Interview: Kimberly P. Chase, YA Author

KimKimberly P. Chase writes young adult and new adult science fiction. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, which basically means she’s kind of a geek and loves flying airplanes. Naturally, her books tend to include aviation, hot flight instructors, aviator glasses, and let’s not forget kissing!

When Kimberly’s not writing or reading, she’s hanging out with her husband, four-year-old son, and two dogs.

Her debut novel is THE APOLLO ACADEMY. Keep up with Kimberly on her website.

Let’s see how Kimberly answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
A hot shower. Cartoons on Sunday morning. Cookies in the oven. A new book. Movie night.

ApolloAcademyCoverWhich talent would you most like to have?
Public Speaking.

On what occasion do you lie?
Usually my face turns bright red when I lie, so I try not to very often. I’ll attempt to lie when I’m trying to save someone else’s feelings or I’m trying to decline an awkward social gathering.

What is your present state of mind?
Hopeful.

What is your motto?
Live the life you want to live.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
My favorite song changes daily, but there’s only one song that I can listen to over and over and never get sick of. Dave Mathews Band #41. The first time I heard it was in college, sitting next to my future husband.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
As someone who is completely introverted with A LOT of extroverted friends, I often wish I had their confidence in expressing themselves.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Like” ”Awesome” ”So”

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Your favorite painting?
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.

What is your favorite journey?
Reading a good book  from beginning to end. This not only allows to me to experience something I may never have on my own, but I can also relive the journey as many times as I wish.

What is your favorite time of day?
Morning. A new day is ahead of me and anything can happen.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
My literary heroes and heroines are usually the writers themselves. I’d love to chat with Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, or Louisa May Alcott.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
There are many things I wish to accomplish in life, but none more important than raising my son to be a happy, healthy, successful young man.

Who or what is your first love?
There is only one love in my life that supersedes all. I never understood the term unconditional love until I met him….my son.

What’s the last dream you remember?
In my dream my husband and I had traveled to a foreign country, but for some reason were asked to leave immediately. So we booked really cheap tickets on an unknown airline headed to another country. In flight, the airplane started to climb at a very scary pitch and we both knew something was wrong with our pilot. My husband and I tried to stand up and move toward the cockpit, but couldn’t get there without falling over. We thought if we could get to the cokcpit we’d be able to help fly….

And then all of a sudden we were landing. We then got off the airplane saying “What a horrible pilot he was…” And then we carried on to our connecting flight like nothing bad had happened.

Weird, huh?

What’s your madeleine?
Flying. At the age of thirteen, aviation changed my life.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Discovery.

Interview: Rebecca Mahoney, YA Writer

Becky MahoneyTwenty-something young adult writer and admin extraordinaire: foodie, fashionista, and lover of all things animated. Rebecca Mahoney‘s stories are here to give you nightmares and chew bubblegum, and they’re all out of bubblegum. She is a member of the Operation Awesome blogging team, and is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Keep up with Rebecca on her blog and her bi-monthly posts on Operation Awesome

Let’s see how Rebecca answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
As an introvert in a busy city and a day job that requires me to be ‘on’ all the time, I savor whatever moments of stillness I can get. Besides writing, of course, one of the things that makes me happiest is during the summer, when my neighborhood pool is completely empty and I can swim in absolute silence. It has a way of putting my thoughts back in order.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to draw. I made a few valiant attempts when I was younger, but I’m useless at anything that involves any sort of dexterity and/or steadiness of the hand!

On what occasion do you lie?
When I get those “So what did you do this weekend?” questions from most people. At least, the people who I don’t feel comfortable talking about writing with.

What is your present state of mind?
I’m great! It’s finally getting warmer here in DC, I just finished something big, and now I’m relaxing with Doctor Who.

What is your motto?
“Nothing is wasted.”

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
It changes on a fairly regular basis, but I always end up coming back to Chicago by Sufjan Stevens. The first time I heard it probably wasn’t that remarkable – it might have been on a CD a friend gave me – but I always remember listening to it the night before I left for my freshman year of college. It always reminds me of being on the edge of something new.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty. But kindness is a close second.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I heavily abuse “awesome” when it comes to superlatives. And when it comes to my writing, I have to be very careful of “just,” “only,” and “after all.”

Your favorite painting?
I have a beautiful painting in my room at my parents’ house of a snowy vista at dusk. I bought it for $20 in an alleyway filled with local artists in Quebec City when I was twelve or so – the first piece of art I bought for myself.

