The book chronicles the adventures of five high school girls in 1955 who wake up one morning, finding themselves 55 years into the future. The characters, who all have very different personalities, must work together to get back to 1955. After they get a glimpse into the future, they wonder if they want to return to the days where girls wore poodle skirts.
1. The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less. In Travel to Tomorrow, 5 mismatched teens from 1955 time travel to present day after a school assignment to predict life in the future.
2. How did you get the idea for the story? I love the nostalgia of the 1950s and was sketching different teeny bopper girl characters when I began wondering if life was truly a “simpler” time in the 50s, which we hear so often, or if life is better now (with technology, civil rights, etc). I set out to answer the question by writing the Fifties Chix book series featuring the characters I’d doodled (now the artwork is done by another artist, Astrid Sheckels, who captured the characters perfectly!). There are diary entries in the book from each of the five girls; I love that kind of stuff because you get a peak at not only the secret lives of the girls, but at the time period (the 50s) through their eyes.
3. Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? This is a tough one, because *of course* I think all of the characters in the Fifties Chix books are fascinating (I spend time with them every day, after all). I think at the moment, it’s a tie: I’d most like to have dinner with Maxine Marshall, the super-smart and introspective Fifties Chix character or Miss Boggs, the quirky and lovable teacher who gave the assignment that made them time travel. We’d have a lot to talk about and I have many questions for them! I’d least like to have dinner with popular girl Diane Dunkelman; she makes me so mad. She’s just mean and she does not bring out my best qualities!
4. What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read? My all-time favorite book for fiction/pleasure reading is To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee writes about such heavy and significant things from the light and innocent perspective of a child. It amazes me every time I read it. I make time to read because it’s part of my job, but because I love reading so much, I usually feel guilty when I sit down with a book. I have to remind myself that it’s work! Fortunately, I’m in a book club, so that gives me not only a deadline but a “reason” to read.
5. Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates? Oh, yes, so many works in progress! Whether it’s a good thing or not, I’m not one of those authors who works on one book at a time. The second Fifties Chix book, Keeping Secrets, is coming out the first quarter of 2012, and the third Fifties Chix book, Third Time’s a Charm, which I’m just finishing up, is coming out a few months after that. They are really exciting (including time travel to other eras and along with that, the introduction of new characters) and I can’t wait to see what the readers who love the first book will think. I’m also working on at least two more titles in the Fifties Chix series. I’ve got two independent titles for YA books, a screen play and two other series for adults that I am plugging away on, too.
6. If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? I’d either choose Island of the Blue Dolphins (because running around an island with a dog sounds perfect right about now) or Under the Tuscan Sun (because hanging out in an old house in Italy and cooking stuff from my garden sounds divine). You can tell I want a vacation!
7. Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote? I can’t listen to music at all when I’m actually writing, which is strange because I used to only be able to do homework with music playing. Now, though, it’s too distracting; I start focusing on the lyrics. I have been inspired by my father-in-law’s 1950s quartet, The Stylemasters, though, for ideas to write in the Fifties Chix. To write, I must have something to chew on (so I won’t chew my fingernails)--I either chomp gum (bubble-mint) or munch sunflower seeds still in the shell while I’m tapping away on my laptop.
8. If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Time travel, of course!
9. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? I love making crafty stuff; painting used to be my profession, so I always enjoy that. I also am enthralled with miniatures--I have 2 dollhouses and various dioramas that I love making things for. I guess I can’t get away from wanting to create other worlds and dimensions! Weather permitting, I also love to garden. Otherwise, I am happy to hang out with my husband and dog and watch movies at home.
10. Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? I hope my books encourage girls to be strong and value themselves for the stuff that really counts. Most of all, I hope when a reader buries her nose in a book I’ve written, she has the same feeling I do when I open a good book: that wonderful things are possible.
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? CHOCOLATE
Edward or Jacob? Peeta!
Hockey or soccer? Soccer
Ebook or paper? Paper
Salty or sweet? Sweet
Beach or mountains? Beach
Phone call or email? Yes :-)
Early bird or night owl? Night owl
Dog or cat? Tough one, but dog if I *must* choose
Messy or neat? MessyNinjas or pirates? Pirates (see “Beach” above)
One print copy, US only
a Rafflecopter giveaway