Interviu cu o autoare: Meet Amy Sparling !!

5841781ABOUT AMY:

Amy Sparling is a Texas native with a passion for young adult literature. In her free time she participates in semi-professional ghost hunting excursions, attends nerd conventions and invents cooky games with her daughter. She has a full time job, a part time college career, and writes books in what little time is left in the day. Amy Sparling is a pen name.


1.   Hello Amy! Thank you for granting me this interview. I’d like to talk first about your book Phantom Summer. How did this story come into being? Thanks so much for having me! This is my first official interview and I’m pretty excited about it. The story in Phantom Summer was inspired from a time when my sister and I decided to go „ghost hunting” in this 200 year old abandoned mansion we found in the middle of nowhere. (See picture) We didn’t see any ghosts, and the police showed up and kicked us out, but we did have fun looking through the ruins of what used to be a beautiful house. The experience inspired me to write about a girl who goes on real ghost hunting adventures.StewartMansion (37)

2.  What was the most challenging aspect of creating this character of Taylor Gray? Taylor is broken because she recently lost her best friend and she feels responsible for his death. I’ve never been in that situation, and I’m lucky that I haven’t lost many people in my life, so I couldn’t relate. I had to spend a lot of time inside Taylor’s mind, trying to feel the emotions she was feeling in order to write them in the book.

3.  How did you approach the research needed for the book? This part was fun! Like I said earlier, the mansion we visited was a huge inspiration for the book. I also live on the coast of Texas, near Galveston island where many homes are over a hundred years old. My sister and I shadowed an actual ghost tour through the historical part of the island, and I took notes on what was fun about it and what could use improvement in my own story.

4.  What are your current/future projects? I have a fun novella called Summer Unplugged that I hope to publish this summer. It’s about a girl who gets grounded from her cell phone and computer because her mom thinks she’s too addicted to technology and social media. She then has to spend the whole summer with her grandparents who live out in the country. She thinks it’s going to suck, but then she meets the cute guy next door and, well.. you’ll have to read it to find out what happens. 🙂 Amy Sparling is actually my pen name for indie published books. My biggest project right now is a teenage superhero book called Powered. I’m working on revisions with an agent and we’re hoping to get traditionally published, but if that doesn’t work out then I will indie publish that as well. You can find more at my other

5.  If you had to be one of your protagonists, who would it be? That’s a hard question! But I’ll probably go with Maci Might from my superhero book, Powered. She’s a superhero after all…that’s pretty awesome.

6. Who are your favourite writers and why? 

RL Stine, because his Goosebumps and Fear Street books were like crack to me as a kid. I read every single one of them, and that turned me into a reader which eventually turned me into a writer. Plus he’s retweeted me on twitter a few times, which is totally awesome.

Sarah Dessen, because she writes amazing characters and stories. I’ve always wanted to be just like her, even though our writing styles are very different. I even named my daughter after Halley in her book Someone Like You.

John Green because he’s awesome in every way.

Jeaniene Frost because she writes the most kick-ass female protagonists. 

JK Rowling because Harry Potter shaped my entire life. I started reading the series when I was kid, and when I finished reading the series, I had my own kid.

7.  What was the book that most influenced your life — and why? The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. It’s a timeless book. It didn’t follow any of the „writing rules” that tell you how to create a perfect novel, and yet, it is the perfect novel. It’s the only book that I can read over and over again, and it reminds me what it feels like as a reader to read a real character and not some cookie cutter flat character.

8. What are your 5 favorite books —and why? 

  • The Harry Potter series – because it’s perfect in every way.
  • The Catcher in the Rye – as mentioned above
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green. That book hit me really hard. It felt like my heart had been ripped out for days after I read it.
  • The Twilight Series – these books get made fun of a lot, but they got millions of people reading books when they otherwise wouldn’t. And anything that turns people into readers is good. Plus, I couldn’t put them down when I read them. 🙂
  • Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen – This book is just incredibly *real* to me. I love it

9. What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author? Finding time to write. I work full time, I’m in college part time and I have an 8 year old daughter. Too often I find myself dying to write but unable to because of homework, house cleaning, meals that need to be cooked, a dog that needs to go on a walk, and a kid that needs my love and attention. If I had my way, I would write all day and produce all the books that are floating around in my head.  

