Questions for Simone Elkeles from Figmenter Kay Fraser!

Simone Elkeles, author of the Perfect Chemistry series (including Chain Reaction, which you can begin reading on Figment) answered Figmenter Kay Fraser’s most burning questions. Take a look at what she has to say about Alex, Carlos, and Luis – and the smoking hot actors who play them in the book trailer!

How did you come up with the Fuentes brothers’ story? Was it planned that the second and third book would follow the first in the arc of the Fuentes family from the beginning?

Perfect Chemistry is based off of my rival high school in a suburb of Chicago, called Highland Park High School. The town has a very large Hispanic community on one side, and people living in mansions on Lake Michigan on the other. I wanted to explore what it would be like when someone from one side of the tracks fell for someone from the other side. I also wanted to show that while we might look different on the outside, we’re not all that different when it comes right down to it. I sold Perfect Chemistry as a one-book contract, but always wanted to write Carlos and Luis’s stories. I was so thrilled that my publisher, Walker Books, agreed! I had no clue what the two other stories would be about, but I knew they’d be romances with the underlying theme of family and brotherhood.

I love how you mix English and Spanish in this series. What made you decide to mix languages when writing the Perfect Chemistry series? Are you bilingual? 

I decided to mix languages because I really wanted the book to be authentic. Alex and the rest of his friends and family would mix Spanish and English when they talked, so I wanted that in my book. Unfortunately I’m not bilingual, so I’ve had a lot of help consulting with friends from Mexico, Hispanic teens, and the dean from the Spanish department at Loyola University.

Who is your favorite YA writer right now? Which book would you recommend that everybody read? 

That’s such a hard question. I loved the Hunger Games and am super excited to see the movie. Suzanne Collins is a genius writer, and I had the pleasure to meet her in person last year. A lot of publishers send me books that haven’t come out yet (in hopes that I’ll like it enough to give the book a blurb) so I’ve been reading a lot of yet-to-be-published books. The book Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally is great, and will be released soon. I’d definitely recommend that book!

As an author, how would you explain your writing process to fans that are dying to know. How do characters come to life? How does the plot develop? Do you talk your ideas over with friends or do you keep it all in your head? Do you write a rough outline? 

I wish I had some sort of secret writing process to reveal! Really, I sit down and write “Chapter 1” and go from there. I don’t work off an outline because I want the characters and plot to have a chance to grow as I write. My process always works out for me but sometimes it means I have to completely scrap my book and start over! I do have a bunch of friends who are my critique partners, but I usually talk to them about the book when I’m stuck or when I’m done…then they tell me what’s not working and the rewrites I have to do. I hate them at the time, but they’re always right.

From all the books and series you have written so far, which one is your favorite and why?

That’s like asking me which is my favorite child. It’s SO hard to pick. To be honest, Perfect Chemistry was magical to write and from the start I knew it was something really special. I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t sucked into the story as much as I was – and I mean guys as well as girls. Writing Chain Reaction and Rules of Attraction was just as rewarding. I love the Fuentes family as if they’re real and am so emotionally involved with the characters; it’s no wonder that I had to create book trailers with actors who really looked and acted like Alex, Carlos, and Luis. The How to Ruin series was a blast because my heroine Amy was such a brat. She is the one character who is most “like me” and I love getting her into awful situations. The most emotional story to write was the Leaving Paradise series, because it was about an accident and the result of it.

What would you want your fans to know about you that maybe they aren’t aware of?

I will be writing another book soon and am so happy that my fans are so passionate and loyal. I hope my fans already know how grateful I am, but if they don’t…I AM TRULY GRATEFUL! I wouldn’t be where I am today without my fans, and their emails and letters really inspire me to write more books.


16 thoughts on “Questions for Simone Elkeles from Figmenter Kay Fraser!

  1. Ive read every single one of your books. I absolutely love them. You really write in a way that teens like me can relate too. THANKYOU <3

  2. if you ever think about making a movie out of these books, you should hold auditions in El Paso, Texas. you’ll find the perfect people to play the roles of the Latin Blood gang members, just saying 😉 Que viva Mexico!

  3. I just have to say that i use to HATE reading. and i mean really hate it. One day i needed a book for my English class and my friend let me borrow her book Perfect Chemistry…i actually read it and couldn’t put it down. In a matter of a Month, i read every single book you have written and i just have to say THANK YOU! your books are amazing and actually got me to start reading for the first time in my life! PLEASE keep writing books, your the best author! 🙂

  4. I have to start off saying you are my favorite author and I’ve read all of your books. I have got so many of my friends into your books. I was counting down the days of when chain reaction was released. When I finally bought the book and read it I was hurt knowing when I finished the book it would be the end of an era. Your books gave me a great world outside of my own. I would love to see each of them as movies. I love the individuality you gave to each characters. It made them real and I would love to see them as real people not only in trailers for your books but major motion pictures.


  6. I loved Perfect Chemistry! I’ve gotten all my friends into your books and they love them as well! All of your books are amazing keep it up!

  7. I loved Perfect Chemistry, mainly because of Alex and Britney’s …chemistry! I thought Rules of Attraction was equally great, once again, because they had that spark! And then Chain Reaction came out and I flipped! It had ALL of the characters and I could fall in love with them again! Two thumbs up, and a third if I had one!

  8. ey gurl dam well what can i saw I LOVE YOUR BOOKS! they are amazing i really like how u put a mexican family in there . i connected with that & that shows that no matter how you look outside love cant stop. i got my friend into it & she loved them to , we each read it in a day thats how good they are. now im waiting for the library to have chain reaction to read it! CANT WAIT! Pleeeaaasssee make them all MOVIES thats how good these books are!

  9. i love all ur books
    I loved Perfect Chemistry, mainly because of Alex and Britney’s chemistry! I also loved Rules of Attraction mainly the same reason i loved Perfect Chemistry because they had that spark! And then Chain Reaction came out and I flipped! wow i loved it, it came with so many surprises and all the characters where in it i loved ur book and i hope they become movies and would u write a 4th book to perfect chemistry a book about Alex and Britney’s son Paco i would love to get mu hands on that

  10. I love all of your books your a fantastic writer! I’m trying to write some novels too but I can’t keep it up and have the insperation to keep going on one. I am glad you are though! Keep writing more of your fantastic stories! I’ll be reading them all!

  11. I have read every single one of your books, and I’m so glad that you’re making another one! I would never be able to pick a favorite, because they’re all so fantastic! I’ve read all of them at least three times. Simone Elkeles, you are one of the inspirations that made me start writing. I’ve learned so much through reading your books. Thank you so much! And I can’t wait to read something new!

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