Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today we have author Lindsey Leavitt here on our blog answering our questions! Her newest release is Sean Griswold's Head, a contemporary young adult novel about a girl who decides to focus on the thing that she stares at during class since third grade (Sean Griswold's head) to keep her mind off her dad's illness. Intrigued? Read on....

lleavittHi Lindsey! Welcome to our blog. If you can make a soundtrack to your high school years, what 3 songs would be in the soundtrack?

--Weezer My name is Jonas
--Simon and Garfunkel The Boxer
--Blink 182 Dammit

Do you share Payton and Sean's Seinfeld obsession? Which are your must-see shows on TV these days?

I loved Seinfeld in high school and college, but to be honest I don’t like it so much anymore. Maybe because I know all the jokes. But I have learned that people who love Seinfeld have a certain sense of humor and tend to REALLY LOVE Seinfeld, so that’s why I picked it as the show for this book. And yes, I went with a show that is already way over so it would be something the characters could watch on boxed DVD or afterschool reruns.

Right now, I love the show MODERN FAMILY. Great writing, characters, wit. I can re-watch episodes, which is saying so much considering I watch very little TV now.

lleavittYes! We agree, Modern Family is fantastic and we re-watch every episode at least 3 times. Were you boy-crazy like Payton's best friend Jac in high school? Was there a celebrity you were "obsessed" with?

No, I was much more like Payton. Boys were this mystery that I was only vaguely interested in unlocking. My friends and I did have crushes, though, that were more for entertainment than romantic pursuits, and we’d stalk those boys like mad.

Celebrity crush=I liked boys in bands. If they could sing/scream or play an instrument, I would fan girl hard.

How was writing Sean Griswold's Head different from writing Princess for Hire series? What were your challenges for either or both books?

Princess for Hire is a series, and as such the character arc is spread out over all three books. It’s also very heavy on plot, and the pacing is fast and bouncy. The hardest part of writing these books has been keeping all the elements and world building straight, making sure the plot strings all run together and that the right seeds are planted. I’m not great at outlining (and I wish I was!), so I’ve also had to rewrite a lot of these books as I figured out more and more of the direction.

Sean Griswold’s Head is far more character driven, so my challenge was making sure there was still enough plot to support the characters I’d worked so hard to make real. Also, it’s a more emotionally charged book, and those scenes could be tough to write because they can easily turn melodramatic or cheesy or trite.

Do you plan to step out of the contemporary young adult sub-genre and write a paranormal or dystopian in the near future?

If a paranormal or dystopian idea came to me that I could spend a year working on, then sure. I’d go for it. I love reading both genres and think there’s always room for more if the more is done right. But I’m also contracted right now to write 2 contemporaries and 1 more MG fantasy, so it would REALLY have to something fantastic to make it worth the time.

Is Sean Griswold's Head going to be a series or will a companion book follow? What's next after Sean Griswold's Head? Do you have any current projects?

SGH is a standalone. MAYBE a book with a character from SGH could be in the future, but not one with Payton as the MC. My current YA project is called AUTHENTICALLY VINTAGE, and it’s about a girl who decides to go vintage - forswearing 21st century technology and accomplishing the goals her grandma set for herself at 16 - when she discovers her boyfriend cheating on her with a cyber wife in an online game.

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Much thanks to Lindsey for stopping by our blog and answering our questions. For more information on Lindsey, her books and other awesome stuff, go to her website, twitter and blog. Here's the blurb for Sean Griswold's Head (in case you haven't read it yet):
Payton Gritas needs a focus object—something to focus her emotions on after discovering that her father’s been hiding his multiple sclerosis. Her guidance counselor suggested something inanimate but Payton chooses the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold’s head. They’ve been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas, it’s an alphabetical order thing), but she’s never really noticed him before. Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean’s big blond head, and her research quickly grows into something a little less scientific and a lot more crush-like. As Payton gets inside Sean’s head, Sean finds a way into her guarded heart. But obsessing over Sean won’t fix Payton’s fear of her dad’s illness. For that, she’ll have to focus on herself.
Also, check out my review of SGH and read my thoughts about Payton, Sean and the other characters and the novel in general. If you haven't picked up SGH, don't forget to add it to your wishlist! :)

3 comments:

  1. Great interview. I loved your question about Sienfeld and whether Lindsey was boy crazy in school.

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  2. What a great interview! I'm so glad that Lindsey loves Modern Family. Having that sort of humour makes the book appeal to me even more! :D

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  3. That interview is fun! I'm looking forward to read the book =)

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Thank you so much to stopping by today and taking the time to comment.