July 10th, 2009
Friday is fun day!
I may be a YA author, but I’m also a reader. One of the things that’s been most fun since selling my first book is getting to know lots of wonderful authors and librarians. Friday Spotlights is my chance to let you get to know them better too!
To make it fun, I’ll be doing some Author Spotlight interviews with YA and middle grades authors, cool Librarian and Teacher Spotlight interviews with (you guessed it!) librarians and teachers who love YA, and sneak peeks into the super secret “Writing Caves” of my author buddies so you can see where their amazing stories get written.
To kick off the Friday Spotlight series, I thought it would be fun to feature the first of two of my author buddies who are nominees for the prestigious RITA award for Best Young Adult Romance. In fact, my first guest is also a RITA nominee for Best First Book! Both are HUGE (and very well-deserved!) nominations. So who am I talking about? The one and only…
Tera Lynn Childs!
Just like for the Booklover of the Week features, Friday Spotlights have two separate sections. Friday guests will be sharing their You 2.0 stories about pursuing their dreams, changing their world, gratitude and paying it forward. Then they’ll be talking about why they love the YA and middle grades genres and why they love being an author, librarian or teacher.
And good news… Three Truths and a Lie is alive and well on Fridays too!
So without further ado, please join me in welcoming the uber-goddess, Tera!
Tera Lynn Childs
Tera Lynn Childs is a wannabe goddess and the author of OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP. She lives in Houston, Texas, where she spends her time fleeing hurricanes, blogging with the Buzz Girls, and writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.
Goddess Boot Camp
Goddess Boot Camp is the sequel to Oh. My. Gods. (now in paperback!) and continues Phoebe’s adventures at the Academy for descendents of the Greek gods. I can’t tell you more than that here or I’d have to get all spoilery on you. (And I know you don’t want that!) But trust me, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Phoebe rocks!!!
The You 2.0 blog is about becoming everything you’re meant to be. It’s about pursuing your dreams, changing your world, showing gratitude, and paying it forward. Here’s a chance for our Spotlight guests to share what You 2.0 means to them.
1. PURSUING YOUR DREAMS: Everyone has the ability to be extraordinary, they just have to embrace what makes them unique and special and pursue their dreams with passion and confidence! Was being a published author a dream of yours? If so, how does it feel to have achieved your dream?
Writing was the dream I never knew I had. For the longest time I wanted nothing to do with English, grammar, or reading. But then two things happened. First, one of my Masters’ thesis advisors said, “Tera, you’re a very effective writer.” And second, I found myself home alone, house-sitting for my parents with a lot of free time, which translated into a lot of reading. Eventually those two things came together and made me a writer. I’m just thrilled to have finally found my path.
2. CHANGING YOUR WORLD: Changing the world doesn’t have to mean finding a cure for cancer or creating lasting world peace (though it definitely can!). It just means finding a way that you can make the world a little better off for having lived here, whether it’s making a difference to one person or a million, to the earth, to animals… whatever is important to you. What is one way you would personally like to make the world a better place?
There’s a rule of wilderness survival that a person can live for three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. If I could make one sweeping change in the world, it would be to make sure that every child has access to those basic needs.
3. GRATITUDE: Gratitude is a huge part of the You 2.0 life. Taking a moment to count our blessings is the best way to remember what’s truly important (especially when life is hectic and crazy!). What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for my parents, first and foremost. Being a spoiled only child has some definite perks. I’m equally grateful for my friends, who are always there to listen and be supportive. I’m grateful to have found an editor and an agent who are helping forge the career I want to have. And I’m grateful for all the librarians, booksellers, reviewers, and readers who make teen fiction such an exciting world to live in.
4. PAYING IT FORWARD: If everyone took a moment to pay it forward, even just once, the world would be changed in ways we can’t even imagine. What is one thing you’ve done (or plan to do) to “pay it forward” in some way?
Though I’ve made charitable donations to organizations like the Heifer project, I think my most significant pay it forward has to be within the writing community. When I was a novice writer, there were experienced, multi-published authors who took me under their wing, to guide and mentor me in this crazy world. I now feel like it’s my duty to pay that gift forward to less experienced writers.
5. Why did you decide to participate in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest? Do you think you would’ve participated in the contest as a teen or tween?
Because Kay made me. Just kidding! I loved the idea of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest from the beginning. It’s exactly the sort of thing I would have loved as a tween—searching for hidden answers, like secret staircases and trap doors. Anything that gets teens more involved in reading and libraries is worth the effort.
6. What do you love most (and least) about being an author?
Besides getting to work in pajamas if I want, my favorite part about being an author is that honeymoon stage when I’m starting a new idea. I’m still researching the world, learning about the characters, and feeling my way into the story. My least favorite part is about halfway through, when I’ve figured everything out and I’m just forcing words onto the page. But I have to make it through that to get to my next favorite part, revising, when I get to make the story the best I can.
7. What is the coolest thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author?
Definitely the coolest thing is fan mail from girls who aren’t really readers, but who somehow got hold of my book and finished it in, like, hours. I feel like they’ve opened a door into the world of reading because of my words on a page, and that’s a pretty awesome thing.
8. Which YA or middle grades book has had the greatest impact on you and why?
The books that sparked my imagination as a young reader were The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. I think the common thread is an element of fantastical mystery, of a puzzle to be solved. I wanted to be in that world, solving that puzzle for myself.
9. If you could go back in time and give your teen/tween self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Chillax. Seriously, I was kind of stressed as a teen. Not necessarily about the day to day stuff, I was pretty laid back about that, but about the long term stuff. Having the right academic plan so I could get into the right college so I could follow steps X, Y and Z to get to my final destination career. None of those plans ever stuck, and now I know it’s because I was waiting for writing to come along. That’s something I never could have planned for.
10. I love the game Three Truths and a Lie because there are so many unexpected and interesting things about people that we never get a chance to learn about them. What are three truths and a lie that our blog readers can guess about you?
– I’ve visited all 50 states. **UPDATE: Here’s the lie!
(Readers: Your guess gets you an entry into the You 2.0 monthly contest for an ARC of The Cinderella Society or a prize dive in the awesome You 2.0 Prize Basket. Guess correctly and you get a bonus entry! I’ll update the post on Monday to spill the big lie, so get guessing and have fun!)
Thanks to Tera for a fabulous interview!
Entry Filed under: Author Spotlight
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