Saturday, February 22, 2014

Author Tessa Hall Interview + Reading Clean

Tessa Hall has graciously agreed to let me interview her!!! (So much happiness!) At the end of this post is information about ReadingClean, a terrific website about, well, reading clean. ;)

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Buy it on Amazon.
Me: How did your parents react when you wanted to do online schooling so you could pursue writing?

Tessa Hall: They were very supportive. In fact, my mom is the one who discovered the online school and presented me with the option. I had been planning on continuing my Christian private school--but when she told me about this online school, I loved the idea that I would be able to incorporate writing into my school schedule.

Were you ever rejected?

There was an agent that was interested in Purple Moon before I signed a contract with my publisher. After I sent her a query letter, she then asked me to send a synopsis. When I did, she then replied that my writing was good but that she wasn't too thrilled with the plot. Because of this, I decided I needed to spend time working on the plot a bit more before seeking publication.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

I've never based a character entirely off someone, only certain qualities and characteristics. For instance, there is a supporting character named Cole who is very similar to my cousin, Ryan. In Purple Moon, there is a scene where Cole is eating a sandwich, but stops when he realizes that the sandwich has turkey in it. Since he is a vegetarian and hasn't eaten meat in three years, he starts to completely freak out. This scene was actually "inspired" by my cousin, Ryan.

Selena, my protagonist, wasn't exactly based on someone I know in person but rather a combination of people. I'm not saying that I wrote her with certain people in mind, but that I have witnessed so many people in my own life who had started out as a "good person", but eventually started falling away from a Lord when they became a teenager. It's always been difficult for me to witness these people start making bad decisions, only because I know how good a person they really are. They just might not know how to deal with the issues they're facing. I wanted Selena to represent those kind of people, and to show them that there is hope--that God still loves them, despite the mistakes that they've made, and that He has the power to turn things around.

I also have another supporting character--Hilarie, Selena's best friend--who was sort of influenced by my best friend in middle and high school. And although I didn't write a character completely based off someone in real-life, I did give several small, supporting characters the same names as my friends and family, such as: Josh, Jeremy, Christopher, Sarah, Erica, ect. It's been really entertaining, receiving phone calls from them as they discover their names in my book. Especially as many of those characters don't exactly have the greatest reputations... =)

Do you have a recipe for Selena's Luna Bonita Latte?

I wish! I should seriously get on with that, though. Actually, my family has friends that are owners of a coffee shop where I live. I've been meaning to schedule a book signing with them and ask if we could add the Luna Bonita Latte on the menu for the day. The drink really does sound delicious, doesn't it?

It does! Will there be a second book for Selena?

I am currently writing the sequel for Purple Moon, however I cannot guarantee that it will be published. And if it will, I am not entirely sure when the release date would be. I would love to continue her story though, and possibly even write a third book in the series. Prayers will be greatly appreciated!

I promise to pray. :) Can the skit that Selena performed be found on YouTube?

Yes! The skit is actually what inspired the story for Purple Moon. It went viral on YouTube several years ago, and now there have been many churches to perform it since then. You can find the original here.

Thank you so much for having me, Julia!

You're very welcome! I absolutely loved Purple Moon. I read it in a day. :)

The goal of ReadingClean is to promote clean, wholesome YA books to teens and young adults. I definitely suggest you sign up. :D

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