Today, I welcome to Bookster Reviews, the one, the only, Luisa Plaja! Luisa is the author of four books,Split by a Kiss, Extreme Kissing,Swapped by a Kiss, and her latest book,Kiss Date Love Hate, available to buy (which you should!) from 2nd February this year. She also runs teen fiction blog Chicklish, and wrote a book for interactive e- fiction site, Fiction Express, called Diary of a Mall Girl. She wrote a short story featured in the short story book Truth or Dare. Luisa is great, she is lovely and is a fantastic author. She kindly agreed to let me ask her a few questions, and here are her answers. Enjoy!
Hello! I'm Luisa and I love reading, writing and everything to do with words. I was born in Scotland and grew up in Italy and England, and I've always wished I could be an ice-skater but... yeah, no. I've also always wanted to be a writer. Yay!
2. Did anyone (or anything) in particular inspire you to become an author?
Really it was a love of reading and of stories. I fell in love with books at an early age and I always wanted to tell my own stories. Later in life, I was inspired and encouraged by my fabulous writing friends. (You'll see some of their names listed in the acknowledgments of my books!) Readers and book bloggers also inspire me.
There are aspects of me in all of them, but the answer is probably Jo from Split by a Kiss. And I mean Jo the Nerd, of course. :)
4. Could you tell us about your new book, Kiss Date Love Hate?
It's the story of a girl and a boy who make profiles for themselves and their friends in a computer game, make 'wishful' alterations to the settings and then find that the changes come true in real life, giving them the power to control their friends' lives and loves. It's a novel about changes, romance, friendship, family and love.
5. How did you come up with the idea for Kiss Date Love Hate?
The idea was triggered by lots of things, including the movie Jurassic Park, but one of the main inspirations was watching my then 13-year-old niece playing a Sims game, and thinking, "What if..."
6. Was it hard to get your first book published?
Yes and no. I'd spent years and years thinking that publication was an impossible dream, so that part was hard. But when I finally plucked up the courage to submit the novel that became Split by a Kiss, I ended up floating through the process... in a bit of a dream-like state, come to think of it!
7. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Of course not! *runs away* ;)
No, seriously, they're all from my imagination. I promise.
8. Hard question now! What is your favourite book of all time? Or if it's too hard your favourite books!
It's really, really hard, but if I absolutely have to narrow it down to just one novel, it's Masha by Mara Kay, which I read hundreds of times when I was little. It's out of print now. Sob. You can read more about it here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/327184.Masha
9. What did you do before you became a writer?
Lots of wordy jobs! I worked on dictionaries, defining words and idioms. I worked in television subtitling for people with hearing difficulties. I worked on linguistic computer software. And more...
10. What would be your dream job if you weren't a writer now?
Anything to do with words, really! Although I've also often vaguely fancied being a long-distance lorry driver. I'm sure I'd dream up stories as I trundled up and down the country...
11. Finally, what is your best advice for aspiring writers?
Read a lot, write a lot, enjoy it... and don't be put off!
Twitter or Facebook? I'm on both, but... yes, Twitter.
Tea or Coffee? Tea! Tea! And more tea!
Chocolate or Sweets? Again both, but sweets win in the end. Chocolates often get a bit too fancy for me. ;)
Mystery or Fantasy? Er... argh... Stories! LOL
Reading or Writing? Writing! Especially if there are other people around and they're also writing, so that I can read their stories... *totally cheats*
Thank you very much for your wonderful interview questions, Cliona!
You're welcome Luisa, it was great having you here!
Luisa's books: Split by a Kiss