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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Author Interview: Simone Elkeles

Simone Elkeles was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Her funny way of looking at life and the world around her has an effect on the people she hangs out with. If you hear people laughing, you’ll probably find Simone not far away.

Simone has four teen books in bookstores:

Perfect Chemistry
How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
How to R
uin my Teenage Life
How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation

Coming Soon:

Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry sequel - coming May, 2010)
Leaving Paradise sequel (title TBA) - coming Fall 2010

1) Simone, when was the first time you considered becoming a writer?

After I fell in love with reading as an adult. I took my kids to the library to play in the kiddie area and picked up a book for the first time in years. I fell in love with it, and have loved reading ever since. After reading over 50 books, I got “the bug” to create my own story. I was definitely not one of those people who grew up knowing they wanted to be a writer.

2) What inspired you to write Leaving Paradise and Perfect Chemistry?

Leaving Paradise was inspired by a news story in my hometown. A young teen had to go to a juvenile detention center for stabbing a boy… I thought about what it would be like when she was released and had to face that boy in school (he had survived). The story just snowballed in my head into the story for Leaving Paradise, which has pretty much nothing to do with the real story that happened but it inspired me to think of the plot for Leaving Paradise.

Perfect Chemistry is actually based off of a high school near my house. One side of town has a very high Latino population and the other side are people living in mansions on Lake Michigan – but they all go to the same high school. It just gave me the idea to write a book about “two people from different sides of the tracks who fall in love,”

3) Are the characters in the books based on someone you know?

Some characters are based on people I know (Amy from the How to Ruin series gets caught up in ridiculous situations most of the time, just like me!).

4) What was the hardest part of writing Perfect Chemistry?

Making the Spanish and Mexican culture realistic. Since I don’t know Spanish and didn’t live in a Mexican household, I really did a lot of research to make it authentic.

5) In both books, why did you decide to write in alternating first person narrative?

My editor told me to do it for Leaving Paradise (I’d originally written it in third person/past tense not and didn’t write it in alternating chapters). I didn’t know how to do it, so my editor told me to read the book Flipped to get an idea of how to write in alternating first person narratives. I loved the book and said, “I can do that!”

6) What can we expect from the Leaving Paradise sequel?

I don’t know details because I haven’t written it yet. But it will definitely be about how Maggie and Caleb reunite and how they deal with being back in each other’s lives again. (Unlike the Perfect Chemistry sequel, which will be about Alex’s brother Carlos and a new character Kiara.)

7) Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest?

I have to say that I haven’t been doing a lot of reading lately because I’ve been writing so much. But I do think Melissa Marr did a wonderful job with her Wicked Lovely series and Suzanne Collins (I may have spelled her name wrong, so please check it) totally hooked me with The Hunger Games.

8) What book are you currently reading?

I’m still in the middle of the Hunger Games, but had to reluctantly put it down because I’m on a tight writing deadline. I can’t wait to pick it up again and run out to buy the sequel!

9) Do you have anything to say to all your readers?

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and fan mail! I read every single one and try to respond to every single one, because I’m so grateful for your support. Without my readers I wouldn’t have a job!

10) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows about.

I love to knit, and think it’s the most relaxing hobby. I haven’t picked up my knitting needles in years and can’t wait to get back to it when I have time! Umm, let’s see what else. I have the worst handwriting and probably wouldn’t write a book if I didn’t have a computer or typewriter.

*Thank you Simone for taking the time to do this interview! *

If you haven't read any of her books please do! She is one of my favorite authors and I really enjoy her books, especially Perfect Chemistry - below is the book trailer, which I think is hilarious!


Allison said...

Awesome interview! I haven't read Leaving Paradise yet, but I really want to. Loved Perfect Chemistry. :)

Sadako said...

Great interview. I haven't read it either but I do plan to now.

iluvhersheys_andbooks said...

What?? A sequel to Perfect Chemestry, this is the first I am hearing of this , but Awesome. I really need to go picl up Leaving Paradise.

Kelsey said...

Awesome interview! I have Perfect Chemistry in my TBR pile. Really need to get reading it!

Maria said...

Wonderful interview!

BookWhisperer said...

I loved leaving paradise, and I can not wait to read perfect chemisty. I just haven't had a chance to pick it up yet.

Lauren said...

Love the interview! :)

Faye said...

Simone Elkeles!! my fave author ever! Good Q's, very interesting on the inspiration behind PC and LP.

A Life Bound By Books said...

GREAT interview! I sooo love LP and PC. I haven't read the other books yet, however they are at the top of my wish list! Thank you and Simone for the interview. :o)

Anonymous said...

Great interview. "Perfect Chemistry" is my top YA read of the year and possibly ever. Very engaging - none stop page turner. I also really loved "Leaving Paradise" and I am looking forward to the follow-up books for both.



Eric said...

The Hunger Games is Awesome

The Book Vixen said...

Great interview! I loved Perfect Chemistry.

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

Thank you so much for this interview! Just yesterday I started and finished Perfect Chemistry, I absolutely loved it and could not put it down! I cannot wait to read more by her, her writing is incredible. Thanks again!! :)


Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I haven't read any of her books but I'm going to start with Perfect Chemistry. It sounds great and I've heard nothing but good about it. Thanks for the interview!

スタービーチ said...


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