Book Nerd Interview
Yes. I was about 12 or 13 when I’d started thinking up little story ideas and characters and plot lines. I was never able to do much with them, though because I lacked discipline and knowledge. And when I told my mother I wanted to be a writer, she discouraged me at first and said I needed a solid career that would earn money and then I could write in my spare time. So I never did anything with my writing interest until well after I was grown.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
When I was a new parent, I read all the baby books I could find and they all agree on the importance of playtime for the development of a child’s mind. Culturally, storytelling is how history was taught, how morality was demonstrated, and how traditions were preserved. I think storytelling is critical for dealing with reality. It’s an escape and it’s a constant. Mysteries always have satisfying puzzles to solve and romances always end with a happily ever after. Storytelling lets us believe in magic, in fairy tales, in justice and in true love even when reality does not.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
My all-time favorite book is Harry Potter because it made me believe in magic; the magic of love. It’s also the book that inspired me to finally get serious about my own writing. Outside my genre, I’m a big fan Jeff Somers’ sci-fi series about Avery Cates.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Last month, I was in Atlanta for RWA Nationals and during a chat with Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins and Robyn Carr, I learned all writers – regardless of experience and number of best-sellers – are often overwhelmed by self-doubt but write despite it. I can’t tell you how many times I thought about quitting so I’m so glad to hear all writers feel this.
In your book; TMI, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
TMI stands for Too Much Information and is about two girls whose friendship suffers after one shares a secret with a boy she meets online. They argue and soon their disagreement escalates to a battle that plays out publicly.
For those who are unfamiliar with Bailey, how would you introduce her?
Bailey’s playful and fun and trying hard to figure out who she is. She frequently makes decisions too fast that get her into trouble but that’s okay because her friend Megan is there to help her out of it.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m working on a contemporary teen mystery series with a touch of paranormal. It’s about a boy who suddenly develops synesthetic visions that seem to be messages from his dead dad – if he believed in that kind of thing.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to introduce Megan from TMI to JD Robb’s Eve Dallas. For those unfamiliar with the Eve Dallas books, they’re futuristic crime novels and Eve Dallas is the cop who investigates the crimes. She has a horribly tragic back story and despite that, was able to love and marry Roarke. Eve would totally understand Meg’s Plan but also show her its flaws. She’d tell her to hold on to Chase instead of push him away.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Ryder?
That he wasn’t truly mean. He started out that way. But he tried to do the right thing in the end.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
*Laughs* Which kid is my favorite. No, no, just kidding. I love them both equally. Seriously, I think it’s when my kids ask me something I don’t know the answer to – can’t have them thinking I don’t know everything. So I make something up J Don’t tell them, ok?
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Tell your story. That’s it. Tell your story your way. When I wrote SEND, I had a number of people tell me the dual character of Dan/Kenny didn’t work. I liked it. I left it in. Write, write, and write some more. The only way to get good at it is to practice.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I worked for an exterminating company, typing up form letters.
Who was your first boyfriend?
He was three years older than me and lived around the block. Today, he’s a chiropractor with three kids.
Tell me about your first kiss
I’ll tell you about my first kiss with the boy I later married. It was fourth of July and we were watching fireworks on the terrace of a friend’s place when we both turned to face each other and laugh and it just happened and it was perfect.
What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
When was the last time you cried? I think it would be harder for me to tell someone I didn’t love them back. That’s got to be horrible. I cried today, actually. I was in a store, chatting to a friend whose two-year-old was misbehaving. A few minutes later, my friend’s mother walked in and the baby was so excited to see her grandmother, all tears stopped. Except mine. I lost my mother last year and moments like these – these normal, taken-for-granted moments squeeze my heart.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I think I’d keep the decade I did grow up in – the ‘80’s. That’s the last decade where teens knew how to have non-electronic fun! Video games were still in arcades unless you could afford the new and very expensive Atari systems.
What is your greatest adventure?
Oooo, good question. I got to explore Diamond Head in Hawaii. And I climbed a water fall in Jamaica. But I think my greatest adventure is parenthood. When you think about all the things you need a license for but you get to just take this newborn home from a hospital with you with absolutely nothing except for a blood tie, you understand how important and utterly terrifying it is to be a mom or a dad. My sons are 21 and 18 now and continually amaze and astound me.
Where can readers stalk you?
I’m on Twitter as @pattyblount and on FB as Patty Blount Novels. I occasionally post story ideas on Pinterest and I blog at my website,www.pattyblount.com as well as at YA Outside the Lines.
Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online.
Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile.
When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony.
But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question:
Who is Ryder West?
If you are not a teenager, this book gives an excellent glimpse into what teenagers are dealing with today through the use of widely used technology. Although I am not in my teen years anymore, Blount brilliantly captured the voice of this very sensitive years in our lives. Even if we didn't experienced a hurdle with our friends, Blount's writing is able to translate an experience that we can connect and relate to. The world seemed to have gotten smaller with our access to the Internet. Although it can bring two people from different parts of the world together, it can also be scary at times.
Stories of online encounters are always intriguing. With the success of the TV show CATFISH, it is certainly a topic that sparks interest in people. I think this is one of the key points that makes TMI such a wonderful read. It dives into subjects that have always burned our minds; are the people we meet online really who they say they are? There are so many lessons learned in Meg and Bailey's story. Online encounters is a flawed system as there is no way to ensure the validity of the person on the other side. With any issues that life throws at us, it is an experience that develops our character. Meg and Bailey definitely have taken this sidestep in their friendship as a means of strengthening their bond. TMI has explored a very interesting idea and its a story that will always capture an audience.