Friday, February 26, 2010

Shani Petroff is Here!

Hi Everyone!

Now that debut year is up and the last of the interviews are in, we’re changing things up a bit! Some of the 2009 Debs have 2010 releases, so I’m starting a whole new blog tour: similar format, new questions.

I swear, at some point I will return to blogging as my neurotic self. The sad fact is that between working and revising and all of my other responsibilities, blogging has seriously taken a back seat. Soon, though. I’ll be back soon: I Promise!

In the meantime, I have Shani Petroff on the blog today (this week, probably). :)

Shani is celebrating the release of her latest novel.

You know the routine!


Angel Garrett knows two things for sure. The first is that she inherited her devil-dad’s powers. The second is that she wreaks havoc whenever she tries to use them. Especially when she’s trying to impress her crush, Cole. Angel’s only solution is to stay as far away as possible from him until she learns how to harness this new gift. But how do you avoid someone and get him to ask you to the school dance at the same time?

About Shani

Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. In addition to tween and teen books, Shani writes for news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online. She has no devil lineage as far as she knows.

On to the Interview!

Me: What was the inspiration/where did you get the idea for this latest story, and when did you realize it could become a novel?

Shani: I watch a lot of TV. Too much TV. And the show REAPER came on. It’s not on the air anymore, but it was about a guy forced to catch escaped souls for the devil. I remember thinking the show would be even better if the main character was the devil’s son. Then I thought, I’d actually prefer to see a show about the devil’s daughter. That idea kept floating around in my head, and I thought, well, why not just write it myself? I mentioned to a friend in my writing class, and she was like you have to write this. And I said maybe later. And she said, no—now! This is the book! So I took her advice and wrote a few chapters, and within a month or two I had interest from my editor! (FYI, in a later season of REAPER they actually made the main character the devil’s son. I guess I was on to something!)

Me: And people say that TV is a waste of time. Clearly not! Now that you’re a seasoned author, if there is one thing you could go back and tell your “debut author” self, what would it be?

Shani: Hmm. That’s tough. Because I have a feeling the me of then wouldn’t have listened to the me of now. I would overanalyze the advice—something I do way too often—and get nervous that it would change the future and alter something that shouldn’t be altered. The whole butterfly effect. (I told you—too much TV).

Me: Smart. I probably wouldn’t have listened to me, either. I’m always looking for new ways to tackle revisions. What is your tried and true revision strategy and why does it work?

Shani: I work really well with deadlines (I hate being late—a major pet peeve of mine). And often I don’t get too much time to turn in my revisions. So I just force myself to sit down and do them—even when I don’t want to. And with the deadline fast approaching, I know I have to make the revisions a priority. So I don’t allow myself to go out unless I’ve made some progress on them.

Me: Awesome!

Readers . . . You can visit Shani at her home on the web:

And . . . BEDEVILED: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY DRESS is officially on sale. You can buy it here: Amazon:

Thank you so much for stopping by, Shani!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kristin Walker is Here!

Hi Everyone!

I’m totally stoked to have Kristin Walker on the blog today! Kristin is celebrating the release of her debut novel: A Match Made in High School.

You know the routine. . . .

About A Match Made in High School

When a mandatory marriage education course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life could not possibly get any worse. Until moments later, when her long-time crush is paired with her arch-enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend). But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very shy, very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks and misunderstandings leave Fiona wondering: is there something her supposed “best friend” hasn’t told her? Could there be more to Johnny Mercer than a deep voice and an awesome music collection? And perhaps most intriguing of all, is it possible that Todd Harding could actually have a heart – and a brain – beneath his pretty-boy exterior?

About Kristin Walker

Kristin Walker grew up roaming the Pennsylvania countryside. She finally landed at Penn State, where she earned a BA in Theatre Arts. In addition to being actor, Kristin was many things on her way to becoming an author, such as a lifeguard, a nanny, a beginning ballroom dance instructor, a library circulation clerk, and very nearly a nurse. A Match Made in High School (Razorbill/Penguin Group) is her first novel. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ladybug, Wee Ones, and two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Kristin lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband and three sons.

On to the Interview!

Me: Without giving away too many spoilers, what is your favorite part of the novel/what was the part you had the most fun writing?

Kristin: I can't say. Not that it's a secret, or anything. It's just that most of the book was both sublime and excruciating to write. Okay, I loved it when I came up with a great joke.

Me: What kind of writing projects are you currently working on? Or, if you aren't working on anything new, is there a different demographic/genre you wouldn't mind tackling in the future?

Kristin: Well, I started out in picture books and ended up in young adult novels, so I guess the only place to go is to adult fiction. But I love writing for teens. Teens don't let you get away with any of the highbrow phony crap that clogs up many an adult novel.

Me: Who is your writing hero and why?

Kristin: Nancy Viau. She's also my friend and critique partner. She's set a never-quit example for me from the very start of our careers. She also gives me a boot in the rear when I need one. She's definitely the writer who has kept me going and inspired me to reach further. I heart Nancy.

Me: Aww! Awesome! :)

Readers . . . You can visit Kristin at her home on the web:

And . . . A Match Made in High School is officially on sale. You can buy it here:

Thank you so much for stopping by, Kristin!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

School Visit!!

I Know! I Know!

I’ve just about disappeared off the face of the planet. Still juggling an insane class schedule. This week was slower, but I spent my free time preparing for my very first school visit, which was Friday.

Let me just break here and tell you what an AWESOME time I had talking to the 9th and 11th grade AVID students at North Pitt, and I’m *so glad* my high school English teacher invited me to speak to them.

I’m so ADD, and neurotic, and public speaking isn’t my favorite thing to do, but these guys were awesome! They were so attentive and they laughed and they asked great questions.

I had fun telling them all of my crazy lies growing up, and reading some of the things I wrote when I was their age. . . . It was a blast!
I didn’t embarrass myself too much, which is always a good thing. I was talking to a group of girls after the first class, and they were telling me that they noticed I was playing with a paper clip while I was talking (nervous energy!). Well, ladies, you should know that during the second hour . . . I DESTROYED that paper clip. Seriously. It ended up in three pieces by the time I was done.

I did lose my train of thought a few times. . . . But the worst thing that happened: I took a swig of water, and when I tilted my water bottle back some splashed in my face! How does that even happen? Only I could drown myself standing in front of a class.

Drowning aside, I had a fabulous time, and I appreciated the comments from a few of them about how I inspired them to keep writing, and follow their dreams, and stay persistent.

Because that’s what it’s all about: finding your passion, and sticking with it.
And they should know that they inspired me, too. They reminded me why I write, and who I’m writing for.

And why I *LOVE* writing more than anything in the world.

They’re calling for snow here in the next few hours. Looking forward to grading my last few assignments of the week, and then getting back to revisions on the latest ms.

Have a fabulous weekend!!