Lisa Gibson asks "What scenes do you find the most difficult to write? And why?"
I haven't written much in a while, though I plan to start up again when I lose my job at the end of next week and continue to do it while I search for a new job. But I don't think I have any problem with a specific kind of scene. Instead, I mainly have problems with dialogue. I'm just not good at it; I always wonder if it's realistic enough or appropriate (in terms of context, not like swearing or something), and I agonize for a while before having to write some. I'm very good at the non-dialogue parts though.
I would've thought it would be more serious matter, but in my current WIP, there's some bullying that goes on and while it doesn't last long, I kept thinking it was overwrought or melodramatic or just plain horrible. I sent a few pages to some online friends of mine (a couple bloggers and a published author) and everyone loved that scene and thought it was so heart-wrenching and emotional and done just right. I was dumbfounded. I kept asking "Are you sure?". So yeah, I guess I have some untapped talent.
Sarah asks "Do you prefer reading series or stand-alone novels? (It seems like so many new YA books are part of a promised series)."
That is true that series books are taking over, especially trilogies or quartets! I don't think I could ever write a series. OK, I do have an idea for one, but it could just end up being one long fantasy novel. And OK, maybe I do have another idea for a trilogy of contemporary books. But series are hard work, so that's the main reason behind my not wanting to do them.
Anyway, you didn't ask about that, so here's my real answer: There are still plenty of stand-alone novels being released, so don't fret! Honestly, I don't think I could pick one or the other. I love them all! It's so nice to revisit the same characters you know and love in a series, but it's also nice to have an actual ending once the book is finished. No real preference here.
Bailey asks "On average, how many books would you say you read and review a week?
What is your favorite author interview you have conducted?
Are there any upcoming 2011 debut novels that you are excited about or have already read?"
I try to read at least 3 per week now. It's hard, but I manage it. I'm basically always reading a book and moving on to the next one once I'm finished.
Oh god, I've loved them all! I will say I've really enjoyed interviewing Meg Cabot (so much so that I've done it three times!), as well as other authors I've been able to go more in-depth with since I've read a lot of (or all of) their work, like Brent Hartinger, Justina Chen, Ally Carter, and Courtney Sheinmel. But I just love being able to interview any and all authors- they're all fascinating and interesting!
I haven't yet read any, but I'm really excited for Across the Universe by Beth Revis, I Am J by Cris Beam, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford, Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey, The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney, Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer, The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge, Haven by Kristi Cook, Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton, and tons more. I used Kristi's New Reads page to look them all up, lol. I can't keep track of them all!
Oh and I completely forgot that I did read a YA debut- Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer. I posted a preview post for it the other day. It'll be out in April 2011!