Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite (Author Interview)

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: March 3, 2010

One Word Review: Good

Bookworm Rating: 3

Author Website: www.beccawilhite.com

First Line: “Mom pulls her new toy, a talking GPS directions-thingie up close to her eyes.”

Synopsis: Sarah Howard's first year at the university is everything and nothing she expected especially when a very cute boy named Ben starts to show interest in her. Sarah feels like she's an average, normal, everyday girl. So, when Ben begins to take interest in her, Sarah is in denial. For one thing, last year she was deeply crushed and humiliated by Jesse James a guy who she thought liked her. She's determined not to get burned again. But in her heart of hearts, what she really wants is a Jane Austen kind of romance. Ridiculous, right? That kind of romance doesn’t exist anymore . . . or does it? Sarah is smart and fun to be around and even pretty, despite her Medusa-like red curls. She even plays the guitar. (So does Ben!) Yes, Sarah is everything Ben has wanted. He's crazy for her, but Sarah is just not getting it. She's playing hard to get, and if she s not careful, she s going to lose a real hot gentleman -- her 21st-century Mr. Darcy--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This was a fun Valentine read about how Sarah and Ben fell in love. I thought it was a cute story and had some funny moments, awkward moments, tender moments and just an overall enjoyable read. I liked Ben’s character, he was a sweet guy and you could tell he was crazy about Sarah from the start. Sarah was a bit insecure throughout the book, never really thinking she was good enough for Ben. They have some misunderstandings along the way but it all ends up how it’s supposed to.

Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending me the book.


Author Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
What's a better way to get to know about someone that to know what they love? So here are some things I love: Tulips. White bread. My kids. Reading funny books. Buttered popcorn. Birds (natural ones, outside -- no pets). Reading serious books. My husband. Sweaters. Cinnamon bears. Scarves. Memoirs. Getting mail. Good hair days. Toenail polish. Successful writing days (a thousand words, none of them stupid -- that's the goal).

What made you want to write a YA novel, and what inspired My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions?
I love YA. I love taking the "first" journeys with the characters. And maybe I can relate to teens better than some adults I know... When I started working this story, I wrote a scene that appears in the middle of this book. Sarah's character was so clear to me, her needs and her neuroses and the funny voices in her head, that I just had to get her on paper.

What is the hardest part in writing a book? And what did you learn from writing My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions?
I have to remind myself every day that it's the writing that matters. Some days the writing is good (clever, funny, witty) and some days it's just an exercise in self-control: sit. type. stay sitting. keep typing. And although those days are no fun, it's still good for the writing muscles.

What do you think of the cover? Did you play a role in choosing the cover?
Covers are amazing, aren't they? My cover designer, Sheryl Dickert Smith, does a gorgeous job, and they found the most adorable girl for the cover. I love it tremendously. (But to tell you the truth, the photo surprised me, because in my head Sarah looks, shall we say, VERY different.) The publisher sends me a mock-up, and I say (honestly) "It's lovely." Because, guess what. I'm the word person. Someone else gets to be the cover person, and that works for me.

What three words would you use to describe My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions?
Funny, quick, (and whatever that word is that means it makes you squirm in sympathy - do you know that word?)

Do you have a particular place to write? Do you like peace & quite, or prefer to have music playing?
I have 4 very adorable kids, and this year they are all in school (!) so I get a quiet hour early in the morning before everyone wakes up (either to write or exercise) and then the Kindergarten half of the school day. That time is ALL MINE. I have a really great Mac in the office that will play any music I ask for, but I get so distracted by it that I find myself singing along or writing plots that match the songs. So I turn off the music and refuse to answer the phone (unless I really need a distraction) until I've made my writing goal for the day.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
It's sort of like asking me to choose my favorite child, you know? Except harder, because I only have 4 kids! But really, I love so many kinds of books. In YA, I bow before Sharon Creech and Kate DiCamillo. Picture books? Mo Willems. Classics? I love Jane Austen with my whole soul. In general, the best book I've read in the last 5 years is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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