We had the honour of making an interview with a bestselling author Simone Elkeles. The ones who love to read know that in Hungary only Perfect Chemistry and the second part of the book Rules of Attraction got published but we hope that sooner or later her other books will be published too.
– Would you tell some information about yourself?
– I’m proud to say I’m the bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series and How to Ruin series. I love writing exciting and romantic novels for teens! I’m the mom of two kids, a daughter (who plays ice hockey) and a son (who plays the trumpet and plays baseball). I have been married since 1996 and have two CRAZY dogs. I love to knit and eat sushi. I hate to work out and need to do that more because it’s embarrassing being chubby! I love writing, but I’m an extrovert so sometimes it’s hard sitting down to write in a quiet room without talking to my friends. I love meeting my fans!
You can find me at www.simoneelkeles.com for teens!
– What was the reason, the motivation which made you choose writing?
– If you would have told me when I was a teenager that I was going to grow up to be a writer, I wouldn’t have believed you. Unlike most authors I know, I hated reading as a teen and didn’t get A’s in English class. I fell in love with reading as an adult when I went to the library with my children. I picked up a book at random and was so caught up in the characters and story I didn’t want to stop reading. I specifically fell in love with romance novels, because I love happy endings! I wanted the power to make someone laugh and cry with my words, so I started writing books I would have loved to read as a teen. Once I started reading and writing for “myself” and not a teacher or a grade, I realized I loved books! I can’t imagine doing anything else!
– Did you model the Fuentes boys about real people or were they just made up by you?
– Alex was partially inspired by this super cute guy named Luis that worked at my local bagel shop. He’s Mexican, he has that “it” factor – you can’t help but look at him when he walks in the room, he’s got tattoos, and has a certain swagger that is so “Alex” to me! I finally told him that he was my inspiration and his friends who work with him think it’s hilarious and they make fun of him all the time about it.
– Of all the books you have published, which one are you the most proud of?
– I’m so proud of all of my books that it’s hard to choose! People think it’s easy to write a book, but it’s not. I would say I’m most proud of Perfect Chemistry. I poured my heart and soul into every part of that book. Even though it was the second book I wrote, it was the fourth book I published. I had to wait a long time to find an agent who loved it as much as I did, but it was worth the wait.
– Which writers had effect on you?
– Even though I didn’t read a lot when I was a teen, I do remember liking Judy Blume’sForever because it was edgy and sexy…it was a coming of age novel about a girl falling for a boy and losing her virginity. I remember being in 6th grade when all the girls at my school were obsessed with it. Judy Blume was definitely a pioneer in writing the reality of teen life. I also adore David Levithan. I always go all fangirl when I meet him, even though I try to be cool!
– What give you the idea of the Perfect Chemistry Rap?
– I wanted the book trailer to stand out. Then I thought about the television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I was a teen in the 80’s and I LOVED the rap that Will Smith did in the beginning. I thought it would be hilarious to do a parody rap video as the book trailer. I hired a director and we actually held auditions with actors to do the rap. It was super fun to help write the rap (the most inappropriate parts are mostly written by me, I’m sorry to say) and to be there for the taping. I LOVED doing it. If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, you can find it HERE.
– Would you please tell us some information about the boys who play the Fuentes brothers?
– Absolutely! I love all of my Fuentes brothers and that includes my amazing actors that play them in my videos. I’ve been so fortunate to work with all of them! When it came to casting Alex Fuentes, I knew I couldn’t settle for anyone less than “perfect.” When we were auditioning for the Rules of Attraction video, I just couldn’t find anyone that fit my idea of Alex. When the director asked me who my perfect Alex would be, I told him that was easy – Alexander F. Rodriguez (the groom in Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold music video). Talk about perfection! I got Alexander’s email address and emailed him. To make a long story short, I told him I couldn’t imagine anyone else making my character Alex come alive for the book trailer. To my complete and utter shock (yes, my jaw actually dropped) Alexander emailed me back and said it sounded like fun and he was on board for the cameo role. I’m still in shock!
For Carlos, as soon as I saw Giancarlo Vidrio’s audition tape I knew he’d be perfect for the role of sexy bad boy Carlos Fuentes. When we were casting Luis, I again had someone in mind – Gabriel Chavarria from the movie Freedom Writers. I’d asked my fans on Facebook who they’d like to see as Luis. I got hundreds of suggestions, but Gabriel stood out among all the rest. I found and messaged Gabriel off of Facebook and was completely shocked when he agreed to come to Chicago to film the video.
Filming all of my trailers has been an amazing experience and I have a lasting friendship with all of the boys. We really have become a family!
– You were in Hungary not a long time ago. What did it feel to meet the Hungarian fans?
– It was AMAZING! All of my Hungarian fans were so enthusiastic and so welcoming! I was told that many wouldn’t know English, but many of them spoke great English. It was an incredible experience and I would love to come back. I’m so grateful to all of you for your support. Thank you!
– What are your plans for the future? Are you currently working on something?
– The first book in my new series about high school football players is going to be out in the states in October. Don’t worry, the book is still a romance and you don’t have to know anything about American football to enjoy it! I’m not allowed to release too many details about it yet, but I hope to be doing a cover reveal on my Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simone-Elkeles-Fan-Page/101698336559632) soon!