Tina Ferraro is the author of three published young adult novels. To her utter amazement, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress got a recommendation from “Twilight Saga” author Stephenie Meyer, and How to Hook a Hottie and The ABC’s of Kissing Boys were finalists for the prestigious RITA® Award. (She is still waiting to wake up and find this was all a dream.) She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, one fat cat and one skinny one, plus whichever of her three college kids is passing through with laundry and an empty stomach. She has two more young adult novels in the works, whose publication she hopes to report on soon! For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What advice would you give young writers?
I often hear the advice given to young writers to “write what you know.” While I do not argue this, I have to say that some of the MOST FUN I have had with my own writing projects has been researching things I did not know. For instance, I’m fashioned-challenged, yet I wrote a whole book about a prom dress. I have never played soccer, but did not let it stop me from writing from the point of view of a varsity player. Also, seriously, the whole “hook a hottie” thing was totally flying by the seat of my pants!
What one word describes you? Why?
I am going with “effervescent!” It happens to be my favorite word, and I have been widely accused of being bubbly.
What book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
My easiest published book to write was Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress because I didn’t honestly think anyone would buy it or read it, so I didn’t “think” too hard, just wrote to amuse myself! The hardest was How to Hook a Hottie because I had trouble keeping all the “hook-ups” straight. At one point, the book was a huge, jumbled mess. I finally had to revisit all that, deleting, modifying, until I got back on track and was able to follow it and finish it, and to tie all the loose ends together.
Outliner or seat-of-the-pantser?
I started as pantser, but once I started selling on proposal, had to learn how to follow an outline. Now I’m somewhere in between! I am a big believer in critique partners and getting early feedback, and these days have two, both published authors in the young adult romance genre, Kelly Parra (Graffiti Girl, Invisible Touch) and Stephanie Hale (the Revenge of the Homecoming Queen series, The Alpha Bet). They both read my books in process and keep me sane and honest.
What is your secret talent?
Ha! I am actually very astute at detecting when someone is harboring a secret crush on another. I can read volumes in a passing glance or a person’s body language, although my best readings come from being “a fly on the wall,” not too close to either subject. And while I cannot always deliver, I know crush when I see it, and have been able to say, “I told you so” many times!