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! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr0OtYYpyek&feature=related
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!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhEx0kaUlrU
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