Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Teen Fiction Author Sara Hantz

Welcome to “Up Close & Personal.” For every interview I will be introducing a literary personality discussing her views and insights, as well as upcoming literary events around the world.

Today’s interview is with "Teen Fiction Author Sara Hantz". Her book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green will be published by Flux in Septemeber 2007

E. I. Thank you for stopping by and please tell your readers more about Sara Hantz --the woman behind the author? And what is it about this art that satisfies her the most?

Sara Hantz: I am the owner of one husband, two children and a dog named Ellie. None of them have been remotely helpful in my writing career, but I’m very fond of them anyway! I haven’t been writing for years and years, in fact I started writing after running out of degrees to study, and decided it was much more fun to make things up than to comment on the theoretical musings of dry academics. I was born in England, and moved to New Zealand a few years ago, in search of sun, sand and surf (not that I’ve ever been on a surfboard). The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is my first novel.

E. I. What is the premise of your upcoming novel, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green from Flux?

Sara Hantz: Okay, so Suzy Green tells one little lie when she starts at her new school. But it is so worth it considering she’s now running with the in-crowd and the hottest guy in school has asked her out. Besides, everyone’s part of the Virginity Club these days, and the fact that she doesn’t exactly qualify is a mere technicality.

Well, it is until Ryan, her old flame and the one person who knows about her lie, turns up. But Suzy is determined not to give up her new life. She’s spent the last 17 years living in her beloved sister’s shadow and then when her sister died, things got even worse. Now, for the first time, Suzy’s actually the popular one.

However, the price for Ryan’s silence is high. A date! And the more time she spends with Ryan, the more her old life and new life start to overlap until Suzy has to decide if she’s going to be the girl she was or the girl she is. Or perhaps there’s room for a new Suzy. The girl she was always meant to be.

E. I. How long did it take you to write your latest novel?

Sara Hantz: When motivated, I write fairly fast. The Second Virginity of Suzy Green took about three months from conception to finished product.

E. I. What's up next? Do you have the next book in the works? Anything you can share with us?

Sara Hantz: My agent is currently in negotiations for my current book ‘Will The Real Abi Saunders Stand Up’ which is about a 17 year old kickboxing champion who agrees to be the stunt double for a wayward teen movie star.

E. I. Why write for teens? Did you write your book specifically for the teen fiction shelves?

Sara Hantz: Well, apart from being in age denial, I’ve always loved books and movies written for teens. My favorite books include the Travelling Pants Series, The Gossip Girls and anything by Carolyn Mackler. And as for movies, I’m a total teen movie addict. I just love movies like Clueless, Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and What A Girl Wants. So, I guess it seemed natural for me to want to write in this genre.

E. I. How did you approach writing any of your characters? Did you plan him/her out or did he/she evolves as you wrote the book?

Sara Hantz: I’m a total planner. I’ve tried winging it but it totally stems my creativity (I know there are other writers who will say the exact opposite). This means I know my characters pretty well by the time I start writing, though they still evolve as the story progresses and I often find them doing things I previously hadn’t thought of.

E. I. And how long does it take you to write a story?

Sara Hantz: Depending on the deadline it can take anything from a couple of months to six months.

E. I. Can you tell us a little about your writing schedule, editing and revision process, novel development, etc.?

Sara Hantz: I follow the ‘little and often’ principle. I always have my current manuscript open on the PC and I dip in and out of it all day long. I have a very short attention span and find myself getting distracted by other things, however, I still seem able to produce the work. I edit as I go, which means that by the time I reach the end the hard work has been done – I’m not of the school who believes it’s best to get a first draft down and then worry about the revising. I think this is because I have planned the story out in detail before I even start.

E. I. What do you hope readers take with them after finishing "The Second Virginity of Suzy Green?

Sara Hantz: The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is light-hearted and fun, yet deals with emotional issues teenagers face in, what I hope is, a realistic, honest and humorous way. I hope that it engages all my readers’ emotions. I want them to cry, laugh, get angry, empathize, sympathize, and be inspired by my characters and their outcomes.

E. I. Ms. Hantz, thank you so much for contributing to my blog. It has been a pleasure for me to get to know you, and your work a little better. Would you like to close the interview with any of your writing tip to other young aspiring authors.

Sara Hantz: Keep persevering. It’s hard because there are so many knock-backs in this industry. But one thing’s for sure, you won’t get published if you give up.

To learn more about Sara Hantz, please visit her at:

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