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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Interview with Simone Elkeles

 Today we are very pleased to have Simone Elkeles on our blog. Simone, is the very talented author of one of our  favorite YA series “Perfect Chemistry” We’ve  been lucky enough to have her happily join us on our blog today for an interview. So without further ado, I give you....

                                      Simone Elkeles

She's the NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of over seven teen romance novels. She has won various awards and recognition for her books, including the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry and being named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Her funny way of looking at life and the world around her has an effect on the people she hangs out with. If you hear people laughing, you’ll probably find Simone not far away.

                 Now for our Awesome Interview! 

 Q: When writing your "Perfect Chemistry" series. Why did you choose a family with just 3 brothers? We all know Mexicans and many other Spanish cultures love having their big families; it's more as a tradition to keep their heritage going.

Simone: It’s funny that you mention that because my friend Gabriel Chavarria, who plays Luis in the Chain Reaction trailer, is one of 11 kids (10 boys and 1 girl)!!  I’ve actually spent time with his entire family and it’s incredible.  Even though there are so many of them, they are all incredibly close and loving.  There are only three Fuentes brothers because Alejandro senior was murdered before there could be any more kids!  It was just a matter of logistics.

Q: Your "PC" series is an amazing series, for Both "Young adult" readers as well as "Adult" readers. I would love a continuation. Maybe add a long lost brother to the story to make the series a little longer? Or something amongst the line? I wouldn't mind reading more on the Fuentes brothers. Their just that yummy! And maybe this  so-called brother, can become a school counsellor? Would you ever consider it?

Simone: Believe me, I understand how hard it is to let them go!  I seriously cried when I finished writing Chain Reaction.  I might continue writing about the Fuentes family someday, but for now I’m really excited about my new series Fullriders!

Q: Can you tell us a little more about your new series, Fullriders?

Simone: I’m from Chicago and football is in my blood.  My grandfather was a 40-year season ticket holder for the Chicago Bears and took me to games when I was a kid.  I always wanted to write a book about football players, because I think people have a perception of who these guys are and I want to break the stereotype and show a side of football players that people might not know...in addition to showing what it’s like when my characters fall in love!  For people who aren’t fans of football, don’t worry – my book is about football players but the Fullriders series not a series about football.  Just like Alex and his gang in Perfect Chemistry, football is about brotherhood and loyalty and commitment to the other players on the team. The boys on the team have their own set of unspoken rules  - it’s not so much about “football plays” as it is about the culture of football.  If you like my Perfect Chemistry series, you’ll like the Fullriders series as well!

Q: I love the concept of your novels being a YA series, you send a message to many teens that no one is perfect, and to look beyond social, racial or economic barriers, and everyone has a choice in life to make things better and become a better person. Is that the road you were on when writing your novels?

Simone: When I write, I don't think that much about lessons or think about my characters being role models - if it happens then GREAT, but I don't write a book with those issues in mind.  I just write a love story.  As my characters develop, they really dictate the story.  I do want my characters to make positive decisions and better their lives and I want the same thing for my fans.  One of the most rewarding things about my career is the emails I get from my fans telling me they’ve chosen to get out of their gangs, go to college, and make better lives for themselves.

Q: I love the trailers for your books and the men you have used in them to portray the Fuentes brothers – nummy nummy are my only words to express these men. Where do you come up with the ideas for these trailers?

Simone: I wanted to do something completely different, so I came up with the idea of doing videos that looked like movie trailers for my books.  Plus, I really want my books to be made into movies!  If you haven’t seen my trailers, you can check them out on my YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/selkeles  I’ve even posted some of the backstage scenes with the actors.  Gabriel Chavarria, Alexander F. Rodriguez, and Giancarlo Vidrio are some of the most caring, wonderful and hilarious guys I have ever met!

Q: You have to be one of the only YA Authors that I have read that breech the sex barrier in their books – I love it! Everyone knows that it’s a reality with older teenagers, but still it is steered away from in most YA books. What made you decided to embrace teenage sexual activity so openly??

Simone: My goal is to write realistic content and realistic stories. I delve into all the emotions my characters would go through as a result of being confronted with a decision about sex.  I definitely get a lot of feedback from readers, and it has always been positive. The covers of my books depict the content inside, so I haven't had any negative parental feedback - just the opposite!  One church book club leader even emailed me and thanked me for putting the issue of sex in my books because it sparked an open discussion about it with the book club members.  Open discussion is great because you can get all sides to an issue!  In the How to Ruin series, Amy chooses to wait for marriage.  She's definitely tempted. . . but she chooses to wait. In the Perfect Chemistry series, it's realistic that my characters in the stories would be intimate with each other.  There are always consequences to being intimate, though, and I write about those consequences as well! 

Q:Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

Simone: Deadlines are stressful!!!!

Q: Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?

Simone: No!  I love my job!  Unlike most authors I know, I hated reading as a teen and hated English class.  I fell in love with reading as an adult – specifically romance novels.  I was so in love with them, I started writing them.  Once I started writing for “myself” and not a teacher or for a grade, I realized that I loved writing and never wanted to stop.  Writing is the best profession and now I can’t imagine doing anything else!  I know I still have a ton to learn about writing and when I read books I love I think “I wish I could write like that!”  I’m always working on my craft and hope I can get better and better with each book.

Q: Finally, and on an entirely unrelated note, who would play you in a film of your life?

Simone: I have no idea!  The only thing I’m worried about right now are trying to convince Hollywood to make my books into movies!  I guess I’ll work on casting myself later.

For further more details and to stay tuned for many more beautifully written novels by Simone Click Here  http://www.simoneelkeles.net/index1.html

 Thankyou Simone for joining us on our blog today!


helpmerhonda72 said...

Great interview!! You ladies were spot on with the questions.

Lupdilup said...

I'm glad I stop by,a good time to discover a new Author. I got to check and see if any of her books are on audio.
Good job girls!

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