DJ: I would say the first author who really inspired me was Jane Hamilton. I remember the first book (A Map of the World) where I sat and just stared at sentences for hours on end. It was like the moment I fell in love with the English language.
KBB: Why did you decide to write a book for young adults?
DJ: The first novel I ever wrote was officially aimed at the adult market. Looking back now, I can see that almost all my writing naturally has a young adult flavor. It’s just something I fell into.
KBB: What do you consider the best part of being a writer?
DJ: I feel like I figure out a lot about the world by being a writer. That, and connecting with others, is my favorite part.
KBB: Do you have any must-haves while you are writing?
DJ: A cup of green tea and my online thesaurus.
KBB: Do you have a favorite character from your book?
DJ: I love all of my characters, but Tessa Lockbaum, a rebellious girl who befriends my main character, is definitely a favorite of mine. She says and does all the things I wish I could say and do. She very much has a mind of her own, and seemed to show up when she wanted to throughout the writing of the novel.
KBB: Are any of the characters in your book based on people you know?
DJ: None of my characters are based on real-life people, but I would say Tessa was inspired by someone I knew in high school.
KBB: Do you have a favorite young adult book that you would recommend? It can be an upcoming release, new release, or even a pretty old one.
DJ: Oh, I have lots that I can recommend! Wintergirls, Speak, and Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. As for more recent reads, I really loved Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
KBB: Can you tell us anything about what you are currently working on? Any more YA novels in the plans?
DJ: I’m working on another YA novel called Appetite For Beauty. It’s about a cheeky and forthright girl who discovers a dangerous, self-destructive side in her sister, and has to decide between helping her sister and a powerful and unfamiliar desire to become appealing to a mysterious boy.
KBB: Just for fun: What is your most embarrassing moment? It can be writing related but it doesn’t have to be.
DJ: This is supposed to be “fun”? haha. I’ve had plenty of embarrassing moments, but how about this one… I’ve lost a grass skirt on stage before (I’m a Polynesian dancer) in front of a crowd full of my parents’ friends.
KBB: Okay so embarrassing moments may not be fun when they happen but they are fun for readers. =]
Thanks so much for the interview, Denise!
Readers if you want to know more about Denise, check her out on the web.
Also, check out her blog for all the release party giveaways: http://www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html