Q1: What was your inspiration to write 'Going Under'?
I obviously didn't develop the story of the bad boy falling for the perfect girl, but that doesn't mean that it can't be retold well and in a different way. I write about things I like as a reader. With Going Under, I thought about what high school was like for me. (And no... I won't say how long ago that has been.) The brainstorming process involved remembering what life was like in high school. What can I say? I was into a bad boy? I had experiences quite similar to Claire's in Going Under, but my bad boy didn't turn out the way Jessie did. (And he wasn't as hot.) Basically, I used my experiences and modernized them with a happy outcome.
Q2: Who was the hardest character for you to write?
Jessie was a tough one. I knew the things a guy like him would say and do, but I couldn't write his character that way because he would be completely unlikeable. I had to make him a "likeable asshole." It was tough to keep him reigned in, yet believable. I also had to consider this book was for teens. That means I'm going to have teens reading it. Its fine to get risque for the adult readers, but not for the young, impressionable girls. I took some risks with language and sexual behavior, but nothing a kid doesn't face everyday.
Q3: What was your favorite part in the book to write?
Ohhhh. Tough one. I think it would be the first romantic encounter between Jessie and Claire in the woods at the back to school bonfire. It is so sensual without even a kiss. Gah, how does that even happen?
Q4: If you could be any character in a novel you have read, who would it be and why?
I would want to be Maggie in Shelly Crane's Significance Series. Why? Because Caleb is so hot and she imprints with him. Not to mention, Maggie gets some pretty interesting abilities.
Q5: How much wood would a Woodchuck chuck, if a Woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could
if a wood chuck could chuck wood.
Or maybe none if he didn't feel like it.
Q6: What is your favorite singer or band?
No thinking involved with that one.... Blue October.
Q7: Chess or Checkers?
Checkers because I never to play Chess.
Q8: Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
Read minds. Being invisible would be unnecessary if you knew when someone was going to turn their heads to look at you. Hah!
Q9: Spongebob Squarepants or Tom & Jerry?
Tom & Jerry. I get enough of Spongebob when my kids were little.
I reside in rural Mississippi with my wonderful husband, Jeff, and our two beautiful daughters. I spent thirteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before I decided to pursue my dream of becoming an author. Blood of Anteros, Book One in 'The Vampire Agape Series' was my first novel and it was released in September of 2011. I decided to step away from the paranormal genre to try my hand at a young adult romance and I loved it. It was so much fun, I plan to do it again in the near future.
We pulled into the parking lot of the school and Payton parked behind the sexy badass’ junked out truck. He was still sitting in his old clunker and I thought I saw a cigarette in his hand, then he confirmed my suspicion when I saw him raise it to his lips for a drag and the tip glowed fiery orange. Gross.
“Why did you have to park behind him?” I huffed as I felt heat rise to my neck and face.
“What’s your deal with him, Claire?” she asked, then looked at me and said, “Your face is beet red. What is wrong with you? Are you blushing?”
Getting out of the car at the same time meant walking into school next to him and that wouldn’t make Forbes happy. Payton didn’t understand the ruckus this would cause because she didn’t have a boyfriend and it didn’t help matters that she couldn’t stand Forbes. She thought I was weak and trying to please him, but the truth was that I just didn’t feel like hearing Forbes whine anymore.
“I want to avoid the need to explain to Forbes why I’m walking into school with the guy he hates. It will just start an unnecessary argument I don’t want to have first thing this morning.”
“With the risk of repeating myself, screw Forbes. I’m not parking in the back of the parking lot and walking an extra mile to spare his insecure feelings and if you have to explain that, then you should dump his ass.”
I knew she was right. I was a poodle jumping through hoops to keep the peace and it was ridiculous in addition to exhausting.
“I’m not arguing how ridiculous it is, but can we at least get ahead of him so I don’t have to explain why we’re walking in together?” I pleaded.
She huffed and said, “This is friggin’ ridiculous, you know that, right? Your life might revolve around what Forbes Henderson wants, but mine doesn’t.”
When Payton didn’t move fast enough to suit me, I scrambled out of her car, leaving her behind. I watched a cigarette butt fly out of the new guy’s driver’s side window and then his door swung open in front of me, preventing my escape. He stepped out of his truck, looked down at me and grinned as he said, “Pardon me, Princess. I didn’t mean to block your way.”
His voice was velvety smooth, but I didn’t mistake its coolness as his tone conveyed his contempt for me. His unmistakable disdain for me immediately raised my hellcat flag because he had nothing to base his aversion on since he didn’t know me.
This was our first time face to face and up close. The other times I saw him was when I stole a few glances during cheerleading practice over the last two weeks when I was certain Forbes wasn’t watching me.
I realized he was so much more handsome than I originally thought now that his face mask wasn’t obstructing my view. His hair was as black as I expected, and spikey, and his pale blue eyes were piercing. The contrast of their paleness against his dark hair was almost shocking and I had to force myself to avoid becoming lost in them.
I was angry with him for making assumptions about me, but I was more furious with myself for finding him so captivating. I tasted my bitter reaction as it formed on my tongue, but couldn’t stop myself from blurting out, “Asshole.”
He placed his hand over the left side of his chest where his heart would be and said, “I felt that straight to my heart.”
I watched him shut his door while he waited for my counterattack and I pushed past him as I said, “Screw you and my name is not Princess. It’s Claire, so if you’re going to insult me, at least have the decency to get my name right.”
“Hmm, I think I’ll stick with Princess. It seems to suit you better,” he said to my back as I walked away.
I couldn’t be certain flames weren’t coming off the heels of my boots as I practically ran away, but Payton managed to catch up with me and said, “I’m totally disgusted by you, Claire.”
“And why would that be?” I almost yelled.
“That was one of the best displays of underthinking I’ve ever seen. He bested you and I know I taught you better than that. You basically rolled over. How can I call you my best friend when you caved so easily? And by the way, you’ve got something on your ass.”
I spun around to look at the back of my dress as I pulled the skirt part around to look and said, “What is it?”
“Hot New Guy’s eyes.” She died out laughing and said, “Sorry, Claire, but you walked right into that one.”
I narrowed my eyes and pursed my lips as I said, “Maybe you’re the bigger asshole of the two of you. You should definitely be a couple.”
“That lacked creativity and it’s insulting to me as your slander master. We have to work on your comebacks because you are seriously letting me down,” she said, then added, “I wish you could see your face right now. Whatever he just did to you has you clueless. You can’t decide if you should be pissed off at him or hot for him.”
I turned to look at this crazy person I called a bestie standing next to me. “I’m jealous of whatever you are smoking because it has you completely reality challenged.”
“He got it all wrong when he called you Princess. He should have called you Queen of Denial because you’ll never admit what’s going on here,” she accused.
It was just like Payton to draw a conclusion with no real evidence to support her theory. “I have no idea what kind of nonsense you’re talking about.”
“I hope he got plenty of rest last night because his legs are gonna be real tired after he runs through your mind all day,” she laughed, making me livid.
I noticed myself stomping as I walked toward the school entrance. “You must have taken your sleeping pill this morning instead of last night because you are definitely dreaming.”
“When you look back on this moment months from now, don’t forget the one word I’m about to say to you, Claire Deveraux. Foreplay.”
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