Random Q&A: Niki Burnham

A former Army brat and lawyer, Niki wrote for Silhouette before moving onto YA. Her newest book, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, is an anthology co-written by Terri Clark, Ellen Hopkins, and Lynda Sandoval.

1) Was there a book or author that made you want to become a YA author?

A friend of mine, YA author Lynda Sandoval, told me over and over that I should be writing for teens. I didn’t pay much attention at the time, since I had several romance novels under contract. But she e-mailed me a list of books and said, “Just read these. Then tell me this isn’t what you should be writing.” I knew she’d needle me if I didn’t read them, so I did. I knew about five pages into the first book that I’d really enjoy it. I haven’t looked back since.

2) What was the first scene of any of your books that made you stop and wonder if you should write it since your mom/best friend/husband/high school nemesis might read it?

Hasn’t happened. Thankfully, what I write is fiction, not memoir!

3) What is the day in the writing life of Niki Burnham like?

On an ideal writing day, I write for 3 – 5 hours in the morning, then take a one hour break to have lunch and put in laundry (while watching The Young and the Restless). After that, I go back to the computer to write some more, catch up on e-mail, do any blogging, etc. On a less-than-ideal day, I still get those things done, but not with any kind of schedule. I much prefer sticking to the schedule. Better for my sanity.

4) As a teenager, did you do anything that you later really regretted?

Nothing specific that I recall. However, I was very driven as a teen. I studied very hard, played sports, worked after school jobs, and was on student council. I can’t say I regret it, but in retrospect, I think I should have taken more time to enjoy myself. There’s a difference between working hard and working too hard.

5) Which teen movie heroine do you wish you could be for a day?

This may sound like a cop-out answer, but I’m pretty happy being myself! I’d rather be me than any movie heroine. Although…it wouldn’t be so horrible to be Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman from The Fantastic Four. I could have fun with that!

Want to know more about Niki? Visit her site at www.nikiburnham.com.


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