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14 May 2011

(Blog Tour) Author Interview: Lara Chapman (FLAWLESS)

Author Bio:
Lara Chapman lives with her family in Central Texas, where she reads and writes daily. She's rarely – if ever – found without her laptop and iPhone. Lara has a life-long love affair with animals, especially dachshunds, and always has an animal or two snuggled close when writing.

Lesser Known Facts About Lara Chapman:
She have an obsession with dachshunds. No, really. It’s ridiculous.
She was accepted to law school but withdrew before her first class when her mom became terminally ill.
She used to hate that her name was spelled L-A-R-A. Her entire first grade year, she spelled her name L-A-U-R-A.
She would give ANYTHING to be psychic.
She has broken her big toe twice: once crossing the Frio River and once from dropping a can of hairspray on it.
She's seen the movie GREASE over a hundred times and will stop everything to watch it when it’s on TV. Same for URBAN COWBOY.
When her son was three, he told her he was going to take her back to the Mommy Store because she made him wear his seat belt.
Her daughter once hid their phone in the freezer; it took Lara two weeks to find it.
If she thought she could convince her children to move with her, sh’d live in Hawaii. Tomorrow.
She once worked for a Private Investigator. People are really, really sneaky. Especially when they’re lying.
She turned down a college scholarship in vocal performance. Big mistake. Huge. Kids… learn from Aunt Lara. GO TO SCHOOL!
She's had the same best friends for nearly thirty years!

Bio courtesy of Lara Chapman's WEBSITE.

How hard (or easy) was it to adapt the Cyrano story into not only a modern retelling, but one that you felt would appeal to teens?

It was pretty easy, actually! I just looked at the most important themes of friendship and self-acceptance and built the story from there, using the Cyrano plot as a skeleton for FLAWLESS. I thought the storyline would appeal to teens because the struggles Sarah faces are so similar to the issues today’s teens face. We all have something we’d like to change about ourselves. Accepting ourselves is a universal struggle for teens and adults alike.

What author (beside the obvious Edmond Rostand) has most influenced your writing?
Before I began writing FLAWLESS, I had never actually read Cyrano de Bergerac. Everything I knew about the story came from the movie “Roxanne,” starring Steve Martin! Sidebar: If you haven’t seen it, you really need to. It’s a riot!
Hands down, the author who influenced my writing the most is Janet Evanovich. I know I should probably say something like Jane Austen, but the truth is that I am most drawn to writing that makes me laugh and introduces me to characters with heart and flaws and an ability to laugh at themselves.

Tell me a little about the road to publication for you. How long did it take from the first time you put pen on paper to write FLAWLESS to the day you found out it would be published?
It took me about four years to get published. I began writing after reading “How I Write” by Janet Evanovich and there was no turning back after that! Initially, I wrote adult romantic comedy but, after submitting to contests and getting a lot of comments like “your heroine sounds like a teenager,” I decided to try my hand at YA. It was a perfect fit for my voice – I can’t imagine writing anything else.
I was pretty specific in my submission process. Initially, I focused on 5-6 agents. I was referred to my agent (Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency) by another agent and submitted to her almost exclusively for two years after that. She just seemed like a good match for me – she’s insanely intelligent and a complete delight to know. I met her at a couple of conferences, then she offered representation on FLAWLESS. I signed with Holly in August 2009 and FLAWLESS sold to Bloomsbury in January 2010.

I read on your website that you are a fan of GREASE. What is your favorite song and/or scene?
Summer Lovin’ is by far my favorite song! I mean, come on… who doesn’t want a summer fling like that? It’s such a great song because you see so clearly how much Danny and Sandy really care about one another. And I think it’s hilarious how he tries to blow it off as something unimportant. I also love Rizzo’s song, There are Worse Things I Could Do. She’s so misunderstood and that song is just heart wrenching!

You also mention that you would move to Hawaii tomorrow if you could. Why?
There is a tranquility to the islands that I can’t describe. The pristine beaches, the laid back temperament of the islanders and the unsurpassable beauty is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. If you can’t find peace there, I’m not sure you can find it anywhere!

AUTHOR: Lara Chapman;
IMPRINT: Bloomsbury

Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got killer blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny-all right, enormous-flaw: her nose. But even that's not so bad. Sarah's got the best best friend and big goals for print journalism fame.

On the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into her journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him too. And when Rock and Kristen stand together, it's like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do-she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?

This hip retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our flaws

FLAWLESS description and cover art courtesy of GOODREADS.

I received an ARC of FLAWLESS from the publisher BLOOMSBURY.


Jules (The Great, The Good and The Bad) said...

Great interview! This is a book that I definitely want to read at some point and it's always nice to read a bit more about the author.

Paul Joseph said...

This is a great interview! You have an awesome blog - I'm looking forward to learning about the latest YA reads and the authors behind them!

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