Monday, April 7, 2014

We interrupt this challenege to bring you... A Blog Hop!

Huge thanks to my friend and fellow author and UnCommon YA-er Steven Parlato for inviting me to do this blog hop! Steve is a writer, illustrator and Assistant Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut. An occasional actor, he’s played roles including MacBeth, The Scarecrow and Bambi’s dad, the Great Prince of the Forest. Steve’s poetry appears in journals including MARGIE, Borderlands, Freshwater, CT River Review and Peregrine. His debut YA manuscript, winner of the 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices, was released January 18, 2013 by Merit Press as The Namesake. Recently, Kirkus called the novel a “memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought.” Represented for fiction by Victoria Marini of Gelfman-Schneider Literary Agency, Steven is at work on his next YA novel. He’s a member of a YA author collective, Uncommon YA. Find him online at or on Twitter: @parlatowrites

And now, some questions for me :)

What are your working on?
 Right now, I'm playing the waiting game. I have a YA novel, two non-fiction book proposals and some non-fiction article proposals out on sub--but it's always good to stay busy while you wait (helps to keep your mind off the waiting!). I have two articles and an interview occupying my thoughts at the moment, and another YA novel that's waiting to be revised--but I don't want to jump into that again until I know what's going on with the stuff that's out in the world. I find it hard to bury myself in a project, only to have to set it aside if something else moves up in the prioirty line.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I aspire to be a spiritual person, and try to bring that to all aspects of my life. I hope that I bring a bit of my magical background to my fiction, and a bit of my fiction flair to the non-fiction that I write.

Why do I write what I do?
I write what I love. To paint with words is an art form, and I've found that any art is most intense and moving and beautiful and terrible (as in thought-provoking) when it comes from the heart. The topics I pick are ones that I become obsessed with--and that counts for other creative projects as well. It may mean that I don't sell things right away--or maybe at all. It also means that it may take a while to get it just right--but that's OK. The old adage is true--the destination (end goal) is satisfying--but especially so when the journey has been wondrous.

How does my writing process work?
I always carry a notebook with me because I never know when an idea, a phrase, a paragraph or character will sneak up on me. Usually I make lots of notes on a project, and watch it take shape. When I feel I have enough, I'll make an outline. Everything is always subject to change. Then I start writing. I tend to jump around, depending on what comes to me. Getting that initial draft down is always the hardest part for me--but once that's down, my favorite part begins. I LOVE revisions. :)

Last, and certainly not least, here are is another writer you should get to know--my coauthor and pal, Charlotte Bennardo!

Char is always looking for characters to mess with. She loves to write young and new adult fiction although she has written non fiction articles and poetry too. She lives with two spoiled cats, a squirrel who sometimes visits and her family in central New Jersey. Visit her online at and on twitter at @charbennardo.


  1. I also carry a notepad just in case I need to jots something down. Great minds! Had the chance to visit your friend's blog, too. Collaborating is awesome! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I learned to be prepared the hard way (picture me driving, coming up with something, and then the whole way home, or wherever I was going, I repeated the thing over and over--and I STILL didn't get it down the way it came to me...). The notes app on my iPhone has also worked nicely--especially when can just talk to it and it gets the words down. I just have to remember to email myself the notes so I have multiple copies! :)

  2. Hey, Nat! I have an envelope (from an old agent rejection) scribbled with story ideas tucked into the driver's visor of my car from an afternoon when I was stuck in traffic. What is it about driving that sparks the creative brain? Thanks for joining the hop. Really enjoyed reading about your process! All best, Steve

    1. And backatcha! So cool that you do theater--thanks so much for thinking of me for this :)