I’m very excited to be touring the fabulous Luisa Plaja and her new book EXTREME KISSING. I’m hanging out to read it because I know it will be as awesome as her last book.
Here are Luisa’s answers to my questions:
What inspired the plot for your book?
Extreme Kissing is based on the idea of ‘extreme travel’, where anything goes and it’s the journey that counts. It’s also partly based on an international sport called Extreme Ironing, where risk-taking is added to an everyday activity for fun and relaxation. (It’s a real sport, honestly!) I had the idea of taking two best friends with very different attitudes to risk-taking and safety, and making them go on a random, extreme adventure. I decided to use challenges from teenage magazines because I’ve always loved magazines myself, and as a teenager I think I did have moment when I tried to live my life by them. I’m also always slightly influenced by films when I dream up my books, and in this case the film inspiration came from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, an eighties film about a crazy day out. Though some people who’ve read Extreme Kissing have said it has shades of a teen Thelma and Louise!
Why did you decide to write in this genre?
It’s the genre I love reading most. I think the teenage years are a fascinating time and I love exploring the issues they raise about identity and self-image. They also create great opportunities for humour!
Being a successful author involves so much more than simply writing. How do you plan your day so you manage to keep on top of everything?
With difficulty! My youngest child started school earlier this year which should have helped, but the days just keep slipping away! I still get my best writing done at night time, when a hush descends on the house, at least temporarily…
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors that you wish someone had given to you?
My main advice is to enjoy what you write, and write for yourself. I’m not sure whether I would have listened to anyone who gave me that advice, though – it’s probably something I had to work out for myself!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a sequel for my first novel, Split by a Kiss.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
You mean there’s a world out there? Just kidding – sort of! I play with my kids and watch as many films as I can. I also blog about books and read other people’s review sites and chat to people and read a lot.
Who do you like to read?
There are so many authors I love – and nearly all of them write for teenagers. Some of my recent favourites include Simmone Howell (Everything Beautiful and Notes From a Teenage Underground), Susie Day (Big Woo! and Girl Meets Cake), Liz Rettig (Kelly Ann’s diary books and Jumping to Confusions), Amanda Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) and Joanna Nadin (the Rachel Riley series).
Luisa Plaja is the author of novels Split by a Kiss and the newly-released Extreme Kissing. She’s a huge fan of teen fiction. She has two children and lives in Devon, England. Check out Luisa’s website.