If a book makes my feelings rise—if I get angry, sad, laugh—then I’m sure to fall with it.
When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?
As a profession, I started writing seven years ago. But when I was ten years old I wrote a story about an ant and a mouse, and I sent it off to a publishing company. I remember being very proud of my crayon illustrated, hand written construction paper book. I even stapled it. Of course, it got returned, saying the publisher didn’t take unsolicited nor un-agented submissions.
Please describe your work ethic as an author.
My work ethic is as follows: Respect other authors’ works because I can learn from them. Treat my writing like an art, a business, and an escape from reality. Try new things and challenge myself to be better.
How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?
I have to make checklists for everything that needs to get done. Sometimes I don’t have time to write because I’m busy with household things. So I get up much earlier, like today, or don’t go to bed until much later than usual to get the items on my list checked off.
Why did you write this book?
Because it’s the sequel to the first and I couldn’t leave my readers or myself hanging.
What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?
I stop everything and remember what it was like to be me as a teenager. I ask myself what was important to me, what was I thinking, what made me react certain ways? That helps me create the teenage heroine’s frame of mind.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?
As an author, I hope to write another series or a few stand-alone books. In my personal life, I hope to travel more.
Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.
Four years ago I was visiting a friend right outside of town. Sarah lives in a ranching and farming community where it’s common for property owners to set up and sell their homegrown produce from their front yard. On this particular summer day, on the way to Sarah’s house, I saw watermelons for sale. I parked on the side of the road, got off my car, and proceeded to ask the owner—a woman in her forties—for the price.
“Oh, they’re not for sale,” she said. “I’m throwing them out. You can help yourself to as many as you like. But I can’t guarantee they’ll be any good.”
“They look fine to me,” I said, inspecting one of the watermelons. I picked it up and thanked the woman.
When I got to Sarah’s house, I cut up the watermelon. Still I didn’t notice anything wrong with it. The only thing that was wrong with it was that it was too warm. I placed it in the icebox, and Sarah and I chatted while the watermelon chilled. Half an hour later, we were enjoying the sweetest watermelon I’d ever tasted. It was so good in fact, that we didn’t realize we’d eaten the whole thing—seeds and all. After sunset, I drove home.
The next morning I woke to the sound of my vibrating phone.
“Hello?” I said, groggily.
“Nely,” Sarah sounded alarmed, “I think—I think I’m pregnant.”
“Congratulations,” I said.
“No, you don’t understand. My stomach is…” She trailed off, and I heard her whimper.
“Sarah?” I sat up. That’s when I noticed it. My stomach was like a full moon. I gasped.
“Oh gawd,” Sarah said. “Now I know why my mom always told me not eat watermelon seeds.”
~ Giveaway ~