Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt with Liz Czukas!!!!

I'm so excited to have Liz Czukas on the blog today for the 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt. Liz is the author of not one, but two contemporary novels published by Harper Teen! ASK AGAIN LATER and TOP TEN CLUES YOU'RE CLUELESS (coming December 2014). And if you read down, you'll find out the pretty amazing prize you might win!

Liz Czukas is a freelance writer (on sometimes sad or boring topics), and also writes books for young adults (which are rarely sad and full of kissing).  Before that, she was a nurse and she still kind of misses starting IVs.
She lives outside Milwaukee, WI with her husband, son and the world’s loudest cat.  She types too loud (according to her husband), spends too much time on the Internet, and can’t get enough of disaster movies.  There is *always* a song stuck in her head, and she once won a hula-hoop contest

What made you decide to write YA?

I have been a fan of YA since I was probably too young to be reading some of it—hello, Judy Blume’s Forever!  When i took my first steps into writing, it was just a natural fit for me.  I like how everything in YA has an intensity and importance to the characters.  There aren’t too many adult characters out there worried about if they’re any good at kissing, you know?  It’s just more honest and fun to me.  Plus, I think there are so many exciting things going on in the YA category—great stories that aren’t being told anywhere else.

What is your favorite scene from Ask Again Later? (I know mine is one that involves two characters in the trunk of a car.  :) )

Yes indeed—the trunk seems to be a universal favorite!  I had so much fun writing that scene and it was such a relief to finally let it happen, you know?  (I can’t say more than that, or I’ll spoil it!)

Describe Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless in 140 characters or less!
6 teens, 8 hours in a grocery store, $10,000, Christmas Eve. Theft, romance in the dairy dept, hijinks, kissing, and a ham that gets around.

You write both young adult and new adult.  How is it different writing each?
For me, they two are kind of similar. Both have characters who don’t quite have themselves figured out yet, and tend to be a little more awkward than actual adults in books.  Both tend to be a very personal, intimate narrative.  The differences are more in the situations they confront.  Also, NA characters just have that little bit more life experience and a lot more freedom than YA characters.  And while I am not opposed to sexual relationships in YA, they tend to be hinted it, while NA characters can have those relationships on the page.

Do you have any must haves while you are writing?

Just my laptop!  I’m not one of those writers with a lot of rituals.  I can write anywhere and often do!

What are some authors that inspired your writing?
Oh wow, that’s a tough one!  I adore e.lockhart, Maureen Johnson, and Stephanie Perkins for smart, realistic characters you cheer for all the way.  But there are so many amazing contemporary writers out there—Gayle Forman, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Zarr, Sarah Mlynowski, Jay Asher, Morgan Matson, Shaun Hutchinson…I could go on all day!

Can you tell us anything about what you are currently working on?
Right now I’m working on another NA romance though I’m not really able to talk about that yet!  I’ve also got another YA out in search of a home that is all about losing something precious to you and facing an uncertain future—but it’s funny and fun, I swear!

Thanks so much Liz! And readers, Liz is giving away a signed ARC of Top Ten Clues You're Clueless! (US Only Please!) - Just enter the Rafflecopter and you're good to go!

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