J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps.
Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- inspiration.
He's authored and published a book, written for online and offline publications, and maintained a variety of popular blogs on subjects ranging from movies and technology to personal stories and amateur musings. He's just wrapped up his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one.
Title: Exclusively Chloe Author: J.A. Yang Publisher: Speak (Penguin) Number Of Pages: 245 Publication Date: May 14th,2009
Synopsis From Back Of Book: HOLLYWOOD HEADLINE NEWS
Tinseltown’s premier darling, Chloe-Grace, disappears after parents split!
Chloe-Grace can’t help it: she’s spectacular. How could she not be, with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? But Chloe is a celebrity unto herself as well—she’s the first ever celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. Some kids grow up with silver spoons in their mouths; Chloe had an entire set of platinumware shoved in her face, along with two hundred paparazzi. But now Chloe’s sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world’s attention. Normal kids get to keep secret diaries. Chloe can barely keep her sanity—until she thinks about what it would be like to be a “normal” kid in a regular school. To really understand it, she would need to go undercover. So she gets a “make-under” at the hands of her mother’s fabulous stylist, and enters the normal world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood…
Review: Exclusively Chloe is a great read. It was a quick, light read sure to delight. It had amusing, fun, interesting characters, which I really liked. I had a few problems with it though. I felt that Chloe was a little too whiny at times, I mean I understand that she is going through a lot at once, but right from the beginning she was whiny. Another problem, her supposedly best friend didn’t really seem like a friend at all. She probably only liked Chloe because of her fame, not for who she really was, and that really bothered me, I don’t really know why.
Although, it has a few bad points overall it is a really good read. I would love to read more from J.A. Yang!
I recommend this book if you like celebrities, drama, romance, and YA novels.
Q: How did you get the idea for Exclusively Chloe?
JY: A few summers ago, I was playing in a celebrity fantasy league (like fantasy football but you draft celebrities and get points whenever they appear in US Weekly magazine photos) and I had the brilliant idea of drafting Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Angelina's first adoptee. Little Maddox ended up scoring a ton of points for me because he was always in tons of pictures.
I started thinking about what it would be like for any celebrity child to grow up seeing all this coverage of themselves as kids, living an entire life in the spotlight, and realized that there's probably a great story to be told about Hollywood and adoptions. From there, I just started with the idea "celebrity adoption" and ran with it.
Q: What book had the most profound effect on you, and made you want to write a book of your own?
JY: I've had so many great books but the one that I remember being such a highlight of my childhood was "The Westing Game," by Ellen Raskin. I thought it was so clever, I loved the characters, and it just opened up my world. The main mystery and the eventual solution spun around in my head for years. I won't provide any spoilers here but to this day I see little signs and words and things that remind me of the Westing Game.
Books that made me want to write probably included anything with a huge long series. I was addicted to tons of classic series like Little House on the Prairie, The Land of Oz, The Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, the entire run of Black Beauty horse books. Those made me want to create my own world and characters and to have this continual saga and "the further adventures of..."
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of Exclusively Chloe?
JY: The first draft of Exclusively Chloe took probably a total of six months. I wrote the first few chapters and submitted those. A few weeks later, after it was bought and accepted, I went back to re-write and expand on those chapters before writing the rest of the book. I tend to write in big huge splurts so I'll take a week and just eat, sleep, and write over and over until I can't anymore. A few of those sessions and the first draft for EC was done!
Q: When did you know you wanted to write books?
JY: To be honest, I never thought I would write a book. It was a life dream and one of my top three super secret ambitions, but it definitely wasn't something I thought would actually be possible. Like you put "be a superhero" on your list of life goals and then when you become one, you're like "Whoa, how did I get here?" And that's how I feel about writing books. I'm so lucky to be here and I love it but it was never something I specifically aspired to directly.
Q: Do you listen to music while you write?
JY: I love listening to music when I write. Depending on the mood I'm in, I need something with either a beat, great singalongability, no words, or just background music. Usually I'll start with something guitary, like some live Jason Mraz or maybe Adele, and then move on to something that gets me amped up. The problem then is that often I want to get up and dance so I have to dial it down a bit. If I really need to concentrate, I play stuff from Air or Nujabes.
Listening to music over a long writing session also helps me measure my writing time sometimes, as I'll suddenly realize I've heard the same song twice already (from my playlist) and that means I've been able to really focus for X-number of hours this session. Like "Oh, it's Lenka again, I'm doing good! Let's keep it up." I say this in my head of course, not out loud, because that would just be crazy...