May 17, 2007

3Q with Kelly Parra (Now with Bonus Undead Cannibal Readers!)

This week, my 3Q guest is YA author Kelly Parra whose hip new title Graffitti Girl tells the story of Angel Rodriguez, a headstrong, independent youngartist. When her entry for a community mural loses to Nathan Ramos--a senior track star and Angel's secret crush--she's angry and hurt.
That's when Miguel Badalin--from the notorious graffiti crew Reyes Del Norte--opens her eyes to an underground world of graf tags and turf wars. Soon she's running with Miguel's crew, pushing her skills to the limit and beginning to emerge as the artist she always dreamed she could be. But Nathan and Miguel are bitter enemies with a shared past, and choosing between them and their wildly different approaches to life and art means that Angel must decide what matters most before the artist inside of her can truly break free.

JJ: What do you think of your cover and how does it compare to the cover you imagined when you were writing the book?


KP: I'm very pleased with my cover. It conveys Graffiti Girl exceptionally well with the girl holding the messy spray can. haha! The only aspect that was different from what I thought might be included was a graffiti filled wall somewhere in the background. I think with the can the main focus and the lovely purple, the cover is eye-catching.

JJ: Your main character seems to have a lot in common with you. You both _are Mexican American and were teen artists . How is she different from you?

KP: What is different about my heroine Angel and myself is that she grasps onto her art as her self-worth and the only way she can communicate her inner feelings. In high school, I loved my art but I didn't need to take action with it. I was content with creating just for myself and I also would communicate a lot with my close friends, where Angel has a tougher time doing so.

JJ: Was graffiti part of your life as a teen?

KP: I loved art since the fifth grade. I was always drawing or painting at school or on my own. When I reached high school, my group of friends were into graffiti art and I became fascinated with the bold style. I tried my hand at graffiti designs on paper, however I was never really any good at it. After years past and I started to focus on writing, I thought I could connect with teen readers. A story line about graffiti was the first idea to pop in my head and I began to research more about the method. Luckily my agent and MTV Books thought I had an interesting story with Graffiti Girl too. :)

Thanks Kelly!

In other news, BETWEEN, GEORGIA debuted on the SIBA bestsellers list at number 11 last week, so THANK YOU to all you DARLING DARLINGS in the comments and the equally darling but non-commenting darlings who gave it to their moms for Mother’s Day or picked up a copy for a sister or husband or brother or friend, just because.

Lastly, Amy (the webmaster at the Huntsville library) picked up a signed HB copy when I was over there last week, and she sent me the following mail:

I thought you'd get a kick out of a photo from my weekend. I was in
Loganville for a dragoncon*tv photo shoot (we film lots of spoof commercials that air during dragon*con).

So here's what we've begun to lovingly refer to as the Zombrarian photo – a librarian in full zombie makeup, reading your novel between takes while standing in front of a green screen.

As my friends pointed out this weekend, "Amy, as zombies go, clearly you're a messy eater."

I had to work pretty hard not to get the stage blood on my newly-signed
book. I've always suspected that authors find it fascinating to know what happens to their books once they're purchased and go out on their own, but somehow I doubt you pictured 'zombie photo shoot.'


Posted by joshilyn at May 17, 2007 3:53 PM

See? Even the undead love your books! How many authors can say THAT?

Posted by: Fran at May 17, 2007 10:16 PM

I SO think your publisher needs to use this photo for publicity somehow!!

Posted by: DebR at May 18, 2007 8:30 AM

Ha - glad you liked it! It seemed very appropriate to snap a photo, especially considering the city the video shoot took place in.

Besides, I have to do something to continue to teach people that librarians are ... well ... just as feisty and odd as they've always suspected.

Posted by: Amy at May 18, 2007 8:39 AM

I totally agree! You should get a zombie blurb for the cover of TGWSS when it comes out -- you'll reach a whole new demographic!

Posted by: Aimee at May 18, 2007 10:48 AM

I never know what I'll find over here at FTK. Great Photo!

Posted by: Patti D at May 18, 2007 11:57 AM

Now if that's a DOG-EATING zombie we could even claim it's somewhat thematic. ;)

Posted by: Mir at May 18, 2007 12:14 PM

congratulations on the great news on Between, Georgia! :-)

Posted by: amy at May 18, 2007 12:24 PM

Speaking of "Between," just this week, I ran across an entirely different cover at our local library (right after my 6 year old ran INTO one of the massive pillars out front....but that's a different story). I couldn't remember reading anything about it here, so I thought you'd like to know.

Posted by: Jessica at May 19, 2007 12:46 AM

Jessica -- The library may for some odd reason have a UK copy? Or a LARGE PRINT copy? Those both have different covers. OR! A UK large print edition.

What did it look like?

Posted by: Joshilyn at May 19, 2007 7:13 AM