Thirteen Thursday with Tricia Rayburn

Today, I am lucky to have the Tricia Rayburn, author of the Maggie Bean series and Siren, which was released earlier this year with Egmont. Siren is the first in a series for Rayburn and the sequel will be released next year. Without more rambling, welcome to Thirteen Thursday!

If you were an item on a Mexican restaurant menu, what would you be and why?
Fresh guacamole!  Because it makes everything else on the menu taste even better.  :) 
You are on a desert island and you stumble upon an unlocked chest. You open it. What three things do you want to see inside?
A map, sunblock, and a key to a lovely, air-conditioned, nearby bungalow!
What is your favorite place to be and why?
Home.  It's where my friends and family are.
What are the last five songs played on your i-pod?
Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones
Harvest Moon by Neil Young
Rabbit Heart by Florence + The Machine
I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers
Ready to Start by Arcade Fire  
What are your six favorite books—and why?
 I'll give you 131: the entire Baby-Sitters Club series!  I LOVED these books growing up, and without them, I don't think I'd have ever found my way to this amazing profession. 
What is your writing process?
 I usually know four things before beginning any new project: the first and last scenes, the climax, and the title.  After that it varies; sometimes I outline ahead a few chapters at a time, other times I take it page by page. 
Tell us your journey to writing.
I've always loved to write, but for some strange reason, it didn't occur to me to do so for 'tweens and teens until I took a graduate school course called Reading and Writing Children's Literature.  The final assignment in that class was to write the first 30 pages of a young adult novel, which was such fun I wrote another 200 pages!  That became my thesis, and the thesis eventually became The Melting of Maggie Bean, my first published book.  But I was pretty much hooked the first day of that class.

What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given—personally or professionally?
You know, I can't think of any terrible advice I've been given!  The worst advice I could've been given was to pursue something more practical than creative writing, but fortunately—and perhaps amazingly!—no one ever suggested that.
What is one thing you have learned through your time as a published author?
That while seeing your story on a bookstore shelf is super exciting, it doesn't compare to the feeling you get when a reader writes to tell you your story helped him or her through a tough time.  
Siren isn’t your first book because you have the Maggie Bean books. Was it difficult making that audience transition to a new genre?
To be honest, not really!  What was a bit difficult was the transition from realistic fiction to supernatural fiction.  Writing about characters with special powers was definitely a new experience! It's not a difference so much as it is a realization that fiction knows no bounds! 

Where did Siren and Vanessa come from?
Siren was inspired by my recently developed fear of all creatures of the deep.  Sharks, jellyfish, crabs, you name it—if it lives underwater, I'm not a fan!  This fear made me think about what else might be lurking beneath the surface, and the rest grew from there.
The sequel comes out next summer. What can we expect in to see in that? More Simon!?
Yes, you'll definitely see more Simon!  You'll also see Vanessa return to Boston for her senior year, struggle with her body's new abilities and challenges, and try to make sense of everything she learned over the summer.  AND there just might be a little love triangle in there to mix it all up! 
What is one piece of advice that you were given as a writer that is important enough to pass on to other writers?
 One of the most important tips I can pass on to other writers is one I learned firsthand, and that's to do your best to write your story first and worry about publishing later.  This is SO hard, I know, but the publication process can be trying long before it's rewarding, so the more fun you have, the better!
Thanks so much Tricia for the interview! If you've never read Siren you should go get it right now. It's a really great read. 

Also, things are still in the works but I'm SO excited that I wanted to share with this AWESOME piece of the future. It's two part.
Part 1: Khelsea. 
Part 2:  Tales from under the grave. Bam:

That's all I'm saying right now. Stay tuned.

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