We’re talking with Liz Fichera, author of the contemporary romance HOOKED, which is in bookstores now.
When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.
But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.
But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…
GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.
Hi, Liz! Welcome to OneFourKidLit! What’s been your favorite part of the road to publication? Any part of the process you found surprising?
Thank you for having me! Nice to be here.
There have been so many favorites, but I think my all-time, hands-down, will-never-in-a-million-years-forget favorite was receiving my first box of ARCs. It was so cool to hold my story in my hands. A surprising part was discovering the sheer number of book bloggers who read and devour anything MG and YA.
What inspired you to set Hooked on a golf team?
I was driving down a long stretch of mostly desolate desert road near my home in Phoenix, Arizona, called Pecos Road. Pecos Road also happens to run parallel with the Gila River Indian Reservation. An image of a Native American girl popped into my head, and she was waving a golf club at me. Weird, yes? But I took that as a sign. The American Southwest, particularly Arizona, is plentiful of beautiful Native American culture and golf courses. Rarely, however, do you find them in the same sentence, much less the same book.
HOOKED gives us a nice view into the worlds of Native Americans and golf. What kind of research did you do for this book, if any?
There was quite a lot regarding Native life and the sport of golf. I was fortunate to have a number of Native American beta-readers, including teens. That helped me a great deal because I wanted to make sure Fred’s voice was authentic. With regard to golf, I come from a family who loves the sport. My father taught me to play and my husband, sister and brother-in-law are quite good. I’m a disaster but I do love the sport.
You do a great job of writing from both Fred and Ryan’s POV. How did you go about getting their voices down?
Thank you! As I start to *see* characters in my head–in this case, Fred and Ryan–I try my best to get inside their heads too. In other words, try to understand their motivations, their desires, what makes them tick. Interviewing your characters really helps too in terms of separating the voices (e.g. girl vs. boy). I’ll do that a lot as I’m writing a first draft. For this book, I had several male beta readers because I wanted to make sure that I had Ryan’s voice right, and that was tremendously helpful.
Your one piece of advice for writers?
Read a lot. Write even more. Above all, write the story in your heart. Never chase trends.
As this community is All for One and OneFour KidLit, we’d like to know what two or three books inspired you as a kid.
Just two or three?! Well, I loved the LITTLE HOUSE books and I think I must have checked out all of the books in THE BOXCAR CHILDREN series at least a thousand times.
Finish this sentence: If readers liked ________________, then they’ll love HOOKED!
Liz Fichera likes to write stories about ordinary teens who do extraordinary things. Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, Liz moved to the American Southwest after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cacti and people who’d never seen snow. She was wrong. To learn more, please visit LizFichera.com
|Philip Siegel grew up in New Jersey, which he insists is much nicer than certain TV shows would have you believe. After college, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became an NBC page. Currently, he works in downtown Chicago and writes novels while sandwiched in between colorful characters on the El. His debut novel, THE BREAK-UP ARTIST (Harlequin Teen), about a girl who runs a business breaking up couples, hits bookstores May 2014.|