What is your favorite journey?
The journey I have when I’m working on a new project, as I figure out where I’m going. I just love the moment where everything snaps into place and I know exactly what I need this manuscript to be.

What is your favorite time of day?
I may not be a morning person in the traditional sense, but I love dawn. There’s just so much day ahead and so many hours at your disposal. I love nighttime too, though. One of my favorite sights in the world is that of city lights in the dark.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
My immediate thought is Turtle Wexler of The Westing Game. One, she was my childhood hero. And two, maybe she could teach me about finances.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
Well, there are a lot of things I want to achieve in my life, but the big one is being able to publish a book.

Who or what is your first love?
In the romantic sense, I haven’t met him yet! But between my family, friends, and all the places I’ve been and sights I’ve seen, I’m fortunate enough to have a life full of love.

What’s the last dream you remember?
It was a bit of a nightmare, actually! I found a really great apartment in the city near my day job, but my boss kept coming to see me at home, and even held a meeting with everyone sitting on my bed. I feel like a therapist would have a field day with that one.

What’s your madeleine?
A low, powerful hum. I think it may have started with the humidifier in my room when I was little, but now it’s the sound I associate with being comfortable and sleepy and safe.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Open.

Interview: Melissa Grey, YA Author

MelissaGreyPhotoMelissa Grey is a writer of young adult fiction powered entirely by candlelight and cups of tea. She’s represented by the fabulous Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management and her debut novel, THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT, will be published by Delacorte Press in Spring 2015. She can also ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow at the same time, for what it’s worth, which is not much at all.

Keep up with Melissa on her website, and check out her short story, “100 Days” in THE DEAD FILES, VOL. 4 (Verse Publishing, 2013).

Let’s see how Melissa answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
A pot of tea, an array of mismatched candles, a pen that writes smoothly, and a blank page.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys. Go on, laugh. I don’t remember the first time I heard it, but I was twelve the year it came out. Let’s look at the first two lines: Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine / I’m leavin’ my life in your hands. Think about that. It’s a song about placing your trust in another person even though it’s a terrifying prospect. That’s beautiful.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I used to be a ballet dancer, but gave it up when it became obvious I was never going to be the Swan Queen. I’d always dreamed of being able to dance at that level though. It’s a nice fantasy.

On what occasion do you lie?
When the truth would do more harm than good.

What is your present state of mind?
Impatient. I hate waiting, but you have to do a lot of it in publishing. I’m getting better at it, but it’s still the opposite of fun.

What is your motto?
In the words of Winston Churchill: If you’re going through hell, keep going.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty. People who flee when things get tough aren’t worth anyone’s time.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Aplomb. It’s such a good word, I use it whenever possible. Look at it. A-p-l-o-m-b. It’s so bizarre.

Self-Portrait by Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun (1782)

Self-Portrait by Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun (1782)

Your favorite painting?
Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun’s self-portrait. She positions herself as an old master, which is a delightfully wicked act of subversion for a female painter of the eighteenth century. She’s so confident and assertive in her subtle references to unquestionable masters, like Rubens. She dares you to deny her her rightful place among them. I want to be that self-assured one day.

What is your favorite journey?
Any flight that brings me back to New York. I’ve lived in quite a few places over the past few years — Japan, England, France — but New York is, and will always be, my home.

What is your favorite time of day?
The first moment of pure night, when it’s dark enough to light a few candles and have them illuminate a room.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Sirius Black. He seems like the kind of guy who would carry around a flask with which to spike his coffee.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
Walking into a bookstore and seeing my novel on the new releases shelf. Is it 2015 yet?

Who or what is your first love?
Gambit from the X-Men, which I’m pretty sure was the catalyst for my lifelong fascination with thieves. Echo, the main character in THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT, is a teenaged pickpocket turned career thief. I do not think this is a coincidence.

What’s the last dream you remember?
I was in an abandoned warehouse, cornered by zombies. I was armed with an assault rifle, but when I went to fire it, blueberry yogurt shot out. Of all the things. I remember staring at the gun and thinking “Yogurt? Really?” before I woke up. I assume the zombies ate me.

What’s your madeleine?
The Sailor Moon theme song. It whisks me right back to my childhood. When I was around seven years old, the show was on at six o’clock in the morning, so I would wake up before anyone in the house and watch it, in my pajamas, before I had to get ready for school.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Fragile.