Interview with Rhonda StapletonDecember 7, 2009 at 4:57 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Rhonda Stapleton, an up-and-coming author with her first novel coming out on December 22.
Rhonda Stapleton started writing a few years ago to appease the voices in her head. She has a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. In the twelve minutes of free time she has each day, Rhonda enjoys reading, photography, writing poetry, singing in the shower (and in the car, at work, or basically anywhere that provides oxygen), drinking chai tea, and playing on the Internet (AKA, connecting to the “mother ship”).
Rhonda lives in northeast Ohio with her two kids, her manpanion, and their lazy dog.
Let’s give her a warm TWFT welcome! *cue applause*
TWFT: What inspired you to write Stupid Cupid
RS: I thought it would be fun to write a story about a girl with an unusual job, and for some reason, being a cupid came to mind. Yeah, I guess being that would qualify as unusual, haha.
TWFT: When you started writing Stupid Cupid, did you ever think that someday both it and its two sequels would be published?
RS: Actually, I hadn’t even thought of it as a trilogy–my editor did. She suggested it and asked me for rewrites, and who am I to argue with genius? :D
TWFT: What was your journey to publication like?
RS: Long. hahaha. I got my agent the old-fashioned way…through querying. While I was doing so, I worked on Stupid Cupid to distract myself. It took me approx. 3 1/2 years to sell…so hang in there, writers! Just because it doesn’t happen fast doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
TWFT: Did you ever have a point when you just wanted to give up, and what did you do?
RS: I’ve had points where I’ve been crazy discouraged, but never where I wanted to give up. I’m stubborn like that. I think persistence is KEY to being an author, because you often have a lot of bumps in the road.
TWFT: Did you always want to write for young adults?
RS: Actually, my first novel was a chick lit–dum dum DUMMMMM…yeah, that one didn’t go so well. haha. But after I started writing YA, I was totally hooked.
TWFT: Can you tell us what’s in store next?
RS: I’m working on a couple of different projects right now–one’s a contemp comedy, and one’s a futuristic. I’d love to play around in different genres too!
TWFT: Do you like to listen to music when you write, or do you need complete and total silence?
RS: I love, love, love music. It sets the mood for me and helps me really get into whatever my characters are feeling.
TWFT: Do you have any advice that you’d like to give to all the young writers out there?
RS: My first piece of advice is to read–read, read, read, reeeeead a lot! Go read the classics in your genre. Read great books. Read crappy books. See what works and what doesn’t. After that, I tell writers they have to make regular time for writing. Like any craft, it won’t grow and develop unless you nurture it.
TWFT: What is your favorite book?
RS: I don’t think I can answer this. It’s like asking me to pick between my kids. haha. But I can say that some of my fav YA authors are Sarah Dessen, Suzanne Collins, Neal Shusterman, and Elizabeth Scott. And there are about a billion more I love, haha.
TWFT: And finally, our traditional TWFT question, what is your favorite flavor of jelly bean?
RS Ooooooh I’m not sure…maybe orange? I don’t eat a lot of jelly beans. But I can tell you that I absolutely LOATHE the butter-flavored one. Maybe it’s supposed to taste like popcorn or something, but that one makes me throw up in my mouth a little. haha
Thanks so much Rhonda! You can learn more about her and her books at her website and blog. Stupid Cupid is due for release December 22nd from Simon Pulse. It’s sequels, Flirting with Disaster and Pucker Up will be released March 9, 2010 and May 18, 2010 so keep an eye out for them!