Interview with Simone Elkeles & Giveaway!

With some extreme giddyness and more than a small dash of excitement, I'm pleased to welcome the always hilarious author Simone Elkeles. I became a supreme fan of her work after stumbling across Perfect Chemistry last year and have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, Rules of Attraction ever since. Simone's here today to celebrate the recent release of Rules of Attraction (which I loved) and to dish on her books and characters. Welcome Simone!

First off, how do you pronounce your lovely name?

Simone is (Sim-own) and I always tell people Elkeles is “Not Elk-uh-more, it’s Elk-uh-less!” Or you could do it as El-kel-ess. Seriously, it’s not easy on the tongue to say Elkeles. Everyone gets it wrong, so I’m used to it.
I’ve seen before that you weren’t necessarily planning on writing a ‘sequel’ to Perfect Chemistry. What made you decide to write Rules of Attraction after all?

Ever since I wrote Perfect Chemistry, I thought it would be amazing to write about all three Fuentes brothers. When I sold Perfect Chemistry, though, I wasn’t sure I’d get to write a trilogy or even a sequel/companion novel. When my editor Emily Easton at Walker said that fans definitely wanted another Perfect Chemistry novel and weren’t ready to let my characters go, I was so excited. I didn’t want to have Brittany and Alex be the main characters because their story was already written – I wanted to let Carlos and Luis have their own stories. I’m so happy to announce that it will be a trilogy, so all three brothers can have their own story!
In your opinion, what makes Carlos and Kiara work so well as a couple?

They like challenges, and they both challenge each other. Kiara surprises Carlos, which is what he needs in a girl. And Kiara needs a guy who is going to pull her out of her shell. Carlos definitely does that!

Do you feel like you connect more with certain of your characters than others? As an author, how much of your own personality do you put into your characters?

There is definitely a part of me in every character I write. To be honest, I have a sarcastic attitude and connect more with the snarky and sarcastic side of my characters more than anything else. I totally “get” my male characters. I allow them to be rude jerks at first – which totally entertains me as a writer. By the end of the book, though, that attitude has been squashed because they are totally humbled by falling in love with the right girl. Yes, it’s fiction ha, ha. Amy from the How to Ruin books is more like me than any other character. On the other hand, Maggie was the toughest character for me to write, because she’s the total opposite of me. In the sequel (Return to Paradise), we get to see a totally different side of Maggie.
What’s it like to write a book with two distinct and unique voices? Both Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction alternately switch between a male and female narrator. Do you ever find yourself having a hard time switching gears?

I love switching point of view between chapters. It lets me give my readers insight into both my hero and heroine and what they’re thinking. I don’t have a hard time switching, but maybe that’s because I’m switching from male to female characters. Sometimes I feel I have writers ADD because after a while I have a hard time focusing on a chapter and have the urge to switch. It’s refreshing to change gears and switch to another character.

Do you listen to music while you write? Is there a Rules of Attraction soundtrack?

I don’t listen to music while writing, but I do have a Rules of Attraction soundtrack that will be posted probably this week (it's up now)! Go check it out. The soundtrack for Perfect Chemistry is already posted there.

Is there a particular book (or movie for that matter) you wish you had written?

I loved the movie The Cutting Edge. It’s an amazing romance and every time I see it I find more things to love about it. It’s a classic romance. I also cry every time I watch Rudy. It’s not a romance, but it’s an amazing story about success due solely to heart and perseverance. If that movie doesn’t teach you that anything is possible if you work hard enough at it, nothing will!

What books do you find yourself recommending over and over and over again?

I loved Flipped, The Hunger Games, Rainbow Boys, and Wicked Lovely a ton!

So many books come out each year, but are there any in particular that you are really looking forward to reading?

I’m really looking forward to the third book in the Hunger Games series.

Are you currently working on another project? And if it’s the next Perfect Chemistry novel, what can you tell us about Luis?

I just finished Return to Paradise, the sequel to Leaving Paradise. Now I’m doing research for the third Perfect Chemistry novel. It will be about Luis, Alex’s youngest brother. Luis is a good boy who doesn’t live with the angst that his big brothers have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams. When he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he’s never known to try and save her from herself. Just when he thinks he’s got life all figured out, Luis learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father? Oh, I can’t wait to sit down and write it! The sequel to Leaving Paradise is coming out in September and the third Perfect Chemistry novel is coming out in 2011!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by Simone! I was more than a little giddy at the chance to chat with you about your books! And for some strange reason I'm suddenly feeling the strong urge to go and track down The Cutting Edge...


Thanks to the marvy folks at Walker Books for Young Readers, I have a copy of both Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction to giveaway to a couple of lucky readers. For a chance to win one of these truly awesome books, just tell me who your favorite bad boy/good girl couple from literature (or film) is. Please be sure to leave me a way to contact you if you win and which book you'd prefer if picked. Sorry, but this contest is only open to residents of the US. Giveaway is open until Sunday, May 16th 23rd at Midnight.

Sorry, giveaway is CLOSED.


Chachic said...

I can't enter the contest but I just wanted to post a comment and say that this was a great interview! I'm so excited to read Perfect Chemistry and its sequel. I hope we get stocks of both books here soon. I keep calling the local bookstore to ask and they keep saying that they still don't have it.

Janicu said...

Great interview. THE CUTTING EDGE is one of those movies I just get sucked into when it's on TV.

Hmm. This time I will go with Julian from L. J. Smith's Hidden Game trilogy. He was bad.


Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I guess I'd have to say patch and Nora from Hush Hush. He's a bad boy at least :)

foltzsfantasticbooks at

I'm interested in Rules of Attraction

Enna Isilee said...

Bad boy/good girl, huh? Hm... Tricky. Does David and Tally from the UGLIES series count? He wasn't "bad" but he was rebellious.


Anonymous said...

That is a fun interview. I totally agree with her. The Hunger Games was great and I can't wait for the 3rd book!

AlyxandSimon said...

Thanks for the contest. My favorite literary couple is Sean and Catherine from Christine Monsons' Stormfire.

I'd like a shot at 'Rules of Attraction.'

alyxandsimon at gmail dot com

angie said...

My favorite bad boy/good girl would have to be Sookie Stackhouse and Eric from the Charlaine Harris books.
I would love to win Rules of Attraction!
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Sarah E said...

My favorite bad boy/good girl couple from film is Danny & Sandy in Grease.

Please enter me to win Perfect Chemistry.

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sylvia said...

I know this is kind of cliche but I love Chuck Bass and Blair, they're just perfect for each other, I think:D

Thanks for this giveaway! I would love to win:)