10. Describe your writing room. I have dedicated a whole room in my house to be my „Office” for writing…however, I usually end up writing on the couch with my laptop. But for professional purposes, here’s an panorama photo of my office, complete with bookshelf, framed Harry Potter signs, and paper stars my daughter made as inspiration. Also, I have this special book fairy, who often takes the form of a cat who likes to sit and stare at me while I write.


MagicWritingFairy11. Take us through a typical day in the life of Amy Sparling. Here’s a typical weekend day, since the weekdays are boring and include work:

  • 7am: wake up early, make coffee and get to writing. I write the best stuff in the morning.
  • 7:15am: Realize I’ve been goofing off on Twitter… turn off the WiFi and get to writing.
  • 9:30-10ish: The kiddo wakes up so I’ll make us breakfast & get more coffee. 
  • 11am: Realize that somehow the WiFi was magically turned back on and I’ve been online instead of writing. Get back to writing.
  • Then I do whatever the day’s plans are.. which for the sake of this interview, I’ll pretend they’re really awesome things.

After the awesome things, I’ll stay up until about 11pm and write. The only exceptions are Sundays at 8pm where I’ll drop everything to watch The Walking Dead as if my life depends on it.

12. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I want to say a huge Thank you to everyone who has read my books. When I first published Deadbeat and Phantom Summer, I kind of did it as a fun thing just because I didn’t want those books rotting away on my computer. I wanted people to read them. I had NO idea that people would actually read and like them. I have never asked for book reviews and yet people leave me the greatest reviews ever. It’s just such an honor that people are finding my books and liking them. I think YA readers are the best people ever!


Interviu cu o autoare: Megan Thomason + Giveaway

Aceasta zi ii este dedicata lui Megan Thomason, autoarea cartii Daynight. A fost foarte draguta si mi-a raspuns la intrebari SIII  mi-a trimis 2 carti si pentru voi. Thank you Megan! (detalii mai jos). Interviul este urmatorul:

171316231. Hello Megan! Thank you for granting me this interview. I’d like to talk first about your book, Daynight. How did this story come into being? 

Thanks for having me! I appreciate it! The story for daynight came about as I was hiking in one of the many canyons of San Diego on a particularly hot day, and I pondered what it would be like if things were so hot that there would be no choice but to switch days and nights. This was the impetus for Thera, the setting for most of daynight. I had fun researching all the various ways this would impact the Theran people–from differing lingo “daymares,” “daygowns, Monnight, Tuesnight, etc.”, to environmental (landscape, weather shifts). The Second Chance Institute, benevolent non-profit on Earth by day, and totalitarian ruler on Thera by night, and their messed up agendas and methods, are purely a figment of my twisted imagination and a result of contemplating what kind of entity would rule the night.

2.  What was the most challenging aspect of creating this character of Kira?
 The most challenging aspect of creating Kira is that she is not like me. If Kira was like me, she probably would have been dead within 24 hours of arriving on Thera. To survive the dystopian conditions set forth by The Second Chance Institute, I had to make Kira more rule-abiding and subservient than I would be. Whereas I wear my emotions on my face, Kira has mastered hiding her emotions behind a poker face and false smile. I’m very impulsive. Kira typically thinks (or over thinks) things through. Kira is fiercely loyal and often naive. I’m more jaded, distrustful, and might have used violence (or at least a strong verbal thrashing) on a couple of the characters had they pulled the same things with me. One characteristic of mine I did allow Kira to adopt is my sarcastic nature, though she uses it more in inner dialogue than her conversations with others.
3.  How did you approach the research needed for this book?

