Posts Tagged ‘defying the diva’
I’m happy to say that I have even more questions with answers from the fantastic D. Anne Love. I know one interview usually does it but since she’s the Author of the Month and due to certain reasons, I was unable to ask questions about her latest novel, Defying the Diva, in the previous interview, I’m adding some more. So I hope you all enjoy!
What inspired you to write Defying the Diva?
I mentor a couple of teen writing groups. After Semiprecious was
published, and Picture Perfect was in production, I was looking for a
subject for a new book. A couple of my teen writers suggested writing
about school bullies, because as one of them said, “It’s a huge problem.” When my research revealed that as many as 6 million teens are involved in episodes of bullying each year, and that as many as 100,000 skip school every day to avoid being harassed, physically harmed, or worse, I knew I had to write about it. Haley faces some serious verbal bullying from Camilla. Did you have anything similar happen to you during High School? Because I was a southern girl living in the northeast during my last three years of high school, I took a lot of taunting and insults from the other kids about my accent, my clothes, and my home state. It didnt’ rise to the level of what Camilla did to Haley, but it made my life pretty miserable. As I was writing DIVA, I definitely remembered the feelings of hurt and isolation stemming from that situation.
Defying the Diva has a cast full of unique and realistic characters. (Harrison was my favorite.) Which character was the hardest to write?Which one was easiest?
Thanks. I love Harrison, too. As I was writing him, I so wished I’d had a boyfriend like him in high school. He is totally comfortable in his own skin. Wise beyond his years. I miss him. Evan was a hard character to write, because I had to show him as desirable and at the same time, careless with Haley’s emotions. Evan is the quintessential boy who’s
bad for you and at the same time, hard to resist.. It was a balancing act. Camilla was among the easiest to write, because I’d spent a long time thinking about her, reading up on the psychology of bullies in general, and figuring out her backstory before I began the actual writing. Frankie was loosely based on one of my best friends from college, so she came to life easily, too. I loved writing the interplay between Frankie and Nora. The scene where they kidnap Haley for the trip to Beauty Emporium is one of my favorites.
Which character is most like you?
Like Haley, I had a hard time in school for a while, and I was also a
budding journalist. I got involved in journalism my sophomore year in
high school. Writing for the paper and being named editor in chief my
senior year became my saving grace.
If Defying the Diva were to become a movie and you could choose the
actors and actresses, who would you pick to act in the role of your
Oh man, that’s a hard one I am so busy I hardly ever get to the movies
so I’m not that familiar with the current roster of young actors.
was great in Juno. She could play Haley. I’d have to think about
who to cast as Camilla, Frankie, Nora, Evan, and Harrison. Who would
YOU cast?? Maybe your readers could weigh in. I’d love to know who they
think should be in the movie.
Readers: If you have any suggestions about who you think should be cast as the characters in Defying the Diva, be sure to leave a comment.
Thank you so much for doing this second interview!
I’m very happy to announce that I’m finally able to post an interview with our marvelous Author of the Month, D. Anne Love. This is the first part of the interview and I will have another, more focused on Defying the Diva very soon!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in third grade, one of my teachers encouraged me after
reading a story I wrote. I was a total bookworm, and from then on all I
ever really wanted to be was a writer.
Do you remember what your first stories were like? Do you still have
any of them?
I wrote adventures set in exotic locales I read about in my geography
book. One was about a trip down the . One was about two kids who
meet a magic tiger. I dont’ have any of those early efforts, though.
What’s it like being a writer? What is your favorite and least favorite thing?
Being a writer is just the coolest thing. I get paid to tell stories.
What could be better than that? My favorite thing is actually revising
first drafts. That’s when I see the story really taking shape and it’s
so much fun. Least favorite?? Having to worry about sales. It’s tough
nowadays when there are so many other ways people can be entertained.
But to me, there will never be anything better than a real book. It’s
portable, it never needs plugging in, and best of all, each reader
brings her own experiences and imagination to the story. I love
I’ve heard it’s hard to choose but do you have a favorite book you
Of course I love them all. I get a ton of reader mail on SEMIPRECIOUS
and I love that so many readers care about Garnet and Opal, the sisters
in the story. DEFYING THE DIVA is close to my heart, because it deals
with a painful and important topic affecting so many teen girls today.
Everyone is addicted to atleast one TV show. What show(s) do you
refuse to miss?
Okay, you got me! I confess that I am addicted to . My
friend and fellow author Rachel Cohn got me hooked when we toured
together a few years back. I really had never even heard of it, but
after Rachel talked about it I tuned in and was hooked. Once the show
ends each May, I really don’t watch much TV until the new season starts
the following February. I do think in recent years the tryouts have
just become totally silly and outrageous, but it’s still fun….
Do you listen to music when you write or at any other time? What are your favorite bands and solo singers?
Lots of my fellow authors listen to music when writing but I need
total quiet. If I am writing about a certain time period, I will listen to
music from that period while I am researching. When I was working on
SEMIPRECIOUS, I listened to a lot of 60’s music. I’m working on a
novel about a girl who loves the Beatles, so I’m listening to them now. I
love everything from jazz to blues to rock. Right now, I’m into ; I
have one of their songs on my MySpace page…I just discovered an up
and coming band called Lady Antebellum. I listen to Sugarland just to hear
the amazing Jennifer Nettles.When I’m in a mellow mood, I put on jazz,
What can fans expect from you in the future?
Working on a couple of projects —a new novel and another project. I’m
not sure yet what form it will take.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for reading DEFYING THE DIVA. I hope you enjoy Haley’s
Fourteen year old Haley Patterson uses her freshman year as an opportunity to make a name for herself on the school newspaper and spend time with her friends. But when she accidentally gets Camilla Quinn, the popular girl and Queen Bee of the school, in trouble by leaking a little bit too much information on Camilla’s latest party in her gossip column, Haley finds herself friendless and the target of Camilla’s bullying.
Her only escape comes when she is forced to spend the summer with her Aunt Bitsy and work at an exclusive resort. Though she faces problems at first, Haley soon finds herself making new friends and dating the super-hot lifeguard that all the girls have a crush on. But, of course, good things don’t last and Haley soon finds herself heart-broken and humiliated. Then, just as she’s starting to see the light, Camilla shows up and Haley has to decide whether or not to let Camilla continue to destroy her happiness.
Defying the Diva is a fast-paced, heartbreaking, and truthful novel about what happens to the targets of bullying. Each of the characters, from Harrison, the quiet song writer, to Frankie, the overweight but cheerful girl, is well developed and easy to relate to. While I’ve never gone through anything quiet as horrible, Haley’s story definitely hit home with me and I could not put it down once I started it. Whether you’ve been the target for teasing, had your best friend turn on you, or been cheated on by a guy, I highly recommend buying Defying the Diva the minute you see it.