Hi guys! Today I have Sydney Salter, author of Swoon at Your Own Risk here with me today! You can check out my review here! I loved it and I loved talking to Sydney! Enjoy the interview!
Who is your favorite character from Swoon at Your Own Risk? (Personally, I LOVED Polly and her gran ;D)
I, too, have a particular fondness for Miss Swoon aka grandma. I’ve used her character to poke a little fun at my own mom, who isn’t an advice columnist, but a psychologist. My mom did once date the refrigerator repairman though. Oh, and the TV salesman, too.
Why did you choose to write about taking a break from boys and an advice-columnist grandma? The whole thing was very fun!
Aw, thanks. Over the years I’ve had far too many friends who go from break-up to new boyfriend without ever taking the time to figure out who they are, what they really want, or even what they really like, so I wanted to write about someone like that.
As for the advice columns, I have to confess that I love reading them! I also wanted to play with the idea that people who are good at giving advice, don’t always take their own advice.
What is the story behind the story of Swoon at Your Own Risk?
I often steal little tidbits from my real life when crafting fiction—here are two that inspired Polly’s story:
One morning I heard a zipper-like sound on the street, and when I peeked out the window there was a cute neighborhood boy skateboarding down the street, gracefully holding a cup of coffee in one hand, while talking on his cell phone. He practically begged to become a fictional love interest.
A recent boating trip with my dad and stepmom turned into a rain-drenched adventure with water sloshing into the boat and lightening flashing across the sky. Something good had to come out of that misery so I threw that into the mix as well.
Even though Swoon at Your Own Risk is a fun book, what was the message that you tried to get across to your readers?
I hope readers will realize that the adults in their lives aren’t perfect, but they’re trying to do their best. I guess that I also want girls to know that it’s important to focus on themselves, not just the boys in their lives (although love certainly has its place).
What would you have done if you were in Polly's place?
Omigod. I spent all of high school infatuated with the wrong boys, so I always try to have my characters make better decisions than I would have—eventually.
How did the title Swoon at Your Own Risk come to be?
I liked the word play of those Swim At Your Own Risk signs at public pools and I combined that with my advice columnist Miss Swoon.
What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
I can’t really choose one thing, but I’ve found it incredibly interesting how people bring their own experiences to the books they read. My first novel, My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters, takes place in Reno, Nevada where I went to high school. Several of my classmates have written to tell me how they remember such and such—and I’ll think to myself, but I made that part up completely. I also had a really difficult time convincing a TV news reporter that my characters were not real people, but a combination of traits many people possess. That was weird!
What’s up next for you book-wise?
I’m just about to start a new YA project that I’m super excited about, but not ready to talk about quite yet… So please get back to me on that one!
Book you've faked reading:
I haven’t exactly read Twilight yet. I know, I know…
Book you've bought for the cover:
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (hardcover). I could NOT resist that gorgeous cow with the beauty queen crown—and I was thrilled when I loved the story as much as the cover.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Crank by Ellen Hopkins. I think it should be mandatory reading for all junior high students; schools could replace expensive just-say-no-to-drugs programs for the price of a paperback.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you for supporting authors! We really appreciate it : )