 I did quite a bit of research for daynight. Since Thera’s an inverse earth (land where sea and vice versa; direction of sun shifted) with extreme temperature variations and weather, I did a lot of research to see what the Therans would have to do to sustain life under the circumstances. I also heavily researched test subjects and focus groups to properly develop the SCI and their agendas with regard to the Second Chancers.
4.  What are your current/future projects? Megan Thomason
 I’m targeting a summer release for the sequel to daynightarbitrate. In addition to the daynight series, I’m working on B*Lies, a story about a girl who makes the decision to run from her abusive father. If time permits, I’ll also do a re-write on the romantic comedy trilogy I wrote prior to daynightthe thin veilthe thin line, and thin skin. Although I love the stories and characters, I’d want to get the writing up to my current standards before publishing.
5.  If you had to be one of your protagonists, who would it be? 
 That’s a hard question! I’m not sure I want to be in any of their shoes :). I’m hoping this is a short-term obligation, because I am going to go with Jax Christo. In book one he’s a seemingly minor character, but in reality is very key to everything. He has a unique brand of doublespeak, a killer sense of humor, some very appealing talents, and well… I’ve always wanted to spend a day in a guy’s head to know what they really think about :). If it’s a permanent thing, I’d have to go with my main character from my unpublished trilogy, Lissy. She’s a lot like me.
6. Who are your favorite writers and why?

 Given how many books I have read, that’s a tough question. I like different things about different authors. Immersive world: J.R.R. Tolkien. Dialogue:Jane Eyre. Dystopia: Suzanne Collins, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. Fun contemporary: Jillian Dodd. Intense romance: S.C. Stephens and Tammara Webber. Drama: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Every author leaves an imprint.
7.  What was the book that most influenced your life — and why? 
 I have read thousands of books, so very difficult to pick one (The Hobbit, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Phantom Tollbooth, Pride and Prejudice, Hunger Games, Crime and Punishment, 1984 each were at various points in time). But, the book I’m probably re-read the most and has had the biggest impact on me is my scriptures. I learn something new every time I read them so, I’ll go with that. 
pride-and-prejudice8. What are your 5 favorite books —and why?
 Hmmm… I never have been a great rule follower, so I’m going to fail to narrow this down to five. I’ve just read too many books, and over time different books have been my favorite. Some of these would include… Pride & PrejudiceHunger GamesThe Hobbit/Lord of the RingsCrime & PunishmentAnna Karenina1984Brave New WorldThe Diary of a Young GirlThe Scarlet LetterOf Mice & Men, and Lord of the Flies. My favorite 50+ reads (of 600+) of the past year can be found here:, and my favorites of the last couple months would be The Sea of Tranquility, Vain, and The Breeders.

9. What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?

I have two big challenges. The first is balancing promoting book 1 while trying to write book 2.The second is processing conflicting feedback.

 Balance: With self-publishing there is no ready staff to take care of the tedious work for you. Every form you fill out to list your book, every promotion you sign up for, author interview you do, or guest post you write takes time. It’s all worth it, because this is how you get exposure! But, this takes a lot of mental preparation, multitasking, and prioritizing. Many things require financial investment in addition to time. During my post Christmas promotion I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours a night for the entire week. And managing promoting one book while trying to write the next PLUS take care of a family… yikes. I still haven’t figured out a good balance that moves everything forward at a steady pace. It is definitely a work in progress.
 Feedback loop: I let a lot of people read early drafts of daynight to get feedback. What I got was conflicting feedback. The girls: more romance, less action. The guys: more action, less romance. The classic lovers: more deep symbolism. Some wanted more detail about Thera, some less. Oversimplified, but you get the idea. I quickly realized that I couldn’t please everyone and I had to go with the balance that felt right to me for telling the story and setting up for future books. So, now I try to look for common threads and address those issues, and realize that no matter what I do, not everyone will like my work. I don’t like every book I read, and so I can’t and don’t expect everyone to like mine.
10. Describe your writing room.
 I will write on my laptop anywhere… in my car while waiting in the pickup line for the kids’ schools (that is where I am writing this!), doctor appointments, sports games or at home. At home, I typically write on the couch in our family room or in our massage chair. Right now our family room is still sporting a Christmas theme. My daughter took it all out… and I’m waiting for her to put it all away. Her deadline is long past :).
11. Take us through a typical day in the life of Megan Thomason.

