Friday, October 4, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: Melissa de la Cruz

:YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!

I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this.

photo courtesy of
Melissa de la Cruz is a New York Times best seller who has a couple of different YA series. I first heard of her through her series, Au Pairs

I'm really excited for her because her book Witches of East End is being turned into a show on Lifetime! Before I knew I was hosting this interview, I was watching Hocus Pocus on Lifetime (can I get a hell yeah!) and saw a commercial for the series and instantly wanted to watch it! Upon learning that it was adapted from one of Melissa de la Cruz's books, I got even more interested!

Witches of East End premiers on Lifetime on Sunday 10/6 at 10/9c! I know I am going to record it and watch it as soon as I can! 

Now, on to the best part! the interview!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Fear. Sometimes rage. I find that to truly focus I need to feel panic, and then suddenly everything in my manuscript becomes clear. I work best under duress, which is something my editors have learned and they're quite good at instilling fear in me. I appreciate that! I also work well with many distractions, I think it's because I had a day job for nine years and had to write my books in the middle of doing my real work.

Describe your book in 5 words
Post-apocalyptic. Zombie. Dragon. Pirate. Fantasy.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first, definitely. 

Best writing tip you ever received?
To introduce the love interest in the first 30 pages, not that specifically but learning that there was CRAFTING involved in writing a novel, not just voice.

What one young adult novel you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Harry Potter. Because! I don't think I have to explain.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1. I was a child model.
2. My favorite One Direction guy was Harry, but now it is Louis.
3. I have a Maltese named Mimi. She is not named for Mimi Force, our kid named her.
4. I learned to drive at 34.
5. I like savory treats better than sweet.

Where's your favorite place to write?

In a cubicle, surrounded by softly ringing phones and people murmuring. Sadly this is no longer possible for me.

What are you working on now?
My new series THE RING AND THE CROWN coming next spring from Disney-Hyperion.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
YA Fantasy and Paranormal. My favorite genre to read is "literary" fiction, but I would have to say I really enjoy bestsellers just as much, I like popular fiction, no matter what genre, I like to read what a lot of people are reading and take the pulse of the culture. But for my own taste, I love smart angry women writers like Lionel Shriver and Kate Christensen. Also cookbook memoirs.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When we've sold it!

Be sure to check out Melissa de la Cruz at this years YALLFest! 

to review who else I've hosted interviews for you can refresh:
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here
CJ Lyons can be found here
Sean Williams can be found here:
Rainbow Rowell can be found here
Ransom Riggs can be found here 
Veronica Rossi can be found here
Kami Garcia can be found here

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