Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Women Who Rock Wednesday: Alyson Noel!

Welcome to Women Who Rock Wednesday, the day when I shine the spotlight on amazing female artists, authors, designers, musicians, etc. Today we have an author who I have watched rock an audience's world when she read at Rock 'n' Read last summer, Alyson Noel! But before we get to my interview with Alyson, I've got a couple of fantastic books by my Rock 'n' Read partner in crime Alexa Young to give away. Drum Roll, please....

The copy of Alexa Young's Frenemies goes to: LaLaLand from blogger. The copy of Alexa Young's Faketastic goes to: truBlu93 from blogger. If both of you would email your addresses to me at stephanie at stephaniekuehnert dot com, I will pass them along to Alexa so you can get your books.

Now, let's meet Alyson Noel, who is here to talk about her amazing new book, EVERMORE, which is part of a new series called the IMMORTALS. As I mentioned I had the privilege of meeting Alyson last summer and she is incredible. You guys are gonna love this interview and of course, if you leave a comment at the end you will be eligible to win EVERMORE!

Q: Hi Alyson and thanks for doing a Women Who Rock Wednesday interview! Your latest book EVERMORE came out yesterday. It's the first book in five-book IMMORTALS series. Can you tell us about EVERMORE and give us an overall idea of what the series will be like and when the books will be coming out?

Alyson: EVERMORE is my first foray into the paranormal—a genre I’ve been fascinated by ever since I first watched CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST as a kid—so I’m not exactly sure why it took me so long to write one of my own!

The series revolves around a sixteen-year old girl, Ever, who undergoes a near death experience only to awaken with tremendous psychic powers that make her feel like a freak. And just when she’s beginning to adjust, the gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy Damen Auguste comes to town and turns her entire world upside down . . .

The second book in the series, BLUE MOON, will be out on 08.04.09, and in it, Ever is faced with a huge, life altering, decision will affect not only her future, but her past as well. And the next three books in the series, so far untitled, will be out in 2010.

Q: EVERMORE seems a little bit different than your other YA books, can you tell us a little bit how where you got the idea for it?

Alyson: A few years ago I lost three people I loved in five horrible months, and just when the dust began to settle my husband was diagnosed with leukemia and it felt like my entire world was crashing down. A year later, when he was in full remission, I wrote SAVING ZOE and CRUEL SUMMER, both of which explore the subject of grief and unavoidable change. But when it came time to write my next book, I realized I wasn’t finished exploring those themes though I wanted to do so in a much different way, by giving the story a paranormal twist and pushing the boundaries between life and death, and EVERMORE just came pouring out of me.

And while it may seem different on the surface, at heart, it’s still the story of a sixteen-year old girl, trying to find her way in the world. Her journey’s just made a little more difficult by the psychic visions and mystical choices she’s faced with!


Q: How did you get your start writing? Were you bit by the writing bug as a kid or later in life? Were there specific people (parents, teachers, friends) who encouraged your talents? And who are some of your influences and inspirations? (Since this is WWRW we are particularly interested in hearing about the women so we can discover more women who rock, but feel free to name guys, too!)

Alyson: I was always an avid reader, thanks to my mom who introduced me to the magic of books at a very young age. But it wasn’t until I read Judy Blume’s ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, that I knew I wanted to be a writer too. But other than a few really bad poems penned in seventh grade and some short stories written in high school, I mostly just talked about writing, rather than actually writing. You know the person you meet at the cocktail party who tells you that “someday” they’re going to write a book? That was me. Then, when 9/11 happened, I was working as a flight attendant in NYC and figured a career change was in order. So I enrolled in some online writing classes where I worked on revising a short story I’d written many years before. It was through that class that I met the very talented author, Susanne Dunlap, who led me to my then agent. And after revising the book for him, he sold FAKING 19 several months later in a two-book deal to St. Martin’s Press.

So, in short, Judy Blume, Susanne Dunlap, and my mother—all women who inspired me, helped me, and encouraged me—all women who rock!

Q: A lot of my Women Who Rock are Jills of all trade. I've had musicians who are also makeup artists, writers who always wanted to be artists. Do you have another passion besides writing (one that you are talented at or just wish you were, like I wish I could play guitar) and do you find it influencing your writing at all?

Alyson: I used to draw and paint as a kid—and I dreamed of being a great artist someday! But now I’m more an appreciator, and I’ve great admiration for those who create. I always find a way to slip mentions of art and/or artists into my books.

Q: I have two questions that I always ask my Women Who Rock, the first is a two-parter. What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended? Be honest, we don't judge, we like to see the roots of our women who rock!

Alyson: First album—Aerosmith ROCKS in 6th grade—still a great album that is probably packed away somewhere in my garage!

First concert- Foreigner in 9th grade. My best friend at the time bought the tickets for my b-day. She got really great seats, and we had a total blast! I felt very grown up that night!

Q: Tell us about your biggest rock star moment, perhaps it's a moment of real success in your career, a time when you met someone super cool and had that Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" moment, or just a time where you felt like you got the rock star treatment. I get a huge variety of answers for the questions, so it's pretty much whatever "rock star moment" means to you!

