We first met Maria E. Monteiro when we made her book trailer for Hold on Tight our book trailer of the week. Since then we have been in love with her book. It only became better when we got to review it. We fell in love with the characters and even made both of the love interest our boyfriends of the week. Hold on Tight has even started arguments among the four of us. Two of us our Team Court while the other two our Team Nash. Now we are excited to bring you our very first official author interview with Maria E. Monteiro. Leave a comment at the end of the interview for your chance to win an autographed copy of Hold on Tight. We will be picking two winners, which will be announced July 21st.
For those who don’t know, what is Hold on Tight about?
Hold on Tight is about a girl named Emma, who lives in the Catskills. She’s recently lost a very important person in her life. Court comes into Emma’s life just at the right moment to help her smile again. She’s getting ready to spend the summer before her junior year with Court and working at Fairland Park. She thinks things are going to be easy, but then she meets Nash and everything turns upside down. She starts to questions her feelings for Court and is not sure who she really wants to be with. It’s basically a summer romance with a love triangle.
We loved your book. We need to know, what was your inspiration?
It’s funny. The idea for Hold on Tight came to me after watching a marathon of the shows Felicity and Dawson’s Creek. I loved how both of the guys in the love triangles were great. Both Felicity and Joey would have been happy with either guy. So I set out to write a story about a love triangle. I don’t really remember how I came up with the actual storyline. I like to say the characters led me.
Are any of the characters or the story based on any real people? If so where can we find our own Nash or Court?
I’m sorry they’re not. But Emma does have a lot of traits from my friends. There’s also a little bit of me in her, for example her love of music and converse sneakers.
Do you want your audience to be as confused as Emma is about who is the better guy?
Yes I do. I love it because most people tell me they are team Court in the beginning, but then they quickly change to team Nash and then back to team Court. I’ve even witnessed some nasty arguments with my friends over this.
What songs were constantly playing while you were writing Hold on Tight?
Broken by Lifehouse and Shatter by O.A.R. I also listened to American Bang, Yellowcard, Parachute and The Foo Fighters. I actually have a writing playlist.
Music plays an important part in the book. We loved how each chapter is named after a song title. What inspired this?
My love for music. I wanted to honor in a way the music that has influenced so much of who I am. I even named the town Cypress Oak after my favorite rappers Cypress Hill. I was also inspired by where I live. I love living so close to where the Woodstock festival took place. I wished I lived back then. I would do anything to be a hippie from the 60’s.
If your book was going to be a made into a movie who would you want to play your main characters?
For looks wise and not their roles on TV I would want Emma to be played by Nina Dobrev from the Vampire Diaries. Court would be played by Beau Mirchoff from the show Awkward, and Nash would be played by Keegan Allen from the show Pretty Little Liars. To be honest, I really would want them all to be played by unknown actors.
Okay, which team are you? Team Court or Team Nash?
I’ll never tell. I love them both, but I created them so I have no choice. Deep in my heart I do prefer one over the other. I’m just not telling.
When did you become interested in writing?
I don’t even remember. I know I wrote a story when I was in the fourth grade called “The Haircut.” It was about a little girl who did not want to get a haircut. I never shared it with anyone. But years later I began to tell that story to my preschool classes and they have loved it ever since.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I make sure I have a big cup of coffee and my iPod playing loudly.
What word do you always have trouble spelling correctly?
“Unfortunately.” No matter how much I try to remember how to spell it I just can’t. I spell it so bad that even spell check has no idea what I’m writing. Thank God for my husband, who was a spelling bee champ in grade school.
What book or author inspired you to write YA?
Forever by Judy Blume. That book changed my life.
Which authors inspire you today?
Jennifer Echols. I love everything she writes. She makes me fall in love with each of her books. I also get inspired by all the authors I’ve met on Twitter: Jen Naumann, Danielle Sibarium, and Jillian Dodd. They are all amazing women.
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to be an author?
Don’t let fear of not being good enough hold you back. I hid behind that fear for way too long. It made me second guess myself all the time. You have to believe in yourself and everything you do. We only have one life to live why not live it doing what you love. I would also tell them to embrace the social media, it can be your best friend.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to Hold on Tight. It’s titled Letting Go. I’m excited.
And our final question. Are you ready for this? If you could have one superpower which one would it be?
To fly. I wouldn’t need gas money and I really do not like sitting in traffic ***
We would like to thank Maria for a wonderful interview. Now remember to leave a comment for chance to win a paperback or ebook (your choice)
Check out Hold on Tight now available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and iBooks.