learn the winner!

17 fresh comments:

Maggie said...

I love the first bite of good chocolate ... and now I want some :D

Joey Malone said...

The sweetest thing for me is seeing the peaceful look on the faces of my 4 beautiful children as they sleep at 4:30 in the morning just after my first cup of coffee. There is nothing any more delightful or motivating than that!

Bee said...

What a lovely interview! The Sweetest Thing sounds fresh and original, right up my alley.

A sweet thing I enjoy is the pineapple cheesecake from the cake shop across the street. It's absolutely delicious!

Sarahbear9789 said...

Great interview.
I enjoy pretty much any flavor of ice cream.

Yan said...

Celebrating National Donut Day, I love "sweet" donuts :)

Erin said...

Great interview! And thank you for the giveaway!

A sweet thing I love is red velvet cake cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. YUM!

Erin F.

fletch8502 at yahoo dot com

TinaFerraro said...

I'm chiming in simply because how can I *not* mention a favorite sweet thing?

For me, it's seeing my big old Tom cat holding and grooming the cat we found as a tiny kitten in the wild. I had been so worried he'd hurt her when I first brought her home--and instead he took over as mentor and teacher, and loves her to distraction!

It's two years now and that sweet sight never fails to make me smile.

Janie Emaus said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the interview.

Aydrea said...

I have been wanting to read The Sweetest Thing, it sounds so good!

The sweetest thing for me is pretty much any dessert. Chocolate, cupcakes, cake, ice cream etc. I love it all, lol!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Sharli said...

A sweet thing I love is a bear hug from my best friend :)
She's been away in another country for almost a year now and I really miss her hugs.

Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

Llehn said...

Chocolate chip cookies :D

Kelsey said...

A sweet thing I enjoy is my golden retriever! Oh...and ice cream ;)

kelseythebookscout at gmail dot com

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I'm hopelessly addicted to Tootsie Rolls!!!!!!

themgowl at gmail dot com

lmryansen said...

The sweetest thing to me is snuggling with my 3 year old son especially when I'm feeling a little down sometimes.

Colie said...

This sounds like the type of book that I can get cozy with during the summer. Thanks for the giveaway! The sweetest thing to me, if i were choosing food, would have to be chocolate covered strawberries. But the sweetest thing of all is that "awh!" moment when someone you know talks about how much they love someone or something they did for they're mate.

my life with books -kjovus said...

the sweet stuff in life. Today it was my little boy bringing me flowers. I also love random comments - they are as good as a hug.
kjovus at gmail dot com

Krysten said...

The sweetest thing was when my then boyfriend, now husband sent me flowers for my birthday even though he was in Iraq at the time.