Here's a pic of Suzanne and me at the 2nd annual Kidlit Blogger Con (which I highly recommend, by the way, because bloggers are very cool people).
Without further ado, say hello to Suzanne!
SO MANY BOYS picks up three months after THE NAUGHTY LIST. Tessa has stopped cheering and spying. But there’s a copykitten on the loose and she’s far more naughty than nice. Plus there’s a new guy in Tessa’s life…
Holly Cupala: So, Suzanne, tell us your secrets: how did you come up with an idea to follow THE NAUGHTY LIST? (And I admit, I just like saying NAUGHTY. Naughty, naughty, naughty.)
Suzanne [probably rolling eyes]: Oddly enough it was the title COPYKITTEN (the original title for the sequel) sparked the idea. I just thought, What if someone took over the spy society and used it for evil??? And I loved hanging out with the squad again. They're fun to be around!
Did you always know where the story was going to go?
I actually had an entirely different ending planned. In fact, I wrote the whole dang thing and then did a complete (and I mean COMPLETE) rewrite for revisions. SO MANY BOYS was one of the hardest revising processes I’ve ever gone through. I think all together I spent four months writing and revising. I think I kept about 10% of my original manuscript. But I’m happy with how it turned out. Those Razorbill folks are pretty smart sometimes.
Ouch....complete rewrite. So besides having to rewrite the ending, what surprised you about writing SMB?
It turned me into a series author! THE NAUGHTY LIST was a stand alone originally, so once the idea for SO MANY BOYS came out, we knew there’d be more.
Tess and your girls go through some tough stuff in your novels, even though they face it with grace and humor. Is there some real life inspiration for them?
I’ve been cheated on. I can relate to the kind of heartbreak that my characters go through.
Any secrets (your own or about the book)?
I secretly wish I was a detective for real.
Are your ideas top secret or do you share?
I have some super friends that I show my stuff to. They are incredibly patient and wait through 3 or 4 drafts, but they are always encouraging. I love them.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My grandmother. She passed away a few years ago but I told her before she left that I’d dedicate all my books to her and so far I have. I want to keep sending them on up to her.
That's really sweet, Suzanne! I'm sorry for your loss, and I think it's wonderful you dedicate your books to her. What’s up next for you?
I’m very excited to say that after the third book in THE NAUGHTY LIST series (Fall 2010) I have a paranormal romance coming out with Balzer and Bray called A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. It’ll be out Summer of 2011 and I can’t wait!
Thanks for visiting, Suzanne - readers, I hope you'll pick up TNL and SMB and have as much fun reading them as I did!