This week Melissa de la Cruz has been so kind as to sit down and answer some of your questions about The Ashleys, writing, and every day life.
Hello and welcome!
Hi Compulsive Reader! :)
Thanks for making February Ashleys month!
Why did you decide to write about a younger set of girls?
I think it's because seventh grade was SUCH a memorable and traumatic and awesome time for me. There's something about being the cusp of teenhood, where everything is exciting--sleepovers, crushes, shopping, your first "high heel". You're discovering the "grown-up" world for the first time and everything is new. But more important than boys are your friends, and at twelve, your MOM is a HUGE influence. (Of course parents are a huge influence in life but I can't remember fighting with my mom MORE than when I was a seventh-grader!)
I felt I could capture what it was like, all the fun my friends and I had, calling up our crushes, and also just how fun hanging out with your friends is like, even though maybe you secretly want to strangle them. Do you have those kinds of friends? Who are fun and adorable and insane and you secretly sometimes want to strangle? I know I did (and still do!)
How many books do you think there will be in The Ashleys series?
Right now there will be four, but I think there will be more. My publisher is very excited about it and has said they would like to continue. But it's hard to say, how many in the end there will be. I had envisioned it as a long-running series, which would end when the girls get into "their prep school of their choice". This whole manic prep-school application crunch like college admissions, culminating in ecstasy or despair accordingly.
If you had your choice of any superpower, what would it be?
The ability to have two clones - one who only concentrated on writing the books, the other who only spent time with my family. And I of course, would just spend all my time shopping and at the spa. Haha.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished "A Perfectly Good Family" by Lionel Shriver. I'm on a kick of contemporary female fiction right now--I just finished Kate Christensen's "A Great Man" yesterday and the Shriver today. I've had the flu for several days, so it's been a reading vacation--the best.
I'm on a Shriver kick--I read "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "The Post-Birthday World" last week too. She's so funny and mean, which I love. In YA, I just finished Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" which lives up to every expectation. It's awesome.
What is one thing you want your readers to know about you?
That I am just like them. I still hold grudges from what happened in seventh grade! I never really grew up. And I'm totally approachable. I love hanging out, and I love chatting. So if you have a website or community page devoted to my books, let me know and I'll stop by! Right now I am really behind on the emails--a year behind I think. But I read them all and I do reply to everyone! It just takes a long, long time.
What are you writing now?
Right now I am writing BLUE BLOODS 3: REVELATIONS.
If The Ashleys were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
This might sound weird but that girl in the Royal Carribean ad? You know where the mom says "We're trying to look for something very rare" and it's her 12-year-old daughter's smile? The daughter in the ad is SUCH an Ashley. The long blonde hair, the scowl. So she should be in it, or someone like her.
Do you have any new series coming out in the near future?
Yes! I have another new series - it used to be called Social Life, but I think I'm changing the series title because the story has changed a bit, coming summer 2009. And don't forget this year, all four Ashleys books are out - Jealous is out in April, Birthday Vicious in August, and Lipstick Jungle in December. And Revelations is out in December as well!
Is there anything you wish I had asked that I didn't?
What's hot for spring? :) Florals and gladiators! And bright blue coats! I'm lusting over this gorgeous royal blue Philip Lim coat and camo Balenciaga gladiator sandals!
Thanks so much to Mel, and keep those contest entries coming in! I've noticed on our ongoing poll to the left that a LOT of you haven't read anything by the lovely Melissa de la Cruz! What a shame. There's only three things you can do...enter our contest, go here, or visit your nearest bookstore/library! Now!