Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book Spotlight + Author Interview: Outward Blonde by Trish Cook

There's a lot of fun to be had with today's spotlight, because Trish Cook was kind enough to stop by for a stellar interview! If you haven't already added Outward Blonde to your TBR, let me tell you that you absolutely should. It's funny, adorable, and so easy to relate to! If you have ever been in the "great outdoors" against your will? Well, Lizzie feels your pain.

Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Finkelstein is a hard-partying socialite who lives a charmed life with her mother in Manhattan. After a public drunken sexual escapade results in both an arrest and an embarrassing viral video online, Lizzie’s parents stage a late night intervention. Lizzie finds herself whisked away to Utah to learn a lesson or two about taking responsibility at Camp Smiley, a wilderness survival program for troubled kids.

Camp Smiley is a far cry from Lizzie’s high society life in New York. Without her stable of luxury hair/makeup items, her teacup Pomeranian, contact with the outside world or access to social media, Lizzie must face the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Grouped with troubled campers in which she’s certain she has nothing in common (except Jack, who’s pretty hot), Lizzie must now learn to dig her own toilet in the woods and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together before the camp will ever let her go back to her former existence. She has a choice: get with the program, or get out of there.
Sound like a book you'd enjoy? Click the links below to add it to your reading list!

Get it now on B&N
Pre-Order at Amazon
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* If I had to choose one word to describe myself, it would be adventurous.

* My favorite color is hot pink.

* I'd describe my "currently reading" bookshelf as dark memoirs and light comedy.

* The Phocus app! (and my dog and sour patch kids) are something I definitely need while writing.

What was your favorite part about writing this book? What kind of research did you get to do?

My favorite part about writing this book was digging into the characters and making them come alive. I really understood and empathized with them all by the end, and it was hard to say goodbye and close the book on writing them! The most interesting research I did was interview a friend of my daughter’s who had gone to wilderness in high school. She gave me the lowdown on what it was really like there, and shared a lot about her feelings while there and in retrospect. She’s a kick-ass young woman now and you have her to thank all the in-depth knowledge about wilderness "bathrooms."

Was there anything that you learned while writing this book that really surprised you?

I think what surprised me most is there’s more than one way to write and edit a book! For my publisher, the team at Adaptive Books, a first draft is just a jumping off point for trying all sorts of creative ideas to make it even better. Some of the notes they gave me were ginormous. Some were little tweaks. Some didn’t work. Most worked like magic. And we never would’ve known unless we tried them all. Now, I have a book I’m insanely proud of, that is better than I ever imagined it could be, and I have them to thank for it!

Were there any moments that made you really emotional while writing them?
I really liked the tender moments between Lizzie and Jack, and Lizzie and her dad. She’s had such a wall up around her heart for so long, and it choked me up to have her be brave enough to let those walls down. That’s how honest relationships are forged. It is a giant scary leap to let people see the squishy parts of you, but it’s so, so worth it. So I was proud of her!

Finally, what would you say to readers who are looking at picking up your books?

Always stay true to you, and be your awesome self.

Trish Cook is the author of four YA novels: So Lyrical, Overnight Sensation, Notes from the Blender, and A Really Awesome Mess. Her personal essays have appeared in Graze Literary Magazine and Spittoon, and she is currently completing her memoir, tentatively titled Bret Michaels at the Symphony. When she's not writing, Trish is a runner, rower, music and pop culture fanatic.



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