Thank you! I hope the Shifters books do well. I work very hard on them, but this is a tough time for the publishing industry as a whole. As for what made me decide to write YA, well... reading YA. I was late to the Harry Potter movement, but devoured them after a friend (an adult) put the first one in my hand. Then I read Scott Westerfeld, Laurie Halse Anderson, and several others, and discovered how much YA had changed since I was a member of the target audience. If they were publishing things like that when I was in high school, I wasn't finding it. But when I saw how wide open the possibilities were, I knew I wanted to try it. And I absolutely fell into my YA world. Buried myself in it, and barely came up for air. ;-)
How did you come up with the Soul Screamers' World?
I started with a concept. Based on my research, I knew I wanted to write about a bean sidhe, but that she'd need to be able to do more than scream to herald death. So I brainstormed ideas for what her scream could really mean. What she might really be doing, but humans wouldn't be able to see. Once I knew what she could do (and how), I needed to come up with some conflict. What would stop her from doing what came natural. Why? The answers, and the world building, really came from there. And readers will get a much, much deeper look at the world building in the second and third books, due out January 1 and June 1 of 2010.
Did you learn anything fascinating researching for this series?
Oh, tons of stuff. Like, in some of the older Irish tales, bean sidhes were supposed to have wailed specifically for only one of the five great Irish clans. One of those clans was the Kavanah family, and Kaylee's last name, Cavanaugh, is a bit of homage to that tradition.
Are there any parts in My Soul to Take that were hardest to write?
Um... Yes, the original drafts, I really messed up the scene in the restaurant, where Kaylee and Nash are having breakfast (originally it was lunch). There was no chemistry, and my writing was about as sharp as a dull blade. But I feel like I got it right in the rewrites. It now carries more of an emotional punch, and a strong reference to Kaylee's time in the psychiatric ward.
What are your expectations for your YA series?
I honestly don't know what to expect. I'm crossing my fingers, but trying not to get my hopes up. I've been warned that often YA books experience a "slow build" as word of mouth between teenagers begins to travel. And that's really all I could ask for. ;-)
What are you currently working on?
I'm about to start Alpha, the last of my (adult) Shifters books, and I'm really having trouble wrapping my mind around that. I've never ended a series before, and it really kind of hurts, just thinking about saying goodbye to Faythe and her world. But this is where her story ends. I've known that all along. Now I just hope I can do it justice.
Do you plan on writing another YA series after you finish your Soul Screamers series?
I would absolutely love to! Unfortunately, it's premature to talk about that just yet. I have to wait and see if there's an audience for this first series before I jump into another one. Again, crossing my fingers!
Is there anything else you would like the readers to know about you or your books? Um... my books (both adult and YA) are character driven, but also very plot intensive. I try to capture emotion, and I'd rather my characters make decisions that are realistic based on who they are at the time, than to always make the "right" choices. Who wants to read about perfect people? The whole point is to watch them grow, right? And grow they do. ;-)
Thanks Again! Thank you so much for having me!