I love this, I have to face my very own questions! OK here they are, with my answers:
CANDOR is a great read for adults, too. What adult hasn't wished that they could think differently, act different, eat differently--or even more darkly, control the behavior of their children?
She'd say, "Cool! It's about time you did this! Now. Have you met Lois Duncan yet? How about Vivian Schurfranz?" Those were two of my favorite authors, when I was a teen. I don't even know if Vivian Schurfranz was a pen name or a real person!
CANDOR was inspired by the six years I lived in Celebration, a planned community in central Florida, just south of Orlando. It was beautiful, but its perfection could be eerie: white picket fences lining the streets, with gorgeous flowers, shady front porches and never, ever any graffiti. (I finally got to graffiti my town in CANDOR--several times over...). So the book is full of settings inspired by Celebration. I think my favorite is my main character's secret hideout, the tricked-out garden shed behind the gorgeous Candor model homes. Oscar's got forbidden foods, drinks and games hidden behind the pegboard walls. I love thinking that it could actually be true: somewhere in Celebration, hidden in a fancy garden shed, is a stash of Devil Dogs and M&Ms. (Do you hear that sound? Everybody in Celebration is running out to check their garden sheds...). You can see some pictures of settings that inspired CANDOR on my website at http://pambachorz.squarespace.com/candor-inspiration/.
Would you say that your book is intended for both audiences, or is it a surprise to find out how strongly adults feel about them?
I wrote a story that entertained me, about teen characters, without worrying too much about the audience. I hope that both teens and adults read and enjoy CANDOR.
Do you find that your characters are shaped by the towns they live in?
For me, setting is always another character in my stories. It interacts with my characters and influences their mood, their behavior, and their actions. Of course when the setting includes brainwashing Messages that are hidden in ever-present music, the setting is DEFINITELY shaping the characters! There's no escaping the setting in CANDOR. It makes my story possible.
What’s your favorite Brainwash movie?
I am going to cheat a little and go with a TV show: LOST. They've hinted at brainwashing but backed right off. Remember how they showed a room where people are forced to sit in chairs and wear weird goggles and watch TV until... well, I'm not sure... maybe their ears bleed? It was only in one episode. When I saw it, I was both fascinated and horrified. Fascinated because it was cool, and horrified because I already had a kind-of similar brainwashing area ("The Listening Room") in CANDOR. But in my room, it's a very fancy spa-like place with music (and Messages) constantly playing. You go in with problems and come out days later with your brain "wiped clean". Of course there are a few little side effects... what fun would it be if there weren't?
Do you have any more books in the works at the moment?
I am working on another dark YA for Egmont USA. It's too soon for me to share details but suffice to say that again I'll be writing about a place that COULD exist today where very bad things are happening... and my main character has to fight her way out of it.
Would you like to share any additional info with the readers?
You can read the first chapter of CANDOR for free on my website at http://www.pambachorz.com/candor-chapter/, as well as listen to a playlist of songs that helped to inspire CANDOR (I swear there aren't any Messages in them!) and read my blog. Come visit!