Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Interview with Kimberly Pauley, author of Sucks to Be Me

Hello blogosphere, today The Fickle Hand of Fate welcomes Kimberly Pauley, who runs YA Books Central and is the author of the fabulous YA vampire novel Sucks to Be Me! I reviewed the book at the end of May, and you can read that review here, but suffice it to say that I adored it! The sequel, Still Sucks to Be Me, will be available in 2010. Kimberly was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. So without further ado, on to the interview!

FF: Welcome to The Fickle Hand of Fate! Thanks so much for this visit.

KP: Thanks! And thanks for having me too :-)

FF: What was your goal in writing StBM? Just entertainment, or do you have some nefarious plot to influence the world?

KP: Well, primarily entertainment. There are plenty of novels out there that have really deep messages (and many of them are great!). But I did also tried to include some "heavier" stuff as well...I just tried to make sure it wouldn't make a reader feel like I was hitting them over the head with it. I want readers to come away from the book having had fun reading it. If they learn something too, that's great, but I'm happy if it just makes them smile.

FF: What is one thing you wish you had known when you started writing?

KP: That the whole vampire thing was going to just explode the way it did. I wrote STBM in 2005 before Twilight (and a bunch of other vampire books) came out and it actually made it a hard sell because most of the agents and editors I sent it to (in 2006) felt that the market was saturated. So I probably would have written a non-vampire book first.

FF: What’s the best part about having a published novel? How about the worst?

KP: The fan letters. That sounds cheesey, but really, they make my day. Especially when someone actually writes me a real physical letter. Heck, I hardly get those from my family! The worst? Um, probably the people that ask me either a) are you going to be the next J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer or b) have I made a million dollars yet? (the answer to both of those would be NO...not that I would mind being the next J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, exactly, but mostly I'd just like to be me.)

FF: Do you feel like YA writers/vampire writers are in competition with each other, or is it more like a mutual admiration society?

KP: I think most writers are very generous and we all help each other out a lot. I'm sure there are some out there that view it as a competition, but I've never met any. After all, the more people read, the better the world is! All the writers that I know are generally happy to recommend each other's books. I know I am! There are so many great YA books out there.

FF: You mention on your website that you don’t read vampire books anymore in order to keep from accidentally recycling ideas. What do you read instead?

KP: I read a little bit of everything, though my reading is way down lately because of our baby (Max) and with writing. I prefer fantasy, though. And also I (of course) read a lot for YA Books Central.

FF: Were any characters from StBM based on real people?

KP: Um, not really. There are pieces of people in the characters, but nobody in particular was really the inspiration for any of the characters.

FF: Do you have a StBM playlist, or music you use to inspire you?

KP: If I listen to music while writing, it's usually pretty mellow, otherwise I get distracted. So mostly stuff like Portishead and Morcheeba or Amy Winehouse.

FF: What actors would you choose to star in a StBM movie?

KP: That's really tough. Someone had asked me this before and I'd picked out a couple, but every time I pick someone I see someone else that would work even better. I'd actually love some suggestions! I'm not as up on my teen actors as I once was. :-)

FF: Would you even accept a StBM movie deal, or would you rather the book stayed unsullied?

KP: Oh, I would. :-) But you definitely have to know ahead of time that you're giving up some ownership. Authors generally have no control at all over what a movie turns out like (unless they're really big time like J. K. Rowling). I'd actually love to see what someone would do with it. Though I actually think a TV show would be even more fun.

FF: Thanks again for giving us your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

KP: Just that I'm happy to report that I've turned in the sequel to my editor. It won't be out until next year, but I'm still happy to have this round done! And I'm doubly happy to report that I've heard back from her with the revision notes and while some of it is a little extensive (cutting 4 chapters up front, for instance), I think it's all great stuff and I think the book is going to be so much better when I'm done with it (my editor rocks!). I'll be all finished by the end of August.

Again, the sequel comes out next year. You can find out more on Kimberly's website, complete with an excerpt from book 2!

Buy Sucks to Be Me

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