Today we have the wonderful Inara Scott over at our blog! Join us on our sixth day of the countdown and win a SIGNED copy of Inara's debut novel, The Candidates!
Inara grew up in Buffalo New York and is now living in Pacific NW. Her debut novel, The Candidates (Delcroix Academy, #1) has been released August 24th 2010 by Hyperion CH.
What or who inspired you to write The Candidates?Why?
I wanted to write a book that had all of my favorite things – romance, fantasy, and a really tough, smart heroine. I also wanted to write a story that would center around difficult choices – in fact, I originally titled the book “Taking Sides.” In most of the fantasy I’d read, there was a very clear good guy and bad guy, and the fantasy elements – magical powers, curses, etc -- aligned on the side of either black or white. I wanted to write a story in which the good and bad were mixed together, with no clear way to tell them apart – but then force the heroine to make a choice between them anyway. Kinda like life.
What lessons will readers pick up from your book?
I don't really expect to teach any lessons. Actually, I hope readers walk away from the book with questions -- did Dancia make the right choice? What are the possible consequences of her choice? And then I would love for them to apply their thinking about those tough choices to some of the bigger problems in the world today.
Why do you write for teens?
Young adult fiction allows almost limitless possibilities for authors; long or short, happy or sad, teens are incredibly daring and willing to read almost anything. The only requirements are that you tell a good story and make it real. This fits perfect with the type of writing I want to do.
How do you prepare for Christmas?
Oh, I love Christmas! We pull the boxes (we've got a lot of them) and the fake tree (yep - we've got a fake one) out of the attic just after Thanksgiving. We always decorate the house to the sound of John Denver and the Muppets. It's the best Christmas album EVER. I start shopping on Black Friday. I'm one of those, "get up at 4AM for the good deals" sort of people. I love buying presents.
As an author/writer, are you doing something special this Christmas?
Nothing too special, though for the first time this year I'm writing full time, instead of juggling my writing and my day job. This means I can actually write through all craziness, instead of putting away the Work In Progress on December 1st and vowing to get back to it after the New Year.
Does your family have a Christmas tradition?
Oh, too many to describe! One special tradition in Portland is that people decorate their boats with Christmas lights and do nightly parades on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Here's a link -- it's very cool: http://www.christmasships.org/ Watching the Christmas ships is one of my favorite traditions.
Do you take advantage of the Christmas vacation and write?
I sure will this year! A lot of years I've been panicking the last few days before Christmas because I haven't gotten enough done. This year I'm going to be much more laid back. I'm really looking forward to it.
As a writer, do you think it would be better to gift books for Christmas? why? Have you ever done this before?
I love giving books for Christmas, though my family members read so much it can be hard to find something they haven't already read! I often get interesting "coffee-table" books for Christmas gifts, like books of photography, or architecture. I love searching for treasures at used bookstores. Used books make great gifts, too!
If you were to gift one book to any person, what book would it be?
My son was looking at a very cool book about Legos last night at a bookstore -- it was expensive, but I'd love to get it for him!
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Ends January 1, 2011!
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