The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro

The ABC's of Kissing Boys
by Tina Ferraro
Read an excerpt!
author website
author myspace

Parker Stanhope's friends got promoted to Varsity soccer without her. Desperate to make things right, she has concocted a crazy-but-just-might-work plan that includes kissing the socks off the prom king at the Sports Fair Kissing Booth. Between now and then, she needs to learn everything she can about kissing - somehow. She finds a "coach" in the most unlikely of guys - but suddenly keeping that relationship a secret becomes as dire as her need to win back her soccer status and her friends.

About Tina:
Tina Ferraro believes in the adage that it is never too late to have a happy childhood. She was an avid bookworm, she started writing at the age of seven and sold her first short story following college.
-from tinaferraro.com

IBT: If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?

TF: Superman! The uncle in my work-in-progress book is crazy for all things Man of Steel, so Superman has lived large in my mind lately.

IBT: How did you survive being a teen?

TF: By laughing? I don’t know...I had some good friends, and we laughed a lot. I also did a fair amount of reading and story writing, giving me “breaks” from real life.

Have you ever written something that you feel uncomfortable writing, knowing that your family and friends will probably end up reading it?

TF: Yes, back in the old days, I wrote some adult romances, but my heart wasn’t in them, and they never sold. One of the reasons I changed to targeting the young adult market was so my first book would be something that people of all ages could read.

What do you think are the biggest issues that teens need to be thinking about today? Do you think teens today are looking for quality in the books they read, or just to live vicariously through superficial characters?

TF: My guess is that the biggest issues vary from person to person, but because I was very insecure as a teenager, what comes to my mind is a strong sense of self. I think it’s important to be comfortable in one’s own skin, and not allow oneself to get pigeon-holed by other’s opinions of you. For instance, I was a less-than-stellar student, and teachers and guidance counselors didn’t figure I’d make much of myself. For a time, I allowed that perception to hold me back, to keep me from trying things and believing myself. And now today, I sort of pride myself on being the advocate of the less-than-stellar student, showing people that hey, you didn’t have to be book smart to succeed--even in the book business!

As far as what teens today are looking for in books, I think it’s escapism inside a well-crafted story. In fact, that’s what I look for as a reader and a writer.

IBT: How have the books you’ve read inspired the books you’ve written, if at all?

TF: I read a lot as a teen, and the books that were my favorites tended to feature the kinds of issues I was going through--friend, family and boy troubles--and so consequently, that’s where I’ve gone with my books. And so far, it hasn’t failed me.

What is the strangest thing you have ever gotten inspiration from? What inspired you to write The ABC’s of Kissing Boys?

TF: The strangest thing was probably the idea for my first published book, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. I saw a nonfiction book called something like 101 Uses for a Bridesmaid Dress, and my brain started reeling: “But what if it was a prom dress? An unworn prom dress? What if her date dumped her right before the prom...” And I went running!

The inspiration for The ABC’s of Kissing Boys was not as clear, was more the blending together of ideas that interested me. I liked the concept of a 26 chapter ABC’s book, of a girl who gets left behind when all her friends get promoted to the next level team, and I saw possible humor in a dad being in a stupid feud with a neighbor. From there, it came together (well, after a lot of work).

Many writers say parting with a character is hard. Do you ever look back on a character and wish you had changed something about him or her?

TF: I’m not sure I wish I’d changed something, but when I’m writing the last chapter, I usually feel sad, like I’m taking someone I love to the airport. But ultimately, there is no goodbye, because I can revisit the character any time I want, either by re-reading or simply writing another scene.

What is the one thing such as, sky diving or any other daring thing, that you would love to do but you are too afraid?

TF: Ski jumping! And it’s more than just fear, but the fact I haven’t been on skis since high school, too. When I watch the men’s ski jumping in the Olympics, my imagination runs wild. I am so there in every jump, taking off, soaring, and oh, those perfect landings. And as a side note, I hear there’s talk of finally adding a women’s competition in 2010!

What do you do when you are faced with writer’s block? What helps you get over it?

TF: Well, that depends on the block. If I’m simply not feeling creative, then diversion like going shopping or for a walk sometimes helps. Just as often, it’s because the story’s not working. So I have to keep putting my butt in the seat and keep working it until it flows.

Paris is the one city I cannot die without first visiting. Do you have a place you've yet to visit but cannot live without?

TF: London was that city for me, and I’m pleased to say I made it. But I’d really like to return to Great Britain and set foot on Irish and Scottish soil.

Are you working on anything now and can you share anything about it with us?

TF: Yes, I am about to hand in the first draft of When Bad Flings Happen to Good Girls. Here’s a blurb:

It took 17 years for Brandy Womack to get her life just the way she wanted it--and about 17 seconds for it to fall apart. Her best friends tell her it’s time to stop working so hard and “get a life.” By this, they mean a boyfriend, and they give her the summer to find one, or they’re going to go hunting the halls themselves. Not realizing that adding a boyfriend to her hectic AP and robotics team schedule, she’d have zero for them.

Away at her uncle’s cabin, Brandy sets out to find a guy who will “break her heart,” so she can return from summer in need of her friend’s TLC, rather than matchmaking skills, and then can resume her well-planned life.

She quickly finds the perfect candidate. But hooking up with the user/loser lifeguard proves harder than she can imagine. Even with the help from his nice-guy friend who seems to have his own reasons for getting them together--and to keep them apart...

IBT: Thanks Tina, that was fun!
Check out other titles by Tina Ferraro from the library, or on amazon!!


Meredith said...

I love Tina Ferraro. She is amazing and totally sweet.


P.S. I already follow your blog.

Anonymous said...

I want this book!I hope I win, I didn't last time.


TinaFerraro said...

Thank you, Imperial Beach Library (specifically, Perla Flores) for featuring me on your blog, and allowing me to spend this time with you. I am truly honored. And good luck to the contestants!

cecilia said...

I enjoyed the Q&A - and this book sounds really cute and poignant!

cecilia // cecpham@gmail.com

Cyndi said...

This book sounds good. Please enter me! :D


Liviania said...

Nope, you haven't steered us wrong yet.

I like the inspiration for PROM DRESS.

Yan said...

oh don't you just adore the cover? soooo very luscious! enter me too perla! oh, and I've been following you already (how else would I know about this contest! XD)

Book Spot said...

Ooh, take me with you when you go back to London? ;) I went in 07 for my birthday & I can't wait to go back :) (also can't wait to read your book!)

Lauren said...

This book looks so good! Please, enter me! By the way, I already follow your blog.

danie88 said...

this book is on my wishlist... I'd love to win it! :D

im also already a follower

datwater88 @ hotmail.com

Erica C said...

Would love to read this book! Sounds great :o)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paradox said...

I keep on hearing about how good this book is, so I'm entering.

I'm already a follower.

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com