Sunday, October 26, 2014

YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt!

YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt

Today I get to be part of a YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt - which is pretty amazing because A) if you know me, you know I love Scavenger Hunts and B) my next book is about girls banding together to beat the football team at their annual scavenger hunt. Thanks Katie and Montana! I also get to host an interview and giveaway with Tiffany Schmidt, which is very exciting because her books sound so freaking good!


What was your inspiration for writing Send Me A Sign and Bright Before Sunrise?

Both of these novels started with characters. 

With Send Me a Sign I wanted to explore a character who was superstitious and thrown into a situation where her life felt out of her control. So those superstitious beliefs became her coping mechanism. I also wanted to write a story that went against a lot of the cancer tropes that felt very prevalent to me. So I wanted Mia to be very flawed instead of saintly, scared and selfish instead of stoic and sacrificial, a Person with cancer vs. a Cancer Patient.

Brighton in Bright Before Sunrise developed in reaction to a lot of the Mean Girl/Queen Bee cliches that are so common in literature and film. I wanted to create a female character who was popular not because she was manipulative or cruel, but because of how well she adapted to others’ expectations for her. I wanted to explore a character that’s so busy being a people-pleaser that she’s lost sight of what she wants for herself. 

And I wanted to pair Brighton with someone who would see right through her exterior and challenge her — so that was my inspiration for Jonah, the new boy in school who sees all the different versions of Brighton she presents to different people. He decides this makes her incredibly superficial and fake. Of course, the more he dislikes her, the more determined Brighton is to win him over…

Oh wow, I love books that take a more careful look at Mean Girls/Queen Bees, so I'll definitely be reading that one! Out of all of your characters, which one do you relate the most to? 
Brighton. Like her, I’m also plagued by an inability to say no. (gah, it’s only two letters, why is it so hard?) And I definitely spend far too much time worrying about being nice or if I’m liked. I’ve never managed to develop that ability to not care. And while writing Bright Before Sunrise didn’t cure me of this, it’s certainly made me much more aware of my Brighton-esque tendencies. I’m a work in progress :)

But, like Bright, I also truly love helping other people and cherish my relationships with my friends and family (even when they’re driving me nuts!).

Are there are there any other YA genres that you'd like to eventually write in? 
My next novel, HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH (book 1 in the ONCE UPON A CRIME FAMILY series) is a romantic thriller about crime families that traffic human organs. So, while there’s no magic or paranormal elements, it’s a fairy tale reimagining and a thriller, which are both fun new challenges for me.

After that… who knows :) 

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would they be?

JK Rowling. 
Jane Austen
Louisa May Alcott

What 2015 release (or releases) are you the most excited for right now? 
Courtney Summers’ ALL THE RAGE
Ally Carter’s WE ALL FALL DOWN

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Read! Write!  A LOT. And plan to continue to do both of those things forever. (If this idea isn’t appealing to you, then you probably don’t really want to be an author! — to me it sounds like the Best Thing Ever. It’s ‘work’, but also my favorite type of fun.)

But, it’s also my job, so it’s not all snuggling up with books and coffee. While you’re reading and writing, start educating yourself on publishing too. There are so many great resources on the web — take the time to read through them. Join local (or online) critique groups. Focus on your craft. Challenge yourself. Accept that you’ll hear no more than yes, and that there’s not such thing as a ‘perfect book’ — there’s always, always room for improvement and revision. 

Buckle up and be patient — because publishing is a game of hurry up and lots of waiting. It’s a roller coaster of emotions and luck and chance—it’ll break your heart and make you cry from happiness. It’s the best thing ever—but it’s not easy. And it can’t happen without putting words on a page. So… go start writing and reading. 

What do you like to do when you're not reading or writing? :)
Snuggle down with my Schmidtlets & puggles
Binge-watch TV shows with St.Matt


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Summary: 
When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

Author Bio:
Tiffany Schmidt lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She's not at all superstitious... at least that's what she tells herself every Friday the thirteenth.

SEND ME A SIGN is her first novel. BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE will follow in Winter, 2014. The ONCE UPON A CRIME FAMILY series begins with HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH in 2015. You can find out more about her and her books at:, or by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.

Other Novels:

Send Me A Sign, Hold Me Like a Breath (coming 2015)