Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ontario Teen Book Fest 2014: Spotlight on Katie Alender

It is that time of year...again! Events and places where teens, authors and books meet! For many booknerds and readers alike, we attend many book festivals and author events all over the United States. I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this blog tour! And...I get to host one of the amazing authors that will also be in attendance! You'll find out who I'm hosting soon...after discussing some details about this fun event! My daughter and I was fortunate to go to the first Teen Book Fest when it all started in Ontario! And, of course, at the end of sharing all this exciting and fun information, there is an awesome the end of this post!

View our Teen Book Fest 2011 album, here!

Well, this coming May 2014, the City of Ontario will be holding their 4th Annual Ontario Teen Book Fest featuring many bestselling authors. Booknerds and fans of all ages are welcome to attend; however, teens are given preferred seating.

May 17, 2014, Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, California 91761

Did I mention that to attend is absolutely FREE and it is NOT ticketed!

Yup! Ontario's Teen Book Fest is completely FREE to attend! For more information on Ontario's Teen Book Fest, go to:

Sponsored by:

*Books, t-shirts & posters will be available for purchase during the event*

Join us as we celebrate teens and books with an amazing lineup of authors! And, of course, there will be signings as well! Yay! To celebrate this upcoming and exciting event, we are having a blog tour spotlighting these amazing authors!

Check out the blog tour schedule!

Today, I get to spotlight the amazing bestselling author, Katie Alender

My daughter and I had the amazing pleasure to have met her at a  few events! We actually first met Katie Alender at the first Ontario Teen Book Fest in 2011 with other amazing authors such as: Nancy Holder, Alyson Noel, Cynthia Hand and Marlene Perez! We had so much fun meeting these great authors for the first time... and again!


*About the Author*
Katie Alender is the author of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer and the upcoming Famous Last Words from Scholastic as well as the Bad Girls Don’t Die series from Hyperion. She is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and the world’s politest small brown dog, Scooter. When she’s not writing novels, she can usually be found in her sewing room, reading, eating delicious high-calorie foods, and hanging out with her friends (on very special occasions, she manages to do all of those things at once).

Stay connected with Katie Alender

Books by Katie Alender:

Check out Katie's upcoming release!
Young Adult Mystery Thriller
Publish Date:
September 30, 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
Hollywood history, mystery murder, mayhem,, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.

Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trutsworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is,she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just must lose her mind... or her life.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies.


*My Interview with Katie Alender*

1. Thank you for taking the time for this interview! I thought we could start with all-too-common question, especially for those new to you and your books, what inspired you to become a writer?

My third grade teacher assigned us a lot of creative writing. To the point that I was able to form a bit of an identity as a writer, just based on what I learned to love doing in her class. From there, I was just intrigued by the idea of inhabiting someone else’s story — creating worlds for my characters and not only getting to experience them, but getting to share them with others.

2. Knowing that you don't like scary movies or books, your books seem to have that dark/scary/creepy feel to it, could you tell us why or how your books tended to lean that way?

I’ve always liked situations where characters are challenged in some way — when I wrote Bad Girls Don’t Die, I chose a ghost for that challenge, because I thought (and still think) that ghosts are elegant, visual, relatable, and versatile. After that, I continued to write the series, so I delved more deeply into writing “scary” on purpose. Now I’m pretty in love with the process of creating these supernatural forces in relation to my narrators. I’ve gotten more practice adding scary things in — and I’ve never heard an editor say, “Less scary, please!” So I continue to push myself to explore dark themes.

3. Have you tried and/or considered writing in a different genre?

Not lately! My plate’s pretty full these days. I enjoy writing short stories, and no short story I’ve ever written has been YA. So I guess you could say I dabble.

4. Are you a very superstitious person?

No, not really. But I think a lot of writers have a secret mystical bent, because you spend so much time and energy trying to extract gifts from the universe. So I have my little things I do and like. I am enamored of Catholic saints, for instance, despite not being a religious person. 

5. Does any of your characters have personalities similar to people you know and/or yourself?

Oh, sure. A lot of them do. But you have to mix and match, and change just enough so that you’re not stealing a person from real life. Partly because it’s not very nice, and partly because in general you have to heighten things when you are writing a book. 

6. What part of your books was the easiest to write? The most difficult to write?

There are lots of hard parts! For me, the way I construct my stories, getting the mythology of the ghost, its history, and what it wants — and how that relates to the humans in the story — is a lot of work, because in a way it’s like telling two stories. Putting everything together in a way that actually makes sense is a mountain I have to climb with every new book! The easy part...? I like dialogue. I worked on scripts for a long time so I feel like I have a well developed ear for it.

7. I've come to learn that every author has their own writing process, what is yours?

It starts with a lot of hemming and hawing and checking my email and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Tumblr… and then I have to go and have some snacks, and then I have to do some laundry, and try to organize my office, and eventually I have nothing left to do and no choice but to get to work. 

8. What are you listening to when you write? Silence, television, family and/or music? If music, what type of music do you listen to while writing? If television, any particular programming?

By necessity, I listen to a vary talkative two-year-old. To lessen those effects, I use white noise. I can’t really write to music with lyrics. I get all distracted.

9. What are you currently working on? Any future standalone novels and/or series we can look forward to?

My next few books are standalones (purposefully!). FAMOUS LAST WORDS comes out in September, and it’s a ghost-murder-mystery set in the Hollywood Hills. The book after that is secret but I’m super excited about it! I imagine it will be out next fall. It doesn’t even have a title, except a very dumb working title.

10. What were doing/where were you when you found out your first book got published?

I was at work! It was a very busy time for the show I was working on, so I was in an edit bay with an editor when my agent called to tell me that there were multiple editors interested. That was pretty exciting, but I still had to get back to work.

11. Where would your ideal/perfect place to write be (real or imagined)?

Someplace totally cozy with floor-to-ceiling windows and a view of a rainy, misty landscape — Ireland springs to mind.

2. I have a lot of friends who are aspiring writers, what advice would you give them?

Take a little time away from your book and then go back with fresh eyes. Also, don’t be afraid of making big changes in the revision process. That’s what it’s there for. And this is a great time in your career as a writer to remind yourself that there is never just one right way to do things. Be open and flexible with yourself, and that will prepare you to collaborate with your agent and editor in the future.

Thanks so much for having me!

Thank you Katie for taking time from your busy schedule for this interview! We are so excited to be able to meet up with the same event that we met you the first time! :)

***The Giveaway***

Giveaway is U.S. only

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