I'm in the middle of digging through copy edits, and it's less painful than I anticipated. This editor is great, and I get the feeling she really gets the book (and is pretty into it), which helps.
While I'm working like a maniac, I've got another Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest. E. Lockhart, author of The Boyfriend List (which is now out in paperback), has a sequel, The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them. In the previous book, teen Ruby Oliver plummeted from social butterfly to leper when her top-secret boyfriend list became public. Now a high school junior, she's trying to rebuild her life, with the guide to understanding the male sex she wrote with her ex-friends.
Now, the interview:
What was the inspiration behind The Boy Book?
I thought up the concept when I was writing The Boyfriend List. In that book, Roo and her friends keep a joint notebook with all their observations about boys -- and I found myself wanting to WRITE the notebook, which was wholly unnecessary for that novel. But I realized I probably had a sequel in me, since I wanted to write it so much. The Boy Book is the story of Roo's junior year of high school, structured around entries from the notebook she kept with a group of girls who are now her ex-friends.
Was writing a sequel easier or more difficult than writing the first book?
Oh, so hard! But fun, also. I loved returning to Roo's voice and all her indulgent footnotes. It was very hard to balance old characters and new -- and to come up to readers' expectations.
How did you come up with the information in the boy guide within the book? And would you vouch for its accuracy?
I would NOT vouch for its accuracy! The advice in the guide is written by boy-crazy fifteen year-olds. I mean, some things are good to know, like The Care and Ownership of Boobs or Clever Comebacks to Catcalls. But other things are completely deluded and confused and the book is about Ruby's relationship to the advice in the book and to the girls with whom she wrote it.
Is there a nugget of info about boys you'd like to share as a teaser?
What he says: I never felt this way before.
What is understood: He loves me!
What he means: Can we get to the nether regions, now?
What he says: I'll call you.
What is understood: He'll call me.
What he means: I don't want to see you again.
What he says: It's not you, it's me.
What is understood: He's got some meaningful problem going on in his life that's blocking him from being anyone's boyfriend, even mine, though he likes me so much.
What he means: I like someone else.
What he says: We're just really good friends.
What is understood: Nothing is going on between him and that other girl.
What he means: We have a flirtation, but I don't want you to bug me.
What he says: I'm so messed up.
What is understood: He needs my support and help.
What he means: I want you to leave me alone.
(Hmm, sounds a lot like bigger boys to me. Some things must not change with age.)
Just how do penguins factor into all this?
Ha! Isn't that little guy on the cover cute?
Roo has a job at the zoo, giving a spiel during the humbolt penguin feeding. And when she's there, talking about fish and flipper waving -- she sees something she's not supposed to see...
What are you working on now?
My next book comes out in May, and it's about teenagers in summer drama camp. TItle: Dramarama. Here's a link to the foxy-looking cover, a shameless show-tune imix, and more:
For more information on all her books, visit The Boyfriend List web site.
And now, back to work for me! Plus some minor shopping. I've realized I don't have an appropriate coat for the anticipated weather in New York. My old trench coat kind of died. It requires mending I don't have time to do right now.