Her site is still under construction so you can view Chrissy's (the protagonist of Savvy Girl) site for more info: http://www.savvygirl.us/
First, I am curious to know what led you to write Savvy Girl?
I've always loved teen books and wrote a bunch of them when I was younger. I sent them out to publishers but no one was interested, so I switched to mysteries (which nobody was interested in either). Then after my third novel came out, an editor I was friendly with emailed and asked if I'd ever thought of writing a YA book. I immediately wrote back and said no, because I didn't want to go there again. But once I stated thinking about it I couldn't stop. So I emailed her some ideas.
Did you write the story from your own experience or through research?
I'm terrible at research. I can google and wiki, but my skill ends there. Almost all my stories are from experience. Right now, I'm at Self, so Chrissy works at a health-oriented women's magazine. A few years ago, I worked at In Style, so my novel Fashionistas is set a celebrity style magazine.
Who is your favourite character from Savvy Girl? Why?
Adele, the editor who makes Chrissy do most of her work because she's too busy planning her wedding. She was the most fun to write because she's over-the-top and silly.
Who do you think you relate most to in the novel and in what way?
I relate most to Chrissy because she gets a lot of things wrong and so do I. The difference is, she thinks she has everything under control and I know I don't.
Moving on to a personal level, did you see yourself going into a writing career? What else have you worked as (or still is) before becoming an author? And what do you want to be right now if you are not an author?
I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was 15. I'd just finished reading the silliest book ever (girl creates and sells video game and convinces parents to let her build house in backyard with proceeds) and thought, Hey, I could do better. So I did. Or, rather, I tried. And I've been trying ever since.
For most of my career I've been a copyeditor for magazines, which means I make sure the articles make sense and are grammatically correct. (We also fix for repeated words like "make" in the previous sentence.) I still do this two weeks a month at Self. I spend the other two weeks at home writing. It's the perfect schedule for me because I love the people I work with and after two weeks by myself I can't wait to get back into an office and chat.
I have no idea what I'd do if I weren't a writer or copyeditor. I love to sit in a big comfy chair in a cafe drinking hot chocolate and eating pastry but I don't think anyone pays you to do that.
What is the most difficult thing about being a writer? And the best thing?
The most difficult thing is unfortunately the commercial aspect. It's all very well and good to write something you love but then you have to find someone else who loves it enough to publish it. That's rare. The best part is the writing itself, the moment when you finally manage to say exactly what you want to say in exactly the way you want to say it. That's rare too.
After writing a few books, what is the greatest lesson you've learned about being a writer?
That it's always hard. Having finished one or two or even twelve books doesn't make starting the next one easier. A blank page is always daunting.
Are you in the middle of writing a new novel? Or about to release one soon? If so, can you please give a brief summary about it?
Right now I'm working on a science fiction story about robots. It's totally crazy because I've never been into science fiction or robots but I had an idea and went with it (and googled constantly). I haven't submitted it to publishers yet so I don't know what kind of future it has. But fingers crossed.
Fact about me: A hippopotamus once pooped on my tent. I was camping in Kenya and in the middle of the night I heard a sound like it was raining but it stopped immediately and I went back to sleep. In the morning, I saw--and smelled--the mess. Hippos wag their tail while pooping so it scatters everywhere. Lucky me.