Alexa Young

The FRENEMIES (HarperTeen, May 13, 2008) author was born and raised about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles in a town called Riverside—which she often refers to as “the armpit of California,” largely because the place is a smog belt (a technical term for being majorly polluted). The area is also well known for crime and gangs (and it’s the city from where gold-digger Julie Cooper, of the awesome TV show The O.C., originally came!).But Riverside wasn’t all bad. Alexa enjoyed the good life in her upper-middle-class neighborhood, where she had her own hot-pink-and-white bedroom and adjoining bathroom in a cool, mid-century modern home with a massive back yard. She attended the best public schools while dressed in the latest fashions (not always a good thing. Hello? The styles of the seventies and eighties were kind to no one). Alexa also traveled—a lot—spending summers on Cape Cod (where her parents met and built a vacation home) and winters skiing the California slopes, not to mention jetting off to England (where Alexa’s mom was born and raised—yup, she even still has a cool accent) and New York (Alexa’s dad hails from the Bronx), and tagging along on Dad’s business trips to places like…Thailand! Hong Kong! Australia! And the list goes on…When it was time to go to college, Alexa headed down to La Jolla (where FRENEMIES is based) and earned a bachelor’s degree in Literature/Writing from U.C. San Diego. Unsure of what kind of job she could possibly get after graduation (nobody really gets paid to write, do they?), she moved to Hollywood and spent several years working in the music business, first in various gigs at the legendary Capitol Records, then as an assistant (and eventually an editor) for the trade magazine HITS. That's where Alexa realized she could use her college degree after all. She eventually became an editor for the teen magazine JUMP, where she got to interview a just-starting-out Jessica Simpson, as well as Gwen Stefani/No Doubt. JUMP was pretty much the greatest magazine ever, but sadly it wasn't around for long. When it ceased to exist, Alexa became an editor for the fitness magazine Shape. After a few years, she decided to go freelance so she could focus on writing full-time. She’s contributed to O: The Oprah Magazine, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health and many, many other national publications.So how did the whole YA novelist thing happen? Well, truth told, Alexa never really thought she could write fiction (several brief attempts were far from successful)…but one happy day, an editor friend contacted her and they began discussing the concept of two fashion-obsessed BFFs who become worst enemies. Something clicked. Alexa was seriously inspired. Within a few hours, she had written the first chapter of FRENEMIES (some of which even wound up in the final draft), and she just kept going...and going...and going. Alexa still writes for magazines occasionally, but most of her time is devoted to exploring the lives of Halley Brandon and Avalon Greene (yes, there will be four books in the FRENEMIES series...and even more if you want them). When she's not writing, Alexa can be found hanging with her near-perfect husband Joel, mostly perfect son Jack, and hilariously imperfect Jack Russell/Chihuahua Sydney.


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