Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Simone Elkeles Interview PLUS Giveaway

Please welcome Simone Elkeles to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Ms. Elkeles is the author of Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, Leaving Paradise, and the How to Ruin series. I had the pleasure of meeting Simone in person at YALSA's Coffee Klatch last year at ALA and she is so incredibly sweet and very funny!

GreenBeanTeenQueen: You have such fun and unique book trailers for your books. Where do you get the ideas for your trailers?

Simone: For Perfect Chemistry I wanted to do something totally different and unique. I wanted the book trailer to stand out. Then I thought about the television show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I LOVED the rap that Will Smith did in the beginning. I thought it would be hilarious to do a parody rap video as the book trailer. Some fans hate the rap and some think it’s hilarious and have downloaded it to their iPods. It definitely got attention!

For Rules of Attraction I wanted to do something totally different. I wanted my book trailer to look exactly like a real movie trailer – with actors acting out snippets of scenes from my book. I called Pete Jones, a friend and writer/director whose screenplay Hall Pass is currently being filmed with Owen Wilson and Bill Murray and being directed by the Farrelly Brothers. I told Pete I wanted him to direct a “movie trailer/book trailer” and he said he’d do it. Alexander F. Rodriguez, the groom from Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold music video, signed on to be hot and sexy Alex Fuentes and we held auditions in Los Angeles for the other parts. As soon as I saw Giancarlo Vidrio’s audition tape I knew he’d be perfect for the role of sexy bad boy Carlos Fuentes and Catesby Bernstein would be a great Kiara. I flew out to Los Angeles for the shoot and being on set for that was one of the highlights of my life. Of course I could never have done it without the help of director Pete Jones and producers Pat Peach and Ron Rothstein…they were amazing!

GreenBeanTeenQueen: I love both trailers and the Perfect Chemistry rap gets stuck in my head if I watch the trailer!:) All of your books have sequels to them. What's the hardest part about writing a sequel?

Simone: Reintroducing yourself to characters and forgetting certain aspects about them and the first book makes writing sequels really difficult. Ally Carter (bestselling author of I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You) told me that sequels are the hardest books to write. She’s so right! I can’t even put my finger on why it’s so hard, but it is. Sometimes you just want to move on.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: So many readers have book crushes on Alex(including myself)! Who is your lit crush?

Simone: I have to say that I also have a crush on Alex Fuentes. I wouldn’t be able to write a young adult romance without also falling in love with my hero…hopefully if I fall in love with them, my readers will also fall in love with them. When we were casting for my book trailer for Rules of Attraction, I wanted to really find “my Alex.” When Alexander F. Rodriguez agreed to be Alex Fuentes and he walked on set the day of the shoot, I melted. I took tons of pictures of him and Giancarlo (the gorgeous actor who played Carlos Fuentes) that day. They were my heroes come to life…who wouldn’t have a crush on the heroes they created?

GreenBeanTeenQueen: If you weren't a writer, what other job would you want?

I love animals and would love to be a veterinarian, but I can’t stand shots or blood…and I get grossed out easily. I’d get kicked out of medical school, for sure. I don’t think I’d want any other job. I love being a writer and hope I can do it forever.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: Perfect Chemistry is nominated for the 2010 Romance Writer's of America RITA award for young adult romance.-congrats! Do you have any big plans on how to celebrate if you win?

Simone: I remember my first RWA conference in New Orleans, LA. I went to the RITA awards ceremony and watched in awe as RITA winners walked on stage and accepted their statues and said their speeches. To be honest, I thought there was no chance I’d ever get nominated for a coveted RITA – the ultimate prize for romance writers. I am thrilled, honored, and excited to now be nominated for a second time (I was nominated in 2008 for my book Leaving Paradise but didn’t win). If I win, I’ll probably cry like a baby and think of my dad who died when I was 24…he said I can achieve anything if I work hard enough at it. I’ll be with my RWA friends that night – I imagine if I win we’ll eat chocolate to celebrate…lots and lots of chocolate! (and I’ll probably sleep next to my RITA statue for at least a month, ha ha)

GreenBeanTeenQueen: If you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would you take with you to read?

The Hunger Games
Pride and Prejudice
Ain’t She Sweet
Perfect Chemistry (;-)
The Idiot’s Guide to Surviving on a Desert Island (I don’t know if this is a book, but it would be right up my alley!)

GreenBeanTeenQueen: I'd need that last book too! Thanks so much for visiting Simone!

Want to win a Perfect Chemistry prize pack? One lucky winner will receive a copy of Perfect Chemistry, a copy of Rules of Attraction and a Perfect Chemistry/Rules of Attraction bookmark!

-Must be 13+ to enter
-Must have US address for prizes to ship to
-Must fill out form below to enter
-Contest ends April 28 Midnight Central Time
Good luck!


  1. Great interview! The rap song from Perfect Chemistry always seems to get stuck in my head, too!

  2. I loved your interview. I enjoyed getting to know more about Simone Elkeles and her books.

  3. Great intervieuw with good questions. Good to know the writer a little bit better. I cant wait to read the books. :)

  4. Great interview! I would love to win ROA. And I can't wait for Return to Paradise to come out. Simone's book trailers are awesome! The guy who plays Alex in ROA is HOT!!

  5. Amber-I'm glad I'm not the only one-it's so catchy!

    Christina-Glad you liked it! I always like knowing more about the authors.

    Nina-I hope you enjoy the books!

    Book Vixen-I agree-Alex is very hot and crushworthy!

  6. Oh I forgot to mention my twitter page link on the form!
    And wow, I love you for interviewing her! I just saw the trailer for Rules of Attraction, and wow. I cannot wait to read this book. The kissing scene especially made my inside turn to jelly. Haha.
    Its an AMAAZING trailer. And Alex is super hot. Though I wish we could have seen Brittany.

  7. Hey ChickLitGirl-Thanks for the Tweet-I'll add it to your entry!

    And I agree-the trailer is super hot and Simone's kissing scenes are always good!:)

  8. Wow--I love the idea of having a book trailer be like a movie trailer. I can imagine how much work went into it, but it definitely paid off!

  9. I've heard so much about Simone Elkeles, but I've never actually gotten the chance to read any of her books! Crazy, right? The interview was great. I loved that she referenced Will Smith! Lol. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Beth-I love the trailers that look like movie trailers-I think they really make the books come alive and I know my teens think they're great.

    Natalie-I hope you get a chance to check out her books.

  11. Great interview! I'm dying to read Rules of Attraction!

    Haha, I'm having a lit crush on Alex too, and after reading RoA I'll probably have a crush on Carlos too ;)

  12. That was a great interview!! Thanks, ladies. :-)

  13. YA Vampire Books-Carlos is pretty crush-worthy but I still love Alex more.;)

    Shannon-Glad you liked it!

  14. Great interview. I really loved Perfect Chemistry. I can't wait to read Rules of Paradise comes out.

  15. I would love to enter this contest, wish it was international.

  16. I've heard so much about these books. I'd love to get a chance to read them. : )

  17. Awesome interview and contest!

  18. Great contest and interview! I just discovered Simone Elkeles and I absolutely loved her writing! :)


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