Gwen Hayes is the author of the upcoming YA novel Falling Under. For more information on Gwen, you can visit her website.
Can you tell us a bit about Falling Under?
Falling Under is a paranormal young adult book set in the fictional coastal town of Serendipity Falls. The waterfalls are actually a portal between realms so the town is an epicenter of paranormal activity--some good and some very, very bad.
Theia Alderson meets a mysterious young man in a strange dreamworld. He's intriguing, a little scary, and when she wakes up--he's enrolled in her school. Haden Black is drawn to Theia, in both worlds, but he's here for some very nefarious purposes and wishes he could find the strength to stay away from her before it's too late.
When can readers expect to see it in stores?
I have a tentative release date of early summer 2011 from NAL (a Penguin Imprint). The as-yet-unnamed sequel will be released about a year later.
Why did you decide to write YA?
There is something really invigorating about that time in a person's life. Everything is new and everything is important. First kisses, first heartbreaks, first successes, first disappointments--it's all so much on the surface.
Which one of your characters do you identify with the most?
As a teen, probably Theia's friend, Amelia. She's struggles with her self-esteem but at the same time, is self-assured. Very contradictory. Very me.
Many teens dream of becoming authors. What advice would you give to writing teens?
First and most important: Don't let anyone tell you can't. If you want to you can and will, but you have to be willing to put in the effort and you have to learn how to take and use criticism.
Second: Read. Read writing craft books, read poems, read in and out of the genre you want to write. I find even listening to audio books helps my writing cadence. I think reading is the most fundamental skill of writing.
If you could meet any fictional character, who would you choose?
Meg Murry from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Oh...or I'd love to spend the day at the Glass House with Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve (from Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires Series). But just one day. I'd like to be on the road before sunset if you know what I mean.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on revisions for Falling Under and getting ready to write the sequel. And also, when nobody is looking, I am working on another young adult series set in Serendipity Falls. I have to do it on the sly, though, since I'm supposed to finish one before I start the next. Don't tell my editor. Or my agent. Sshhh. Our little secret.
Thank you for stopping by Gwen! And don't forget to check back tomorrow as the Blogiversary Bonanza continues!