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Interview with T.L. Clarke

What was your inspiration for writing The Secret of the Scarlet Stone?
The inspiration for writing THE SECRET OF THE SCARLET STONE came from my sense of adventure and also my almost geeky obsession with anything related to mysteries. I had been thinking about the concept of THE SECRET OF THE SCARLET STONE for a long time, jotting down characters and plots all along. Inspirations many.....a good sense of adventure, mystery and just questioning everything around me.

What do you hope to accomplish through your Gabby Girls Adventure series? What do you feel you've accomplished with its first installment?
I wanted to write a fun mystery adventure novel with strong and interesting characters that work together throughout the Gabby Girls Adventure and to offer something totally different from what's already out there right now. I think that I accomplished that with the first installment of THE GABBY GIRLS ADVENTURE (GGA) series.

Why did you choose to make "girl power" a central focus of your novel? Why do you believe it is important?
I wanted to convey that teen girls have more strength and "power" than they give themselves credit for. That tapping into that "girl power" regardless to what life throws at you is the most important thing. It's important because it says I'm confident despite what society thinks I should be or believe.

Which of your characters can you relate to most and why?
I'd have to say that I can actually relate to all of the Gabby Girls in one way or the other. But I have to say that I can relate to Gabby Girl Gabrielle (Gabi) the most. Like her I could care less about being popular, I speak my mind freely, and l love the challenge that life brings.

What was your favorite part about writing The Secret of the Scarlet Stone?
I had many favorite parts like the fun of creating the many twists and turns within THE SECRET OF THE SCARLET STONE, getting totally engrossed with the Gabby Girls personalities which are as different as night and day and creating the Gabby Girl Clues. It was an absolute blast!

What was the most difficult part about writing this novel?
There's a scene at the end where the Gabby Girls are forced to make some pretty serious life changing decisions and I believe those decisions really propelled the plot. I think I must have rewritten that scene about a gazillion times, each time thinking about it from each of the Gabby Girls perspective.

What is the most interesting thing you learned while writing The Secret of the Scarlet Stone? (This can be about yourself, about writing, or anything at all).
I learned a lot about balancing the intensity of the plot with the humor of the Gabby Girls while I wrote THE SECRET OF THE SCARLET STONE, and discovered that there are a lot of helpful resources for writers.

What is the most rewarding part of being a young adult author?
Absolutely without a doubt it's connecting with teens. It's just so rewarding to know that teens are reading and enjoying my book and really connecting with the GABBY GIRLS characters.

If there was one thing you could change about The Secret of the Scarlet Stone, what would it be?
I am really happy with THE SECRET OF THE SCARLET STONE. There were so many different directions I could have taken the Gabby Girls Adventure but honestly, I would not change anything.

What are you working on next?
I'm actually working on the next installment of THE GABBY GIRLS ADVENTURE (GGA) series. It will be out next year...summer 2011. In the next installment of the GGA series, there will be more of everything.....more adventure, more mystery, and a whole lot of drama as the plot thickens between the Gabby Girls as they press forward into a new Gabby Girls Adventure. So, hold on to your seat because the next installment of the GGA series is absolutely going to be a nail biter!

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