1. Where do you get your writing inspiration from?
Everywhere! Books, movies, TV shows, music. I find music is really good as a lot of the time it hints at a bigger story, but there just isn’t enough room in a song to expand on that. So I do it, myself. J Ideas can really come from anywhere. A street sign gave me a book idea, once. People watching and trying to determine what the relationship is by studying body language. Eavesdropping on conversations. Friends telling stories. How people dress is really good for helping to get to know character personalities. Ideas can really come from anywhere at all.
2. Did you have to do any research for your books? If so what?
I’ve watched some documentaries and True Hollywood Stories about celebrities, particularly bands and musicians to get a good idea of what their lifestyles are like. I REALLY wanted to go to a summer music festival this year, but it didn’t happen, so I watched a heap of the specials about them on Channel [V] to get a feel for it and idea for what I wanted the layout to be like.
3. What are you working on now?
The Kiss Off 2: Over It is in edits right now!
4. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Butt in chair. The actual DOING the writing. The Kiss Off 2 was HARD. There were lots of times when it just wasn’t fun until I just made myself do it and THEN it was fun. Writing is hard work! It’s this big jigsaw puzzle in which you’re trying to make all the pieces fit and hint at something in the beginning in order to pay it off in a satisfying way later. And you never quite know if you’ve done it well. This book was a challenge, but I’m getting great feedback from my early readers so I think it’s going to be okay! J
5. What can readers expect next?
Next is The Kiss Off 2: Over It! Coming 2013, no later than July. If all goes to plan. And then I have a YA black comedy zombie novel I am going to finally finish, and I also want to write something fresh and completely different after that. I have an idea for a summer beach read new adult novella that I’d like to play with. THEN The Kiss Off 3! Is that enough? J
6. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer that question?
There are some aspects of The Kiss Off that I am dying to talk to readers about and discuss, but they’re big ol’ spoilers to people who haven’t read the book. So alas, I can’t. Poppy is an unreliable narrator in that book, in which she doesn’t share ALL the information with the reader, and that’s what I want to talk about in interviews. But I don’t want to ruin it, so I don’t.
7. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Sarah Billington: Life on the rollercoaster. It’s not an overly catchy title, but it sure fits.
8. Who is your favorite author?
Louise Rennison and Brent Crawford. It’s a tie between them.
9. What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching movies in bed. I don’t know why I do it, though, because I have become really good at falling asleep when watching movies. Not just in bed, anymore, either. Just in general. Ah well. I like it. J
10. Highest point of your writing career?
The amazing response to my books. My readers are the best and it truly makes my day when someone contacts me just to say they liked what I wrote. Feel free to do that, okay? J
11. Advice for aspiring authors?
1) Keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good, but keep doing it and you’ll keep getting better.
2) Ask “What if?”. By asking questions you’re determining what your plot will be. What if your protagonist decides she needs to break up with her boyfriend? Where would be the best place for her to do it? In public or in private? How will he react? What if she’s found a private place for the conversation, she’s just dumped him and he’s upset, but there’s an explosion and they need each other to survive? That’s got to be a bit awkward, right? He’s angry. Where do his loyalties lie? Can she trust him? Does he want to ditch her at first opportunity or can they work together? The relationship dynamics have changed a lot since she’s just broken up with him, so how does he react? I’m just spit-balling ideas here, but you see how “What If?” can take you anywhere? Who saw the explosion thing coming, right? Could be just the twist you’re looking for.
3) Keep reading, or watching, or listening. Stories are everywhere. I find reading books and watching TV are fantastic for learning the craft. See something that really worked for you and analyze how they did it. Or you might see or read something that really DIDN’T work for you and your job is to determine why. When you know what you love in a book and what the author did to achieve it, then you can emulate it. The same goes for what you didn’t like. You can learn how to do it better, or just avoid it entirely.
So basically I’m saying surround yourself with stories. Reading and watching TV is homework, you guys!
12. Last song that was stuck in your head?
Thank You by MKTO. But I happen to love that song, s it’s okay. If it stays in my head much longer, however, it might be a different story.