 I get up at 6:30, help my kids get ready for and then drive them to school (we don’t have school buses or public transportation where we live). Then I write, promote, or work on another project until it is time to pick them up. Occasionally, by necessity, I have appointments or errands to run. After school, I take kids to and from activities (sports, theatre, etc.). I read on my phone while doing any sort of waiting. Hopefully, in the evening I am able to make a homemade meal and spend some time with husband and kids, interspersed with more writing and/or reading. I am often up until 1 or 2am reading or writing.

Premii: 2 carti DAYNIGHT

Vor fi 2 castigatori

Concursul incepe  azi si se termina pe data de 14 martie.

Castigatorii vor fi alesi prin

Reguli: Tot ce trebuie sa faceti este sa imi lasati intr-un comentariu numele si adresa de email prin care ma urmariti

Pentru 2 intrari in plus, trebuie sa anuntati despre concurs pe orice retea sociala sau pe blog.

Offtopic: In curand voi da startul unui alt concurs, dar as fi vrut ceva diferit. Ceva de creatie. Sau un mini maraton, in care, participand la mai multe mini sarcini (cu premii) veti fi inclusi intr-o tombola cu premii mai mari. Sau ceva de genu. Nu stiu. Idei?? Si cel mai important lucru: v-ati inscrie la un concurs de acest tip?

Respect Month Blog Tour featuring SHACKLED – Angela Carling + Giveaway

This is the day I’ve been waiting for. February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention & Awareness Month. I’m very happy to be a part of this blog tour and I hope you’ll like my interview with Angela Carling, the author of  Unbreakable Love and Shackled.



1. Hello Angela! Thank you for granting me this interview. I’d like to talk first about your book, Shackled. How did this story come into being? This story was inspired by my sister’s real life experience with a controlling boyfriend. While she was six months pregnant with his child, he once beat her so badly, that he almost killed her. While the events of Shackled are a lot more fun to read about, I wanted to write something worth talking about.

2.  What was the most challenging aspect of creating this character of Lucy? I had to make her innocent but believable. Like most teens, she was inexperienced in love and relationships which made her trusting and vulnerable when her would be Prince Charming came along. At some point in life I think we’ve all had a little bit of Lucy inside of usJ

 3.  How did you approach the research needed for this book? We’d lived through my sister’s experience but most importantly I went out and talked with High School students about their dating experiences. I go to a lot of schools and this gives me a chance to really connect with my potential readers. Of course, also looked on line for resources and stories. They were surprising easy to find.

 4.  What are your current/future projects? I am so super excited about my next book. I’m actually in the final editing stages before I send the manuscript out to be read by publishers. My working title is Beautiful Deception and the story is this amazing journey for a set of sisters. On Halloween night, they switch costumes and after they are in a terrible car accident, they are identified as each other and they bury Brin, but think she is her sister Jesse.  Jesse, who is crazy jealous of Brin’s life then steals her dead sister’s life and of course her incredibly hot boyfriend….at that is where it gets interesting.

5.  If you had to be one of your protagonists, who would it be? Oddly, Nate from first book Unbreakable Love.  While he is downright hot, and does make mistakes, his heart is so pure good and loyal that I would want to take on those traits.

 6. Who are your favorite writers and why?I like Susanne Collins for her tough and candid writing style but I think my favorite YA author is still Meg Cabot. Her work is fun to read and when I’m reading to relax I want fun!

 7.  What was the book that most influenced your life — and why? The first book that really stuck with me is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline LeEngle. She was so outside the box that she fueled my imagination in a way no other book had. The funny thing is, when she tried to get published she was told she was too different and no one would take on her work.

 images8. What are your 5 favorite books —and why?

1. Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot…it’s got this great protagonist that just can’t help but fall in love with and it’s witty!

