For our first guest here in the YA Room, I invited one of our regular readers to join us this week - Molly Daniels. I first met her here and it wasn't until sometime later that I discovered she was a writer and a bit later until I discovered that she wrote YA books. Okay, so I don't always do my research. If someone is stopping by, reading and commenting and I develop an online acquaintance with them, I don't always need to know every thing about them because it's their personality that matters most. From all of our back and forth dialogue at Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem's Romance section and on Facebook, I have come to like Molly. So, when I discovered (or remembered, not sure which) that she wrote YA, I thought she would be a great author to start with, especially since our goal is to make readers aware of YA Authors.
I will admit though, that her work is for the more mature YA readers. It isn't for the younger ones due to language and subject matter. Not sure if she's right for your teen? Read the book first, then decide if you feel it's appropriate. Remember, books like these can be used to spark those all too uncomfortable and even embarrassing, "sex," and, "what you need to know before you go to college," talks.
I hope you enjoy my interview with her:
ME: Do you make resolutions for the New Year? Why or why not? If so, please share one or more of them with us!
MOLLY: I used to make resolutions, but rarely kept them. So now I just post my goals for the year; to write, submit, get published, and attend signings. I would like to exercise more, and to drop a pants size or two, and made that one of last year’s goals; I promptly developed arthritis in one foot and came down with bronchitis the following week. So let’s say this year’s weight goal is to be more active than last year, and to stay healthy!
ME: Now that the busy holiday time is over, what do you do to recharge?
MOLLY: I read my new reading material and I usually don’t write anything the month of December anyway! Once the kids are back in school and the house back to ‘normal’, I find it easy to slip back into writer-mode.
ME: Do you have any holiday memories from 2009 that you would like to share with us?
MOLLY: My niece received an Easy Bake Oven, and since I wanted one growing up and didn’t get one, I told her she could bring it to my house. We baked one cake, and now I understand why my mother never bought me one! The real ones are soooo much easier to make, imho!
ME: What area of the country/world are you from? What are the average temperatures where you are? What type of clothing would most residents be wearing today? What tips do you have for people to “survive” the weather where you are?
MOLLY: I’m in the Midwest, and have seen January temps in the sixties, or sub-zero. Some years there is snow; others it’s just cold. If you’re smart, you’ll have at least some sort of warm coat if you step outside. I tend to run cold anyway, so I’m usually bundled up in many layers. And layers is key; you can always take off a sweater if the temperature rises!
ME: Do you have any favorite outside hobbies? Can you perform any of these hobbies right now? If not, why not, and is weather a factor?
MOLLY: I like to walk and swim. I’m not a jogger or a runner, but once the temps get above sixty or seventy, I like to walk three or four miles in our local park. I also like to go to the pool with the kids in the summer time. I am a fan of indoor water parks, and will go down the slides with my kids! And afterwards, there’s always the warm Jacuzzi!
ME: Do you prefer your hot tub inside the house or outside the house? Why?
MOLLY: Mixed on this one. I don’t own one, but my aunt used to, and she loved to get in it every day after work. Hers was outside, and the kids used to play in it on the 4th of July picnics, when they tired of her pool. I’d probably like mine indoors, so I could use it year-round.
ME: If you could be any character/creature, who/what would it be and why?
MOLLY: Princess Leia, at the end of the Star Wars saga. She got to live happily ever after with Han Solo, my dream man!
Now, let’s get to your writing:
ME: Why YA Fiction? What was the draw for you?
MOLLY: I grew up reading Judy Blume and Norma Klein, in addition to older books set in the 50’s and 60’s…those by Anne Emery and Rosamund Du Jardin. I wanted to write a series that would show life in the 80’s, and what I ended up writing turned out to be too steamy for YA, but too tame for erotica. So I jokingly call my series ‘Young Adult Smut.’ There’s something for everyone.
ME: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
MOLLY: I think I just did…’Young Adult Smut’. And since I self-published both titles before I understood how to self-edit…’Head Hopper’! No, seriously, what I want readers to take with them is knowledge about how to handle different social or relationship issues; if you recognize yourself or a friend sliding into an unhealthy behavior or relationship and get it stopped before the choice becomes a disaster. And hopefully with book #3, the ‘head hopping’ is under control.
ME: Do the holidays disrupt your writing schedule? If so, how tough is it to get yourself back in writing mode and what have you found that seems to help?
