It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.
Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I read a lot and talk way too much. My imagination never stops, I’m easy going, I’m sarcastic, and I’m left-handed. I’m a big sports nut. (Watching not playing because I am SO not athletic.) I love to sing, play golf, and spend time outdoors. I’m a beach bum. (Or I was when I used to live by the beach.) And I am a wife of thirteen years, mother to four crazy kids, and owner of one very cool cat named Mr. Darcy.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written stories since I was a little kid and completed my first novel at 15. But I didn’t actually have any idea that’s what I wanted to be until I was a married stay-home-mom. It had always been just a hobby that I never considered could be a real profession until so many people told me I should do it.
Was there any music that inspired Cinder & Ella or helped you in the writing process?
I can’t write with music on. It’s too distracting for me. But I usually have some sort of playlist for each book I write. It’s just a list of songs that remind me of the book or certain characters. I have quite a long playlist for Cinder & Ella. I won’t list all the songs here, but I’ll tell you the one song that I’ve adopted as Brian & Ella’s song. It’s Parachute by Train. If you get a chance, listen to it. Both the lyrics and the tone of the song sort of sum up Brian and Ella’s relationship for me.
What are your favorite books/sagas/trilogies? And your favorite authors?
Oh, the list could go on forever… I’ll try to keep it reasonable… Graceling by Kristen Cashore, Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles, The Uglies by Scott Westerfield, The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, The Mediator & 1-800-Where-R-You seres by Meg Cabot, anything at all by Meg, actually, and anything by John Green or Sarah Dessen. Edenbrook by Julianne Donaldson, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, The Broken Aro series by Jen Wylie, The Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce, The Mortal Instrauments series by Cassandra Claire, The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, and all Jennifer L. Armentrout’s YA stuff. Again, this list could go on, but I’ll spare you.
Why the adaptation of Cinderella fairy tale? Do you like adaptations of classic fairy tales? What is your the most favorite adaptation and of which tale? Why Cinderella?
Because it’s my favorite fairy tale. I’ve loved it since I was a kid and I’m a junkie when it comes to watching/reading different adaptations. If I see one, I buy it. Even if I’ve never heard of the author. I can’t help it. My favorite movie adaptation is the Hillary Duff movie called A Cinderella Story. My favorite book adaptation is Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer. Both are very cute, fun versions of the tale. I’m really excited to see the new Disney movie that’s coming out next year!
What advice would you give to young writers?
Two things: Read and write! Read as much as you can. Everything and anything you can get your hands on. You’d be surprised how much you will learn and absorb simply by reading other people’s work. And then, write, write, and write some more. Like any hobby, talent, or skill, practice makes perfect. Talent, though extremely helpful, is not everything. Writing is a craft that you can learn and get better at with hard work. The more you do it, the more you’ll get better at it.
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat named Mr. Darcy.
10 – 1 – Facebook party
10 – 2 – The Chiq Blog – Excerpt
Not so public library – anuthor interview
10 – 3 – Book Passion For Life – Cinder’s Original letter to Ella
My Book World – author interview
10 – 4 – A Life Bound By Books – Brian & Ella stop by to chat about their new release
Cada libro un mundo – author interview
10 – 5 – Confessions of An Unsuspected Bookworm — review
Loco Mundo Literario – author interview
10 – 6 – Fire & Ice – Author Interview
Fierush – author interview
10 – 7 – I Am A Reader – Brian Oliver vs Kyle Hamilton –a character comparison
Choque deLetras – review
10 – 8 – Epic Narrative Book Reviews – review
FluffyReads – Why I love Brian Oliver so much
10 – 9 – Read For Your Future – My struggles with reading/love for it
The CozyReading Corner – teaser excerpt
10 – 10 Books Are Love — review
Turning Pages of Fiction – review
Vendea’s Worldof Books — Review
10 – 12 Istyria – review
Bookworm Lisa – Vivian, Juliette, and Rob stop by for a chat
10 – 13 SMW Blog – review
BurningImpossibly Bright – Ella and Brian stop by to say hello!
10 – 14 Coffee, Book, and myKindle – review
My Book A Day – Review
10 – 15 Books over Boys – My top ten princes in YA fiction
This Blonde Reads—Why I chose to write a Cinderella Story
10 – 16 Bonjoyr Y’all – character interview with Brian and Ella
Words Feather – Brian & Ella stop by for an interview
Coffee Books and MyKindle – Ella stops by for a chat
10 – 17 Book Babe’s Reads – review
Book Butterfly inDreamland – review
10 – 18 Teen Reader’s Diary – excerpt/teaser
Crawling Over thePages – review
10 – 19 Author2Author – author interview
Clever Girls Read – review
10 – 20 Getting Your Read On – Review
10 – 21 Egykönyvfüggő vallomásai – author interview
10 – 22 Bitter Sweet Book Love – review
10 – 23 Fastidious Reader – Kelly’s thoughts on online relationships
10 – 24 My Guilty Obsession – review
10 – 25 Views N Reviews – Kelly’s top 10 Cinderella Adaptations
10 – 26 El Extraño Gato del Cuento – review
10 – 27 Bows & Bullets – interview
10 – 28 Closet Geeks and SlowMo – Cinder & Ella playlist
Storybook Reviews – review
10 – 29 Random Things In Action – review
10 – 30 The Rest Is StillUnwritten — teaser excerpt
10 – 31 Paper Cuts – Brian and Ella stop by to chat (argue) Halloween