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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


On Sunday I put out the word that I'd be answering YOUR top 20 questions here on my blog on Monday. Of course, in grand procrastinator fashion, I've waited until Tuesday to write this post, so I apologize for the delay. It's been a crazy few days around here, but I think things are starting to normalize. I've got a few minutes before the newborn wakes up and starts screaming for a bottle, so I'm going to answer as many of your q's as I can in that time. Ready, set . . . Go!

1. When is the last book of the He's So/She's So Trilogy being released?

The OFFICIAL publication date for THIS IS SO NOT HAPPENING is May 1, 2012. So to those of you who heard May/June, it's actually earlier than you thought!

2. Where did you get your inspiration to write the PRIVATE and PRIVILEGE series?

PRIVATE (which I write for Alloy Entertainment under the pen name Kate Brian) came about after I'd written a few hardcover books under the Kate Brian name. The publisher wanted to do a series and floated the idea of doing something at a private school. It was back when Gossip Girl was first gaining popularity as a book series, and I wanted to do something a little different, so we talked about it and came up with the idea of doing a murder mystery. From there it was all about the characters. Reed is a lot like me, in that she comes from a middle class, dysfunctional family and ends up surrounded by wealthier seemingly more together people. Then I came up with two guys I would have killed to date as a teen (Thomas and Josh) and made them as real as possible, and a group of girls who would have both intrigued and annoyed me as a teen (The Billings Girls) and created them, too. I can't really take credit for the PRIVILEGE idea. An editor called me and said "What about doing a spin-off with Ariana?" and I thought he was crazy. Who'd want to read about that psycho? But she ended up being the most entertaining character to write, and that series was SO MUCH FUN to work on!

3. Do you have any method for plotting?

I always, ALWAYS outline. It's the only way writing works for me. I don't always stick to the outline, because I sometimes see flaws halfway through, or come up with better ideas during the writing, but the beginning, middle and end almost always stay the same. There's usually a catalytic moment near the beginning--something that shakes the main character's world. Then he or she works the rest of the book to resolve that moment or come to terms with it. It's all about escalating the tension (throwing obstacles, misdirects, pitfalls in their way) until the climax, where the character makes a decision that will put them on a whole new course. Then the resolution. It's a tried and true story-telling formula and I fully believe in it. It's always worked well for me!

OK, that's all I've got for today. More answers tomorrow, including my favorite series to write, some mulling over the Megan Meade subject and more!