Sunday, September 28, 2014

Margo Kelly Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Margo Kelly loves to be scared … when she’s reading a good book, watching a good movie, or suffering from the hiccups. She loves writing thrillers for young adults and hopes her stories give you the goose bumps or the itchies or the desire to rethink everyday things. Margo is represented by the not-so-scary, but totally awesome, Brianne Johnson of Writers House.

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What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

When I was around seventeen, I took a college entrance exam for a coworker so that she could test-out of a math class she didn’t want to take.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

The greatest thing I learned at school was to think for myself. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. Researching and challenging the statements of others became an essential skill.

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?

I love to read, and I have a lot of favorites, but if I have to pick just one, I suppose I’d choose ODD THOMAS by Dean Koontz. It not only kept me turning pages, but it also caught me by surprise in the end. Any plotline that is unpredictable impresses me, but I especially enjoyed ODD THOMAS because he’s such a lovable character. Koontz writes great thrillers. Outside of my genre – I’d have to say I love the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Every single book in the series has made me laugh out loud at some point. I love fast paced, plot driven books.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

Christi Corbett (author of ALONG THE WAY HOME) advised me to keep an “I don’t suck” file, which is basically a resource of reviews that compliment my writing. That way any time a rejection or terrible review comes my way, I can refer back to the flattering items and not feel quite so awful.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?

The most common challenge is rejection – an agent rejecting a query, an editor rejecting a submission, or a reader rejecting a book. Rejection is the toughest test a writer faces. And honestly, the only way to overcome it is to eat a lot of chocolate refer back to the “I don’t suck” file.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Who R U Really, how would you introduce it?

A teenage girl falls in love with a guy online, and when he comes for her in real life, he is not the person she thought he was.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Thea?

I had to get out of my “adult” head and climb into the head of a young naive girl. While you and I might have made different choices than Thea did in her situation, she made the best decisions she could with the knowledge and abilities she had at the time. Plus, we all make mistakes, even when we know better. If Thea had made all of the “right” decisions that would have made a boring story. Plots get exciting when the main character makes “wrong” choices.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

It’s important for writers to tell the stories they feel passionately about … and that’s an understatement for why I had to tell this story. The laws of the land are not set up to keep you safe when using the Internet. The only person protecting you online is you. So be mindful of what you’re doing and saying when typing or posting anything online.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kit, how would you introduce him?

In theory, Kit is a sad teenager seeking out friends in an online role playing game. However, Kit is a figment of online imagination. He is basically a puppet, and the puppeteer is someone we should all be afraid of … or at least consciously aware of … because the puppeteer is manipulating the situation and as a result, manipulating the other players in the game.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I would introduce Janie (Thea’s best friend) to Lia of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, because moral support is essential in overcoming any addiction or illness.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

My current project is still in the “top secret” phase, but hopefully it will see the light of day soon. ;)

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve been to places like Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Cancun, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Puerto Rico, and many other great places. But the best place in the world is amongst the pine trees in the mountains of Idaho as a river rushes by. (picture attached)

What book are you reading now?

BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

Who was your first boyfriend?

A boy I met at the roller-skating rink. I can’t even remember his name.

Tell me about your first kiss.

When I was a preteen I tackled the cute neighbor boy and planted one right on him.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I’m a pretty honest and even blunt person. I don’t usually lie. If you ask me a question I don’t want to answer, I will either say, “Oh, that’s a story for another day.” Or, “Frankly, that’s none of your business.”

What's the memorable summer job you've ever had?

I only lasted two weeks at KFC. It was so greasy that I kept slipping on the floors and falling. Grease covered every surface, and I went home feeling so icky every day. But I still eat there occasionally!

What did the last text message on your phone say?

I asked my mom to bring me some bananas. ;) I had a craving! haha

When was the last time you cried?

I cried when I said goodbye to my daughter.

Where can readers stalk you?

Follow Margo Kelly online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.

You can purchase Who R U Really? at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Margo and Merit Press for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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