Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dining with Tina Ferraro

I’m sooooo excited to kick off my Dining with Authors series today with Tina Ferraro, who writes fun, romantic tales for teens. In May, I read her book The ABC’s of Kissing Boys and loved it!

Tina is the author of three Delacorte Press young adult novels, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, How to Hook a Hottie, and The ABC’s of Kissing Boys. Her books have received many kudos, including a personal endorsement from Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, a 2008 American Bookseller Association Book Sense Award, and nominee status for the 2009 American Library Association Best Young Adult Book and 2009 Romance Writers of America for Best Young Adult Novel. Her fourth YA novel, When Bad Flings Happen to Good Girls, will be released in 2010.

How to Hook a Hottie is a Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist for Best Young Adult Book. The book features Kate DelVecchio, who plans to be a millionaire before she's 21. When she agrees to go to a sports banquet with a hotshot baseball player, she stumbles upon a possible cash cow. The rest of the school is amazed that the no-nonsense Kate could hook such a hottie, and one by one approach her for help hooking their own. She doesn't know anything about getting guys, but for $100.00 a pop, she's more than willing to try, including inventing a 6-step-plan on How to Hook a Hottie. And how could that possibly backfire?

Tina lives behind a computer in Los Angeles with her rocket scientist husband, a cat who bites, and whichever of their three young adult kids happens to be home.

Tamara: Welcome to the Girardi Diner. For this interview, imagine we are sitting across from each other in an adorable diner, sipping tea or coffee, enjoying a slice of our favorite cake or pie (mine's cherry pie!). It's much more fun that way!

Tina: Oh, yes, coffee, please, and pass me some of that cherry pie! Yum...

Tamara: If you could have dinner with any one of your characters, whom would you choose, and what would that character eat?

Tina: Well, my heroine, Kate, from How to Hook a Hottie, is a cheeseburger freak. I am so-so about them... But I do love the Bleunami Burger at Island’s. So settle me a booth with Kate, order up two of those hot, drippy bleu cheeseburgers, some onion rings, two iced teas. We’re good to go!

Tamara: What's your favorite vacation spot?

Tina: We have a family home in northern Italy, and for years, we packed our kids up for summer vacations there. We’d be like the locals, cooking, taking walks and afternoon naps, and visiting with family. But we haven’t been back in a while now since our kids have gotten older and are, a-hem, less content to be without their friends and the internet.

Tamara (who’s so jealous about your last answer): What was your favorite musical group/singer when you were in high school?

Tina: If I had to name just one, I’d say The Beatles, although they were already broken up and into their solo careers by that point.

Tamara: What is the funniest prank played on OR by you?

Tina: I was in high school. My brother and family friend--both younger--poured themselves full glasses of milk with lunch, and me just a tiny drop in a plastic cup. I arrived at the table and they said, “Hey, let’s pour milk on our heads!” I tilted my cup, saw nothing, thought they were complete idiots, and said, “Sure.” I poured mine, they didn’t. I ended up with milk dribbling down my face. They screamed with laughter. And to this day, I STILL get teased by both of them. Yeah, yeah.

Tamara: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Tina: An author, wife and mom! And believe me, there were long periods where I didn’t think the right guy, a baby, or selling a book would ever happen, so they all feel like big accomplishments.

Tamara: What question do you get asked most often about your writing? How do you answer it?

Tina: Lots of readers ask how they can find a guy like my heroes. And I have to tell them that I’m no help there. However, as my kids and their friends can attest, I DO have an uncanny ability to denote secret crushes. I can often see subtle changes in people’s eyes and body movements that speak louder than words or overt actions. So some of the “tips” in How to Hook a Hottie on how to tell if you’ve got a chance with a person really DO have some weight, especially the one about the wristwatch. It works, people!

Tamara: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Tina: Interesting that you ask this because recently we did this theme at the Buzz Girls blog to celebrate the release of Marley Gibson’s Ghost Huntress series. I told the story about my first apartment and how “something” that felt like a cat used to press against me in my sofa bed. When I changed positions, it would pause, then settled back in at a slightly different spot. I never saw anything, though. And when I moved to a different neighborhood, never felt it ever again. So that said, yes...I am definitely open to the idea of the spirit world.

Tamara: Thanks so much for stopping by the diner for this interview! Good luck with the Rita Award, and keep writing, so we can keep reading!

Tina: Thanks, this was FUN.

***For a chance to win a copy of Tina’s How to Hook a Hottie, post a comment below telling us something you’ve done or seen done to hook a hottie! Be sure to leave your email address, so I can email if you win!

