While I was writing Hate List, I also wrote a weekly humor column for The Kansas City Star, so there was a time when, yes, I was also writing fluff. Which was nice, by the way, to be forced to lighten up for a day every week. But eventually my workload got to be too much and I quit the column to work on the novels only. So now I don't do any fluff-writing. Not that I wouldn't mind it; I just don't have time.
2. Hate List is about the aftermath of a school shooting as well as other aspects of it. Was this the hardest novel of your current three to write?
Actually, Bitter End was the hardest novel for me to write. With Hate List, the really horrible stuff (the shooting) had happened before the start of the story, so we were meeting Valerie at her darkest hour and were sort of digging out with her. With Bitter End, I had to start my character, Alex, where everything was good and take her down a road through hell, and that was kind of difficult to do sometimes.
When the paperback first came out, I preferred the hardcover. But over time I've come to really appreciate the paperback. I like the colors, and the models' faces pop out at me. I think it stands out on a bookshelf better.
4. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were writing/publishing Hate List? How to tie-up plot points, and that if you mention a character in the beginning of the book, you should mention what happens to that character by the end of the book.
5. What are you working on now?
I just finished copyedits on my 4th YA novel, which is called Thousand Words, and is about a sexting scandal. I'm also working on some women's fiction that I just sold.
6. What's a great book you've read recently?
I am absolutely adoring the book that I'm reading right now. It's called Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman. It comes out November 2012. It's seriously cute. Also, I loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews.
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