Ciao, Mondo! (That’s “Hello, World!” but in Italian.)
I’m Andrea Brokaw, aka Andy. I write tales of romance for a Young Adult audience while homeschooling my son and tending my cats. I’m currently in Baltimore, Maryland, but long to be somewhere high in both altitude and snowfall. And I don’t really speak Italian, although I can sometimes follow along in it because I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Italy.
I’m super happy to have been invited to be a Scriptor, although it’s possible my colleagues here will realize they made a mistake because I’m not nearly as cool a kid as the rest of them! (Do me a favor and don’t tell them, alright?)
Now, onto my interview!
Five influential authors:
Well, seeing as how my first published book was named Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks, it seems like Jane Austen would be an obvious answer. I don’t like giving obvious answers though, so here are five other people:
Meg Cabot, the reigning Queen of YA Romance. Her Princess Diaries series was my first adult exposure to YA and it’s no coincidence that we both wrote books featuring a ghost and medium.
Helen Fielding, who brought the world Bridget Jones’ Diary and taught me that classic tales can be brought to the modern world.
Eileen Cook, who managed to retell The Count of Monte Cristo as a YA story in Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, thus showing me that all things are possible.
Shannon Hale, author of Austenland, amongst many other marvellous works, who proves that Austen’s technique of mixing humor and sweetness still works even in adult romance.
Paula Danzinger, who wrote This Place Has No Atmosphere about a girl who was forced to move to the moon because of her parents’ jobs. It was my favorite book when I was an actual teen who kept being moved because of my dad’s job, sometimes to places that seemed as remote and strange as the moon. It really helped me to see that at least one other person understood what I was going through and it was a great comfort to me.
Why I write:
When I don’t give my imagination a healthy outlet through writing, it results in Bad Things ™. Therefore it is in my best interest, and indeed in the best interest of the planet in general, if I write.
Why I love writing Young Adult Romance:
I adore the Young Adult genre because it’s all about accepting who you are and being that person. That’s something I still, at an age approaching forty, struggle with. And I adore Romance because I am a sentimental person who likes a happy story. My goal isn’t to create great works of art, but to help people feel a little better while they’re reading my stories, and I think romance is a great way to do that.
First story I ever wrote:
I’m not sure what the first story I wrote down was, but the first book I wrote was in 1980-something. I was eight and had just moved from South Carolina to Scotland, so I wrote a picture book about a girl who traveled from the US to the UK. And who happened to be a pineapple named Penny. My grandmother claims she still has the only copy of Penny the Pineapple somewhere.
Things that inspire me:
Really good books, really bad books, movies, TV, stuffed animals, and my own real life love story.
My desk is a high top table sitting between my kitchen and my library. It is cluttered with technology, mail, and my son’s workbooks. There is also a plush ghost named Hilde
Works in progress: I’m currently working on a rough draft of a sequel to my ghost story I’d Rather Not Be Dead and a possibly-final revision of a novel about a school of shape-shifters that really needs a title. (It’s working title is Werestory.)
Ice cream flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake
Shenanigans: Assorted hijinks involving multiple forms of frozen water. You know Elsa from Frozen? She’s pretty much my role model. Freeze all the things! And then make a snowman. : )