[BLOG TOUR]Interview – Kimberly Pauley of Ask Me

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Hey, guys! Today I have Kimberly Pauley, author of Ask Me, on the blog to answer some questions. Take a seat and get a glass of wine or two, you’ll be bound to be here for a while!

If you could describe Ask Me in 5 words/adjectives or less, what would they be?

Unwilling oracle vs. cunning sociopath

Okay, the fun part! I really liked Aria Morse as a character and as a person. You could really feel the frustrations within her as she tried to find her place in the world, as well as her doubts when she didn’t automatically charge head-on into the problems coming her way, which was really a breath of fresh air from the many reckless and impulsive heroines I’ve read lately. What made you decide to write her the way she is?

I don’t know that it was a conscious decision, at least for that part of it. That’s just the way she was in my head. When writing, I usually start with a character and Aria and her problem was the first thing I knew about the book.


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I also liked the presence of parental figures in this book. The fact that Aria’s grandparents were integral in her life was very uplifting, as I’ve noticed many YA books nowadays have little to no parental roles. What are your thoughts about this? Did you encounter any difficulty writing such a relationship?

Thanks for noticing! Actually, this is something I’ve kind of done in every book I’ve written so far. In so many young adult and middle grade books the parents (or parental figures) are completely absent. There’s a good reason for this, in a way…a lot of the fiction for younger readers has an undercurrent about finding your own way and it’s easier, in some ways, to up the stakes on that by making the parents disappear in one way or another. In my first two books, Mina’s parents were very present in her life and even in Cat Girl’s Day Off (my third book), Nat’s parents are also very much there (they even let Nat go off all crazy with her cat army, but keep tabs on her). While I think a lot of books *need* the parents to be gone, I don’t think it has to be that way in *every* book. Families come in all shapes and sizes and levels of involvement. I’ve tried to write some books where the involvement is more, rather than less. I also feel it’s kind of nice to see parental figures that are actively helpful. Being a teen is a very alienating time in many ways, but there are people out there to lean on. Well, not for every character, obviously…there’d be no Harry Potter if his parents were still alive!

I don’t know that I had a difficult time writing their relationship. It just felt right to me.

Okay, so Aria has the power of Prophecy. What made you decide to take this route regarding her power?

I wanted something that she had no control over and that she would feel was controlling her life. It’s also something that *sounds* like something anyone would love to have…but, if you really understood what you would have to give up for it, would you?

The book hints that there are more people like Aria in the world. Is there any chance you’re going to write books about the other Seers?

The original idea was for a series of books. I honestly don’t know if that will happen. It could! Though the original idea changed quite a bit in the editorial revisions, so it wouldn’t work exactly how I had first envisioned it. I don’t think it necessarily needs more books, but I did have some other Sybils I wanted to introduce to the world. The next one was going to be a girl who has been using her power for “bad” as a grifter.

Okay, silly question, but did you research a lot to come up with many of Aria’s poetic answers? To be honest, as cryptic as they were, it surprised me so much that the answers were *there* all along! (Which is to say, very clever)

Yes, quite a bit. Some took forever to come up with! Including some of the ones that people won’t even think twice about and will never even realize that they have a hidden meaning!

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Ask Me is both Paranormal and Mystery/Thriller, which I think can be very tricky to put together. Did you find any difficulty finding a balance between the two? 

Every one of my books has fantasy elements, but all of them are set pretty firmly in the real world. I like to imagine how people with extraordinary things about them would have to live in our world, trying to fit a round shape object into a square shape hole. I tried to balance out all of those things and the mystery element…some people will want more of one, some more of another. Hopefully I found a fairly good balance.

Why did you decide to write a book towards the Young Adult demographic? Do you have plans to branch out eventually? 

ASK ME is my fourth book and all of them have been for YAs so far. I even specialized a bit in children’s lit when I was at college! But, I am working on an adult novel now and I’m having a lot of fun writing it. After that, I’m not sure if it will be another adult book or, probably, finishing a half-completed paranormal-ish YA love story.

Okay, another silly question. We all know the advantages and disadvantages of Aria’s power, but if you were to choose, would you want to have her power yourself? Why or why not?

No. At least, not how she was written! I would hate not having control over myself. Even though I’d love to know all the answers, I think you have to give up too much!

Casting time! If Ask Me were to be made into a film, which actor/actress would you cast for Aria, Alex, Delilah, and Will?

For Aria I have been thinking India Eisley or Hailee Steinfeld. For Will, I’m thinking Alex Black or Alex Pettyfer. But for Alex…well, I haven’t found a perfect one. The closest is someone suggested Logan Lerman or Tyler Posey. Either one of them could work! I haven’t found a good Delilah yet either. Any suggestions? I’m thinking maybe I need to watch more teen movies or shows!

Last question: what are your favorite YA reads? Any recommendations to our readers?

Oh, so many! Anything my Myra McEntire, CJ Redwine, MG Buehrlen, David Lubar, Alex Flinn, Tiffany Trent, Andrew Smith, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Bruce Hartinger, Alex Sanchez, Jo Knowles, Marlene Perez, Delilah Dawson…okay, I better stop or I could keep going for days and days.

Interested? Get ASK ME today!

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Check out the rest of the stops:

April 21

Kai of Amaterasu Reads (Review)
Charlie of Letter Trails (Excerpt)

April 22

Kazhy of My Library in the Making (Review)
Maricar of Blackplume (Review)

April 23

Mia of Girl About Books (Review)
Diana of Chaotic Reader (Excerpt)

April 24

Cassandra of The Enigma of Herself (Review)
Faye of  The Social Potato (Interview)

April 25
Biena of The Library Mistress (Review)
Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again (Excerpt)
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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. says

    Ooh this sounds great and I love the question about family. I understand why parents are often absent but when family has a role in a book and it’s executed well (not those annoying parents you want to slap lol) I find it really gives more depth to the book.

    Ooh and Alex Pettyfer! He’s yummy!

    But “Unwilling oracle vs. cunning sociopath” this definitely caught my attention from the start! :D
    Giselle recently posted…Review: The Taking by Kimberly DertingMy Profile

  2. says

    Oooh…this sounds really interesting! It’s not often that you come across a book with a premise about oracles, so seeing this one is definitely making me intrigued! I love how Kimberly mentions the importance of strong family relationships in YA, as it’s always nice to have one in a YA book, as rare as it is. Thanks so much for sharing Faye and GREAT questions! Putting this on my TBR list! :D
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Love Letters to the DeadMy Profile

  3. says

    This is paranormal? From the cover I though it was a contemporary story. Anyhow thank goodness that there is a parent figure here. I’m really sick and tired of books where kids are left to take care of themselves and do stupid things. This one seems really interesting. Great interview, Faye :)
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer DonnellyMy Profile

  4. says

    Wow, Ask Me sounds so interesting! The first thing I thought of when I hear prophecy was ‘Charmed’ for some reason haha. You asked some pretty awesome questions Faye, I like how the author wrote a character that was SMART and thought things through. Plus, parental figures omg! The author seems to really break from the mold yay! Wonderful interview Faye, thanks for sharing xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…ARC Review: Razorhurst by Justine LarbalestierMy Profile

  5. says

    So I was pretty much hooked at the very first question–I mean, really. How cool does, “Unwilling oracle vs. cunning sociopath,” sound? BUT . . . then I saw your less than enthusiastic remarks on Goodreads, and now I don’t know. However, the fact that you managed to like an MC who was oblivious is a point in it’s favor, AND I like Greek mythology in general. We will see ;) Great interview, Faye!
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel HawkinsMy Profile