Blog Tour Stop: For Ever by C.J. Valles- Author Interview
Author: C.J. Valles
Release Date: February 12, 2012
Sixteen-year-old Wren Sullivan can read minds, but when she moves from Southern California to Portland, Oregon, she meets Ever Casey—the one person whose mind is off-limits. Wren does know one thing about her mysterious classmate: he has a dark secret to hide. And the closer she gets to learning the truth, the more dangerous it is for her and everyone around her.
Me: Where are you from?
CJV: I grew up in Southern California, moved to Northern California for college, and then moved to Portland, Oregon—where I finally finished my first book!
Me: What inspired you to right For Ever?
CJV: Well, not that long before I started For Ever, I wrote another YA novel, which I sent off to agents after editing it for 10 long months (I wrote it in two!). After hearing nothing back from most agencies and getting a few polite rejections, I finished about 90 percent of the sequel to that book. Then, I got kind of discouraged with traditional publishing channels, knowing that even if I got an agent, it didn’t necessarily mean I would get published. For Ever was me jumping in head-first into the world of self-publishing.
Me: How did you come up with the idea of Wren?
CJV: When I stopped working on the first series I had started, I started toying around with a character study of a girl in high school facing what I thought was a big challenge—reading minds. I wrote a few pages and really enjoyed it. Then it sort of clicked from there.
Me: Why did you chose Ever as Ever's name?
CJV: It’s funny that you ask that, because Ever was the one character’s name I really struggled with. I wanted it to be kind of unusual, but I also wanted it to in some way signify forever or eternity. Well, I looked and looked at the baby names Web sites, and I couldn't find anything. Finally, I thought, “Hmm, what about Ever, as in forever.” I guess I could have gone with a more normal name, but I wanted to give some extra weight and significance to his name since he’s Wren’s main mystery throughout the book.
Me: What ages do you think For Ever is more for?
CJV: You know, I’m really glad you asked that, because I haven’t gotten around to classifying an age group on my Amazon page! I've been giving that a lot of thought lately, and I think reading age is really subjective for a lot of people. But I also think For Ever deals with some more new adult themes, so I would say definitely not middle grade or younger, especially since I think as the series progresses it will continue to explore issues that most parents wouldn’t want their younger kids reading. That’s a challenge, though, because I’ve seen a lot of people reviewing other YA material and saying how inappropriate it was for their 10-year-old. I guess I’m hoping parents review the material their younger-age kids are reading, but I wouldn’t recommend For Ever for a younger audience.
Me: Have you ever experienced writer's block? How bad was it/ how long did it last for?
CJV: Ahh! Cierra, do you have psychic powers? Some of these questions really hit on huge issues for me. I think I had writer’s block for about half a decade. I put so much pressure on sitting down and writing something flawless that I stopped having fun. And I’m always afraid that writer’s block is going to pounce again when I can least afford it!
Me: What's your favorite thing to do?
CJV: When I’m not writing? LOL. I love walking (especially when the weather in Portland is good). And I’m just getting back into running after an injury. I stick mostly to bipedal transportation, because like my MC Wren, my coordination sucks. Bicycling, snow sports, anything involving a ball or a bat—I’m really a danger to myself and others.
Me: Are you working on anything else right now?
CJV: After I finished For Ever and before I published it and started working on the sequel, I started another book that I meant to be the beginning of another YA series. It’s sort of a different take on ghosts. Unfortunately, that one’s at the bottom of my to-do list until I finish The Ever Series. We’ll see what happens with it!
Me: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
CJV: Stay tuned for Never, the sequel to For Ever, coming soon! (The best resource for updates on The Ever Series, including giveaways, blog tour information, and sequel teasers is my blog -- see below.)
Me: How can we contact you, online, or even off it?
CJV: I live online, so here are the best places to find me:
Blogger: http://cjvalles.blogspot.com/ (This is where I post the most frequently. I am, admittedly, a lackluster Facebooker and Tweeter.)
Web site: www.cjvalles.com
CJ Valles, if you're reading this, thanks for letting me interview you! And yes, yes I do have psychic powers. :)
So, how does this book sound, my lovely readers? Does it sound like something you'd like to maybe read someday? Then tell me in the comments! I loves me some comments. :D