I am pleased to welcome my guest, Cindy C. Bennett to Thoughts At One In The Morning. As part of her Geek Girl Blog Tour, I did an interview with Cindy to find out more about her new book, Geek Girl, and other things.
What inspired your book Geek Girl?
I write this story originally as a short story (1500 words) for a contest. We’ve all seen movies or read books where a popular kid decides they can turn some wallflower or nerd into a popular person. I wanted to take the same idea and turn it on its head, where someone on the fringes, someone edgy and not popular in the least, decides to turn someone their way. So I came up with Jen, an angry, bitter, bored girl who’s been dealt a bad hand in life. I wanted her to decide on someone not popular, but someone who would be considered really good who she tries to make bad. After I wrote the short story, I couldn’t get Jen & Trev out of my mind. They really wanted their whole story to be told. So I obliged.
What do you like most about Geek Girl?
I like the idea of someone who appears to be one thing, who is judged on that appearance, and show that she has layers and depth, that she has a goodness within her as I believe that everyone does. I like that she finds it for herself as she spends time with someone who doesn’t judge her on appearance only.
What music did you listen to while writing it?
Depending on the mood in the current scene I’m writing will depend on the music I listen to. If it’s a heavy, sad scene I try to find a song that reflects that. If it’s a love scene, obviously I’m listening to a love song. If it’s a scene where she’s discovering something about herself, or where Trevor is trying to point out something good about her, I listen to something uplifting. I don’t listen to music the entire time I’m writing because I don’t want it to influence what I’m writing unless I want something specific.
Are any of the characters in your books based on people you know?
Not specifically. Trevor is very loosely based on a boy who my daughter knew. He was Trevor-esque in that he was tall, good looking, but definitely a geek, who played the piano and sang beautifully. Beyond that he’s entirely my imagination. Jen isn’t based on anyone I know (other than her looks which are like my daughter—who is not Goth, by the way). Her backstory is based on the real life story of a boy I saw on TV a while back who really lived what she did as a child. The difference is that he let life get him down, and he was being interviewed from prison. My heart broke listening to his story.
The characters in your books deal with some really intense issues. What made you decide that your character will face these issues?
I’ve always respected people who have these really rough childhoods, where things that happen are beyond their control, and yet manage to rise above those circumstances. I think people choose how to deal with what life throws at you, and those who (to coin a cliché) take lemons and make lemonade are to me just so admirable. So I enjoy writing about those types of people.
Your books are so clean (compared to most YA) as far as content goes. What made you choose to write this way?
YA readers tend to be girls as young as ten and as old as . . . well, grandmas. I feel that if someone picks up a YA book, they are expecting content that is appropriate for young adults. If they wanted a book with adult content, they would pick up an adult book. I’m amazed at how many emails I get from teens to grandmas who are appreciative of the fact that my books are clean, while still dealing with some tough, real issues, and that they feel they can pass the books on to their friend/sister/daughter/grandma and not worry about them being offended by what they might read. It’s clear that there is a genuine desire out there for even more good, well-written, clean books.
What would be your dream job if you didn’t write?
That’s a tough one because truly, this is my dream job. This is the thing I’ve always wanted to do more than anything. I suppose if I had to pick a different job, I’d probably want to work as a nurse in a children’s hospital. I spent some time at one when my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, and it’s amazing the courage that so many of those children display on a daily basis.
Do you have any hobbies outside of writing?
I like to scrapbook (digitally) and I ride my Harley quite a bit. I’d love to have more time to read as that was my favorite thing to do before I began writing in earnest. I prefer to spend time with my family more than anything, and I could probably become obsessed with computer games if I let myself.
What is your favorite book so far this year?
Another tough one. There are so many good books to choose from. I suppose of the books I’ve read this year only, one that really stands out is Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine. I’ve just recently finished this book, and wow, it’s a heartbreaker. I think I cried from almost the beginning. It’s one of those books you just can’t stop thinking after the last page. My only complaint is that it was short, and I definitely wanted more of both Sophie and Carter. I’ve read many good books this year, this one may stand out the most simply because it’s the last book I read, but even at that I think it would probably be in my top twenty all-time favorite books.
What writing project are you working on next?
I’m nearly finished with my next novel called Immortal Mine, which I hope is published by the time this interview is published. I had hoped to have it out before now, but life happens, and I wasn’t able to finish it when I planned to. It’s a little out of my usual writing as it has a small element of the supernatural in it, but at heart it’s about the love story of the two main characters. I’m a total sucker for romance, so I suspect my books will always be about the love story, whatever else is happening.
Where can we keep up with you online?
Find me at www.cindycbennett.comFacebook at http://www.facebook.com/authorcindycbennettTwitter at https://twitter.com/#!/cinbennett
Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4116333.Cindy_C_Bennett
Thank you so much Cindy for the interview and opportunity to be a stop along the blog tour!
"Think I can turn that boy bad?" 17-year-old Jen turns her life upside down when, out of boredom, she makes a bet that she can turn school geek Trevor into someone like her. Instead, the goth girl finds herself sucked into his world of sci-fi movies, charity work, and even-ugh!-bowling. To truly belong with him-and with her new foster family-she must first come to terms with her violent past.
Be sure to get a copy of Geek Girl on December 28th 2011 (You can pre-order on Barnes & Noble and Amazon--just click the links on the site name). Add it on Goodreads. You can read my review of Geek Girl here.
Also, don't forget to check out Heart On A Chain, which is available now on Barnes & Noble and Amazon in e-book and paperback. You can read my review of Heart On A Chain here.
Check out the stops on the whole tour here.
Check out Cindy's blog here.
Check out the official Geek Girl FB page here.
Also check out Cedar Fort Books on their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads pages.