April 20th, 2008


Interview: Jody Gehrman

This summer is going to be awesome, Geena thinks, fixing her hair into two long braids and grabbing her skateboard. Her cousin Hero is coming back to town after a year away at boarding school, and she's going to work with Geena and her best friend Amber at Triple Shot Betty's, a popular, teeny-tiny coffeehouse with a drive-through window and very little elbow room.

Loud, wild Amber and preppy, conservative Hero are like oil and water - they just don't mix. Throw in a bunch of guys - including a conceited recent graduate, an intriguing Italian boy, and Geena's lifelong classmate who is her academic rival - and someone's sure to reach their boiling point. This book is a modern-day version of Much Ado about Nothing, complete with mistaken identities and romantic blunders.

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty is Jody Gehrman's first novel for teens. She's also written three adult novels and is hard at work on the next Betty book.

Do you approach writing teen fiction differently than you approach writing adult fiction?

Well, it is different, I suppose, but my approach is pretty much the same: find the character, delve into the setting, tell a story. The big challenge with YA is getting into that 16-year-old perspective again and trying to keep it contemporary without forcing the voice, you know? Like sometimes it's tempting to go overboard with slang just to show how "hip" you are, and that's kind of repellant. I think teen readers sense right away how inauthentic that is.

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Visit Jody's website.

Interview: Sara Hantz

The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is a novel for teens set in Australia, written by a British author, and released by an American publisher. Some people may balk at the title while others will dive into it, both parties expecting something racy. The story is far more tame than those people assume, as Suzy tries to reinvent herself at a new school and be a model daughter at home. In this exclusive interview, author Sara Hantz talks about her writing career, her travels, and her teen years.

Do you recall the title and plot of the first story you ever wrote?

The first book I finished was about 4 years ago, called Virgin on the Ridiculous. Collapse )

Visit Sara's website.