2. Hunger Games by Susanne Collins…..well let’s face it, you just can’t put that book down.

3. The Hobbit…because that guy knows how to write an amazing tale.

4. The Fault is in our Stars…because it changes the way you see life forever!!

5. The Help….. because I lived in the Southern Part of the United States and saw the prejudice first hand.

 9. What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author? Time management! Between raising a family, writing and marketing it is crazy busy. Since I can’t give up sleeping at night, I rely on my amazing blogger friends and readers to pass on reviews for my books and keep my fingers crossed. THANKS GUYS1

 10. Describe your writing room. My favorite place to write is my cabin, but since that is two hours from myuntitled house I write in my bedroom most of the time. It is a beautiful room painted the color of the sky on bright clear day.  White shears hang down over massive windows letting me look out on the full green trees we planted six years ago. Plus, that is where my two favorite kitties(see photo below) love to lay on my bed and I find their company….inspirational

11. Take us through a typical day in the life of Angela Carling. Mmmm, I’m not sure my life is that excitingJ Most days it starts out waking earlier than I want to, getting kids off to school. Then I try to get my lazy butt on a bike for some exercise. All this time, I’m probably thinking about my story or someone in the book world I need to contact. After a shower, I often get to eat lunch with my hubby as he works from home. The rest of the day I avoid as much as housework as possible by doing book related stuff including hanging out on twitter with my book friends. Before I know it, it is time to pick up my oldest teenager from school and that means drama is coming home with me. Another hour goes by and my 14-year-old son and daughter who is only ten but thinks she is at least twelve, come home.  I get all the details of the day…who is friends with who and is dating who. Then it is dinnertime. I work to hard to avoid cooking by going out or asking my husband to cook on the BBQ. Then comes homework, mine and theirs.  Mom, mom, mom, I hear until at last, delightful bedtime arrives for my kids.  I try to spend this time with my hubby. Our favorite TV show is Once Upon A Time right now…and finally, finally, I get to sit down in a silent house and write to my heart’s content.  Somewhere in there, I sneak in visiting schools and shopping for food and other things for my family. Occasionally, I get a delicious nap! 

12. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I do, Thanks for the opportunity. My readers are what keep me going. I’m a very soulful writer and when my work makes someone happy, it is just the coolest thing.  For anyone who has taken a chance on my work, thanks. For anyone who has passed on my work as something worth reading….thanks a million times. Also, please feel free to contact me at or on twitter @angelacarling .I’ve made some of my best friends that way!!


1109_Carling_Headshots_034Angela Carling was raised in Palm Springs, California but now resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, three kids and five felines. After years of denial, she final admitted, that she is in fact, a hopeless romantic, which allowed her to let down her hair and write her first book, Unbreakable Love. She always eats the frosting of her cake and cookies but leaves the rest, and can be caught singing in public bathrooms just for the acoustics. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. When she is not writing YA novels, she is secretly using her family as Guiney pigs to test what she learned in College.

ABOUT SHACKLED:ShackledFcover (Med)

After shy, quiet Lucy and her family move from their small hometown in Minnesota to Seattle, Washington, she is surprised when Ryan, the most popular boy at school, asks her out. Soon, she is swept up in a whirlwind romance and her naive and trusting nature allows her to fall head over heels in love with her too-good-to-be-true suitor. Suddenly, Lucy finds herself enraptured by the excitement of her new relationship, leaving her blinded to the warning signs of danger ahead. Can her fairy tale romance last, or will she find that her prince charming is more like a wolf in sheeps clothing?



1 print copy of  SHACKLED and 1 print copy of UNBREAKABLE LOVE

Ends 28th Feb 2013



  • Leave a Blog Post Comment with your full name and the book you choose to win (you can sing up for the both books)
  • follow me by email

Extra entries:

  • post this giveaway to any social media or on  your blog +2

Winners will be chosen randomly via

Winners will have 5 days to respond or they automatically forfeit their prize!


