Title: All I Ever Wanted
Author: Ana Huang
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Release Date: 9th June 2015 (first published 1st January 2012)
BLURB supplied by the author
The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them...everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate.
She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions' path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn't stand the most? Yeah, he's her new housemate.
A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Ana Huang. I was born in New York City but raised in Miami. I currently live in Washington D.C. and have been here for two great but very cold years.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it all really started in fourth grade, when my teacher submitted an essay I wrote for class to a young reader’s magazine. I was thrilled when it was selected for publication, and from that point on, I never looked back.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes! Writing is something I do in my spare time. My dream job is actually to be a diplomat, and I’ll be starting my master’s program for international affairs this fall. However, I will never give up writing—it has always been a huge part of my life, and it will continue to be a huge part of my life. Graduate school will be intense, but hopefully I will still have time to work on my stories!
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I would have to say If We Ever Meet Again is my favorite. I studied abroad in Asia as an undergraduate and had some fantastic experiences which I translated into a book. Of course, some of the events—especially the romantic component—were exaggerated for storytelling purposes, but nevertheless, the story is very near and dear to my heart because it reminds me of what an amazing time I had overseas.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I can only write in the evenings, at home. I’m not sure why, but mornings never cut it for me and I’ve tried writing in libraries, Starbucks, etc. with no luck. I sit down, open a new Word doc with a trusty glass of iced tea beside me (or hot chocolate, in the winter!), put on some music that goes with the story, and get to it.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Definitely. I always read all the reviews and comments, even if I can’t comment on each one personally. I think they’re extremely constructive in helping me improve my writing, and it is always a joy to see readers connecting with my stories and characters.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
For most characters, I’m a go-with-the-flow writer. I have a broad idea of what I want the character to be like, and I just start writing. Usually, the characters evolve naturally, without my having to think too much about it. For example, Carlo in All I’ve Never Wanted ended up being the complete opposite of what I’d imagined in the beginning. I originally envisioned him as this tough, intimidating guy, but the more I wrote, the more that characteristic didn’t fit. Eventually, he ended up being the sweet, sensitive one, which just goes to show, sometimes characters don’t go according to plan—and sometimes, that’s a good thing.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Many times! I think that’s something every writer goes through eventually. It’s tough, and there’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page with no ideas on how to fill it. When I was younger, I spent hours just sitting in front of the computer, stumped. Now, when I get writer’s block, I close my laptop, push writing out of my mind, and just go out and enjoy life. I hang out with my friends, I listen to music, I watch a movie…usually, I get inspired by something I see and hear and my writer’s block is cured.
What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
What I do to relax depends on the day and my mood. If I’ve had a busy day at work, nothing cheers me up more than a Netflix marathon at home with some ice cream or yummy snacks. I also find watching movies in an actual movie theater to be very soothing, for some reason. If I need to clear my head, a long walk while listening to music usually does the trick. Besides that, I also enjoy crossword puzzles, shopping, traveling, and brunch with friends.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Absolutely. In fact, a majority of my stories are inspired by real-life people and events. A prime example is If We Ever Meet Again. Parts of it are exaggerated—like the romance component—but overall, it closely mirrors my own experiences when I studied abroad in Asia.
Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Like a lot of people out there, I loved J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. I was also a huge fan of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series. It’s a bit embarrassing how much time I spent in closets as a child, trying to find my way to Narnia.
Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I read almost all genres. I do have a soft spot for Young Adult, New Adult, and alpha male romances, but I also read mystery, fantasy, sci-fi…At the moment, I’m on a paranormal romance series kick—J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, I love them all! The only genres I don’t read are horror and anything with zombies or overly religious tones.