Joining us today is Yvonne Prinz, author of young adult books The Vinyl Princess and All You Get Is Me (reviewed here and here on my blog). As a reader, I loved the instant connection I had with Allie and Roar, the main characters in each book, and as a writer I was thrilled at how well Yvonne created their voices and told their stories. Anyway, no more blather, let’s hear from Yvonne herself!
BH: Your latest book, All You Get Is Me, is getting glowing reviews online. What seems to be the element people like most about the book?
YP: I’m surprised but it seems that most readers seem to like the romance aspect of the book the best. If you had told me that while I was writing it, I’d have laughed out loud but Forest and Roar have become readers’ favorite summer romance.
BH: Your first book, The Vinyl Princess, was also a huge success. What do you think makes Allie so appealing? I need to learn your secret, and so do a lot of other authors out there!
YP: Well, I wouldn’t call it a huge success but it seems to have taken on a life of its own. I think readers are drawn to Allie’s work life, her weird comfort zone, and her honesty about who she is in the world. Also, falling for the wrong guy is always an appealing topic because we’ve all done it. I don’t know that I have a secret. I think getting the voice right is paramount in creating characters but I probably heard that from a publisher. Here’s a tip but it’s not a secret: If you fall in love with your own characters I think you’re probably on the right track.
BH: I absolutely loved the setting for All You Get Is Me. I kinda want to move to that organic farm. Is the farm based on someplace you know? Is there really a monastery nearby? Can you give us a map with driving directions, as well as real estate information?
YP: The farm is in a fictional town. I plucked bits from several locations in Northern California. The Monastery is in Marin County (outside San Francisco) and the farm is in a place sort of like Brentwood CA’s farm community (East of the City) but it’s much smaller. I’m pretty sure you can get a house there for a song as the developers grossly overestimated the amount of development that could be sustained and there’s a lot of new houses sitting empty. As for old, lovely farmhouses, I think you need to head to the Sebastopol and environs area. I sort of based the house on some great old farms I’ve seen in that area.
BH: Are you working on something new at the moment, and if so, can you share anything about it?
YP: I’ve just finished a thriller that takes place in a Northern California seaside hamlet. It’s foggy and gloomy and a girl named Georgia loses her brother to a surfing accident. Shortly after the funeral, a very charismatic stranger arrives in town who seems to know a bit too much about her brother…(Cue scary music here)
BH: Ooh, sounds exciting! And huzzah for Northern California settings! What does your workspace look like?
YP: I can’t post a photo because I’m away from home right now but suffice to say, it’s your usual writerly chaos. My imaginary workspace is spectacular, however, and features a massive fireplace and a big sleeping dog at my feet. I think it might be in Colorado or Montana.
BH: What is your favorite book on the craft of writing?
YP: I like Stephen King’s [On Writing] because it’s so easy to understand. I don’t write like him but he just makes sense.
Like me, he doesn’t think that there are any secrets involved. He’s a believer in hard work.
BH: I’m reading his book right now – so far I like what he has to say. Do you have any words or advice to aspiring writers for keeping the hope alive?
YP: Remember that publishing is a business and a rejection is only one person’s opinion of your work. Don’t take it personally.
Get out there and live. Get some great stories under your belt. Fall in love, get your heart broken, get in trouble, see the world. If you don’t have a book to write when you’re done at least you’ll be more interesting at cocktail parties.
BH: Thank you, Yvonne, for the interview. It has been a joy getting to know you and your books! Studio audience: for more on Yvonne, check out the links below. Also, I don’t know for sure, but Yvonne said she might be around to answer questions today in the comments section, so if you have any, feel free to ask!
www.caughtinthecarousel.com This is a website that the Vinyl Princess reviews music on.
Buy the Book:
Or visit your local Indie bookstore.
Hi Yvonne, do you usually set your books in places that you’re familiar with? Have you ever written a setting that was unfamiliar, and if so, how did that go?
I read Vinyl Princess, and agree with Beth: Allie is amazing.
I haven’t yet. I feel that I at least need to have been in the places I write about. Every place has it’s own smells and sounds and I think you need to know those. Your location is a character in your book and it should be as well fleshed out as your human characters. The next book that’s rolling around in my brain takes place partly in prison so I guess I need to get myself arrested. Thanks for reading the VP!
Hi Ms. Prinz,
Which character is more like you, Allie or Roar?
I think Allie is a bit more like me. I lived the life of a music junky and I sort of get where her head’s at. I do love Roar so much though, she’s got lots of pluck and I love how she sees Forest and absolutely flips for him. I love how she exhibits such a willingness to jump in even though she’s in some pain over her abandonment by her mother. Allie is more reserved and a lot more cynical about life.