FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
When is your new book coming out?
Keep checking back for updates!
I’m doing a class project about one of your books.
Can I email some questions for you to answer?
I’m so sorry, but if I answered all the report questions I get emailed, I would never have time to write another book! The good news is, all of your questions can probably be answered on my website. I’ve tried to answer as many questions as I can for you here. Good luck with your report and thanks for giving me time to write my next book!
I heard there is a 4th Perfect Chemistry book coming out. Is that true?
Yes! I'm still writing it and will announce a release date for it as soon as I have one!
I want you to come speak to my school, library, or conference or juvenile detention center! How much does it cost?
It varies, depending on how far I have to travel. Have a teacher, Librarian, conference coordinator, or organizer email my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can try to schedule it!
Are any of your books going to be made into movies?
The Perfect Chemistry books are currently with a Hollywood agent who is representing it for sale to film companies/producers. I will post any updates on my website or facebook.
But WHY haven’t your books been made into movies yet?
I promise, I would LOVE for my books to be made into movies and/or tv shows! It’s definitely one of my top goals. Did I tell you I wrote a TV pilot for Perfect Chemistry? Hopefully it'll happen soon!
If any of your books get made into movies, can I be cast in the movie or get information on how to audition?
If the books get optioned and production actually begins on any movies or series, my fans will be the first to know on my website and on Facebook! Unfortunately, an author has no say in the casting of the movie because it’s all up to the casting director to choose the actors. My agent has told me that 99% of the time, the author is totally left out of those decisions. BUT....if Hollywood doesn't come through and I end up trying to produce the movies myself, I will try to let my fans in on the action and post audition information.
How do you pronounce your last name?
Elk – like the animal
Uh – like “uhhhh. . . I don’t know what to say right now”
Less – it’s not Elk-uh-more, it’s Elk-uh-LESS
What Awards have you won?
I’m very proud of and flattered by the awards I have won. I was especially excited to win the Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Young Adult Romance for Perfect Chemistry and to be named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. I’m also thrilled that all three books in the Perfect Chemistry series have been YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers.
What did you like to read when you were a teen?
To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy reading as a teen. I did read Judy Blume and I liked riddle and joke books, but that was about it. It wasn’t until I became an adult and started taking my own kids to the library that I learned to LOVE reading!
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to name! Off the top of my head, I like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn, David Levithan, John Green, and Meg Cabot.
I want to be an author. Did you study writing in school?
No. I didn’t get very good grades in English classes either. I was writing "for the grade" and not because I was passionate about it. That being said, I do have a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Psychology and a master's degree in Industrial Relations from Loyola University-Chicago. Education is really important to me and my family.
Why did you decide to start writing?
Unlike most authors I know, I didn’t like reading as a teen and I wasn't a fan of English class. I fell in love with reading as an adult – specifically romance novels. I was so in love with them, I started writing them. Once I started writing for myself and not for a teacher or a grade, I realized that I loved writing and never wanted to stop. Writing is the best profession and now I can’t imagine doing anything else!
How does it feel to be a New York Times bestselling author?
Very surreal, fantastic, and WONDERFUL!! It has been a long journey to get here, but it’s my fans I have to thank for this honor. I have the best of the best fans! Thanks for enjoying my books so much that I have achieved every author’s dream of making the New York Times Bestseller list!
Can you list all the books you have written so far?
Perfect Chemistry series:
Leaving Paradise series:
How to Ruin series:
Wild Cards series:
Wild Cards(hardcover title)/Better than Perfect(paperback title)
Stand-alone books not part of a series:
Crossing the Line
Foretold: Novella included in the book titled FATE
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a few new books but I don't know which one I'll be finishing first! I will post news here as soon as I have it!
When are your books coming out and where can I buy them?
All of my books are available through your local bookstore, chain bookstore (Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Walden Books, Waterstones, etc) – you can also get them at the independent bookstores near your house to help support family owned businesses.
I don’t live in the USA. How can I buy your books?
My books have been published in many different countries. Look at the Buy Simone's Books Worldwide page for more information.
How can I get your autograph?
