Once upon a time I read this book…..

perfect-chemistry

 

If you haven’t read it GO BUY IT NOW

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After reading this book I devoured everything else Elkeles published. I still do. When Simon & Schuster asked me if I wanted to interview her for the Month of Men Blog Tour I was pumped! I could have sent her a mile long list of questions but they limited me so here are the ones I did ask. Check it out!

 

 

 I adore your book trailers. When I decided to do my first one I sent yours to my video guy and said “I want that!” It reminds me of a mini movie. How exactly did you find your actors?

SIMONE: I was a teen in the 80’s and loved Will Smith’s rap in the beginning of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  I did a rap video book trailer for Perfect Chemistry that was a parody of the book.  It was so much fun making up the crazy rap and hiring actors to play the roles of Alex, Brittany, and Colin!

For rules of Attraction, I decided to do a real movie trailer as the book trailer.  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 the ideal 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!

 

 

I’ve heard through the author grapevine the story behind how you found out the correct “naughty words” to say in Spanish. I think pizza was involved… I’d love to hear how this actually went down.

SIMONE: Since I don’t speak Spanish myself (I took French in high school), I wanted to make sure my Spanish was correct in the book.  My friend’s son brought a bunch of his Latino friends to her house and I bought a bunch of pizza’s.  While the boys pigged out on pizza, I asked them questions about their culture and made sure my Spanish was realistic.  I also asked my friend Eduardo over and asked him if my Spanish was correct.  Lastly, I went to the dean of the Spanish department at Loyola University-Chicago and gave the book to her.  If you’re going to write about a culture or in a language that’s not your own, you better do your homework!

 

Where do you get your inspiration? I know it comes from many things but when it’s time to sit and write a book, what is the one thing that inspires you most?

SIMONE: I get inspiration from anything and everything.  I got the inspiration to write my book Leaving Paradise from a news story in my town- where a girl stabbed a boy and had to go to juvie.  I changed the story where the boy goes to juvie, and it was a car accident, but the real news story definitely inspired me.  I get inspiration from my fans.  When I was doing research for the Perfect Chemistry series, I met with gang members who inspired me to tell their stories.  If I have to say what inspires me “most,” it would be my fans.  I get these amazingly moving messages from my fans saying that my books have in some way changed their life for the better and inspired them to go to college or get out of their gangs.  It’s letters like that that make me never want to stop writing.

 

I am a massive fan of your book covers. Especially the Perfect Chemistry series. Did you have input in those covers? If so where did you come up with the idea behind the covers?

 SIMONE: All of my book covers for the Perfect Chemistry series are stock photos that my publishers bought.  They gave me suggested covers, and I rejected a few before they found the perfect ones. I wanted an edgy, sexy cover because the book is edgy and sexy.

 

Which of your characters is your favorite? I get asked this a lot and although it is painful to pick just one “baby” I do have a favorite. Care to confess yours?

SIMONE: Whichever book I’m working on, those characters are my favorites at the time because I have to fall in love with them to be able to write them well.  So, I guess everyone has had their turn being my favorite!  If I have to pick only one, I’d say Alex from Perfect Chemistry.  His dedication to Brittany is second to none.

 

When did you start writing books? Was it something you always wanted to do?

SIMONE: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!

 

What can we expect from you next? 

SIMONE: I’m working on a new series about four football players in high school and the girls they fall in love with.  The first book is going to be out in the U.S. in October.  Don’t worry, the books are all romances and you don’t have to know anything about football to enjoy it!  I’m not allowed to release too many details about it yet, but I hope to be revealing information on my Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simone-Elkeles-Fan-Page/101698336559632) soon!  I will also post information about a Perfect Chemistry movie if there is one in the works…keep your fingers crossed that will also go into production this year!

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