Readers, here's another debut novelist.
What has drawn you to writing for the YA market?
Lena. Thanks for having me on your blog!
I wanted to write a warm, amusing story about how a modern teenager would react to being totally unplugged. Some of my friends’ kids don’t even look up from their phones to say hello, and I wonder where this is taking our culture. My character, Edna, is thirteen, so the YA market was naturally drawn to my book, but I wasn’t drawn to a particular market. I’ve found that adults enjoy Edna In the Desert as much as teens.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve done many quirky things, a lot of them in the desert! I took a “sound bath” at The Integratron. I hiked up a mountain in 110 degrees on a first date and eventually married the guy. My job in film and TV creates endless quirky opportunities, for example, covering Adam West, TV’s Batman, in creamed corn. We met years later in
and laughed about it.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
At nine. I had an assignment to write an ending for The Lady or The Tiger in school. I wish I could find it. I wrote it on yellow, lined paper.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
From Bossypants to A Farewell To Arms.
What other books have you written?
Edna In the Desert is my first and I’m working on a sequel.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
I’m glad you ruled out family, otherwise everyone would have to say that. I’m proud that Edna In the Desert is published. I’m proud of my work in film and TV. I’m proud that I can juggle, and that my stepfather taught me how over the phone (yes, it’s possible!).
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would like to be a cat. They’re smart, cute, and seem comfortable in their own bodies.
What is your favorite food?
Spaghetti, with or without meatballs.
Is it hard to break into the YA market?
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
After writing a great story, look for a sub-genre within the YA market that your book fits into.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Edna In the Desert is about a tech-addicted brat forced to spend a summer without cell phone service, internet, or TV at her grandparents’ cabin. The book is a glimpse into a teen’s spiritual and sexual awakening. It explores the widening gap between generations and how culture is changing with technology. It’s a love letter to the
Also, it’s short.
Please share the first page with us.
The sun baked Edna’s forehead and brought her slight queasiness to a more threatening nausea. She tossed over. Changing positions sometimes helped, but pistachios and beef jerky on top of ice cream and the long ride did her in. Or was it what she’d just heard? She didn’t remember asking to pull off, only hunching over next to the family’s newest, silver Audi. It rocked softly as
Brandon bounced around the back. The motion
made her sicker, but Edna tried to stay near the car in its little strip of
shade. At eleven in the morning, the sun was already relentless.
“Are you OK, honey?” Edna’s mother called from inside.
“What does it look like? Can
The little boy looked out the window at his sister, crouched on the ground and heaving. Edna’s father stepped out of the car, saw there was nothing he could do, and stepped back in. The desert was a great place to throw up, and Edna did until there was nothing left. Everything that came out, dried almost instantly in the sand. It was so much nicer than putting your head near a toilet, but it didn’t seem so nice for the little lizard racing away.
Brandon drooled on his
iPad in the back seat. A map rustled up front. The more remote roads were still
not on the GPS, and this presented a challenge to Jill, Edna’s mother, who had
not consulted a paper map in years, not since the last time they came out to
her husband’s parents’ house and got lost. Edward flew out to see them every
once in a while, but the tiny airport he landed in was miles in another
direction and down completely different dirt roads.
Jill was demoralized by the sight of her thirteen-year-old daughter crumpled in the backseat. Edna was a late bloomer, but she was becoming beautiful. Her wide-set eyes always turned heads, but her personality, left as it was, was going to spoil everything. Jill constantly wondered what she was doing wrong.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
At Electio Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my website. Here are the links:
Thank you, Maddy, for spending this time with us today.
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