Have a nice day,


Interviu cu o autoare: Marissa Burt

marissa_burt_author_photoA venit randul Marrisei Burt sa imi acorde un interviu pentru blog. Thank you very much for the interview !! Marissa Burt este autoarea seriei STORYBOUND.

STORYBOUND (HarperCollins, 2012)

Inkheart meets The Neverending Story in this sweeping fantasy about a twelve-year-old girl who falls into a magical world – and discovers that it may be up to her to save it. In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain.  They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them. In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible.  But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story. But Story is not a perfect fairy tale.  Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity.  The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move.  And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself… With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic.  Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.Storybound Cover

1. Hello Marissa! Thank you for granting me this interview. I’d like to talk first about your recent fantasy book, Story’s End. How did this story come into being?
STORY’S END is the sequel to STORYBOUND.  Both books were born out of my love for good stories that immerse you in a fantasy.  My favorite books are ones that invite you in to an otherworld, so much so that you’re almost a bit sad to leave.  That love for story turned into an idea of a land where characters from books were training for their own tales.
2.  What was the most challenging aspect of creating this character of Una?
I think one of the challenging (and fun!) things about creating any character is to consider how to make him or her active in the story.  Sometimes the plot or setting can carry you away until you realize that all these external things are happening to your character, which may be appropriate in small degrees.  But the kind of stories we want to read about are when the characters do something – when they grow or change or save the world.  🙂
3.  How did you approach the research needed for this book?
One of the great things about writing fantasy novels is that most of the „research” is spent dreaming up a good setting and plot.  With Story’s End, it was fun to research some cowboy slang to work into the setting for The Ranch, the district where characters from westerns live and train.
4.  What are your current/future projects?
Right now, I’m working on a new middle-grade fantasy series tentatively titled THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN, which is about a girl who discovers an ancient order of magicians and her place in their history.
5.  If you had to be one of your protagonists, who would it be?
All of them!  🙂  I get attached to all my characters, so it’s hard to choose.  I would definitely live at Bramble Cottage!
6.   Who are your favourite writers and why?
What a tough question!  Some of my favorite books to read as a young adult (and to this day!) are The Lord of the Rings trilogy, anything written by L.M. Montgomery, and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series.
7. What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
Another difficult one!  I think the most influential book would probably depend on the season of life I was in at the time.  The first sci-fi/fantasy novel I stumbled across might have been C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet.  I remember reading it in the 5th grade and being captivated by the idea of traveling to another planet.  I didn’t know it was part of a trilogy at the time, so was very happy to discover the continuation of the story many years later.
StorysEnd jkt des1.indd9.What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?
I think it has been difficult to prioritize.  Once a book is out there in the world, there are an infinite combination of opportunities for connecting with readers, growing as a writer, and networking with other authors.  The instant online availability of this can be overwhelming (and distracting!)  I’m learning that these other opportunities can eat up all my writing time unless I really prioritize and make space for creative work.
10.   Describe your writing room.
I have a little table tucked under my bedroom window.  I prefer to work from home if at all possible, so I closet myself there and write away.
11. Take us through a typical day in the life of Marissa Burt.
My typical day involves lots of ordinary Mom activities like making breakfast, packing lunch, caring for my three small sons, and the million other things that are involved with running a household.  I squeeze writing into any nooks and crannies and typically have several afternoons a week to focus on my work.  One of these is spent catching up with online business and correspondence and the others working on new projects.
12. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for your interest in Storybound and Story’s End!  I hope they bring you may happy hours of reading and that you’ll get lost in the Land of Story.  🙂
Thank you!!
You can visit Marissa online at
O seara frumoasa,

Interviu cu o autoare: Janet Fox

Prin aceasta postare voi incepe o rubrica noua, si anume „Interviews”.

Janet Fox, autoarea cartilor Faithful, Forgiven si Sirens a fost foarte draguta si mi-a acordat primul interviu pentru a putea da startul acestei rubrice. Janet, thank you very much for the interview! Voi primi in curand si niste swag-uri pentru un giveaway, deci, stati pe aproape!

