Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I write YA because I think everyone can remember what high school was like. For most people it’s like running an obstacle course, trying to get through four years in what is literally an institution so you can move on with your life and make your own choices. The lack of power and control at that age can be maddening. All the stress and pressure also provide for a lot of comic opportunities. And yes there are those people who had a golden story book experience in high school, but I don’t think that’s the norm. Whenever someone tells me high school was the best time of their life, I think they’ve got about sixty years of disappointment ahead of them.
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
My parents were both avid readers. My mother took us to the library almost every weekend.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about ten years.
What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I write Young Adult urban fantasy about shape-shifting dragons and romantic comedies.
What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?
I think books bring people together and give them a common experience. Several decades ago, everyone watched the same movies or television shows because there weren’t that many to choose from. People quoted Star Wars and The Breakfast Club. Now there are dozens of movies playing every week and more television channels than you can count. People don’t have the same entertainment experience. With books people have that common ground. Fans of Harry Potter all have the same references they understand HP jokes and quotes. Books can be bonding.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
I’m a huge fan of snarky dialogue and witty banter. I love to make people laugh. That’s what I try to do in my books.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
My romantic comedies are brain candy. They’re happy fluff that’s supposed to make you laugh, possibly tear up a little bit, and then make you smile like an idiot over the happily ever after. One of the hardest parts of this book was adding in some more serious emotional baggage for the main characters. West’s mom is a hoarder. His entire house is full of rubber maid storage containers stacked floor to ceiling. The containers are all neatly labeled because his dad is OCD. West lies and tells everyone that his mom is terminally ill and can’t have visitors to keep his family’s secret. Nina’s dad was an over the road trucker who had another wife and children two states away. Finding out her perfect family was the perfect lie has made her a pathological truth teller. The surest way to piss her off is to lie to her. Throw these two characters together, and it’s an interesting situation.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Nina is a self-professed nerd girl and a book junkie. She’s a huge fan of Harry Potter. While West comes across as cool and controlled, he’s also a reader and he loves Harry Potter, too. It was fun to have them banter back and forth about Hogwarts and wands.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I’m a speech therapist by day and an author by night. I dream of retiring early, so I can write more than two or three books a year.
What do you like to read in your free time?
Anything by Cassandra Clare. I love her snarky dialogue and her kick ass female characters.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I just turned in the 5th book in my shape shifting dragon series, Going Down In Flames. Bryn turns sixteen, flames shoot out of her mouth, and that’s the first clue she has that she’s a shape-shifting dragon. (Not the gift she hoped for.)
I’m also writing another romantic comedy about two friends who pretend to date in the hopes of making the actual objects of their affection see them as datable. Of course, they end up falling for each other.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I’m working on another urban fantasy about crossroad demons: All Meena wanted was a summer job that didn’t involve the phrase, “Do you want fries with that?” She never planned on working for a soul sucking demon with a hair fetish. If she can’t break her contract with Bane she’s stuck in Crossroads, IL. No college, no traveling the world, no escaping the small town where she’s never fit in. Will she sell her soul to escape hell on earth?
What book do you wish you could have written?
Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments series, and Welcome to Temptation
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I stay away from the death and dying topics. I know reading about someone with a terminal disease can be cathartic, but I find real life depressing enough. I want to read something that makes me laugh or takes me away to a fantastical world, which is why I write funny (hopefully) urban fantasy and romantic comedies.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Just one more page.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to fly. When I’m really happy I dream that I can fly, which is also why I like writing dragons.
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
They don’t have dragons at the zoo, so this is a tough one. Maybe a tiger or a lion because they’re so graceful and powerful.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Before I die, I want to write all the stories zooming around in my brain.
Nina Barnes thinks Valentine’s Day should be optional. That way single people like her wouldn’t be subjected to kissy Cupids all over the place. That is, until her mom moves them next door to the brooding hottie of Greenbrier High, West Smith. He’s funny, looks amazing in a black leather jacket, and he’s fluent in Harry Potter, but she’s not sure he’s boyfriend material.
West isn’t sure what to make of Nina. She’s cute and loves to read as much as he does, but she seems to need to debate everything and she has a pathological insistence on telling the truth. And West doesn’t exactly know how to handle that, since his entire life is a carefully constructed secret. Dating the girl next door could be a ton of fun, but only if Nina never finds out the truth about his home life. It’s one secret that could bring them together or rip them apart.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is not for anyone who has to get in the last word, but it is for all book nerds, especially those who live next door to so called unapproachable gorgeous guys. There’s no debating the chemistry.
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at http://www.chriscannonauthor.com.
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