I’m so excited to be a part of Simone’s blog tour and to have her on the blog today. Simone is the author of some of my favorite books, Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, How to Ruin series, Leaving Paradise and the upcoming Return to Paradise. So say hi to Simone everyone!!
Can you tell us a little about your books?
When people ask, I say I write realistic edgy teen romances.
Perfect Chemistry series (Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction – the third book doesn’t have a title yet)
This series is about the three Fuentes brothers. Perfect Chemistry is about bad boy Alex Fuentes, a gang member, who makes a bet with his friends that he can lure the beautiful Brittany Ellis into his life. He thinks it will be a piece of cake, until he starts falling for her. In Rules of Attraction, Alex’s brother Carlos is sent to Colorado to live with his big brother. Carlos lives his life on the edge and breaks rules whenever possible. When this bad boy is forced to live with good girl Kiara Westford’s family, he has finally met his match…
The How to Ruin series (How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, How to Ruin my Teenage Life, How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Reputation)
All three books are about Amy Nelson’s hilarious adventures. Summer Vacation is about Amy reluctantly going to Israel for the summer. She’s a diva with an attitude who gets herself in hilarious, ridiculous situations. The sequel (Teenage Life) is about Amy back at home in Chicago. She gets herself in funny situations and even kidnaps her boyfriend on the Northwestern University campus with plastic handcuffs from Walgreens. Boyfriend’s Reputation is about Amy going to a “fun” summer program in Israel where she signs up for boot camp to learn what it’s like to be an Israeli soldier. When she finds out her Israeli boyfriend Avi is her squad leader and has to treat her like all the other recruits, Amy and Avi’s relationship is in jeopardy. She has to show Avi she’s a warrior woman, but can this diva trade in her tiara for a M-16 rifle?
Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise
Leaving Paradise is about a boy Caleb Becker who went to jail for a hit and run drunk driving accident. In the first chapter he’s being released and has to start senior year of high school and face Maggie Armstrong, the girl who he went to jail for hitting with his car who is scarred permanently. Caleb starts falling for Maggie, the one girl who is totally off-limits.
What made you want to write about gangs and what kind of research did you do for that?
I heard that suburban gangs were on the rise, and wanted to explore how a gang member in the suburbs would deal with someone from “the other side of the tracks.” I interviewed suburban gang members as well as police officers who work in the tough neighborhoods. When I have book discussions at juvenile detention centers, the boys always share tidbits of information with me that I’ve used in my books. Other stuff I just make up on my own.
Is there anything you have to have while writing?
Which book or books made you fall in love with reading when you were young? What book has made you fall in love with it all over again recently?
I didn’t read a lot when I was a teen, but I do remember liking Judy Blume’s Forever because it was edgy and sexy…it was a coming of age novel about a girl falling for a boy and losing her virginity. I remember being in 6th grade when all the girls at my school were obsessed with it. Judy Blume was definitely a pioneer in writing the reality of teen life.
Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot of time to read for pleasure because I’ve been so busy writing. That bothers me, because now I love to read. I loved The Hunger Games and Flipped. I loved The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot and tried writing an email book like that and couldn’t – it’s REALLY hard to do so major kudos to Meg for pulling it off so brilliantly! I liked Twilight and Rainbow Boys a lot, too.
If you could have dinner with any 3 authors(dead or alive) who would they be?
Name a guilty pleasure(Book, movie, song).
My biggest guilty pleasure is watching reality television. My guilty pleasure book, movie and song…hmm…Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, She’s the Man, and Krazy.
What’s next for you?
I just finished Return to Paradise, the sequel to Leaving Paradise. Now I’m doing research for the third Perfect Chemistry novel. It will be about Luis, Alex’s youngest brother. Luis is a good boy who doesn’t live with the angst that his big brothers have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams. When he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he’s never known to try and save her from herself. Just when he thinks he’s got life all figured out, Luis learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father? Oh, I can’t wait to sit down and write it! The sequel to Leaving Paradise is coming out in September and the third Perfect Chemistry novel is coming out in 2011!