For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you certainly have seen these GCC posts pop up a couple times a month. The GCC is the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit, and what that means is it's a fabulous group of supportive authors who help spread the word about each other's books. Well, I've been privileged enough to be part of this group for about two years now, and truly, you guys know how much I value collaborative, encouraging writer friends, and thus, I truly value and valued my fellow members of the GCC. But, given how hectic my life has gotten, I have to bow out of the tour for now, and thus, today's post will be the last GCC post. I hope you guys continue to follow these authors on their various blogs because whether or not you love their genres or their books, they are top-notch people who share the same belief in camaraderie that I do, and it's been an honor to tour them all for the past few years!
So, with that, I'm thrilled to tour Kelly Parra, who is the author of Graffiti Girl, and her new book, Invisible Touch! Here's the scoop:
Do you believe in fate?
Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be -- compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.
Because Kara has a gift -- one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she's been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she's been warned about -- until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it's her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it's too late...or lead her even further into danger?
And here, she stops by to answer my usual questions.
1) What's the backstory behind your book?
K: I've always believed in intuitive vibes and repetitive signs and thought wouldn't it be cool to have a girl who really saw visions and have to piece the signs together to help others? I wrote up a proposal and I was so glad MTV Books thought Kara's story was worthy of publication.
2) It seems that a lot of readers confuse fiction with real life, assuming that a novel must be an autobiography of the author as well. How many elements of your real life are reflected in your book?
K: My first novel was about a girl who loved graffiti art in GRAFFITI GIRL. Everyone asked if I was that girl. There were aspects of me, but I was never a real graffiti artist and many people still don't believe me. In INVISIBLE TOUCH, Kara sees psychic images and I surely don't! But she lives in a town based on my hometown and she also lost her father abruptly as I did. I don't write about my life, but I can't help adding a few characteristics of myself in my books.
3) A lot of my blog readers are aspiring or new authors. How did you land your first book deal?
K: Most of my life had been about art and graphic design. But about six years ago, I became an avid reader of fiction. Two years later, I read a bio about a local author who made a living at writing books, and that day I sat down to begin my first book. I started out writing Romantic Suspense, which I did sell. Unfortunately the line closed before that book could be published. A few months after my first sale, I sold GRAFFITI GIRL to MTV Pocket Books--and now I'm excited to be going in a new direction in my writing career.
4) I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to tackling my fiction. What's your routine? How do you dive it? Do you have any rituals or necessary to-dos before or while you write?
K: It's the same for me. The Internet is my procrastination addiction. I usually check email and favorite sites in the morning, then I close up the Net and try and write for a couple of hours before it's time to pick up the kids. Then I edit in the evening or write some more.
5) Clearly, your book will be optioned for a multi-million dollar film deal! Who would you cast as the leads, if you were given creative control?
K: The actors I like are too old, but here is the make-believe scenario: Kara would be possibly be Vanessa Hudgens. Anthony would be a younger Milo Ventimiglia.