Learn more about Tina and her books by checking out these links:

Tina Ferraro
Buzz Girls Blog
ABCs of Kissing Boys
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie


  1. I attended a full day outdoor vintage car show in the sweltering heat, needless to say I don't like old cars or sweating out 90% of my body fluids while staring at them but yes, I did it and even acted like I sorta enjoyed it... all for a guy! Thanks for the contest, I am at acirucci(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Thanks for the fun interview, and I really wish that Tina wins the Rita award!

  3. A ghost cat? Well, that's a little less creepy, as long as it's a NICE cat. (Not like your real biting cat, Tina!)

    And I like onion rings, too. I think I'd rather have onion rings than the cherry pie. lol.

  4. Hi,

    Don't enter me in the contest, as I have all of Tina's books. Am reading KISSING right now, and really enjoying it. Keep up the good work, Tina. This was a great, fun interview.

    Oh, you can adopt me and take me to Italy any time. Note, as your, ahem, new "oldest" child, I would allow you the pleasure of picking up the expenses. ;)

  5. Tamara, thanks again for hosting me here! It's great fun, and I'm enjoying the comments!

  6. I'll take one of those bleu cheeseburgers please! I already have my own copy of Hottie so you don't need to enter me. Just wanted to stop by!

    Stephanie Hale

  7. Tina - Thank you! I'm glad everyone's enjoying it. I wish people would be a little more bold, and, ahem, tell us the crazy things they've done to Hook a Hottie!

    I'll be brave and tell a story, although it's pretty tame. My husband's life revolves around football, always has. When we were in high school, I remember going to the games on Friday night and cheering for him. Then afterwards, I'd wait outside the locker room for him to shower, meet with the coaches and finally leave. We'd spend only a few minutes talking, but I'd tell him he played a good game. I think it meant a lot to both of us.

    For most guys, the way to the heart is through the stomach, but it was through football for my guy. It's a good thing I love football!

  8. Hi Tina, great interview! Nice Diner Tamara and excellent Cherry Pie.
    Gosh, I don't really have any subtle things I've done to hook a hottie. I did get one on my 34th birthday by going out to clubs with a t-shirt that said "Kiss Me, It's My Birthday" I ended up meeting a super cute guy named Cooper and we off and on dated for a while. Does that count?!

  9. Jennifer - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the pie. The great thing about virtual food is no calories. As for your tip on hooking a hottie, it worked, so I'd say that counts!

  10. Can I get my Bleu Cheeseburger on a dark rye? I already have a signed copy of "How to Hook...", so don't bother entering me in the contest. (Unless...a certain author would like substitute another of her titles.) ;)

  11. Hi Tina! I had no idea you had spent summers in Italy. How very cool! I hooked my hottie husband while he was in the Met Police Force in London and I was living in California. I used to call him up at the section house in the middle of the night before I'd even met him - only saw a photo he'd taken with my roommate (and wow!). When we finally met - it was love at first sight. We've been married 25 years now.

  12. Great interview. It's been a long time since I had to hook a hottie, but I can tell you that to hook a fish, you need a lot of patience.

  13. I've definitely pretended to be interested in stuff a guy liked to get him to talk to me. His car, his work... whatever!

  14. There was this one guy, he always stood at the train station on saturday mornings (I think he moved) and so one day I packed my suitcase and went to the station. I crossed the station and "accidently" my suitcase dropped open in front of him. Of course I didn't put any embarassing things into the bag :)
    I sort of gave him the lastet a few days (and nights) -- that's it haha

  15. oops - forgot to include my email.

  16. Love the stories! Keep posting. I'll draw the winner tomorrow morning, so you have until the end of the day to submit your How to Hook a Hottie moment.

  17. Thanks, Steph and Janie!

    Tamara, I loved your story!

    Golfing Librarian, Sir, if you win, yes, you can have a different book.

    Robin, I LOVE love-at-first-sight stories!

    Sara, never hurts for a guy to know you're interested, huh, even if it's not exactly in what he's talking about. ;)

    Yasemin, what a wonderful and daring story there! Thanks!

    And I should probably add one of my own...hmmm...
    well, there was this guy at work I liked. He called me from a business trip to check on some details and I asked when he was returning. He told me which night and flight, and I asked if he had his car there. He said no, he'd be taking a shuttle. So I went and picked him up! He was startled and flattered, took me out for a drink, and well, we'll be married 24 years in October!

  18. Yasemin, daring indeed!

    And, um, Tina, that's quite a daring story! It obviously paid off. Great story.

  19. LOL Tina @ the milk prank! Did they also tell you that "gullible" was written on the ceiling? *VBG*

    I enjoyed learning more about you from this great interview! Looking forward to your newest book. :)