How They Got Here: 2009 Debut Author Sydney Salter

This post is part of a year-long series of blog interviews I’ll be hosting with my fellow 2009 Debut Authors, called "How They Got Here." 

Today…Sydney Salter, author of JUNGLE CROSSING!

Despite her reluctance to go on a family vacation to Mexico, Kat ends up on a teen adventure tour where she meets Nando, a young Mayan guide. As they travel to different Mayan ruins each day, Nando tells Kat the legend of Muluc, a girl who lived in the time of the Ancient Maya. 

This is actually Sydney’s second title released in her debut year, after her YA novel MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS – You can read my interview with her on that book here.

Welcome, Sydney! Writing across genres, do you find differences in your process between MG and YA?

Not really. I always try to get inside my characters’ heads and write in their voices no matter what their age. I have found that writing every novel is a unique experience with its own joys and challenges. I guess they’re kind of like people that way–complex and one-of-a-kind!

What did you learn launching your first book that you’ll remember when JUNGLE CROSSING is released?

Hopefully, not to stress out about things I cannot control–like reviews. I do think there’s a big marketing difference between middle-grade and YA. Teen bloggers can really help spread the word about a YA novel they enjoy, but Jungle Crossing will depend much more upon parents, teachers, and librarians.

What’s next for you?

My second YA novel, Swoon At Your Own Risk, comes out in April 2010. But right now I’m exciting about figuring out what to write next! That will always be my favorite part–falling in love with a new character.

Thanks for joining us!

You can learn more about Sydney at her website and check out JUNGLE CROSSING at IndieBound!