Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Author Interview: Theresa Paolo


  
I was able to interview Theresa Paolo who's debut book, (Never) Again, was released yesterday by Penguin. I had the opportunity to read this book before it was release and I have to say it was awesome.  The characters are relatable and likable. It's one of those stories that has you rooting for the main character. It's a must read.

JS:  Your book (NEVER) AGAIN came out yesterday. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about it? 
TP: YAY! I’m so excited! A little bit about the book. Hmm…It’s like I’m pitching all over again lol Liz Wagner is heartbroken when her ex, Zach, moves across the country and stops calling. She finally moves on when he shows back up. She refuses to admit what everyone knows, she’s not over him. It’s not until a tragedy strikes and she has no choice but to rely on him that she realizes she never stopped loving him. But will she be able to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out?

JS: How did you get the idea for this book? 
TP: This is such a hard question because I’m afraid of giving away too much. Okay let’s see if I can do this. It started in 2007 when I saw something on the news and it stayed with me for days. I knew there were stories out there where characters dealt with this particular situation on the inside, but nothing I knew of, that dealt with the characters who were witnessing it on the outside. What were they feeling? What was going through their mind? Especially when it was a developing story and not much information was being given. Are you confused yet?

JS: Is this book a stand alone or will this be a series?
TP:  It’s a standalone right now, but I have high hopes to write other characters stories.

JS:  How long did it take you to write this book? 
TP:  I’m not exactly sure when I started writing but I got the idea in 2007 and I sent my first query out in 2010. I rewrote it two times and by 2013 I signed with Penguin.

JS: Did you always want to be a writer and when did you decide to become one? 
TP:  Growing up I changed my mind on a daily basis. I wanted to be a teacher, a lawyer, a journalist, an author, a columnist, work in marketing (that’s what I have my degree in) so many different things. I always went back to some sort of writer though. In 2006/2007 I decided I wanted to write a book and I went for it and have been hooked ever since.

JS:  How many query letters did you send out? 
TP:  Too many. Seriously. It’s almost embarrassing. I had written nine complete manuscripts (it’s up to 10 or 11 now), queried five and received 208 rejections. It really only takes one yes.

JS:  What are you working on now?
TP:  I have so many WIP’s. I’m super excited for the collab I have coming out, King Sized Beds and Happy Trails under my pen name, Tessa Marie, with the awesomely talented Becca Ann. We’re currently working on the second book Beachside Beds and Sandy Paths. I’m editing a YA book where the main character time travels back to 1925 and everyone thinks she’s her great grandmother. I’m also working on two New Adult books. And I have a YA witch story I go back and forth with that is completely out of my comfort zone and is probably why I haven’t worked on it in awhile.

JS:  What’s your favorite thing about being a writer? 
TP:  The community. I have met some amazing people and made so many friends. Some of my closest friends I met in the writing community. I don’t know what I would do without them! (Jessica, if you haven’t guessed, you’re one of them! J)

JS: Is (NEVER) AGAIN the first book you’ve ever written? 
TP:  Nope. It’s the sixth. Six and a half actually.

JS:  What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
TP:  Don’t give up. When people say it only takes one yes they aren’t kidding. Write every day and write for yourself. Once you start writing to please other people you’ll lose your voice. Learn as much as you can. Follow agents on Twitter and read their blogs. Take advantage of the free information and use it to your advantage.


Random Questions 



Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate! Unless it’s a brownie then I want vanilla ice cream with it. 
Coffee or tea? Tea! 
Beach or snow? I love the snow but after a week I’m done. I grew up on an island, spending my summer on my parents boat and I couldn’t imagine life without the beach. So I have to go with beach.
Last book read? It’s October so I just read R.L. Stines Goosebumps book Welcome to Dead House lol Right now I’m reading Susan Mallery’s Three Little Words 
Favorite author? Sarah Dessen, Toni Blake, Susan Mallery and Simone Elkeles

Most played song on iPod? Anything Bruno Mars
Favorite movie? I can’t name one! Empire Records, Dazed and Confused, Can’t Hardly Wait, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Just Like Heaven, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Elf, Home Alone 1&2 okay I’m going to stop now.

Outliner or panster? Pantser! Every time I try to outline my characters resist

Flats or heels? If you asked me this question a few years ago it’d be heels. Now I have a job where I have to dress up I purposely wear things I can wear flats with.
Lipstick or chapstick? Lipgloss J



Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her boyfriend and Milton, their big eyed goldfish. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty which is why she writes New Adult and Young Adult books, reliving the best and worst years of her life through her characters. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. On November 11th 2011 at 11:11 she made a wish. Two hours later she was laid off. Jobless for the first time since she was sixteen she was determined to make her wish come true. Writing became her life again and after many nights of ignoring her boyfriend to spend time with her characters, she finally received the call that all her hard work, finger crossing and eye crossing paid off. She was getting published.  When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera or can be found in the blogosphere or on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. She is repped by the amazing Brittany Booker of The Booker Albert Literary Agency.

Okay enough of the third person! Look for my debut novel (NEVER)AGAIN  from Berkley(Penguin)You can order it today at B&N or Amazon


Do you know Theresa? Sound like  a good book? Putting it on your TBR list? Also don't forget to sign up for our blog hop- All I Want For NaNo.

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9 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Theresa. Loved hearing a bit about how she came up with her story idea and her road to publication.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Theresa. Loved hearing a bit about how she came up with her story idea and her road to publication.

Nicole said...

Great interview! Congrats to Theresa, and thanks for sharing those fun responses.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Over two hundred rejections? You were determined, Theresa.

Theresa said...

I was very determined, Alex! LOL!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog Jessica! I love you girl :) !

Suzi said...

Wow. Never knew the idea for this book was from so long ago. Patience and hard work is the key. Congrats to Theresa.

Kelley Lynn said...

What a great interview! I'm so lucky to be friends with this talented lady :)

Tammy Theriault said...

inspiring answers! truly! i will await my "one" yes when it is my time, too.

David P. King said...

A truly rock'n interview, you two! Glad to see that you're never too old to read Goosebumps. :)