Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Boys, Boys, Boys

Hi everyone! Welcome back from my blogging hiatus. I've been doing a lot of work on a new project, so I haven't been here that much. Today, though, I'd like to welcome the fabulous E. Lockhart to the blog!

Now, I haven't read ALL the authors whom I host on this blog. (Though I believe they're all very talented! I just can't always speak from personal experience.) But I HAVE read E. Lockhart's books. Her stuff is JUST the kind of stuff I ADORED as a teenager. Honest, refreshing, funny. (And actually, I guiltily read Young Adult fiction... still.) So if you know a teenager who could use a fun book, or if you haven't quite gotten over the teen years yourself... check out her stuff. Her latest book is titled THE BOY BOOK.


The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them
is the sequel to The Boyfriend List, which is just out in paperback. The Boy Book is about Ruby, who in the first book plummeted from social butterfly to leper, rebuilding her life junior year of high school -- with the help of a guide to understanding the male sex that she wrote with her ex-friends.

The new, cheaper edition of the first Ruby Oliver book (The Boyfriend List) has a fun author Q&A at the back, plus provocative questions for your book club or reading group.

In The Boy Book, Rub confronts the secret about Noel,
mysterious notes from Jackson,
the interpretation of boy-speak,
the villainy of Cricket,
the horrors of the school retreat,
and the exploitation of hooters everywhere.

There are fruit roll-ups.

There is upper-regioning.
There are so many boys to choose from!
And there are penguins.

THE AUTHOR (in her own words)

I have had nine official boyfriends, if you count the boy who asked me to go with him at a 7th grade dance and then basically never talked to me again. I have never been on a sports team of any kind and got excused from gym class by going to ballet lessons. I have a tattoo, cut my own hair, and have worn the same perfume since high school (Kiehl's Chinese Flowers). In my office is a photo of a particularly fat bull dog, an official business card from “Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective”, and the 1920s flapper dress I wore to the prom

"Lockhart achieves the perfect balance of self-deprecating humor and self-pity in Ruby, and thus imbues her with such realism she seems to fly off the page." -- VOYA

"Each chapter begins with an excerpt from 'The Boy Book' which is hilarious...The book not only covers topics teens obsess over, but it helps illustrate the connection Ruby had with her friends, especially Kim, and what a loss she has suffered. Ruby's overanalytical, fast-paced and authentic narration will win over new devotees, while her loyal fans will no doubt hope for more." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The story is both humorous and witty, and the language is realistically raw. Sections such as "The Care and Ownership of Boobs" are particularly funny." -- School Library Journal

"[Ruby's] character's strength stems from her earnest search for identity through introspection, sexual experimentation, therapy, and the formation and rehabbing of new and old friendships. Refreshingly honest." -- Kirkus


1. How did you get this idea for this book? Please describe how
the book grew from a glimmer of an idea into a whole novel.

The Boy Book is a sequel. When I was writing The Boyfriend List, I described the way teenage Ruby and her friends kept a notebook for several years in which they detailed everything they knew or suspected about the male animal. Most of it was written in pseudo-scientific jargon, like it was a book about wolverines or something. And as I was describing that notebook, I started to want to WRITE the notebook, which was not at all necessary to the plot of the first book.

So I realized I had a second book in me, and that it would be structured around the entries in that notebook.

2. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Like other professions, the writing world often operates on personal connections. If you are young and can hack waiting tables for a bit, I'd recommend coming to New York and getting an internship or entry-level job in publishing. Get a sense of the business. Go to events and meet people. Of course, writers get published without doing these things. I myself did not do these things. But doing them made the road to publication easier for a number of people I know.

3. What's your writing day like? Any tips or tricks for getting organized?

When I'm in the middle of a project I have a daily word count and I try to meet it. 1000 or 1500 words a day. It is very unpleasant. But I think that finishing that first draft is the most important thing for a writer to do.

4. What's been the most exciting thing about publishing? The most

Teen Author Drink night! I write for young adults, and in the past year the community of YA writers in the New York City area has started meeting for drinks once a month. We imbibe liquids in a responsible fashion, talk shop, and gossip. It's awesome having a group of people who understand what I do and why I do it -- and to learn from them.

Most frustrating? I still get rejections on a regular basis. They don't cut me to the quick any more, but they're not easy to take, either.

5. Do you think you might write a follow-up to this book? If not,
what else is in the works?

Yes! A follow-up! There's going to be a third Ruby Oliver book, tentatively titled A Real Live Boyfriend -- but I haven't begun writing it yet. Next up for me is a book about summer drama camp called Dramarama. You can find out more here.

Thank you so much! Pick up The Boy Book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local indie bookseller.