You’re sixteen. A high school junior. A major teen celebrity like Blake Lively or Amanda Duff or Vanessa Hudgens moves into your house for a month and shares your bedroom, your friends, your clothes, your school. Your entire life. And it’s all caught on camera, for all of America to see. This is what happens to Emily Fine in Melissa Senate’s debut young adult novel, THEODORA TWIST (Delacorte Press). One day she’s ordinary nobody Emily Fine, practically invisible to everyone (including her own mother) and the next, she’s roommates with teen idol Theodora Twist and co-star of a TV reality show.
Theodora Twist is Hollywood’s hottest young actress—the girl everyone wants to be. Producers court her, tabloids love her, fans mob her, and US Weekly has covered every catfight with her co-stars, her ongoing feud with her mother, her yo-yo dieting, and her threesome with two Hollywood it-boys. Needless to say, Theodora doesn’t have the best reputation around.
So when Theodora’s publicity team decides to clean up her act with a reality show called Theodora Twist—Just a Regular Teen!, they send Theodora back to her hometown to live with Emily’s family for a month. Theodora has to do everything Emily does: attend high school, care about grades, friends, boys, the prom, zits (as though Theodora has ever had one). And a very unlikely friendship is formed.
Read an excerpt at Random House Teens (RandomHouse.com/teens) and visit Melissa’s website at MelissaSenate.com.
Bio: Melissa Senate is the author of several novels for adults, including the bestseller See Jane Date, which was made into a TV movie. Before becoming a writer, Melissa was a New York City book editor and worked on many teen novels. She now lives on the southern coast of Maine, where outside her door is a foot of fresh snow.
Jenn: Do you write full-time?
Melissa: My secret part-time job is freelance copywriting for a publishing company I used to work for. I write around ten back covers a month (YA and romance novels). Which means I get around ten manuscripts a month to read. Reading so many different authors a month introduces me to different approaches, styles. It’s a great job for a writer.
Jenn: Do you expect to write full-time in the future, and when will that be?
Melissa: I suppose the nature of my freelance job makes me a full time writer. All I do all day is write!
Jenn: Where do you write?
Melissa: I do love my desk! It’s an old-fashioned magohany secretary with all my favorite things: pictures of my son, a photo he took of me when he was four, my little Mac, my ever-present glass of Diet Coke w/lime. I write in my living room because it’s my favorite room.
Jenn: What makes you happiest about writing?
Melissa: I love how magical it is. I’m telling a story that comes straight out of my imagination, mixed with everything I think and am without knowing it.
Jenn: Give us a run-down on all your books. How do you see this new book fitting into the work you’ve produced so far?
Melissa: THEODORA TWIST is my first young adult novel. I’ve written five “chick lit” novels. I have to say, this was the hardest. Getting the voices right. Making their thoughts, their dialogue, everything about them authentic. What’s interesting to me about how Theodora fits in to my line up is that the basic questions, the themes, are very much the same in my adult fiction.