Hello and welcome to the Fused Blog Tour
It was very kind for Kari Lee Townsend to answer some questions for Reading Teen...
RT: How did you get this very creative idea of a storyline?
Kari T: Hi Amy, thanks so much for having me here! I got this idea because I have four children ranging from preteen to full-blown teenagers, and they are ALL obsessed with technology. They use every kind of gadget imaginable, but they especially love their cell phones. They love to drive me crazy with their non-stop texting, so one day I said, “Be careful, one day you might turn into one of your gadgets!” and viola, Samantha Granger was born! Of course now I drive them crazy with my constant questions about technology, and my following their every move as I observe them. But hey, turnabout is fair play in my book...at least I put them in the dedication.
RT: What was your inspiration for the main character Samantha Granger?
Kari T: Good question. I’m not really sure. I was trying to create characters I thought kids of many ages could relate to and would enjoy reading about. My daughter loves iCarly, so I wanted someone who was like Carly and her friend Sam. They crack me up together and make such a great team. Also I had a Hollywood director sign on to adapt the book to a screenplay before the book was even finished, so early on I tried to picture who would be perfect to play to my lead characters, and again, iCarly came to mind. That’s how Sam and Mel were born.
RT: Do you feel like this book will relate to the middle grade age group, since it is about cell phones, which is so very popular in today's society?
|Kari Lee Townsend|
RT: Do you support the idea of so many young kids today having a cell phone? Do you feel like it can get in the way of their studies at school?
Kari T: As a parent, I love the idea of being able to check in with my children whenever I want. And with my children involved in so many activities, it’s convenient for them to have phones to call me when they are done. I also think a kid’s social life is very important to him or her. I don’t see an issue with them having cell phones, but I do think parents need to set limits. Kids need to learn there are legitimate times and a places for texting. Places like the dinner table, church, restaurants and movie theatres are not some of those. Although, I have to admit, adults can be just as guilty of breaking social etiquette when using their cell phones. And finally, you’d be surprised at how many children sneak their phones in bed with them at night and text all night long, then fall asleep in school the next day. Other than that, I say text away.
RT: I'm excited to read this book, it sounds like a very fun read. Who was your favorite author as a middle grade student and why?
Kari T: Oh my, I’m going to show my age here, big-time! I used to love the Nancy Drew books by Mildred Benson. Action and adventure scenes are so exciting and trying to figure out a puzzle has always been so much fun for me. I loved mysteries both then and now. In fact I also write an adult cozy mystery series called The Fortune Teller Mysteries, but book one in the new series called Tempest in the Tea Leaves doesn’t come out until August.
RT: What was your favorite snack, while writing this book?
Kari T: LOL….I have to say I’ve never been asked that question before. Hmmm, well, I started writing many years ago during naptime when my children were little. I’m so used to writing during that time slot that to this day, even with them all in school now, I still enjoy writing in the afternoon the most. Sooo, I always have a diet cola (I switch between Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke to keep from getting bored). When I’m trying to be really “good,” I have a mini-bag of smart popcorn. But when I’m being really bad, I go for both salty and sweet. Some kind of yummy chips and ANY kind of chocolate. Although, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut M&M’s are my favorites! Shhh….don’t tell!
RT: How long did it take you to write Fused?
Kari T: Writing two series at the same time can be challenging. Thank goodness I write fast! My average goal is 10 pages a day, five days a week, which is 50 pages per week. That means for a 200 page book, it only takes me one month to write the first draft. But I always take a second month to polish. However, if I get behind and it’s getting close to my deadline, I have been known to finish a book in two weeks, but that’s so not pretty! Procrastination is a bad thing…always remember that ;-)
RT: How did you celebrate, when you finished writing 'Fused' ?
Kari T: I had a glass of champagne, did a happy dance around my house, and then took a couple of weeks off. I always recharge my mental battery after a book, so I don’t risk burning out. I also love to brainstorm and think my plots through during that time without any actual physical writing. And it helps that I alternate books in both of my series so that I’m writing something new and fresh and won’t get bored. By the time I come back to write another Samantha Granger book, it seems new and exciting once more. But right now my break time is over, so I guess I’d better get back to work on book three, FREEDOM! Thanks so much for having me. It’s been fun J To find out more about me and all my books including my mystery series that debuts in August called TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A FORTUNE TELLER MYSTERY go to http://www.karileetownsend.com/