Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I'm it!

I've been tagged by the amazing SJ Kincaid to participate in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop and answer a few Q's about my book. Check out the answers below:

1. What is the working title of your book?

2. Where did the idea come from?
So much of YA contains intense, all-encompassing romances, and I wanted to write something that turns those relationships on their head.

On a personal level, the further I got into my 20s, the more I saw friends and acquaintances jump into relationships for all the wrong reasons and refuse to see the red flags. I usually kept my mouth shut. That's what you do in those situations, because most people won't listen to you; they would just get offended. I wanted to create a character who was surrounded by that but on a magnified level and see how she would react.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
YA contemporary comedy (is anti-rom-com a genre?)

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I would have Tilda Swinton play every role. 

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A girl who runs a secret business breaking up couples at her school is tasked with splitting up the seemingly perfect homecoming couple, while also fighting back feelings for her best friend's boyfriend.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
It will be published May 2014 by Harlequin Teen books.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About four months of actual writing. But before that, I got to know my characters and crafted a plot outline.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Tonally, it's very much line with contemporary comedies like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and SPANKING SHAKESPEARE -- books that aren't just "light," but can make you actually laugh.

I consider the book most akin to THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger. Jaded-but-complex protagonist, no swooning romance, lots of witty banter.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See question 1. Also, I was inspired by one of my favorite movies - MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING. The main character is anti-romance until she falls for her best friend on the eve of his wedding and schemes to win him back. I've seen that movie about 100 times, and Julianne Potter is one of the best rom-com heroines hands down.

*cough* It's on Netflix streaming *cough*

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's the perfect palate cleanser if you've been binging on dystopian thriller romances. THE BREAK-UP ARTIST is funny, chock full of great one-liners. (Not Dowager Countess or HAPPY ENDINGS great, but close) I promise. Sorta.

As the final part of the bloghop, I'm tagging two other fabulous writers with books releasing in 2014. Check out their posts next Wednesday!

A. Lynden Rolland - author of OF BREAKABLE THINGS
Kristi Helvig - author of BURN OUT

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Five Things I Liked About Anna and the French Kiss

I want to try something new on the blog: a recurring series. I've considered them in the past, but I kinda figured I'd never keep up with them. Until now! I've resisted posting reviews on my blog because a) I hated doing book reports in school. Why start again now? and b) I would never give a negative review in public. (disclaimer: yes, I did review one movie on the blog eons ago. It's a great movie, and you should see it.) However, if there are books or movies or shows that I really love, why NOT tell the world the few people who stop by this blog about them? Instead of giving a whole drawn-out review, though, I'm just going to list 5 Things I liked. It's more interesting for me to learn why somebody liked someone rather then that they just liked it.

I'll start this series with a recent favorite: Anna and the French Kiss. Lots of people have read it and loved it. And for a great take on this book, check out Real Man Read YA's review. I was hesitant to read Anna because I'm not a romance fan, and because I assumed it was about an impossibly beautiful girl who frolics around in Paris with an impossibly beautiful boy and they lived impossibly happily ever after.

But I. Was. Wrong. 

As soon as I began reading it, I realized why so many had fallen in love with the book. Here are 5 Things I liked about Anna:

1) Etienne was short: He was not impossibly beautiful. Have you ever read books where the male love interest has no personality except for being hot? That's what I was expecting here. So it was such a pleasant surprise when Etienne turned out to be short and pasty. He was still good looking, but in a normal, earthbound way. He had flaws. He was a mere mortal real person with a real personality. The most attractive part of him was his charm.

2) Anna's a movie buff: And she has great taste in movies! She mentions Rushmore, one of my favorite movies, and Lost in Translation, which is a gem. I wish I could go to those old movie houses she frequented in Paris. When I studied abroad, I'd go to the movies out of homesickness, but the theater by me was a multiplex (which did make me feel at home).

3) Anna's circle of friends: The fivesome had a great group dynamic. They all had chemistry with each other and read like a genuine group of friends, with their teasing and banter. Perkins writes authentic, funny dialogue.

4) Nobody kissed at the Eiffel Tower: In a book that takes place in Paris, I was waiting for it - and waiting to roll my eyes. The Eiffel Tower is the most overused landmark in stories. But nobody kissed here. In fact, Anna only went to the Eiffel Tower once, and very briefly. We got to see other landmarks, which was refreshing.

5) The kiss: Yeah, it was pretty hot.

What say you, readers? Have you read this book? What did you like most (or hate)?

Monday, February 4, 2013

My First Author Interview

Check out this in-depth interview I did on Kristin Lynn Thetford's blog, where I discuss:
-Gossip Girl
-How I came to write YA
-and I even threw in a Clueless quote, too!