I can mail a bookplate, which is a sticker that I will autograph for you to stick to the inside of your book. Here’s how to get one:
Instructions for sending a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE)
Take a regular business sized envelope (the long ones) and write your name and address in both the return address spot (upper left) AND address spot (middle). Put a stamp on it but don't lick it shut. Now, fold it up and put that envelope inside another new envelope and mail it to me. Don’t forget to include a note that tells me the NAME of the person you want me to autograph the bookplate to (you, your sister, your friend, etc).
Mail it to:
2033 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Riverwoods, IL 60015
I’m a reviewer. Can you send me an advanced copy so I can review one of your books?
Unfortunately I have nothing to do with sending copies out to reviewers. The publicity department at my publisher takes care of sending out review copies so feel free to contact Llewellyn Flux or Bloomsbury US or HarperCollins depending on what book you'd like to review.
Can you send me a free book?
The best way for a chance at a free book is to join my VIP group because I have giveaways all the time that my VIP group is entered in automatically.
Did you know that even authors get a limited amount of free copies and they have to buy them after they run out of their free stock? I’m sure you can check it out from your local library. If they don’t have it in their collection, put in a request for them to carry it. Librarians are there to help you!
I have a great book idea. Can I send it to you and have you write it?
No. I’m sorry. I only write books with MY ideas. But if it’s a great idea, I think you should write it! I have some great tips for writers on my website!
What was your inspiration for the Perfect Chemistry series? (and for Alex Fuentes?)
A town near where I grew up mirrors Fairfield: students who live in mansions on Lake Michigan mixed with students from “the other side of the tracks.” I have always wondered what would happen if two kids from those opposite worlds fell in love, and from that Alex & Brittany’s story came to life in my head.
Alex Fuentes is a combination of guys I know, guys I wanted to know, guys I dated, and guys I wanted to date. He was initially inspired by this guy named Luis who used to work at my bagel store. He doesn’t have Alex’s OMG-to-die-for “looks,” but he definitely has his swagger and charisma.
Who are the actors who play Alex, Carlos, and Luis in the Rules of Attraction and Chain Reaction book trailers?
Alex is played by Alexander Amato, an internationally known Latino model and actor. (He plays the groom in Katy Perry’s Hot ‘N Cold video.) Carlos is played by Giancarlo Vidrio, a Mexican-American actor who has acted in plays and television series. Luis is played by Gabriel Chavarria, known for playing the character Tito in the movie Freedom Writers, in the movie Lowriders, the Hulu series East Los High, War for the Planet of the Apes, and the upcoming series The Purge on USA Network and Syfy. You can friend them through their social media.
What was your inspiration for Leaving Paradise?
It came right out of the headlines from my town. A girl stabbed a boy at the junior high by my house. He was injured, but survived. The girl went to juvenile jail and I wondered what would happen when she was released. Would she be allowed back in school? If so, how would her victim react when he saw her? How would her peers react to seeing her again? While Leaving paradise has nothing to do with the real story, the idea snowballed into the idea for Leaving Paradise – a boy coming back after being released from juvie and facing his victim once again.
Did you really go to jail for research for Leaving Paradise?
Yes, I did visit a juvenile detention center for research. The warden was really nice and spent hours with me touring the facility and he actually locked me in a cell so I could feel what it was like.
Will there be a third book in the Leaving Paradise series?
I don't think so.
Where did you get the idea for How to Ruin a Summer Vacation?
I never thought I’d actually write about Israel even though I’d been there many times throughout my life. I went on a little retreat with some writer friends who suggested I write about “what I know.” I sat down and thought about my times as a teenager visiting Israel. I wondered how an American teenager needing an attitude adjustment would survive on my cousin’s moshav (farm community). I truly enjoyed writing about Amy and watching her change throughout the book. I also liked introducing Israel to readers through my eyes as an American, because everywhere Amy travels in the book, I’ve been.
Will there be a fourth book in the How To Ruin series?
I don’t think I’ll be writing another How to Ruin book, although I loved writing Amy and Avi’s adventures together. They are such fun characters to write! Right now I want to work on other projects. Ultimately, however, it’s up to my publisher to decide whether or not they want a fourth book in the How to Ruin series. I never say never, but right now there are no plans for a fourth book.