Meet Zoe Alea, Author Intern & Hair Twin Extraordinaire

Zoe AleaI’ve known Zoe for about 3 years now — we met online just before TWENTY BOY SUMMER came out. She was one of the first book bloggers I’d ever met, and not too long before that, I didn’t even know book blogging was a real thing. That sounds funny to say now, since almost everyone I know online is either an author, a book blogger, a librarian, or some combination, and pretty much everyone in that list blogs about books, but it’s true. Zoe was one of the first. And soon after we discovered our mutual love of books, we realized we were curly red-headed hair twins (even though one of us gets her red hair from a bottle… not naming names… *cough* anyway… hey, look! Cupcakes!)…

Where were we? Oh yes. Hair twins. And the rest is history.

Now, with the launch of BITTERSWEET (out January 3 — just 37 days away!) and the paperback of FIXING DELILAH (out December 5 — just 7 days away!) fast approaching, the vibe is pretty insane around here. That’s a good thing in this business, but it’s also a crazy-making thing (yes, “Vibes of Insanity” is a proven medical condition afflicting all writers). Zoe, brave soul that she is, has taken on the monumental task of helping me be slightly less crazy. And yes, as my new author intern, that’s her official job description. A big job, to be sure, but I have total faith in her!

In addition to cooling out the crazy, Zoe’s helping to get the word out about both books, so you might see her popping up on Facebook and Twitter and other places around the interwebs to host contests and chat about the books and generally be her cute awesome naturally red-headed self. So if you do see her, please give her a warm welcome and a virtual hug, and maybe a cupcake and a puppy, because she totally deserves them!

To make sure everyone is properly introduced, Zoe stopped by today to answer a few bookish questions. When you get to the end of her interview, if you’re not totally distracted by the cupcake question (yeah, are you sensing a theme here?), be sure to follow the links to her blog and other online hangouts.

Now, introducing… Zoe Alea!

Zoe, How did you become interested in YA lit? Were you always a bookworm, or did you come across a specific book that had an impact on you?

I stumbled on YA lit when I was looking for books I thought I would like reading. I was never a bookworm until recently. The summer in between 5th and 6th grade I read Harry Potter, and after that I was completely hooked on literature. Harry Potter was a life changing book for me. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t be answering these questions right now.

Which character in YA fiction do you most relate to? Why?

I don’t know! This is such a hard question. I think I relate to a mash-up of different characters. I know that when it comes to TV characters, I relate to Rory Gilmore from seasons 1-4 of Gilmore Girls, I think I relate to her the most because we’re both really academically driven and we both love books. I think she’s the one fictional character that I’ve really related to.

What’s your favorite book ever?

Again, with the hard questions. Definitely Harry Potter, for sentimental reasons. And your books of course. I’m also a really big fan of David Levithan’s books.

If you could spend the day with three characters from the world of young adult literature, which three would you pick, and why? What would you do with them on your fun day out?

You honestly don’t know how bad I want to list only amazing literary boys. It’s also really hard to not make all these characters people from books by Stephanie Perkins. The first one would be Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Anna is amazing and she loves old movies (just like me!). I think that we would get along really well. The second character is Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. My reasoning for him is really simple. He’s of french descent, has a British accent, and was born in San Francisco. He’s also short and has clunky books, amazing hair, and loves history. So basically he is the most amazing literary guy in the world. And that brings me to my next person, which is actually two people (both boys). I know I didn’t want this list to be dominated by boys, but literary boys are amazing. So Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Wes is adorable and an artist. Cricket is adorable and an inventor. Really, how can I not want to meet these boys? I would totally like to pick their brains, you know? I would love to find out more about them than just what’s in the book. We would probably meet of tea/coffee and cupcakes, preferably somewhere in Europe.

What do you want to be when you grow up? šŸ™‚

When I was little, I wanted to be a fashion designer SO BAD. It consumed my life. I would sit around drawing sketches of clothes I wanted to make. Then I realized that I had no idea how to make clothing. Ironically, it was around the time I started discovering literature. Now I would like to work in publishing when I grow up! I would love to either be an author or someone who works in marketing.

Finally, in honor of BITTERSWEET (which features a lot of zany cupcakes, among other things), invent a cupcake that best represents you.

Hmmm. I think I would like to try a checkerboard cupcake. I don’t know if they actually make those, but they have cakes that are checkerboard and those are pretty awesome. So it would be both chocolate and vanilla. For frosting maybe vanilla with chocolate sprinkles. Also, a cherry on top. Cherries are amazing (and I have red-hair, so it works).

I just looked up checkerboard cupcakes, and they don’t exist. In this case, I would like my cupcake to be vanilla with chocolate chips inside!

Okay, so I’m off to find a way to make Zoe’s Zany Checkerboards! In the mean time, you can check out her book reviews at Zoe’s Book Reviews, on Twitter @zoealea, and on Facebook! Friend and follow and all that good stuff, and watch out for more from Zoe soon!