New York Times bestselling author Melissa De La Cruz stopped by the blog to chat about plans for 2013, her new release Gates of Paradise and more! Check it out:
2013 is a big year for you! Starting with the exciting release of Gates of Paradise. What can you tell fans about this book?
What cities are you most excited to visit on your signing tour?
Hard one to answer! I like them all and I’m so happy my fans chose to have me come to their hometown. I will say I love coming home to New York, and I love going to Toronto, because my readers there are so enthusiastic!
You have quite the resume with your writing career! How different is it writing novels as opposed to working in fashion based magazines?
Well, it’s like night and day really, the complete opposite. Writing a 80,000 word novel is very different to writing short fashion pieces. I used to write the snappy titles and headlines as well – I would say writing in magazines you have to be very quick and clever, and writing books, you need to be diligent and work slowly and thoroughly. The tortoise and the hare!
Did you make any resolutions for the New Year?
No. I usually write them but I was tired of feeling bad about myself. I’m in a happy place right now, and seriously, I was like, “lose 10 lbs or just dress more flatteringly”? It’s amazing how much thinner one looks in certain clothing. I have been the same weight for years but depending on what I am wearing, people will say “Oh my god you lost weight and look fantastic!” And it’s like, no, I am just wearing a very flattering outfit.
What was the first story you remember reading as a child?
Dr. Seuss Hop on Pop.
What sparked your dreams of becoming a writer?
Loving books. But probably Sweet Valley High because I read the writer was 22 years old. I was 11 then and I thought “well, I could be a writer in 11 years!” That was really inspiring.
A loooonnng time. I work on my books to death, you have to. For the first Blue Bloods, I spent a year just working on the mythology and another year writing the book. Frozen, my new series, I’ve been working on for four years now. It finally comes out this September!
While writing, do your prefer silence or do you listen to music?
What books are you currently reading?
Nothing right now because I’m on deadline. But over the holidays I read The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones and that was terrific. Also John Taylor’s bio, Love Death and Duran Duran. I love him and his book is awesome. I fell in love with him all over again. Don’t tell my husband!
What releases are you most excited about for 2013?
My own books of course, but also ICONS by my friend Margaret Stohl, it’s an awesome book, it made me cry so hard.
Talk about an emotional journey. I just saw a review of Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. I want to read that book it sounds so fun! I have been meaning to read her adult series for years.
To date, what has been your favourite movie interpretation of a book?
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. HANDS DOWN!!
Can you give readers a sneak peek into the woman behind the words? What are ten random facts about yourself that no one would ever know?
1. I missed valedictorian of my high school by a tenth of a point. I got a B+ in French when my teacher, who loved me, discovered I could not actually speak the language. (I got a 1 on the AP).
2. I read The Fountainhead when I was in high school, and my English teacher told me “not to believe everything it says” and he warned me that the book “Tried to tell people how to think” and that this was wrong. Good books are supposed to open up your mind, not close them. Since then, I’ve always thought anyone who likes Ayn Rand is slightly stupid. (Blame my sophomore English teacher!)
3. My favorite color is fuschia. But I would never wear it. (I used to when I was a teenager.)
4. I am not actually in love with any of my boy characters. They are like my kids, or um, me. So that would be weird. I am in love with my husband and John Taylor from Duran Duran though. Tossup on who I love better, heh.
5. Yes, I am a Durannie.
6. I am very active in my kid’s school, but I never told the librarian I was an author. But apparently they knew all along! And they love Blue Bloods! Now I wish I didn’t wear yoga pants so often when I go pick her up.
7. When I was a fashion editor, the other editor went to Yale and the other one was a Princeton grad, and I went to Columbia. Ivy League graduates pick out what shoes you wear, yo. We were all debating what cap to put on the model during the shoot, and that’s when it all came out. “I only have my Yale baseball cap!” “Well here’s my Columbia one!” “Here’s my Princeton one!’ In the end she just wore a plain black one I think. But until then I had no idea where anyone went to school. It’s an obnoxious story but I get tired of people thinking that fashion is done by dumb people. Shallow people *maybe*, but dumb? NEVER!
8. One of my first reporting gigs was the “things you don’t expect beat” I interviewed a stripper with a MENSA IQ, and that sort of thing. I liked stories that don’t conform to expectations.
9. Another assignment when I worked at a magazine was to ask guys to walk around with their “length” on their t-shirts to see how many numbers they would get in a night. The 3-inch guy had a great sense of humor (and supposedly was lying.) He was cute and got a lot of numbers.
10. I don’t remember the names of my old boyfriends anymore. Isn’t that sad? But it actually happens. You forget. What was his last name again?? Lost to the wind…
Where to find Melissa: