Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Toni de Palma's blog tour for her new book, The Devil's Triangle. Her new book is a hilarious teen romance that just happens to involve the Devil's sister, a dead teenage boy who comes back as a star football player, and a mysterious girl he's been tasked to save. This is the first in her The Devil's Triangle series. Welcome Toni de Palma to Working for the Mandroid!
What inspired you to first start writing?
The first time I thought of becoming a writer was when I was eight. We'd moved to a new neighborhood with no kids. It was then I discovered the Ramona and Beezus books by Beverly Cleary. Ramona became my best friend and I decided I wanted to write for kids so I could make them feel part of something the way Beverly Cleary made me feel.
Who have been your biggest writing influences? Why?
I have always been a reader and books have shown up when I've most needed them. In high school I loved John Steinbeck and Victor Hugo, but now I love contemporary YA writers a lot like Patricia McCormick and Jacqueline Woodson.
What is your ideal writing location and atmosphere? Writing snack of choice?
I have an office in my house, but lately I like to write early morning in my kitchen with the company of my dog, Chester. I try not to snack, but the crunchier the better.
Do you have a particular routine that gets you in the mindset to write your supernatural characters?
I like to write early in the morning. I also read a few pages from a book with a voice and style similar to my own. It warms me up.
Why did you choose to set The Devil's Triangle in the POV of Cooper? What additional challenges came with writing from a teenage boy's perspective?
My characters direct me, telling me what is happening in their world. My son is a huge influence. He was around Cooper's age when I started writing this book. He is quite different from Cooper, but having him around gives me a good peek into the boy world. I was also very much a tomboy when I was young and boys make a lot of sense to me.
Vampires or Zombies
Since I'm a Walking Dead fan, I'd go with Zombies
Faeries or Ghosts
My second book, Jeremy Owl, is a middle grade about faeries, so I'd have to go with the Fae.
Cake or Ice Cream
Cake or Ice Cream as long as they have something crunchy in them. I like to chew on something
Hard Copy or e-Book
Other than the time I was standing in line at the Frankfurt airport, I would say hard copy. I go through a whole process when I pick up a book, which sometimes includes sniffing it (don't ask :)
Fantasy or Science Fiction
It doesn't matter as long as it's told well.
Inside or Outside
I need a balance. As a writer, I tend to be inside more than outside. I also live in New Jersey where the winters are sometimes unkind. But come spring, watch out, here I come! I love to ride my bike on the boardwalk
Twitter or Facebook
Facebook. I can't keep track of all those threads on Twitter and I like to have more substantial conversations with people.
Movies or Television
I think both are great. TV has become very sophisticated. I can't wait to watch Bates Motel. I wish I had thought of that one!
The Devil's Triangle
Toni de Palma
Crescent Moon Press
Released February 15, 2013
When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil's sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.
While Cooper figures out his mission, he's thrown into the life he's always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend who can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn't watch out.
While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what's keeping him and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.
About the Author
I was born in Brooklyn, New York where I spent my summers dancing in the spray of the johnny pump (fire hydrant) and playing freeze tag and a game called skully or skelly (depending on the block you lived).
From a very early age I was an observer, an essential skill I believe for writers. On a warm summer night, I loved looking out from my bedroom window. We lived in an apartment, above a candy store and along a busy avenue. I loved watching the people walk by and I often made up stories in my mind of where they were heading off to. There was a payphone on the corner and I loved to eavesdrop on people's conversations.
In sharp contrast to life in Brooklyn, some of my summers were spent on the Italian island of Ischia. Ischia is the island where my Dad grew up. There I swam, fished, and ate lots of pizza. When I got older I also learned to ride a motorcycle and I fell in love with the Italian language. This helped me appreciate my own language.
I'll make a confession. While I always loved stories and writing, I didn't think I was smart enough or creative enough to be a writer. So instead of pursuing my dream, I decided to do something else I loved. I studied psychology and then went on to get a Masters in Social Work. This allowed me to become a school social worker, which enabled me to counsel kids and get them the education they needed. I loved my job for a long time, but my old dream of being a writer nagged at me.
Finally, I jumped into my dream with both feet. I went back to school (I really, really, really like school) and got another Masters degree, this time in writing. Along the way I've had many adventures and met many people. People seem to like my stories and this makes me happy. And whenever I meet someone who has a dream, I say Go For It!