1.How did you get the idea to write KARMA BITES?
The idea came out of a very, very, very long lunch Valerie (my writing partner) and I had, upon her return from a year in Hawaii learning to surf and taking some time off with her family. I was feeling frustrated and burned out from t.v. and movies and wanted to try my hand at something different.
A tv idea, a kid's cooking show for Nickelodeon, had ultimately not panned out after months of work but I still really wanted to work cooking and kids into a story. Val and I discussed the show at lunch, as well as our love of movies like CHOCOLAT or LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, that use cooking as a metaphor for storytelling. We loved the notion of placing real recipes throughout the book. And after much discussion about our own middle school experiences we stumbled upon the idea of KARMA BITES, the story of a border crosser, a role I played in middle school ( a person who can move within various cliques with impunity). We also wanted to write a wacky comedy adventure in the vein of FREAKY FRIDAY, CLUELESS and MEAN GIRLS as we didn't think there were enough comic novels for girls. Thus and so the idea for KARMA BITES was born. From there, the story took shape almost immediately.
2.Do you have daughters that are preteens or did you have to do research on how they act and if so where and how?
I have and eleven and a half year old daughter so it's not hard to do research. All I need to do is spend time with Sadie, my daughter, and her friends, and the stories and dialogue emerge. I find pre-teens to be such fascinating creatures because in some ways they are so sophisticated and in others so wildly naive. It's a very fun and slightly schizophrenic period for girls. Glorious to capture in fiction as there's so much emotion and drama associated with the tween years.
3.Do you believe in magic?
I don't believe in the magic of crystal ball and fairy wands but I do believe in karma. I think that the universe has a way of keeping track of when you do good and when you don't. Of how much negative juju you put out there and how much positive. Of how much love you extend and how much you withhold. And, at the end of the day, I think you get back what you give.
4.How long have you been a writer?
I have been writing full-time for thirteen years, part-time for two years before that. But all my life I've written short stories and plays and studied creative writing in college.
I used to be a film and tv producer in Los Angeles. When I moved to New York City fifteen years ago, I started writing as I was producing. I sold my first script to Twentieth Century Fox, after having my first child, and stopped producing after making IGBY GOES DOWN as it became too difficult to do with children. Writing is a much better career for a mother of three.
5.What is your favorite part about writing or being a writer?
I love creating something out of nothing. And making people laugh. While it can be grueling and frustrating many days to stare at the blank page, hoping to come up with something mildly amusing to say, there is no better feeling than watching people read your work, or view it on television or in the movie theater and seeing them laugh at your labors.
6.Will KARMA BITES be a series?
We certainly hope so. We've sent out publisher a number of ideas for the sequel and are hoping to land on the idea for the second book soon. Unfortunately, it will have to wait a bit as we have two older YA books that we're committed to before beginning the sequel.
7.What is the release date of KARMA BITES?
August 16, 2010
Thanks for answering my questions Stacy! I hope the book sells well!