So the first question that I'm sure is on many minds: why write about a girl creating a cheating ring?
It just seemed like a good way to force Maya and Camden to hang out, because otherwise they would probably never even meet. Originally I thought maybe Maya would just do one assignment for him and they'd immediately get caught and wind up in a bunch of detention together, and get to know each other that way, but then it's like, where's the fun in that?
Was it hard to keep the plotline realistic and at the same time not make Maya and her friends seem like bad people? Or make it seem like they were getting away with it too easily?
Hmmm. No? I don't know that I ever thought about it in terms of whether they're bad people-- I mean, obviously cheating is wrong, but Maya only did it out of desperation to save her family's restaurant, so that seems justifiable, and since everything went down in a fairly short span of time it didn't seem like anybody was really getting away with all that much.
How much of She's So Money is related to your own life and experiences?
Just the bare-bones background stuff, like her being all AP-classed out and trying to get into a good school, or her being from Michigan. I certainly wasn't ever involved in any cheating shenanigans, and my parents didn't open their restaurant until years after I left the house, so I never waited tables on a regular basis.
What was your road to publication like?
Let's see, I wrote a proposal, which was like six chapters and an outline of what else was going to happen, and after it sold I had several months to write the rest and get notes and do revisions and all that, but I was also working my day job at Family Guy the whole time. So I guess the road was tiring. :)
As a new author to the YA genre, what sort of expectations did you have?
None! Coming from TV, I really had no idea what to expect or what I was doing. It's all been a fun surprise.
What's one really good book you can recommend to readers?
I really like The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology, if you're into that sort of thing. A new one comes out every year though so I probably just recommended, like, twenty books instead of one. Oops. :)
It's required summer reading season...what's one book that you were required to read that you really liked?
"Kindred" by Octavia Butler. It was awesome.
Do you have any secret talents?
Ha! I wish. I used to dance, but that's not really a secret, nor was I all that talented at it. :)
If you had any superhero power, which one would it be and why?
Teleportation. No commuting...ever! No airport hassles, woohoo!
Anything I didn't ask that you wish I had?
Nope, these questions were great! Thanks!
Thanks so much, Cherry!