I spend a lot of time in coffeehouses writing and I have a particular favorite called Hot Shots Java in Poulsbo, WA. If you visit my website, http://www.suzanneselfors.com/, you can see photos of Poulsbo, which I transformed into the town of Nordby for my book. Anyway, Katrina popped into my head one day. I originally called the book, Coffeehouse Girl. I couldn't stop thinking about Katrina. That's what usually happens. I see a character and that character hangs out in my head until I write a story for him/her.
Coffeehouse Angel is your 4th book. Does the writing process get any easier from one to another?
HA! It should, shouldn't it? You'd think it would be like a formula or something. But each book is different. Some flow like iced tea, some boil over and make a huge mess.
Writers will often describe a reading experience that made them want to put the book down and go start writing immediately. What authors have inspired you in that way?
I'm a huge Roald Dahl fan. Adore his stories. My middle grade novels are hugely influenced by his work.
What was the last book you read that really surprised you?
I hate it when you can predict the ending. Though my readers most likely know that my stories will end happily, I try really hard to throw in a few unexpected twists. I just finished Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins. She took me down some very unexpected paths.
Do you see yourself writing more books like Coffeehouse Angel?
Well, I hope that I will continue to have the opportunity to write YA. I'm working on one now, which will be released next year. It's another girl-meets-otherworldly guy story. A romantic comedy. It's difficult writing in the middle of summer but I'm doing it.
What are you working on now?
Your readers might not know that I also write middle grade novels. Actually, I think they're for all ages. My next comes out in May, 2010, and it's called Smells Like Dog.
So far, what has been the most surprising response to your book?
Well, I'm getting lots of blog attention. My first YA book, Saving Juliet, built very slowly and didn't get many blog reviews. So it's nice to see that Coffeehouse Angel is making the rounds. I would have loved to have had a review website when I was a teen.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I love hearing from my readers and I always respond to emails. Many readers don't know this, but writing reviews on websites like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com is very helpful. I wish them a summer filled with great stories. Keep reading!