But first, here's the blurb for The Stillburrow Crush:
Sixteen year old, Carrie Paxton, isn't the most popular girl in her small town of Stillburrow. But that's never concerned her before. Her life revolves around her writing, and she loves her job as the student editor of the school paper.
But when she gets assigned to interview the football team's beloved quarterback, she takes one look into Luke Carter's blue eyes and is a goner. Suddenly, she doesn't like her lowly rank so much. Then her dreamy, popular crush surprises her when he starts to act as if he likes her in return. But there's no way Luke Carter could possibly ever like a nobody like Carrie Paxton. Is there?
And now for the questions! Thanks so much for stopping by, Linda, please tell us about The Stillburrow Crush:
The Stillburrow Crush is a high school romance, written in first person from sixteen-year old Carrie Paxton’s point of view. She shares about a month and a half of her junior year of high school with us…but, oh, what a month and a half it is. She grows a crush on—go figure—the football quarterback, Luke Carter, even though she doesn’t want to be so predictable as to fall for the best-looking, most popular super jock in the entire school until…she interviews him for the school paper and is surprised to realize he’s just not a pretty face. What’s even more shocking is that he seems to like her in return. Then drama in her brother’s life interferes with everything, and the entire town just sorta goes crazy for a bit.
Where did the inspiration for The Stillburrow Crush come from?
The very beginning idea for TSC came to me in college. I was taking a creative writing class and received the assignment to write a short literary story. I was a total romance junkie even then, so the stories I liked to tell were technically considered more genre then literary. In an awful attempt to repress my romance-loving self, I wrote a story about a teen girl interviewing a football player for the school paper and then taking a walk in the park with him to realize he wasn’t quite what he seemed. But the next week he died in a car crash…the end. I never did like that end (gee, I bet you’re wondering why, huh?!), so I kept returning to the story and writing on it until it developed into a happy ending that satisfied me.
One of the characters in TSC is a poet, did you write poetry in high school? And was it hard to write the fabulous poems in TSC?
Oh, well, thank you for thinking they’re fabulous (blush). I wrote a few poems in high school, except they were mostly cutsie, rhyming verses. I never could reach the depth or level of a very good poet. So, yes, coming up with the poems in TSC were extremely difficult. You have to create so much emotion and imagery with a very limited amount of words, all the while providing layers of meanings so a reader can view it a different way every time they come back to it. Not my forte.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
First grade. One of my teachers praised a poem I wrote for an assignment (hey, there’s that poem theme again…weird) in front of the entire class. After that, all my classmates treated me like I was a good writer until I started to believe it too. Then, in the fifth grade, ten students from our class were chosen to attend a writing conference. I was one of them, and the experience solidified my desire to write. From that point on, I was always coming up with different stories in my head and jotting them down. Over time, I couldn’t help but start getting better at it!
What fictional character did you most want to be when you were growing up?
I was a Baby-Sitters Club fan in my younger years. I felt the most connection to Mary Anne from that series because she had a quiet way about her, but still got things done. Then, I read Gone with the Wind in high school and met Scarlett O’Hara. Wow. She was the total opposite of me and Mary Anne, but I still loved her in-your-face vivid character, even if she could be petty and mean at times. She made me want to be more outgoing and vivacious.
You write romance as well as YA, which do you enjoy more? Why?
I’m all about romance. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s YA, adult, historical, contemporary, paranormal, or suspenseful, my stories gotta have that happy, hope-filled ending. There’s just something about watching two people meet and connect. I love those scenes that zoom in and focus on the two main characters interacting, where all the senses are so heightened you’re sucked into the emotions too until you’re blushing, sighing, laughing or crying right along with them.
What's next? Any projects you'd like to share with us?
Right now, I have a couple adult romance stories coming out at the end of the year. But I always have ideas swimming around in my head for more. If TSC ends up actually being popular, I do have a YA work-in-progress I could focus on. It’s about a girl whose widowed mother remarries her junior year of high school, and she has to transfer to a new school.
If you were going to a costume party where you had to dress up as your favorite movie character, what character would you choose and what outfit would you wear?
Hmm. That’s a toughie, but for now, I’m going to go with Anna Paquin’s character, Rogue, from the movie X-Men, because, hello, she gets to hang out with Logan/Wolverine. Plus, it’s be easy to dress as her--put a white stripe in my hair, slip on a pair of gloves, and ta-da! I’m Rogue.
LOL, Linda, I like that logic! Thanks so much for chatting with us! I can't wait for everyone to read The Stillburrow Crush!