Young Adult: When did you decide to start writing?
ANNIE FROHOFF: I'm one of those people who woke up one day and said, "Hey, I think I'm going to go to school for screenwriting." This was after 12 years of working in a corporate environment, and it all evolved from there. I'd had enough of the BS, and was toying with some ideas and just went for it!
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YA: Tell us a little bit about your latest work.
AF: Oh, where to start?! Book 1 of the Heavy Influence Trilogy, First Kiss, is the continuation of a novella prequel I'd released in September of last year (Skid Out). It's a rock n' roll love story to put it simply, a modern day Walk The Line meets John Hughes classic. I'd wanted to test the waters, to see if this story would be something readers would take to, and as it seems, they have. It's a great feeling! The Trilogy in its entirety spans 10 years in the lives of the main characters, Jake and Alyssa, going through their trials, reckless behavior, betrayals, redemptions and more: all under the umbrella of Jake's climb to fame. First Kiss,
due for release at the end of summer, chronicles their coming of age in the presence of forbidden love and almost losing it all.
YA: What are some of the qualities in your latest work that set it/you apart from what's currently our there on the market?
AF: I've done a lot of contemporary YA reading of late and I'd have to say that the setting is unique enough in its rock n' roll vibe. I've taken the last 4 years to immerse myself in my subject matter, from being on the road to going into the recording studio and working side by side with musicians. This wasn't about me just picking up a magazine or some memoirs or going to concerts to do my research. Not to mention my own story of when I was 16: I've 'lived it' with these guys. I've heard firsthand what they've lost and how much they've sacrificed. In addition, my books will come with a soundtrack of original music, and the lyrics will appear in the pages of the books. Yes, it's a fictional band, but the music is by real bands/musicians in their own right, who have performed side by side with the biggest names in the business.
YA: What attracts you to the Young Adult genre specifically?
AF: The first time experiences. I love reading different authors' takes on youthful life & moments. I love writing my take on young adult living based on my experiences, and remembering what it was like for me. The fact that I also feel young at heart and probably identify better with 15-25 year olds than I do with 30 and older has something to do with it to!
YA: Who would you count among your strongest influences for your latest work, and why?
AF: Oh geez, so many. Because this work revolves around music, my first influence was Nick Jonas. I had a dream about him after a concert (nothing pervy, lol) and it evolved from there. Then and now, because I'm a rock chick as far as musicians go, my main muses are Chris Bowman of Bad Suns and Matt Reich of Lights Resolve. There is Nick Long of Dead Country too, and many others. I'm always searching for inspiration. As for writers, I'm all about John Hughes (Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles). As for authors, it's really tough to say. I'm a big fan of Kody Keplinger (The Duff) and The Hunger Games' Suzanne Collins. I like edgy writing, it's more real to me in this day and age.
YA: Who or what do you hope not to be compared to?
AF: I really don't know to tell you the truth. What I do know is, I write for people's entertainment. I'm not a literary master, I don't hold a degree. I guess I don't want to be compared to those who hold these "titles", in the sense that my writing is too simple. I'm a storyteller, that is all. We are all individuals. We can't be everyone's friend, nor can we make a fan out of everyone. To each his own.
YA: Do you have pursuits outside of young adult fiction?
AF: Indeed! I'm currently delving into the supernatural fantasy world with writing partners Shaun Barger and songwriter/musician Matt Reich. Taking inspiration directly from song lyrics and building an entire realm of vastly complex characters and plot lines; weaving history, fantasy and heavy doses of romance together in “The Zodiac Wars: My Gemini” and “Precious Metal: The Prince and the Gypsy” book series. Both series of books are currently in development.