Natalie and I have been writing together and separately for...years! Our third book, Blonde OPS is coming out (we're sneaking it out earlier than the 'official' date of May 6th to appear at YA Fest at the Palmer Library in Easton, PA.).
We live in the same town, our kids went to the same schools, and we know a lot of the same people--we share a love of cats, too!
She's working on some individual projects and I know she'll share them with you when she can, so stay tuned!
Nat usually likes to keep things short and sweet. She writes and works her magic from central New Jersey where she lives with her family, two cats, a pair of rescue rabbits, and usually, several fine looking chickens (alas, brother fox decided to pay a visit to her flock and do take out...). Visit Nat on twitter, @Natalie_Zaman or at her blog at http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com
Here are Nat's questions to me:
What are you working on?
How much time do you have? I'm working on a number of projects: revising a sci fi that was last year's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project, revising a ghost story that's been around for over XX years (don't ask...), just started edits on my 2013 NaNoWriMo project (I've got to stop doing these challenges!) and writing down more ideas than I know I can write in my lifetime. We'll be busy with Blonde OPS coming out soon, and who knows, there may be a sequel...
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I have my brand of humor, my perspective on the world. If I took a famous idea, like Dracula, and wrote a story, it wouldn't be like Bram Stoker's and it wouldn't be like Stephanie Meyers' Twilight. I like to think I'm uniquely twisted.
Why do you write what you do?
Because I can't help myself. The characters, a storyline, a twist--grab my attention and my muse whispers: "What if..." I don't like to stick to one genre or one age level because there are too many interesting possibilities out there for wonderful stories. I have to go where my creativity leads me.
How does your writing process work?
I laugh now- but I used to be a 'pantster;' a person who sat down and wrote whatever came into her head. It lead to too many lost story threads, time inconsistencies, disappearing characters and changing points of view, so once I started working with Natalie on the Sirenz series (Sirenz, Sirenz Back In Fashion), we had to sit down and plot out, chapter by chapter, what would happen to whom and why. I've since adopted that process, and it's been especially helpful when doing the NaNoWriMo challenges. Every day, I can look at an outline and know what comes next. That way, I never suffer from writer's block. It's the editing that I dislike (two, three times, okay; after that, I'm bored and want to move on).
The next author in line is our friend (and part of our gal writers group, The Writing Wenches), Yvonne Ventresca, whose debut YA novel, Pandemic, releases the same day as Blonde OPS. I'm looking forward to doing signings together as she is also a part of KidLit Authors Club.
Before becoming a children’s writer, Yvonne Ventresca wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she happily spends her days writing stories instead of code and sharing technology tips with other writers. Yvonne’s the author of the young adult novel Pandemic, available in May 2014 from Sky Pony Press. Yvonne’s other writing credits include two nonfiction books for kids, Avril Lavigne (a biography of the singer) and Publishing (about careers in the field) along with various articles for teens and adults. You can visit her website atwww.YvonneVentresca.com.