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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT by Colleen Clayton [Q&A & Giveaway]

Colleen grew up in a small, suburban town just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Kent State University, she worked as a social worker in a residential treatment center for teens in Cleveland, Ohio and then as Program Supervisor for Big Brothers & Big Sisters in Youngstown/Warren, Ohio.  In addition to being a wife and mom, she writes Young Adult fiction and earned an MFA through the Northeast Ohio Consortium. She also teaches writing at Youngstown State University.

1. As a young person who did you look up to the most and why?
My mother and father. They worked factory jobs on assembly lines their whole lives and even though we didn't have much money as a family, they put my sister and me through college without ever taking out a loan. They went without on so many fronts in order to pay for us to go to college. They wanted better for us than what they had growing up. They taught us that you can't just have everything you want the second you want it. You have to work really, really hard to get the things you want.
2. What was your first job? 
The front register at McDonald's
3. Where do you write and do you have special rituals?
I write in my house on my laptop, usually on the couch with the TV on, cat, dog, kids, husband all buzzing around me. I have no rituals. (I probably should get some!)

4. Which one of your characters is most like you?
As a teen, I was a bit like Sid. I wasn't as outspoken and articulate as Sid but I think I had a certain spunk about me. I felt a lot of the same things that Sid feels but didn't yet have the language to express it properly. As an adult, I would say that I am very much like her mother, Katherine. I think it is important to be your child's parent first, above all things. Being considered "cool" by your kids is a bonus, not a requirement. 
6. What was the hardest scene for you to write? The easiest?
The opening scenes were tough. In the earliest drafts, the ski trip was told in flashback. In "real time," Sid was at home, simply recalling what had happened. It was flat and all wrong. I realized this after I had queried quite a few agents. I realized that the story was starting in the wrong place and that I was robbing the reader of the "in-scene" igniting conflict that sets the whole ball of wax rolling. Some of the easiest scenes were the romantic scenes with Corey. When you're enjoying yourself as a writer (and believe me, I was!)  often the words come more easily. I enjoy writing romantic tension and I hope it shows. 
7. What's the best advice you've received about writing and who gave it to you?
Not sure who said it but writing (and publication) are a  marathon not a sprint. Most writers endure many years of rejection before they see a book on the shelf. It's not going to happen overnight, rejection is part of the process. Rejection never gets easier. It hurts each and every time it happens. You just have to brush yourself off and keep going. 
8. Are you a pantser or plotter?
Mostly a pantser. I'm experimenting with plotting/outlining and I think that's going well, too. 
9. What do you want readers to remember (learn) from your book?

That there is always hope for a better day. 
10. Please list 5 likes and 5 dislikes. Go way random.
Like: Hot peppersRaylan GivensHalloweenSnowFacebook

Dislike: OkraSnookiEarly morningSweating

 or call
BRAVE # 212-709-3222
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Winner must respond within 48 hours
Open to US Only
*Please note, all giveaways will be shipped out at the end of the month.*

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  1. By being an example. By showing love and being a living example.

  2. By being the best role model I can be for my children and students which includes dealing with it when it happens instead of ignoring it as so many do.

  3. Hang up flyers at my place of work :)

  4. Tell real stories about actual bullying and how it affects me - and volunteer at a hotline:)

    Thank you:)

  5. Talk to your younger siblings if you have them. Talking about your experiences.

  6. Make more kids comfortable with coming forward when bullying is happening a lot of todays youth is too afraid to say what's going on making a big problem that much bigger:((

  7. Talk about it and talk about how it affected you. Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Let kids know they have an adult they can talk to in you. I'm a fifth grader teacher so I'm always trying to make sure my students know that they can trust me or anyone in our building if they need help.

  9. I think the most important thing I've done is to teach my kids kindness, and hope they influence others.
    Thank you!

  10. I think one of the most important things we can all do is to teach our children to be accepting of others and their difference and to teach them kindness not only by speaking to them about bullying and their actions but leading by example.

  11. When I was younger, I was taught that you just don't do stuff like that to other kids. Maybe we should try to be a better influence to all the kids that look up to us, or the ones that want to be just like us. :)

  12. I have already been active this month helping out with teaching little children about bullying through a group I volunteer with. It's really important to get the word out because many kids just don't even know that they're doing it.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. For me and my particular talents, I think writing stories in which we can make the readers have compassion for those who are bullied is the best thing I can do. Hopefully it will stop them from bullying others or at least make them aware enough to stop someone else. I also try to promote other books that do the same.

  14. Thanks for this interview!!! I specially love the "There's always hope for a better day" part! There's nothing I love more than a book that has that kind of message to it!!!
    I'm definitely adding this to my tbr on goodreads!!
    Argh isn't it true??? A Love/Hate relationship with facebook??<3
    <3 Amy

  15. Talk about it, help those who have been through it, and let others know when something they do is NOT okay. Sometimes I think people just don't even realize what they are doing.


  16. It needs to be discussed. Avoiding it would not help.