Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GCC Presents: Kay Cassidy (a woman who definitely rocks!)

I don't have a contest for you this Wednesday, but there is an opportunity for you to win a copy of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE on Steff Metal's fabulous blog zine. She did a really awesome interview with me (great questions that really made me think!) and is offering up a copy of IWBYJR to one lucky commenter. Check it out here. Contest ends next Friday.

Also, I am taking part in an auction benefiting PAYA, which brings YA literature and authors to libraries in Pennsylvania. You know I heart libraries big time and will do what I can for them, so up for bids is an hour-long Skype chat with me about my books, writing process or whatever you, your school group or book club (due to the price, probably more well-suited for groups) want to chat about. The details about the auction can be found and bids can be put in here.

Even though this is not an official Women Who Rock Wednesday post or contest (I'm hoping to bring those back next week with Cheryl Rainfeld author of SCARS as long as I can get my act together, lol.), I decided to post this today because Kay Cassidy freakin' rocks and I have no doubt about that. I've had the privilege to meet her in person (and I'm hoping to do an event with her or see her again sometime soon!) and she's my sister from Teen Fiction Cafe as well as the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. As a part of her GCC tour, I'm interviewing her today about her fab new book THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY, which is literally on the top of my TBR pile (I was lucky enough to be the last person on Kay's ARC tour) and I can't wait to dive into it as soon as I finish the book I've gotta get back to the library. It sounds like a really fun, girl-power type read and you probably know by now that those are my favorite kind of reads :)

If you haven't heard about THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY yet, here's the lowdown:

What a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn't want to wear it anymore?

Sixteen year old Jess Parker has always been an outsider. So when she receives an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret society of the most popular girls in school, it's like something out of a fairy tale. Swept up by the Cindys' magical world of makeovers, and catching the eye of her Prince Charming, Jess feels like she's finally found her chance to fit in.

Then the Wickeds--led by Jess's arch-enemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers there's more to being a Cindy than reinventing yourself on the outside. She has unknowingly become part of a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and now the Cindys in charge need Jess for a mission that could change everything.

Overwhelmed, Jess wonders if The Cinderella Society made a mistake in choosing her. Is it a coincidence her new boyfriend doesn't want to be seen with her in public? And is this glamorous, secret life even what she wants, or will she risk her own happy ending to live up to the expectations of her new sisters?

And here's a little teaser from the book:
I opened the card, my hands trembling in dread and the faint remnants of what I used to call hope, as a tiny silver high-heel pin bounced into my hand.

I juggled the pin for a second, barely managing to keep it from falling, and flipped open the note with my other hand. The words inside were not a message but an invitation that sent shivers down my spine:

Your presence is requested at The Grind.
Tonight, 7 p.m.
Wear the pin.
Discretion MANDATORY.

Now, let's meet Kay Cassidy, shall we?
Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. She is the founder of the national Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM reading program for kids and teens and the host of the inspirational Living Your FiveTM web project. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, movies, music, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. She hopes her debut YA novel, THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY (April 13, 2010 - Egmont), will help girls embrace their inner Cindy.

Q: Please tell us what your new book is about and what inspired you to write it.

Kay: The Cinderella Society is about an outsider who gets tapped to join a secret society of good populars dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society actually came from a magazine article about high school sororities. I'd never heard of that before and, once I started thinking about the kind of society I would create if I could, I realized I would've wanted it to be an organization devoted to fighting the everyday battle of good vs. evil. It all snowballed from there and The Cinderella Society was born.

Q: If there was a soundtrack for your book what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate the story?

Kay: I create a playlist for my books because it really helps me make the transition from the real world of laundry, phones ringing and domestic crises to the world of the story. Some of the songs on the playlist would give away story twists, but the theme song of the book is Soar by Christina Aguilera. Jess's theme song is Who I Am by Jessica Andrews and Ryan's theme song is Savin' Me by Nickelback.

Q: Who were some of your inspirations to become a writer or the inspirations that keep you writing? Feel free to include other authors, teachers, parents, or people in other creative fields, whoever is an inspiration to you!

Kay: When I first started looking into writing YA, my local teen librarian suggested three books: The Princess Diaries, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and How My Private, Personal Journal Become a Bestseller. I took them home, devoured them, and knew this was what I wanted to write. Those books were—and still are—the reason I became a YA author.

Q: Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Kay: I can't listen to music when I'm writing because it's too distracting. I used to need complete quiet, but I've gotten much better about writing amidst distractions and noise. Sometimes my husband will have to ask me a question three times because I'm so engaged in the scene that everything else is blocked out. :-)

In addition to using the playlist as a way to transition from real world to imaginary world, there are times when I'm struggling to nail the emotions of a particular scene and it comes in handy. I'll listen to a certain song on the playlist over and over trying to absorb and acknowledge the emotion it brings out in me. Once I'm really connected to that feeling, I can transfer it to the scene.

Q: What is next for you? What are you working on now?

Kay: Right now I'm working on the sequel to The Cinderella Society, titled Cindy on a Mission. It follows the further adventures of Jess and the Sisters as the Wickeds launch an offensive that threatens everything the Cindys hold dear. Cindy on a Mission will be on shelves in Spring 2011.

So there you have it! Go check out THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY!

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