Tina Ferraro believes in the adage that it is never too late to have a happy childhood. She, in fact, had a very happy one, living in Westchester County, New York, with her parents, her brother, and several cats. She was an avid bookworm, earned a shelf full of medals for competitive swimming, and would sometimes play Barbies for days on end. It was her teen years that she feels she failed to make the most of–probably because she was too busy daydreaming of the exciting life she wished she had.
All these years later, as a wife of two decades and a mother of three teens, she is giving herself that happy teenage experience by writing stories about girls who not only dream big–but make their dreams come true.
Tina started writing at the age of seven, and sold her first short story following college. Over the next several years, while working as an office manager at a university, she wrote and sold about fifty more stories. She still laughs when she recalls how her boss came to tell her she’d won a special performance award, and how she had to stand in front of the computer screen to keep him from seeing a short story draft. While she felt like an imposter, she did, however, accept the award and cash the check with a guilty smile.
During those same years, she met and married a graduate student whose allure included gourmet cooking and the fact he understood geometry–two disciplines she has still yet to grasp. With three babies arriving in five years, it seemed a great time for Tina to stay home and “get serious” about the full-length books she wanted to write. But her children had other ideas, and it took several years until she found the quiet time and concentration to complete a novel that would get the attention of an agent and editor.
After seeing a nonfiction book about uses for a bridesmaid dress, she idly wondered if a story had ever been written about reusing a prom dress . . . and from that, her first published YA novel was born, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. Within months, she accepted an offer from Delacorte Press.
Soon she was struck with another idea about a girl who promotes herself at school as an expert at hooking up people with their secret crushes–although neither the girl (nor Tina) had the slightest idea of how to pull that off. How to Hook a Hottie is newly available from Delacorte Press. Tina’s physicist husband helped her create the very “scientific” Hexagon for Hooking Hotties, and while she denies any responsibility for its credibility, the teen who still lives in Tina likes to think it’s both valid and fun.
Next for Tina is a book about a girl who didn’t make varsity soccer with her teammates, and comes up with a crazy-but-just-might-work scheme to get promoted that involves learning everything she can about the art of kissing. Called The ABCs of Kissing Boys, it will be released by Delacorte Press in the spring of 2009.
Some of Tina’s favorite things include reading, drinking lattes, hanging with her family, watching the TV show Lost, and chatting with her readers through her Web site, www.tinaferraro.com.