(Author of The Revenge Playbook and 17 First Kisses)
This is actually my first ever author interview for the blog and I’m so happy that it is Rachael Allen that I interviewed first. I will definitely be having more, that’s for sure.
I have read The Revenge Playbook and it is seriously a must read, especially for readers who are craving girl power and friendship goals, this is for you all. Here’s my review of the book and it is unquestionably 5/5 stars : The Revenge Playbook by Rachel Allen ARC Review
So I interviewed her for her new book that will be out this June 15, The Revenge Playbook.
Four girls. One plan.
And the night that changes everything.
Liv is the girl everyone gossips about. But when the rumors threaten to crack her relationship with her longtime boyfriend, she's desperate to prove that not everything you hear is true.
Peyton is the girl no one knows. But flying under the radar doesn't mean she's willing to let people walk all over her.
Melanie Jane is the girl everyone wants to be or be with. Beautiful, sassy, and untouchable, she breaks hearts before hers gets broken. Most of the time.
Ana is the girl no one talks to. Not after what happened at the party that ended her friendship with Melanie Jane.
They have nothing in common . . . Except for revenge.
In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That's a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it's only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred.
All they have to do is beat them at their own game.
So here are my questions to Rachael and her awesome answers:
I'm so sorry for the delay on this! I was swamped after BEA, but I've got my answers for you now! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, and also for the really fun interview! I appreciate it so much!
1. Describe The Revenge Playbook in 3 Words.
Girls being awesome
2. If you were (or the girls) an Ice Cream Flavor at Jake’s what would you be and why?
Guess what! Jake's is a real place. *pauses while you flail around in excitement* It's in Atlanta, GA (so you should all come to the Decatur Book Festival sometime so you can try it), and all those flavors are both real and insanely good. http://jakesicecream.com/ You're welcome.
Oh, and this is the flavor I would be:
Devyn’s Animal Cracker™– Your favorite circus friends all frosted up and celebrating you with a rainbow of sprinkles
Because I'm very in touch with my inner child, and I'm really optimistic and love being silly. Not that I don't have a serious side, but this is the ice cream that fits how I'm feeling today :)
3. How did the concept The Revenge Playbook come to mind?
It was kind of a mash up of ideas and a group effort. I wanted to write a book with a scavenger hunt and also a book that was full of girl power and friendship and girls getting revenge on boys. My critique buddies helped me put the two together and brainstorm from there. And then my editor read the first 10K words and gave me a ton of really great feedback. It was her idea to have the girls start out wanting revenge, but later realizing they wanted to change things in their town. Also, I had written the break up scenes and the scene in the ice cream shop where the girls first team up, and it was her idea to make the break ups connected - like a targeted thing - which is how the idea of The List was born. (So, basically, Jen Klonsky is my hero.)
4. In real life, do you think it’s too late to break the high school hierarchies or is it already like the nature of high school?
I don't think it's ever too late to try to form a friendship with someone amazing, or to tell people how you really feel. Especially if you're at a school with problems like the ones in The Revenge Playbook, I think those are worth speaking out against. Will it work? I guess it just depends. But I always think it's worth trying (um, but I am not recommending that girls everywhere go out and do all the things the girls in this book did!).
5. Had you ever had a friendship as cool as the four girls in the story?
I have! I have the best, most wonderful girlfriends in the entire universe! We met in college, and we're still so close years later that the moment we see each other, we fall back into laughing and talking and dance-offing like no time has passed. I love them very much, and I know having them in my life influenced this story.
6. Should we love football and hate the football players or vice versa?
Great question. I'm a huge football fan, so I definitely wouldn't want people to take away to hate football or football players. Some of the football players in this book are terrible, but some are really nice guys. And some of the guys in the book who don't play football are terrible, and some are nice. You could look at pretty much any group and find good and bad people.
But when people with privilege use that privilege to do bad things or hurt other people and get away with it, that's what I hate seeing. That's something worth fighting against. And by the end of the book, that's what the girls are fighting against, even though personal revenge is what set them on their mission.
7. The Terms! How did you come up with all those foreign words that the English language doesn’t have a word for? (By the way it was very awesome. My favorite part in reading the book.)
Thank you! I had a lot of fun putting those in the book. A friend had shared a list of interesting foreign words with me (I think it might have been going around Tumblr or something?). I loved reading it, and thought it would be really fun to have some of them in Melanie Jane's POV since she loves other languages. So, I looked up all kinds of other foreign words and made a list of my favorites, and then tried to figure out where it would make sense to have them in the book.
8. Who’s your favorite of the four girls? (Only if you play favoritism)
I don't have a favorite because I truly love them all, but I will say that Peyton and I have the most similar personalities (though not the same interests and life experiences), and that Liv was the most fun to write of maybe any character in any story I've written.
9. You’re an expert Dare List Maker! Dare me (or your readers) something!!
I dare you to change the world! (In some small way, in your own small patch of the world. It doesn't have to be huge.)
And if you're feeling like something more immediate and silly, I dare you to do the worm and take a picture and tweet it at me!
Me: No, thanks about the worm Rachael, I can't dance!! Lol.
10. Writing advice to budding writers and reading advice/message to your readers.
Writing advice: READ READ READ all the time. And WRITE WRITE WRITE all the time. Those are the two biggest things anyone can do to get better at writing. Read books like the ones you want to write, and read books that stretch you. Read books and blogs about writing. Find critique buddies who will give you tough love and make your work better. Good luck!!
Message to readers: I don't know if I have one because I don't want anyone to feel like I'm telling them how to feel about my book. BUT if you love this book and want more contemporary YA, tweet me because I will totally give you recs!
Isn’t she awesome? One day, I honestly want to meet her in the future. Be sure to get your copy on the 15th! It’s worth the girl power, let’s also anticipate more fabsome books to come from Rachael.
Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA where she's working furiously on her PhD in neuroscience. When she's not doing science or writing YA, you can find her chasing after her toddler and her two sled dogs. Her debut YA novel 17 FIRST KISSES, is forthcoming from Harper Teen. Rachael may or may not have had 17 first kisses...luckily she doesn't kiss and tell.
More stuff about her:
- She loves reading and writing YA.
- She’s represented by the fabulous Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency.
- Laurie Halse Anderson recently gave her writerly advice on a post-it, and it was the culmination of my being.
- She’s obsessed with football. Playing flag football, watching pro football (Falcons Rise Up!), being a belligerent Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fan, and playifantasy football with my family.
- She has held a human brain. (It was during anatomy lab. I'm not, like, a serial killer.)
- Her debut 17 FIRST KISSES comes out on June 17th, 2014, and according to a friend on Twitter, it's about: "kissing & making mistakes & kissing and friendships & kissing & girls figuring shit out w/o hating each other & kissing." Which she feel’s is pretty accurate :)
- She love reading about strong female protagonists, fully imagined worlds, rebellion against the establishment, neurodegenerative diseases, and makeover montages - though probably not all in the same book.
- Some writers she loves: Laini Taylor, Sarah Ockler, Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, Libba Bray, Suzanne Collins, E. Lockhart, Kody Keplinger, Sarah Dessen, Lauren Myracle, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, I could go on forever