September 10, 2011
YA Blog Tour: Welcome to Barb Ehrentreu, author of "If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor"
Today I welcome YA author Barbara Ehrentreu, author of the intriguing-sounding, IF I COULD BE LIKE JENNIFER TAYLOR. Keep reading for the contest at the end.
About the Book:
Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too-heavy-for-fashion body and not being a cheerleader. When she's paired for a math project with her middle school tormenter, Jennifer Taylor, Carolyn's sure it's going to be another pain-filled year.
Homework blackmail, lies and a chance to be made over make for an uneasy friendship, especially when Carolyn uncovers Jennifer's secret. Can she keep a secret and become one of the popular crowd - the cheerleaders - or will she be a mean girl target again? EBook available 9/16, MuseItUp Publishing.
Interview with Barbara Ehrentreu, author of IF I COULD BE LIKE JENNIFER TAYLOR.
What was the inspiration for IF I COULD BE LIKE JENNIFER TAYLOR?
I wrote this book, because my daughter had the beginnings of an eating disorder and she also felt bad about her body. I needed three chapters for this children’s workshop led by Paula Danziger, so I wrote them. In the story, the main character is being bullied by a girl named Jennifer Taylor, whom she both hates and wants to be like. She actually says, “If only I could be like Jennifer Taylor.”
Which authors have most influenced your own writing?
Lewis Carroll, Jane Austin, Paula Danziger, John Irving and too many others to list.
What's your ideal writing spot? Have any special writing rewards?
I can write almost anywhere, but right now I’m happy writing at my desk on my laptop. When I’m writing I like to have chocolate cookies available and caffeine free diet Coke.
Describe your writing style.
I just start out writing and have no idea where it's going. When I have a good sentence I write that and usually the story moves along by itself. Dialogue writes itself if I have fleshed out the character enough before I write.
What's next for you?
I'm working on an adult novel, as well as two other YA novels. WHEN MY LIFE CHANGED is almost ready to send out. This is also a YA novel about a 15-year-old girl whose life changes when her father has a heart attack and bypass surgery.
Comment about your experiences as a freshman in high school to be entered in a drawing for a copy.
Excerpt from IF I COULD BE LIKE JENNIFER TAYLOR:
I spot him walking toward my locker with a small box in one hand and a plastic fork in the other. My Crush! He hands me the box, and I open it. Inside is a piece of luscious chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
I look up into his blue eyes and give him the box so I can touch his cheek as I smooth his dark hair. “You always know just what I like.”
He smiles and feeds me a forkful of cake. I don’t have to worry about eating it because I can eat anything I want and not gain weight. He places the cake box in my locker so he can put his arms around me. The first bell rings in my ears. I ignore it because I’m thin and blonde and floating in the arms of my dark-haired crush. The other cheerleaders run up to us laughing and kidding around, and I’m about to speak. The ringing gets louder.
The dream evaporates, and I realize it’s the darn alarm piercing my sleep. Slamming my fist onto the snooze button, I get this nagging feeling. Then I remember. I have something to do. Worse luck, I have to do it, not as the slender blonde beauty in my dream, but as the real Carolyn Samuels with my brown curly hair hanging like shriveled spaghetti, mud brown eyes, and a body too large for fashion.
** TO Post 2 on YA Blog tour: Meradeth Houston, "Colors Like Memories"