1.    Hello Janet! Thank you for granting me this interview. I’d like to talk first about your recent fantasy book, Sirens. How did this story come into being?

JF: Hi Roxana! Thanks for having me. SIRENS isn’t really a fantasy – although there is a ghost, and there are some magical elements. But more importantly it’s about two girls living in the 1920s, which is a time period with so many echoes of today. Can a girl be independent, or does she have to conform to what’s expected? Does a girl have to “obey” her boyfriend? Can Jo and Lou find happiness, even when they don’t do what’s expected?My publisher asked me to write about the 1920s, but I was thrilled to be able to do so, because I think the lessons and questions raised in those wild years still apply today.

2.  What was the most challenging aspect of creating this character of Josephine Winter?

JF: I wanted her to find out what it meant to be independent. So at the beginning of the story she can’t be too brave – she has to figure it out. But she also can’t be too wimpy – she has to have a core of steel. It took me a few drafts to strike a balance so that Jo could grow into the strong and independent girl I wanted her to be at the end.

3.  How did you approach the research needed for this book?

JF: I think I’m always doing research of one kind or another. J I remember one night listening to a radio program about the 1920s’ magician Howard Thurston, and I ran out and found the book about him the next day, because what he did was so strange and fit with the story. That’s what I mean – things tend to pop into your life when you need them. I read a lot of books about the time period I’m writing about; and I also try to read things published during the time period, too, because that gives me a flavor of what it was really like.

4.  What are your current/future projects?

JF: I’m working on a science fiction novel right now – a real departure in some ways, but actually the world building is very similar. Only there are no books for me to read about my future world; I have to make it all up myself. I’m having a lot of fun, even if it comes to nothing.

5.  If you had to be one of your protagonists, who would it be?

JF: Oh, good question. I think Maggie Bennet, from FAITHFUL. I would love to be able to see Yellowstone and the American west in 1904. What a fantastic time to be here.

6. Who are your favourite writers and why?

JF: I love fantasy, so JRR Tolkien is one of my all-time favorites. But I also love history so I like Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. In contemporary authors, I love Suzanne Collins, and I think Maggie Stiefvater is amazing. Oh, and Libba Bray, and Laurie Halse Anderson and Judy Blundell and Mary Pearson. All of them know how to craft a great story and use language.

7.  What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?

JF: I would say LORD OF THE RINGS. I read it when I was 14, and it stuck, and I’ve read it about 8 times since. LOTR has it all – great characters, driving plot, beautiful language, imaginative world.

8. What are your 5 favorite books —and why?

JF: Right now (and this changes every couple of months): Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES because it is the best kind of magical realism. Laurie Halse Anderson’s FEVER, 1793 because it is the best kind of historical fiction. Suzanne Collins’ THE HUNGER GAMES because you can’t put the books down. Beth Revis’ ACROSS THE UNIVERSE because she builds an amazing new world and she has the most astonishing opening scene ever written. And RJ Palacio’s WONDER because it is so beautiful and I cried through the whole thing.

8. What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?

JF: Doubt. I doubt myself every day. I doubt my ability, and my craft. I have to fight it to get things done, to just believe. It’s a tough struggle and it never ends.

9.  Describe your writing room

JF: Hah! Well, at the moment I have a small desk in the bedroom, because we are living in a tiny cabin. But any day now we’ll be moving into a house we’re building and I’ve got a beautiful new space and I can’t wait. I’ll have a desk and separate tables, and most importantly a wall where I can hang up my projects and story concepts, because that’s how I plan and think through my projects.

10. Take us through a typical day in the life of Janet Fox.

JF: I write every day, for from 4 to 6 hours at a stretch. I spend too much time on the internet…I walk every day, to think and for exercise. I don’t watch TV, and I don’t play games, and we don’t go out much, so I write a lot. When I’m not messing around on Pinterest.

11. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

JF: Just, thank you! Keep reading. Work hard but also enjoy life. Find your dream and aim for it and never give up.