Please help me welcome Patty Blount, author of SEND! She’s here today for an interview as part of her Blog Tour.
What inspired you to write SEND?
It was actually several ‘inspirations’ that sort of coalesced into one idea, one character. First, my son had a horrid sixth grade experience where he came perilously close to suicide following months of bullying. Then, in seventh grade, he was accused of being the bully, which devastated him more. While this was going on, I was writing another series of books after work. At work, I was busy learning social networking. I started reading about kids sexting, whipping up a mob mentality to get hundreds of people all posting insults. I remember thinking, “Thank God these sites weren’t around a few years ago or I’d have lost my son.” And that’s when a voice in my head started telling me, “I did that.” I started wondering how a kid lives with himself after doing something like this. The voice in my head told me, “I don’t live. I just exist.”
So, I put the other project aside to write this one so I could learn what happened next.
How would you describe your writing process? What part is easiest? Most challenging?
My writing process has to adapt to the time I can spare. I work full time and when I come home at night, I need to be able to pick up exactly where I left off the previous day because there are only a few hours remaining until my eyes shut of their own accord. I outline and plot obsessively. I have large poster boards and notepads that I cover with notes on characters, conflicts, and plot twists. It’s challenging to find enough time to write an entire chapter, for example, so I write in short bursts of a few paragraphs at a time. Once I nail down who my characters are and will be by the end of the story, it’s pretty easy to get them to that point. For Dan, I had to take him from unforgivable to forgiven. For Julie, I had to take her from obsessed with the past to being able to let it go.
Was there a book that spoke to you as a teen, that you are thankful to have read during that time in your life?
I am a fanatical reader. As a kid, I adored the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. I obsessively consumed the Flowers in the Attic books and then there was the time I read Judy Blume’s Forever by hiding it in a corner of the library because I was afraid to take it home. There was a book that helped me and I cannot remember its name… it was about a girl diagnosed with scoliosis and had to wear a back brace. I was diagnosed with the same problem right after I read this book and you know what? It wasn’t scary at all. Wish I could remember its name.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy (besides writing)?
I am a pretty decent baker and cake decorator. And I really love to watch BAD science fiction movies.
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go and why?
I really want to go to Italy. My family is Italian and now that all of my grandparents are gone, no one can speak the language or remember the rules to the card games we’d play with an Italian deck. I’d like to make that trip to reconnect with a part of my heritage that feels lost.
What’s your favorite book that you’ve read in 2012 so far, and what books are at the top of your to-be-read list for fall?
In 2012 so far, I thoroughly enjoyed Code Name Verity, a compelling World War II story that made me shiver. I’m looking forward to reading Kimberly Sabatini’s TOUCHING THE SURFACE and also Trisha Leigh’s WHISPERS IN AUTUMN. Linda Grimes has a debut coming soon called IN A FIX that hooked me from the excerpt. I can’t wait to read more. 🙂
Thanks so much Patty for stopping by today and answering my questions! Readers, enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy of SEND for yourself! Check out the trailer for SEND: