I’m crazy excited to have author Robin Reul today on the blog for a short interview about her upcoming debut novel, My Kind of Crazy. This coming of age novel is a perfect combination of fun and drama that will surely makes readers laugh as well as tug some strings of emotions. So if you like reading fun contemporary with some twist don’t forget to add My Kind of Crazy on your TBR pile when it hit shelves this April 05, 2016.
Following my interview are more information about Robin along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book descriptions and where to pre-order copies. So be sure to check those all out, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a finished copy of My Kind of Crazy from the publisher.
Interview with Robin Reul
My Kind of Crazy is your debut novel, what pushed you to pursue writing as a career? How did the inspiration for My Kind of Crazy come?
I have wanted to be a writer since I was very young. As a kid, while others were out riding bikes and hanging out at the beach with friends, I was in my room writing novels and short stories on my Smith Corona electric typewriter. I even pursued it briefly as a major in college, but the fear of rejection led me to switch gears and pursue film instead. My father was a film producer, and I had grown up on film sets, so it felt like a very natural career path. Working in film development, I learned a lot about story structure and dialogue, and ultimately went through the Screenwriting Certificate Program at UCLA. I kept dabbling with writing from that point on, but the opportunity to pursue that dream full-time did not arrive until much later in my life.
As for the inspiration for My Kind Of Crazy, I had a story I’d long carried in my heart about grief and loss and friendships that can help carry you when you cannot carry yourself. I just never knew how to tell it. I was actually working on an entirely different project when all of a sudden Hank’s character came into my head and the first chapter spilled out. Although the actual incidents and details are completely different, the essence of their connection is the same: two young people seeing the spark of light in the depth of each other’s darkness, which in turn allows that spark the chance to take hold and grow. Those kinds of connections when you are a teen are really powerful, and can change one’s life. I know it did mine and I wanted to pay that forward somehow. It found its voice in Hank and Peyton and their story.
How was the writing experience? How did you go about putting yourself in the mindset of Hank considering you are not a boy nor a teenager like him?
Oddly enough, I am much more comfortable writing as a boy. I think writing as a teen boy is no different than writing any other sort of character whose life experience is not directly your own. For example, I am not a pyromaniac, nor have I ever dealt with severe emotional or physical abuse or the death of a parent, but that does not mean that I cannot tap into pain or rejection or loss. There are certain universal truths that we all experience as humans – the difference may be in how a guy vs. a girl may react to a situation. It’s about researching your character, putting yourself in his/her skin, and tuning in to his/her voice.
What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in creating Hank?
It wasn’t until the book was finished and I went back and really sat with it that I realized how much Hank is really so much like me. They say the first few books you write, your characters, particularly your main one, are a direct reflection of yourself, and in this case, that was incredibly true. His voice came very naturally to me as a result, although he is far more optimistic and hopeful than I ever was at his age. In a way, writing him was a chance to rewrite my own history. I’ve also found that readers really respond to Hank and relate to him, and that’s the coolest feeling ever. He’s as real and personal to readers as he is to my heart, and there’s something unexpected and wondrous in that.
If Hank could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your teenage years, what would the title of that book be and what would be the first line?
Oh my . . . I was a pretty miserable teen so it would probably be called something like “Perpetual Bad Hair Day” and the first line would be “There are exactly a hundred and thirty two days, fourteen hours, thirteen minutes and twelve seconds left of high school, not that I’m counting.”
If readers could take away one thing from having read My Kind of Crazy what would you hope it would be?
Never underestimate the impact you may have on someone else’s life, and never let anyone else determine your self-worth.
I am a fan of young adult fictions. As an author, what draws you to the YA genre and why contemporary?
I love stories that take place in the here and now with characters I can relate to. As a teen, I was always seeking to feel like someone understood what I was going through, and the right book at the right time that taps into whatever your personal issue is and helps you find your path can be life-changing. I like to see myself on the pages because for me that’s what makes the story feel honest and authentic. Those teen years are such an interesting time of life because you’re sort of “on the verge” of everything, and that in turn can be exciting and terrifying all at once. Those heightened emotions make for great stories, because characters that age are testing their boundaries, experiencing emotions for the first time, and tasting independence.
Do you have any plans on writing books for non-YA audience? What genre do you think you’ll focus on and why?
While I will always have a soft spot for YA, I would love to move towards writing adult fiction one day as well. I think there are definitely different experiences we have that we can better understand fully at different points in our lives, and some of those stories work better set in an adult landscape.
Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?
I am currently at work on a new project, as I have another book that will be coming out with Sourcebooks, but I can’t really say much about it yet beyond that it will be another stand alone contemporary YA with humor and heart. 🙂
Thank you so much Robin for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above. Looking forward to the released of My Kind of Crazy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Reul has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Though she grew up on movie sets and worked for years in the film and television industry, she ultimately decided to focus her attention on writing young adult novels. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son and daughter. My Kind Of Crazy is her first novel.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: My Kind of Crazy
Author: Robin Reul
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Format: Paperback, eBook
Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.
What’s up for Grab?
- One finished copy of My Kind of Crazy
- Open to US and Canada addresses only
- There will be one (1) winner
- Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
- Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
- Ends April 6, 2016
- Prizes will be sent by the publisher
To enter fill out the rafflecopter form
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!