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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

For Ever Tour! An Interview with C.J. Valles

We are super excited to be a part of the For Ever Tour hosted by SupaGurl Book Tours and we're even more excited to have C.J. Valles, the author of For Ever, here with us today.

How long have you been writing?
I remember writing my first story in elementary school, mostly about what I was doing that summer! There’s a possibility my mom has it filed in a drawer somewhere with baby pictures. The first time I wrote a story for an actual audience was in high school. The Crush. It turned into a series in the high school newspaper. Since then, I’ve taken big, long, writers’-block inspired breaks from writing, but I started doing it again seriously about six years ago.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I was going through a phase of reading a lot (I tend to go through phases of reading or writing, not both at the same time), and I finally thought, “I want to write my own stories!” I wanted to write character-centered stories about people who were a little flawed. The result of that—my first book—is buried on my hard drive, along with about half a dozen half-finished manuscripts! For Ever is my first “finished” product.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
Definitely my MC! I think I channeled a lot of my high school angst and insecurity into her. I can definitely relate to be the quiet one living a little too much inside your own head.

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Ahh! My cheeks are burning. Right before I went to college I sneaked into my step-mom’s closet and raided her stash of Harlequin romance novels. I must have read about 20 in one summer.

If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
I would totally be like Wren Sullivan, my MC. The only difference is that in my story, Ever Casey would never notice me. The guy I had a crush on in high school was the subject of that newspaper column I wrote—and he never even knew!

What book have you read too many times to count?
Gosh. I don’t often do that! If I do, there’s got to be something that really drives me nuts about the book (in a good way). I’ve read The Time Traveler’s Wife three times. Don’t know if I could survive a fourth, because it makes me cry so hard.

If you could hop into the life of any character for a day, who would it be, and why?
I’m always really obsessed with whatever I’m reading or writing at any given time, which is why it’s so hard for me to read and write at the same time. I’m going to have to go with my MC because she’s on such an adventure. Not that I would want to go back to high school! LOL. I would almost, almost say Clare Abshire, because The Time Traveler’s Wife is so romantic, but I need a happy ending like I need air—so that’s not a good idea.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Hmm, this isn’t really writing advice, but it is connected, and it’s stuck with me. My creative writing professor in college—the only English professor whose class I LOVED—told us that sometimes when people respond negatively to stories or characters, it’s because it’s hit a nerve or made them feel uncomfortable about something they’re not even aware of. It makes me stop and think about how I’m responding to things!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
What surprised me most is that I loved the editing process. Before I started writing full-length fiction, I hated the thought of going back to read my own work, because I always hated afterward. Then, after I wrote my first book, cover to cover, in two months, I spent like 10 months editing it, and it was so much run refining each little piece. Some days I would definitely hate my writing, but I figured out that those weren’t the good days to edit, because I’d hit delete like a crazy person!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love walking in the summertime. (You need sunshine in Portland, Oregon, I’m telling ya!) I love going out to dinner downtown—Portland has such great food—but as a starving author, that happens on special occasions. When the weather’s not good, there are some TV shows I can watch back-to-back-to-back hours of!

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favorite parts to write were the dialogue scenes with Wren and Ever. I really felt like I was in the moment writing those. The specific part that might have been my favorite—it was tough, though—was the very end. I really felt like it needed to end a certain way (I’ve gotten some negative feedback for it), and it just felt so dark and visceral to me. It was like the high dive into the deep end of the pool, scary, nerve-racking, and exciting!

If you haven't read For Ever yet, check out the blurb below. Keep watching this blog. We'll have a review posted in the coming weeks too!

The Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Wren Sullivan can read minds, but when she moves from Southern California to Portland, Oregon, she meets Ever Casey—the one person whose mind is off-limits. Wren does know one thing about her mysterious classmate: he has a dark secret to hide. And the closer she gets to learning the truth, the more dangerous it is for her and everyone around her.

To learn more about C.J. Valles, visit her website and blog.

For Ever is only 99 cents on Amazon right now!

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