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Kimberly Pauley is the award-winning author of Sucks to Be Me, which was honored on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list, and a paranormal mystery starring an oracle, called Ask Me. Born in California, she has lived everywhere from Florida to Chicago and has now gone international to live in London with her husband and son. She is also the founder of YA Books Central, one of the first and largest teen book websites in the world.Find Kimberly:
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1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
My first book came out in 2008: Sucks to Be Me and was followed by the sequel, Still Sucks to Be Me. My third book was Cat Girl’s Day Off, which is super quirky and funny.
2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?A combination of ACK! and repeating a mantra of stay away from Google, don’t go on Goodreads, get off of Amazon. And, of course, just being thankful that it’s out there and people can finally read it.
3. What inspired you to write this novel?Aria. Once she was in my head, I wanted to tell her story. I often like to visit the idea of someone who has something about them that other people might think would be a wonderful thing...but really isn’t. If you look at it that way, all of my books have a bit of that. In Cat Girl’s Day Off, Nat has a superpower but it’s a stupid one. In Ask Me, Aria has an incredible ability -- she can tell the future, among other things -- but it makes her life practically unlivable.
4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?Well, of course it bothers you. Honestly, the ones that bring up valid points I don’t have any issues with and I appreciate those. Writing is like life...the sooner you realize that the longer it goes on, the more you have to learn, the better. The ones that are frustrating are where readers completely misread or misunderstood something or where they resort to rather personal attacks. You can’t respond to try and clear those up because it only makes it worse. I try not to dwell on them.
5. How long was the writing/planning process?Oh heavens, I don’t know. I can tell you that based on the original save dates of some early documents that ASK ME started off in April 2011. I think I finished it late that same year. Soho Teen offered on it in January 2013. It’s releasing in April 2014. So, that’s kind of a timeline.
6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?I really loved it! It was like kismet. I’d kept a picture on Pinterest of a girl with her hair blowing in the wind, so I thought it was perfect that Soho wound up with that image without me telling them about it.
7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?Always! I am working on a black humor adult crime fiction novel right now and I have a YA that is about ⅓ done that is a paranormal romance (kind of) that I want to finish up after that. After that...I’ve got tons of ideas.
8. Top 5 booksThat is such an impossible question. It changes all the time depending on where I am in my life, how I’m feeling, etc. And there are so many! There are books that I would have placed firmly on the list when I was 16 that wouldn’t be on there now. Shoot, books that I would have put on there 2 years ago that I wouldn’t list now. Books that were the perfect book for me at the time but just aren’t right now...but might be again. So...honestly, I really don’t have a top five books. Movies, yes, but not books. They mean too much and too many things to me to pick just five.
9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?The Abhorsen books from Garth Nix. Coraline from Neil Gaiman.
10. Why read your novel?
Oh, there are so many possible answers to that (some funnier and cleverer than others). Read it because you want to find yourself in this story--because you want to get to know Aria, the girl, the Oracle, someone with the power of truth who is also trapped by it. Because you want to feel the heat of Florida on your skin. Because you like paranormal mysteries. Because every book is a new adventure.