Today I have the pleasure of hosting my first interview for the new year with Alexandra Bullen. In 2010 Alexandra wrote her first novel, WISH for Yound Adults and this year WISHFUL THINKING has recently reached bookshelves in stores everywhere.
So, without further delay, sit back and get cozy while you get to know a little more about Alexandra and her new novel, WISHFUL THINKING.
RR: Hello Alexandra, and thank you for returning to my Blog for this interview. Last year I had the pleasure of reading WISH and this year you have a new novel, WISHFUL THINKING for YA readers to enjoy. Can you tell me what this new book is about?
Thanks so much for having me! Wishful Thinking follows the same overall premise as Wish: Posey, a mysterious, magical seamstress, creates three magical dresses with wish-granting powers, and gives them to the one girl who needs them most. In this case, that girl is Hazel, a lonely high-school senior in search of her birth mother. She ends up getting a bit more than she’d bargained for, but ultimately finds her way to the family she’s always wanted.
First and foremost, I hope they enjoy it! Beyond that, I hope they can identify with Hazel. Even though her circumstances are a bit extreme (her first wish sends her back in time and across the country!) she is struggling with the idea of who she is, where she comes from and where she’s headed next. I hope that’s something lots of readers will relate to – I know I did!
RR: During the writing process, are there any rituals or a special space that you need to get into the "zone"?
Snacks, quiet, and lots of reasons to procrastinate!
RR: With all the YA novels that are coming out this year, besides WISHFUL THINKING what are you most eager to read?
I’m embarrassed to say that I’m so behind on last year’s releases that I’ll probably start there. I really want to read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (and then her new book, too!) And my fellow Scholastic/Point author, Kim Harrington, has a book coming out in March called Clarity. It’s about a family of psychics in a tourist town on Cape Cod, which is just a ferry-trip away from where I live.
RR: What is the best way for a reader to find you i.e. facebook/twitter/blog?
Twitter: @akbullen ,
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be much better at updating all three!
RR: WISHFUL THINKING is a story filled with yearning and hope. What inspired you to write this particular story?
I knew that I wanted to write another book about Posey and her wish-granting dresses, and I needed to find another girl who would deserve them as much as Olivia had in the first book. I think we all go through phases of wondering where we came from and who our parents were before we born, so it was a lot of fun to give Hazel the opportunity to find out about her past.
RR: Hazel, your protagonist in WISHFUL THINKING, makes some incredible choices with her wishes. Would you have done the same thing?
What a cool question! Without giving too much away, I think Hazel’s wishes makes sense for her at the time that she makes them. The first wish (for Olivia, too)is made before she even knows she has a magical dress, so it’s something desperately wants. And the others come out of her desire to have a better life.Whether or not she gets what she wishes for is another question, but I respect her for always following her heart.
RR: Being from the San Francisco, bay area I loved the descriptive and spot on information of your story's geographic locations. How much research do you devote to your writing process?
I’m always so relieved to hear that people from the bay area have enjoyed reading the books! I only lived in San Francisco for about five months, but I was writing and researching the whole time I was there and so I really got to see the city through my characters’ eyes. And I’ve lived on Martha’s Vineyard, at least part-time, for most of my life, so the setting of the second book came easily. (Sometimes too easily – it was hard to leave anything out!)RR: Thank you, for this great interview and I hope to see you again. It has been a pleasure as always.
You’re very welcome! Happy New Year to you and all of your readers!
Please come back for my review of WISHFUL THINKING later on today.