Alyson: As a New York City based flight attendant, I served A LOT of celebrities, rock stars, fashion folk, politicians, artists—you name it. But other than a mild curiosity of what they looked like up close and in person, I wasn’t all that star struck until one morning when Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame boarded my flight. I was working the shuttle from NYC to Boston, and he was flying there for his daughter Liv’s graduation. When he walked on board—all big hair, flamboyant clothes, painted nails, and those lips—with his arms open wide saying, “Hey girls—what’s going on?!” I truly thought I might keel over and die!

Luckily, I pulled it together and made sure I was the one who served him—and, I’m happy to report that he was everything I’d hoped he’d be, nice, funny, generous, and sexy as hell! I think I fell even more in love with him than I already was!

Thanks for doing this, Alyson! I'm really excited to read EVERMORE! And how cool is it that Alyson's rock star moment and her first album are connected??? I think that's pretty sweet.

Anyway, now is the time to leave a comment, go ahead and riff on anything Alyson said or just talk about how psyched you are for this new Immortals series and you will be entered to win a signed copy of EVERMORE. I'll chose a winner next week when author Wendy Toliver is here to visit with us!

29 comments:

Rylie said...

Great interview! I'd love to win a signed copy of Evermore -- it sounds like an amazing book!

-Rylie

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Stephanie--

Thanks so much for hosting me!

You Rock!!

asherz86 said...

This series sounds really interesting... I enjoyed all of Alyson's other books. =)

Angela said...

I LOVE Alyson Noel as an author. Awesome interview. It seems like most writers got started by their passion for reading, right? That's just my observation. Thanks for posting this great interview!
I'd like to be entered to win the copy of the book please. Thanks for this opportunity!!!

Angela

Heather said...

Okay -- this interview definitely made my afternoon complete. I'd kill for a signed copy of Evermore! I can't wait to read it!

(I'd also kill for a signed copy of IWBYJR!)

What a Girl Reads said...

ooh this book sounds so good! And best of all, it's just the first book in a five-book-series! :D

I can't wait to read Evermore!

Sara

Leilene808 said...

I have a feeling the series is going to be a huge hit!, step aside Stephenie Meyer, Alyson Noel is coming through loud and clear, I cannot wait for all five books of The Immortal series to come out

macbeaner said...

This book sounds really cool!

And a great interview as well!

Natalie Hatch said...

Alyson great story about Steve Tyler, but thinking he's sexy? Not my cup of tea I guess. Can't wait to read Evermore.

Liviania said...

I admire you for holding it together in the presence of Steven Tyler.

Lilshyfaery said...

Pleeeze enter me to win a copy of your book of awesome, mmmmkay? I'm so excited to read your book! You must be like, *triple squee espresso* stoked.

Erika Lynn said...

This is a great interview, I am so pumped to read this book and I think the cover is stunning.

Jenna said...

I read Evermore and fell in love with it the second I finished the first chapter. The characters are relatable, the story is amazing, and the magical aspect of it is well intigrated into the whole book. I've already recommended it to about 3 people, and I can't wait for the second book, Blue Moon to come out this August!!!

Adele said...

Thank for the interview. I have been trying to track down all of Alyson's books these week after just "discovering" her. I would love a signed copy.
Thank you

Tineke said...

Wow! I read about this book in a blog from Shanna Swendson and from the first moment I taught: I want to read this story!
I am always looking for good new series about teenagers, love and paranormal elements, so I think this book is perfect.
The only problem: I live in Belgium and I don't know if I can buy Evermore here...
I already looked for books from Alyson Noel in the library, but they haven't any of her books! Help! So winning this book will be great!

Many greetings from Belgium,
Tineke

*Alexis* said...

Wonderful interview!
I hope I win a signed copy of Evermore!

Iserr said...

My bff read the book and said that I MUST own/read it. I've read two other books from Alyson Noel and love them, so here I am in line to have a chance to win another great one!!!

Lenore said...

My first concert was an Argentine band called Vilma Palma y Vampiros.

madison said...

I've wanted to read this for a long time, like since the first reviews started popping up. And I *love* the cover. :-)

Holly said...

What a great interview! Thanks!

J.T Wilbanks said...

Great interview, that signed copy sounds pretty darn good right now.

deltay said...

I've had my eye on Evermore for a while now, and it would be just sooooo awesome to get an autographed copy of it!

The dark, edgy paranormal factor of it is right up my alley.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Travis said...

Wow. I want this book so badly!

Jenny Girl said...

Very interesting interview. Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks!

Katie said...

This looks like such a great series. I really liked Alyson's other books so I'm sure this one is equally amazing.
bball11kt@sbcglobal.net

frenchie0323 said...

I cannot wait to read the whole series!!

Tempestt said...

Great interview!
Please enter me to win a signed copy of Evermore! It sounds like such a great book!

Alyson Noel said...

Aw, thanks everyone! Good look to Stephanie on picking a winner!

prophecygirl said...

Great interview! I look forward to reading this, I love the cover!