Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY! I have a great interview with the authors to share with you today - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, check out the schedule at the bottom of the post.
A Totally Awkward Love Story
Authors: Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 3, 2016
For fans of The DUFF, this hilarious and true-to-teen romance is Broad City meets Judy Blume.
The summer before college, Hannah swears she’s finally going to find The One. And for five perfect minutes, Hannah does find him. He’s cute and makes her laugh like crazy. She just wishes she’d caught his name, because Toilet Boy Cinderella really lacks sex appeal.
For Sam, the summer is off to a bad start for a million reasons. But for five minutes his luck changes: in a fancy restroom painted purple like it belongs in a Bond villain hideaway, Sam falls head over heels for some strange and hilarious girl. Of course, he doesn’t know her name. With his luck, he’ll never see her again, and he’ll remain a girlfriendless, moony-eyed virgin. Forever.
But another chance meeting brings them together, only to have a chance misunderstanding drive them apart . . . and then the cycle starts all over again. Madcap mishaps, raunchy hilarity, and deep romance follow these two wherever they go. For two people so clearly destined for each other, they sure have a hell of a lot of trouble even getting together.
In 2011, Lucy was teaching at a girls’ school in London, and her students were mostly sixteen- to seventeen-year-old girls. They were always talking about how they didn’t feel there were many funny books aimed at them—they said they used to love authors like Louise Rennison when they were thirteen or fourteen, and they still wanted that awkward, cringeworthy comedy, but no older YA books seemed to be doing it. So that gave us the idea that maybe it would be interesting to write something awkward and funny aimed at older teens. And we had wanted to work on a writing project together for a while—we tried writing a sitcom script, which was pretty awful—so this idea for a YA comedy novel seemed like a good opportunity! We just sat down and talked about all the funny or awkward stuff that happened to us when we were seventeen or eighteen years old, and that became the framework for the plot of the novel.
2. Where do you normally get your ideas/inspirations?
We take a lot of stuff from our real-life experiences. We used to date when we were teenagers, so things in ATALS are taken from our real-life relationship. Plus, we based a lot of the characters on friends of ours—the character of Robin in the book is based on Tom’s real-life friend Robin (we didn’t even change his name), and a lot of the dialogue is from stupid things that our mates actually said when we were teenagers!
3. What’s the hardest thing about being an author, in your opinion?
It’s definitely hard to keep your confidence up, and keep convincing yourself that people will want to read what you have written. That’s why we are lucky, writing as a duo, because we always have each other to spur the other one on.
4. What’s your favorite book? Or who’s your favorite author?
TOM: Mine is probably either The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend (the ULTIMATE awkward teenage comedy novel), or At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien.
LUCY: I love I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I read it most summers. It is romantic but also brutally real about how heartbreaking love can be.
5. Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
First, find yourself a deadline! We wrote A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition in the UK, and it was only that looming deadline that kept us going and made us finish it. There would be moments where we felt like giving up, or we felt the story wasn’t working, but we’d keep that deadline in mind and say to each other, “Let’s just get it finished so we can send it into that competition.” So I don’t think we’d have finished the first draft without that inspiration. Other tips . . . it’s an obvious one, but read a lot! The more you read, the more you get an idea of what you like—and what you don’t—and that’ll help you become a better author.
6. What’s up next for you?
We are writing another awkward/comic YA novel about teens in their first term of university—that will be out in summer 2017!
TOM ELLEN AND LUCY IVISON met at the end of high school and quickly became sweethearts. Though they broke up in college, they remain best friends. Lucy runs the online teen magazine Whatever After and teaches in girls’ schools across London, specializing in building confidence and creativity. Tom is a journalist and has written for Time Out, VICE, ESPN, Glamour, and many other publications. They co-wrote A Totally Awkward Love Story, which was partially inspired by their own high school relationship. This is their first novel. Follow Lucy on Twitter at @lucyivison.
(1) Winner will receive a hardcover copy of A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY - Open to US only!
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