1. How did you feel when you learned that you were going to be a published author?
Excited! It took me five years to get published. I started writing in 2000 and sold my first book in 2005 (it wasn’t released until 2006, but I signed the contract in 2005). It took me five years to get an agent, but she sold my book within two months. After all that waiting, I couldn't believe it was finally happening.
2. When and why did you begin writing?
I didn’t like to read as a teen. I didn’t like English class, either. I fell in love with reading as an adult, when it wasn’t “assigned reading” from a class or teacher. I fell in love with reading so much, ideas for books started running through my head so I decided to start writing a book. Seriously one day I sat down and just started writing.
3. Who designed the covers (Perfect Chemistry, Leaving Paradise, and Rules of Attraction)
My publishers choose the covers. Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction are published by Walker. Leaving Paradise (and Return to Paradise out 9/2010) are published by Llewellyn Flux.
4. Did you have any say in how you wanted them (the covers) to look like?
Authors do not get as much say in them as you would expect, but I do get to voice my opinion some. I am very pleased with my covers. I think the dark covers do a great job of conveying what you will find in my novels: an edgy, sexy, love story. I found out the hard way that if teens don't find your covers appealing, they won't buy the book. The original cover of Leaving Paradise was bright with pink on the cover. I think the new cover is much more fitting to the story.
5. Did you suffer from Writers Block? If you did, what was your cure?
I don't let myself get writers' block. Of course there are days when I have a really hard time writing, but I MAKE myself keep working. When you are under deadline, you don't have time to have writers' block!
6. Why did you choose to make your characters Mexican and American?
I knew the Latino population in America was growing and I heard that suburban gangs were on the rise. I wanted to explore how a gang member in the suburbs would deal with being interested in someone from “the other side of the tracks."
7. Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
When I start writing a book, I just have a story to tell and not a message to convey. If a reader takes a message from my book, that's great, but I write to tell the characters' story.