ReadOrama Luisa Plaja

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Brand-new author alert!

The super-fabulous Luisa Plaja is soon-to-be-added to your list of must-read authors. Her first book Split By a Kiss is too, too good. It’s out this week, but before you buy it, which you will absolutely want to do, read on to find out all about it and the author-girl herself, you’ll be really, really glad you did!

Describe author-girl, Luisa in five words…
Wordy… smiley… lucky… kooky… mummy…

We LOVE your first book, Luisa – congrats! For those who haven’t read it yet, why should they go buy a copy, pronto?
OK… Ever wondered what life would be like if you had/hadn’t said/done a certain thing at a particular time? Ever been told to ‘be yourself’ and not known how to, and wondered what it even means, anyway? Then this book is for you! When Jo moves to the USA and kisses the hottest boy in school, she’s in two minds about it – literally. She becomes two different people. How can she ever really be herself again? Buy the book to find out!

How did the book go from an idea in your head to a real life book on the shelf?
Definitely by magic! Well, maybe not all of it. First I poured a whole lot of words out and then I mixed them up and rearranged them a lot, rinsing and repeating several times. The second stage was sending it to a great agent who sent it to a wonderful editor who, with the help of an amazing team, turned it into a real-life book. Hurray!

How long did SBAK take you to write?
Probably about six months for the first draft, including a big break in the middle where I got stuck and wrote another book. That’s not counting revision time, though.

Split by a Kiss – we love the title and we love the idea of getting to be two different versions of ourselves – which of your Jo characters would you rather be – the cool kid or the quirky kid?
I don’t think I get a choice in the matter – I’m the quirky one (nicely put!) whether I like it or not. In fact, I devised this quiz and despite having made up the questions myself and knowing all the answers, I still never manage to come out as Josie the Cool. I don’t mind, though. They both get their share of downs and ups.

What was life like for you as a teen girl?
Not the happiest time of my life, but it had its moments!

What was your fave book as a teen girl?
Ooh, that’s hard. I read anything and everything, and I went through a long horror fiction phase around then. But I also loved Judy Blume’s novels, and I collected Sweet Valley High and teen romance.

You’re also editor of online book review site Chicklish – another of our faves – tell us about that and why you set it up…
It’s a UK-based site dedicated to book reviews, news and author interviews. There are also extracts from teen novels, and book giveaways. I started it with some fabulous writer friends – thanks, O fabulous ones! – to provide a place where we could talk about the lighter side of UK teen fiction. Now I’d say we cover most types of teen fiction from all over the world.

What makes you jump in the air happy?
Reading, Writing and Running-about-with-my-kids.

What tunes would a Split by a Kiss soundtrack include?
I’ve been dying to be asked that question! Thank you, wondrous Pink World! (We aim to please! – Lola)Well, obviously, Split by a Kiss’s own Madison Rat would have to provide quite a bit, if not all, of the soundtrack themselves, being the accomplished musicians they are. In among the sparkling Madison Rat originals, and their personalised takes on Snow Patrol and Aimee Mann tracks, would be some tunes by the now sadly disbanded Sing-Sing (ex-Lush band members). That about covers it as far as I know, but I’m sure the Rats themselves would have far more ideas.

What’s your motto/mantra for life?
I’m not sure! No, that’s not my motto, though, you know… Hmm. How about: “Be yourself, no matter what they say.”

What’s next in the life of author girl, Luisa – more Jo? New characters? Spill.
New characters, new adventures! And I love the way you called me ‘author girl’.

You’ve gone from being a wannabe writer, to a real life author girl, what tips would you have for our wannabe pink-world writer?
Ah, happiness, you called me ‘author girl’ again!

My advice is to write and enjoy it.

Oh, and try NaNoWriMo some time – it’s fun!

The colour pink. Discuss.
Well, I know all about how to Think Pink, thanks to a certain fabulous Lola Love, and I recommend it to everyone!

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