Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to grow up. Her parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend Grace isn’t at all interested in make-up or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen…and wakes up to find her entire life has been fast-forwarded four years! Suddenly she has everything she’s always wanted (including a driver’s license and a closet full of cool clothes)! But Addie soon discovers that a lot more has changed than she expected—including her friendship with Grace. Can Addie turn back time and take back her wish…or has she lost the chance to experience what could have been the best years of her life?
According to your website bio, in 2005, you quit your job to follow your dream of becoming a published author.. How did you know this was the right move for you, and what advice, if any, do you have for people looking to make writing a full-time career?
I knew in my heart that writing was what I wanted to do. I could have easily stayed on with my current job and wrote on the side, but I wanted to focus on it 100%. I wanted to prove to myself (and the universe) that I was serious about it. And I knew for me that meant all or nothing. It did require me to take on a lot of odd jobs here and there to keep the bills paid, but my criteria was always that the job had to have flexible hours—something I could do in my own time—so that I could prioritize writing every day.
My best advice to anyone wanting to make a career as a full time author is to write first. Put it first. Above everything else. Even if you have school or another full-time job, wake up early and get your writing done before you do anything else. Including checking email, Facebook, the news etc. Tell the universe that this is your priority and the universe will respond to that.
The universe has definitely responded! I love Addie's voice--especially her sarcasm. Did she come to you fully formed or did she develop as you wrote her?
I think all of my characters end up with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Where on earth do they get that from? I have no idea!
But seriously, I’m a pretty sarcastic person, so like a parent to a child, I tend to pass off that sarcasm like DNA.
Thank you! I have a special place in my heart for Ellie’s story. I mean, first and foremost I write to entertain. If you laugh or cry or are able to escape from your daily life by reading one of my stories then mission accomplished. If the book gives you something to think about on top of that, that’s icing on the cake. For Ellie’s story, I wanted to convey the idea that we really only get today. That’s all that’s promised to us. So make the most of it. Live it for you. Not for anyone else.
Wise words. What are some of your current projects?
Oh my gosh, where do I start??? I’m always juggling a million projects at once! Okay, so I just turned in revisions for a YA contemporary that will be out in November called THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL about two teens who get stuck in the Denver airport during a record-breaking snow storm and end up having this crazy, all-night, life changing adventure together. I’m really excited about this one. It’s different from any of my other books as it deals with a topic I’ve never tackled before: Grief.
On top of that, I’m currently drafting my next middle grade which is called BETTER YOU THAN ME. That was is a Freaky-Friday-esque story about two twelve-year-old girls—one a famous TV star and the other her obsessive fan—who magically swap bodies!
And I have a big announcement coming soon for another project, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
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