MOLLY: I usually don’t write in December; I participate in NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) and am usually creatively tired by December 1st. After the holidays are over and the decorations are put away, kids back in school, it is somewhat easy for me to slip back into writer-mode.
ME: Do you prefer hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
MOLLY: Whipped cream or marshmallow cream! Don’t ask why, but I don’t like marshmallows. But Rice Krispy Treats, the ones in cereal (Lucky Charms) or marshmallow cream in my hot chocolate…YUM! The only time this shows up is when I’ve had coffee offered and sometimes my girls state their preference.
ME: Who decides what characters/creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one pouring the soap in the Jacuzzi?
MOLLY: LOL…I decided a looooong time ago which characters would have which storyline. And Susan, the one who ultimately ended up with the eating disorder, came close to being the interracial one! I finally got her back on her path and now am struggling to get Lynn on the road to her turmoil. I’m a firm believer in when the time is right, she’ll talk to me again. I think right now my AU girls are miffed, since my alter ego’s books were accepted on the second try.
ME: What creature/character did you have the most fun creating and why?
MOLLY: Oh geez…I love all of my girls and the men they end up with! You’re going to make me choose? I’ll say the Keri/Kyle storyline, since it encompasses two books. Troy Anderson has an annoying habit of popping up unannounced also. You meet him in book #2, but I think he’s in #4, 5, 6, and 7!
ME: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
MOLLY: Hahaha…Troy Anderson would be the one in real life. The one I never want to meet? Hmmm….John Cartell, from book #2. He’s a creep.
Can a blind date turn into a romance? Amy Callahan wants to find out, so when she flies to California to spend a week with Matt Slagal, she discovers the ups and downs of a long distance relationship. Which one prevails..."Absence makes the heart grow fonder" or, "Out of sight, out of mind"?
Afterwards, they snuggled together, caressing and enjoying the close comfort of their bodies.
"Aim," Matt mumbled, stroking a strand of her hair. "Do you think your parents will like me?"
"I hope so," she answered slowly. "Your lifestyle is quite...different from ours, and the attitudes and customs are-"
"What attitudes?" Matt interrupted. "I mean, shit! They either accept me, or they don't!"
"Well," Amy tried to find the right words. "It's like this: Back in Indiana, my family doesn't drink or curse so much, and I know for a fact that they definitely would not approve of us sleeping together."
"I'm not changing my life! If they don't like it, they can stuff it!" Matt returned hotly.
"Ssssh...I'm not asking you to change." Amy tried to be tactful. "All I’m asking is that you not, er, curse so much," she finished lamely.
"Please?" she pleaded. She rolled over and looked him in the eye. "All I ask is that you clean up your vocabulary for a few hours while we're with my parents."
"You want me to kiss ass," he commented.
"Not quite...I just want you to make a good impression." Tears welled up unexpectedly in her eyes, and she rested her head on Matt's chest. "This is important to me," she whispered.
"Oh, all right, I'll watch what I say next weekend. Can I smoke and drink beer too, or is that also taboo?"
"Stop it!" Amy locked eyes with him.
"What?" Matt asked, acting innocent.
"You know what I mean," she replied fiercely. "I'd rather you not smoke, but a few beers won't hurt. I'm not asking you to bend over backwards; all I want is for you to be civil towards them!"
"I'm always civil," he protested.
"I didn't mean it like that," Amy put her head down again. "I meant that sometimes, well, you have a tendency to act antisocial, as a know-it-all."
"I do what?"
Feeling herself losing ground, Amy groaned. The conversation wasn't going the way she'd hoped.
"I would feel better if you and my parents were to start off on the right foot," she said, choosing her words carefully. "They have the stereotypical California military officer in their minds, and I don't want them judging you in that way."
"Just out of curiosity, what exactly is the 'stereotypical California military officer'?" Matt was amused.
Amy thought for a moment. "Promise you won't get upset? He's the dedicated officer, but loud, rude, disrespectful when off duty. He's lazy; a womanizer; an alcoholic; not someone to bring home."
"So that's what your parents are expecting me to be," said Matt.
"But," Amy continued. "I've told them your good points, so they're not expecting Godzilla. Now, can we drop the subject and get some sleep?"
"No, we can't."
"Because," he lowered his voice while sliding his hand down to cup her breast. "This military officer has a naked, sexy woman in his bed, and wants to take advantage of the situation!"
To find out more about these books visit Molly's wordpress site
Thanks for joining us this week Molly!