Q&A with Susane Colasanti discussion

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When It Happens

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message 1: by Sierra (new)

Sierra Stephens (sierra_stephens) | 1 comments Hi:) My name is Sierra, i am a fifteen year old high school student:)
here are my questions:)
1.) What inspired, "When It Happens?"
2.)How do you form your characters? Do they just come to you or do you make like,"character" charts?
3.)What advice do you have for young authors, such as myself?:)


message 2: by Ansareen (new)

Ansareen (ahass35) Hi!!!
1.) Are any of your characters based on people you know?
2.) Do you have any advice for young writers, like me??
3.) Are all your books set in high school?


message 3: by Adrianna (new)

Adrianna | 1 comments Hey. My name is Adrianna, I'm fifteen and I really enjoy your books. :)
I have a few questions and I would be endlessly grateful if you took the time to answer them. 1.) Was this novel based on perhaps your own experiences or someone else's expereiences?
2.) Do you start writing in a particular order, like write the end first or the middle or traditionally the beginning?
3.) When having writer`s block, what motivates you to keep writing or what helps you to start writing again?


message 4: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Sierra wrote: "Hi:) My name is Sierra, i am a fifteen year old high school student:)
here are my questions:)
1.) What inspired, "When It Happens?"
2.)How do you form your characters? Do they just come to you or d..."


When It Happens was inspired by my own experiences during senior year. There was this boy. Then there was this other boy. And yes, Tobey was inspired by that actual boy :)

Some characters are inspired by actual people, like Tobey. Some appear in dreams. Most are developed entirely in my imagination. Before I start writing a new book, I take time to get to know my characters. I find that knowing my characters as well as I can before I start writing makes the story stronger. As I'm writing the first draft, my characters reveal more of themselves to me.

The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to read. Read all the time. The more you read, the better your writing will become.


message 5: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Ansareen wrote: "Hi!!!
1.) Are any of your characters based on people you know?
2.) Do you have any advice for young writers, like me??
3.) Are all your books set in high school?"


So funny - your first two questions were just answered in the previous response! All of my books have been set in high school up until now. My seventh book, which will be out May 2013, partially takes place at college. I've wanted to use a college setting for a long time. It's been super fun to write!


message 6: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Adrianna wrote: "Hey. My name is Adrianna, I'm fifteen and I really enjoy your books. :)
I have a few questions and I would be endlessly grateful if you took the time to answer them. 1.) Was this novel based..."


When It Happens was totally based on my own experiences senior year. The story was burning inside of me all through college. When I started grad school, I began writing the first draft.

I write first drafts from beginning to end. I always make a chapter outline before I start a first draft. The chapter outline gives me a clear picture of where to start and where I'm going.

Fortunately, I've never had writer's block. If you're passionate about what you're writing, you'll be excited to continue. There are good and bad writing days. But if you're excited about what you're writing, you will find a way to keep going. Write the story that's in your heart and the words will come.


Jessica (Stuck in Books) (justabooklover) | 4 comments I didn't know we were talking about When It Happens! This is my favorite of your books, Susane. I own this one and everything. My question is how you came up with the character names, because this is always interesting to me. I TOTALLY understand the title this time. ;)

♥Jessica(:


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 20 comments Here are my questions


1. What were you like in high school?
2. Do you have any kids?
3. What are you doing this summer?
4. How old are you?
5. Where are you from?
6. What do you like to do for fun?
7. What's your favorite song?
8. What's your favorite movie?
9. What do you like to watch on tv?
10. What's your favorite tv show?
11. What kind of books do you like to read?
12. What's your favorite book?
13. What's your favorite color?
14. Do you have skype?
15. Did you play sports when you were in high school?
16. Where are you from?
17. What's your favorite food?
18. What time do you wake up and what time do you go to sleep?
19. How's the weather where you live?
20. When's your birthday?
21. What's your favorite holiday?
22. What do you do on halloween and thanksgiving and christmas and easter?
23. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
24. Who's your favorite actor and actress?
25. What do you like about yourself?


message 9: by Amna (new)

Amna (bookish2929) | 1 comments Hi, first of all I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and here are mine.
1.How did you get ideas for this book and other books?
2. What's your favorite book genre, movie genre, and music genre?
3. Do the characters in your books tend to be similar to characters in other books that you have written or read?
4.Who are your favorite authors?
5. What are some of the best books that you have read?
6. How did you get into writing?
7. What else do you like to do?
8. How long does it take you to write a book?
thank you for your time!


message 10: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "I didn't know we were talking about When It Happens! This is my favorite of your books, Susane. I own this one and everything. My question is how you came up with the character names, because this ..."

An author's first book tends to be the most autobiographical. With the exception of Keep Holding On, this is definitely true for When It Happens. I wanted to use my friends' names and names that held significance for me at the time. Sara, Laila, and Maggie are names of BFFs. Tobey is actually named after Tobey Maguire. I adore TM something fierce. All of the teachers' names on Sara's class schedule are significant. Most of them are last names of my fave authors!


message 11: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "Here are my questions


1. What were you like in high school?
2. Do you have any kids?
3. What are you doing this summer?
4. How old are you?
5. Where are you from?
6. What do you like to do for fu..."


Wow! I would love to answer all of your questions, but that would pretty much take all afternoon. You might want to visit the Q&A page of my website. It has FAQs and interview links. You could also check out the Q&A tag of my blog.


message 12: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Amina wrote: "Hi, first of all I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and here are mine.
1.How did you get ideas for this book and other books?
2. What's your favorite book ..."


Thanks for all your questions! Since you also have a long list, I'll refer you to a few sites for answers. A lot of my fave authors and books are listed on my Facebook. Your other questions are answered on the Q&A page of my website. As for book/movie/music genres, I am all about realistic fiction and film. The more authentic dialogue and realistic scenarios, the better. You can find my fave musicians on my Facebook.


message 13: by Lissy (new)

Lissy | 4 comments Hi, Susane! I wanted to let you know that When It Happens is quite possibly my most favorite book of all time! I fell in love with every one of the characters, particularly Tobey. Here are my questions:
How do you "get to know" your characters?
Why do you love to write?


Jessica (Stuck in Books) (justabooklover) | 4 comments Susane wrote: "Jessica wrote: "I didn't know we were talking about When It Happens! This is my favorite of your books, Susane. I own this one and everything. My question is how you came up with the character name..."

I noticed some of the authors names, but I thought it was just a coincidence! :)

♥Jessica(:


message 15: by Susane (new)

Susane Colasanti (susanecolasanti) | 57 comments Mod
Lissy wrote: "Hi, Susane! I wanted to let you know that When It Happens is quite possibly my most favorite book of all time! I fell in love with every one of the characters, particularly Tobey. Here are my quest..."

I like getting to know my characters as much as I can before I begin a new first draft. I spend weeks developing the characters in my mind, visualizing what they look like, hearing how they speak, and watching their mannerisms like a movie in my mind. I take notes about everything from the quirky details to the major issues each character is dealing with. When I feel like I know my characters as well as my friends, I'm ready to begin writing.

I do not write for me. I write for you. I love to write because it's my way of reaching out to readers. My purpose in life is to help teens in any way I can. That's what I hope my books are doing.


message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield  (christinesbookshelves) | 20 comments Alright I'll check the website out and I'm sorry I ask you a lot of questions


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