Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Presents Paula Chase

I made some progress in fitting in the new nuances and elements into the book, until I got to what's going to be a major decision point for one of my characters that will give her part of the book more focus and direction, and then I wasn't sure how to convey it. It's an internal decision, but doing that in internal monologue isn't too interesting. It's better to try to fit it into an action sequence or conversation. Maybe I can find a compromise, and have her come to a decision, but not say what the decision is until the next scene, when she talks about it to someone else in the process of carrying out the decision. I'm still playing out different variations in my head.

But before I can get back to work, I absolutely have to run some errands today, even though I keep trying to talk myself out of them. If I just do it, I can get it over with and get back to work. So I'll leave you with a Girlfriends Cyber Circuit book, Don't Get it Twisted, by Paula Chase.

In Don’t Get It Twisted, the sequel to her debut, So Not The Drama, Chase gives readers a peek into the Del Rio Bay clique’s foray into dating, while also dipping her toe into the issue of student athletics and cheating.

Don’t Get It Twisted [Kensington Books/Dafina for Young Readers] finds Mina scheming to go on a date with her crush, Craig, to The Frenzy, a coveted party thrown by the school’s football team. As she draws her friends into the plans, a newcomer throws an unexpected monkey wrench into her blossoming relationship with Craig.

The same newcomer has JZ sweating his spot on the Varsity basketball team and soon, both Mina and JZ are on the ‘by any means necessary’ road to trouble.

Don’t Get It Twisted is about the consequences and repercussions of the choices we make when we set out to get the things we really want.

And now, the interview:

What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote my first book, So Not the Drama in 2003. When I finished the book, the voices of my characters were still ringing in my head, so I kept going and Don't Get It Twisted was born.

Describe your creative process.
I'm a seat of the pants writer. And I wish I weren't. It's weird because I'm a planner in every aspect of my life except writing. So it drives me a little nuts not to be an outliner. Yet every time I attempt to outline, I end up stopping in the middle or finishing one but never following it!

I never know where the story is going until I sit and write it. However, that doesn't mean there's no strategy. I'm also a die-hard tweaker. So before I write a new chapter, I re-read a chapter or two before it and always end up refining.

Do you have any writing habits or rituals?
Not really. But I find that being in total silence centers me. It's not something I'm around much. I have two kids and a husband. So I have artificial silence in the way of Bose earphones. I put those on and escape into the world I'm writing.

How much, if anything, do you have in common with your heroine?
There's definitely some of me in my MC. But it's a good mix of the qualities I have now as an adult. Qualities I wish I'd had as a teen. I've given her certain traits, but with the right amount of teen uncertainty. No matter how worldly a teen thinks they are, they're always going to feel a certain sense of vulnerability. So I've made Mina a more sensitive, innocent me.

Was there some event during your teen years you desperately wanted to get into? What about now?
Hmm...nothing comes to mind. I love new experiences, though. I think it would be cool to be on the crew of a reality TV show. Even though it would take a lot of the "magic" out of it, I'm curious how they put the story lines together.

Chocolate: dark or milk?
Milk. I'm a chocoholic.

What are you working on now?
I've started a new manuscript that would be geared to older teen readers. But soon, I'll have to jump back into the fifth book in the Del Rio Bay Clique series. It's the last book I'm under contract for, so I'm torn between tying up the series completely or leaving it open in case my publisher wants more.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about this book or the process of writing it?
I have a lot of fun writing this series and I've heard from readers that they're enjoying it. Still, I think there are readers out there who may not be drawn to the book, immediately, because it's a series. They'll think it's a "gossip girl" type book. And it's not. So I'm hoping that readers looking for good stories about friendship and how challenging it can be to keep a friendship afloat will check it and the others in the series out.

For more info, visit Paula's web site, or you can order it from Amazon.

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