Chocolate Can Kill (Emily Harris Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
Pink Lemonade Diary (Pink Lemonade Memories) by Juliette Hill
Also available for NOOK!
Internationally known author, Juliette Hill, has just released her first YA novel, Pink Lemonade Diary, and I was lucky enough to capture a few moments of her time to conduct the following interview:
When did you discover that you wanted to be a writer?
My parents were voracious readers and loved books, so I grew up in a household where reading was part of our everyday lives. From an early age, I wanted to be part of the creative process, and I still have pages upon which I attempted to write a mystery as a small child. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and circumstances never allowed me the time to pursue my dreams in a meaningful way. Now things have fallen into place in a way that has allowed me the time and means to carry through.
What led you to pick the Young Adult genre for your first novel?
I’m very close to my nieces and nephews, so I spend a lot of time with young people. I believe that young people benefit from multi-generational influences, and I had always wanted to incorporate this viewpoint into my writing. When the plot for Pink Lemonade Diary first came to me, I was pleased to see that it drew on this idea.
In Pink Lemonade Diary, your lead character, a thirteen-year-old from Manhattan named Vicki, finds herself thrust into the much simpler and quieter environment formed on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. What led you to choose this particular locale as the primary location for your novel?
First of all, as any writer knows, it is important to write what you know either through extensive research or personal experience. My mother was from Georgia, so I have many happy memories of time spent there. Island living anywhere, though, encompasses a certain level of mystic, as well as the closeness of a tight knit community. Perhaps, it is the ebb and flow of the tides, but I always associate a calming tranquility with the barrier islands.
Relationships and growth are two themes that thread their way through most of your work. What makes these two topics so interesting to you?
To me, these are the two things that make the world go around. As a writer, of course, they can easily be used in a way that creates conflict and harmony among characters, and conflict is the engine that drives plot. I have realized for a long time that readers find human interactions interesting, and as a writer, I am very aware of these manifestations in everyday life. It was inevitable that I would bring them with me into my work.
Your Christmas Kindle/NOOK short, The Christmas Spirit of Starlight Cove, has proven to be a runaway bestseller in the U.K. To what do you attribute your large readership across the Great Pond?
First of all, I believe any success with a short or a full length novel has a certain component of luck built into it. In Starlight Cove’s case, I believe my connections through social media such as Facebook and Twitter played a large part in the story’s success. I won’t name them here, but Tweets and Facebook friends – strangers to me except through social media – were influential in the story appearing on various U.K. websites, which in turn expanded my potential readership.
What resources have you as a writer used to develop your skills in a way that has allowed you to fulfill your dreams?
First of all, I have read all of my life, and there is no better way to learn than to dissect the work of those authors that you yourself enjoy. I have attended writers’ group meetings and MWA University seminars, which I found to be extremely valuable as highly successful authors shared tips and reviewed their personal journeys. Even now, I turn to books on writing by other authors as a source for new techniques and a reminder of those things I might have allowed to slip by the wayside.
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A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn
When to Remain Silent (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
Also available for NOOK!