Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interview with Lee Nichols and GIVEAWAY of Hand-Me-Down!

The FNC loves it when a fabulous adult author crosses over to YA, and here to chat with us is Lee Nichols, who's doing just that! 

Lee Nichols is the author of five romantic comedies with Red Dress Ink: Tales of a Drama Queen (2004), Hand-Me-Down (2005), True Lies of a Drama Queen (2006), Wednesday Night Witches (2007) and Reconstructing Brigid (2008). This spring, Lee will be debuting on the YA shelves with the first book in her haunting paranormal trilogy, Deception ~ A Haunting Emma Novel (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, June 2010).

You’re on Twitter, so can you describe DECEPTION in 140 characters or less for us?
Seventeen-year-old girl discovers she can control ghosts. Parents fail her. Falls for guy she can't have. Kicks a lot of evil ghost-butt.

"Ghost-butt" -- love it! What’s the biggest difference you’ve found in writing for teens vs. adults?
The process is really the same for me. The only difference is that my editor calls me on language and emotions that aren’t “authentically teen” and I’m aware when I’m writing that a twelve-year-old might pick up the book.

Where and when do you usually write?
At home, on the couch when my son is at school.

What from your books have you shamelessly stolen from real life? What do you wish you could claim as true?
I do know someone who married a guy who had dated her older sister, which was the premise of Hand-Me-Down. And I wish I could talk to ghosts.

[Pssst! Hey readers, you can win a copy of Hand-Me-Down at the end of the interview!]

If you go back in time to when you were writing your first novel, what one piece of advice would you give yourself?
Enjoy the freedom of no deadline and being able to take the time to get it right.

We'll keep that in mind! What’s the key to a good relationship with your agent and editor?
Airing your grievances to your agent, not your editor (yes, my poor agent!). Trusting her advice--whether it's a problem with your manuscript or any step in the publishing process. And appreciating how hard she works.
I think a good relationship with an editor entails making your deadlines and addressing all the problems she has with the manuscript, even if you don't think they're problems. And also appreciating how hard she works.

Can you describe your revision process for us?
I like to go over line edits first. Fix the little problems written into the margins, like 'I don't think this is the reaction she'd have to this situation,' or 'Make this dialogue, instead of summary.' Then I'm familiar enough with the book again to start addressing the major issues in the revision letter from my editor. Things like "This story line needs work," or "Add another scene on page 54."

What do you see as your greatest strength and greatest weakness as a writer?
Structure and dialogue seem to come easiest. Even though most of my books include a romance, it’s probably the hardest thing for me to get right.

What’s your most recent favorite young adult or middle grade read?
There are a lot of books I’ve enjoyed recently, but I think the most special is Suzanne Collins’s HUNGER GAMES series. Can’t wait for the third.

I think plenty of people would agree with you there! And we can’t resist a creepy final question: In DECEPTION, Emma is a ghostkeeper. Have you ever had a firsthand experience with ghosts or the supernatural?
I’m convinced my best friends’ two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in Maine is haunted. There are shallow graves in the cellar and the attic is beyond spooky—I’m positive ghosts are living in it. If only I could talk to them!

Thanks, Lee!

Alright, everyone, it's your turn ---- we want to hear about your spookiest paranormal encounter in the comments! (Or, yanno, anything else you feel like sharing. We're not picky.)

Want more Lee?
Follow her on Twitter @LeeXNichols or Friend her on Facebook at Lee Nichols. Check out her website and find her on Goodreads under Lee Nichols.

We have a copy of Hand-Me-Down to give away to one lucky reader!
(Only entries in the form below will qualify.)



  1. Awesome interview. Thanks for the contest :)

  2. Great interview! I enjoyed it.

    Thanks for the contest.

  3. I would love to read this!! I tweeted http://twitter.com/bangersis/status/13042935494


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