Thursday, July 24, 2008

Author Interview: Gaby Triana

Heya, everyone! Here's an interview with Gaby Triana, author, cake decorator, among other things. You can win one of her books, Backstage Pass, by clicking here. Tomorrow there will be ANOTHER giveaway for one of her books, as well as a review, so check back for that!

Let's get started, shall we?

Gaby Triana is the author of critically acclaimed Backstage Pass and Cubanita. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband and their four children. Visit her online at

Could you describe your road to publication?

Faster than most. I spent two years shopping a story called Freddie and the Biltmore Ghost, but when that didn’t sell, I started writing something new, a little story called Backstage Pass. BP got sold two months after I finished it and became part of a 2-book deal, which included Cubanita. So I’ve been very lucky!

What inspired you to write for teens?

I love that teens are the real heroes sometimes. More so than adults. I love that they can still straddle the line between childhood and adulthood, gleaning the best of both worlds. I think, in many ways, I’m still like one.

What is the best part of being a published author? The worst?

The best part of being a published author is getting emails from readers telling me they loved my books, identified with my characters, or recommended it to friends because they really connected with it somehow. The worst is that authors are often the unsung heroes of the entertainment industry and get paid as such. But that’s the story of my life…I always fall into the role of unsung hero somehow.

What is your ultimate career aspiration?

To have my name in everyone’s vocabulary. J Kidding…(but not really). Um, I don’t really have one. I really just want to continue what I’m doing for as long as possible, although screenwriting for a major network show would be cool too.

What is your biggest piece of advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t aspire. Just write. The rest will come if you love what you’re writing.

Are you a music fanatic? If so, what bands do you want to give a shout out to here on the blog?

I love U2, Nickelback, The Fray, Coldplay, Barenaked Ladies, Rihanna, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Saliva, Dixie Chicks, Elliott Yamin, AFI, Daughtry, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, John Denver (yeah, John Denver…there a problem??), Billie Holiday, Michael Bubl√©, and The Wiggles (they keep my twins quiet), just to name a few…

What TV shows and movies do you tune in to?

I don’t have time for TV. I wish I did though. Some shows I sometimes get around to watching are Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters, and Scare Tactics. I love movies, though, and I’m not picky. I love just about any well-written movies out there: There Will Be Blood, Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Dancing (yeah, Dirty Dancing…there a problem??), The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ratatouille, Enchanted, Moulin Rouge, and anything with Hugh Jackman in it.

What is your most prized possession?

My family. Everything else can burn in a fire for all I care.

It says on your acknowledgments that you have a dog! I’m a big dog person, so I was wondering if you had any funny/interesting anecdotes to share about Chewy?

My dog, Chewy, was the best dog in the universe. One time, he chased the neighbor’s pit bull (who he was usually friends with) right out of our yard because it was bullying our cats. I’ve never seen him so fiercely protective of his feline brother and sister. Another time, I caught him on top of the wooden fence, back arched like a cat (he must have been trying to copy what the cats do). He didn’t know how to get down and looked really worried. I had to help him. LOL, god, that was hilarious, now that I think back on it…

Who are your favorite authors? What about your favorite books?

I love Stephen King, Anne Rice, Mark Twain, Washington Irving, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, the more supernatural/ghostly, the better…

If given the choice, what food would you ban from the face of the earth?

Saccharin, if you can call it a food. It will eventually wipe out the human race if we don’t stop using it.

You also work as a cake decorator. How did you get into that? Does this mean you’re the favorite person on the block, because you always have yummy food at hand?

My neighbors know, when they look through their windows to see my son knocking, that they’re getting free dessert. I’m always experimenting on new cake flavors, and they get to be the guinea pigs. I got into it when I picked up a Wilton catalog when I was 15 and made my first decorated cake that involved talent, not just tub frosting and sprinkles. It just snowballed from there, and every new idea I got became a challenge for me that I had to fulfill. You can see some of my cakes here:

What books currently sit on your nightstand? How are you liking them?

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (very nice) by Mary Pearson, Impulse (very nice) by Ellen Hopkins, Fancy White Trash (very nice) by Marjetta Geerling, and Frankenstein (rereading for research…old, but also very nice) by Mary Shelley.

Name the most random fact you can think of about yourself.

I was the dance soloist and captain for my high school color guard. Most people don’t know that I can toss a rifle and sabre 5 times and catch it in a backbend.

I see you have a book coming out next year! Could you tell us a little about it? Also, are you working on anything else at the moment?

Riding the Universe was originally called Motor Girl. It’s about 17-year-old Chlo√© who inherits the motorcycle she and her uncle built together from the ground up before he died of leukemia. She then spends the next year of her life trying not to fail chemistry, wasting hours watching the night sky, and wondering whether or not she should go against everything she ever believed in and pursue looking for her birth parents. Oh, and she’s in love with two boys.

I’m working on a supernatural thriller called Wake the Hollow, a modern version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It’s not a straight retelling. It has a brand new plot with a subplot that mirrors the classic.

Most important question ever: Does writing YA rock or what?

Yes, writing YA does indeed rock, dude. Some people (adults) have had the nerve to ask if I’ll ever get around to writing a “real” book, you know, like for adults, and I usually just smile at them and blink a lot. They have no clue anyway, so there’s nothing to say. If I have to explain it, they just don’t get it.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview! Love the pictures, love the words, love it all!

Carolina said...

Great interview. You asked some great questions!

Amee said...

Great interview! Great choice in movies, Gaby. I'm a Molly Ringwald fan too. :D

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I loved Gaby's book Temptress Four and am looking forward to reading more of her stuff when I can. :)

Khy said...

She's a cake decorator and an author? That's just about the coolest job combination EVER.

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview, what a riot looking at some of those old pictures. I'm surprised she let you publish the one about her high school dance color squad.

Steph said...

Heya everyone, thanks!

BC -- me too! I'm gonna get Cubanita as soon as the ol' TBR pile goes down. :P And if it doesn't anytime soon, I'll just get it anyway!

Khyrinthia -- your name reminds me a lot of my mom's name, haha. Anyway, yes! You should see her cake website. I almost asked Gaby if she had any way of shipping some cakes abroad :P Which is rather stupid and unfeasible (I think...) but still.

BAF - Haha, I got it from her website. Gaby said she liked the pictures and how they were arranged and such, so I take it she didn't have a problem!



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