Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Presents Debbie Rigaud

I still have lots of work to do, since yesterday I had to come up with a whole new scene and it took me a while to figure out what it should be. Before I head back to the salt mines, I've got another Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest, Debbie Rigaud, author of the new teen romantic comedy Perfect Shot.

London Abrams likes to spike volleyballs, not wear spike heels. But in one crush-tasic moment, she signs up for a modeling contest to get the attention of its cute photography intern. Never in a million years did London expect to get selected as a finalist. Before she knows it, she’s in an online reality show competition against 14 super chic chicks–including her childhood frenemy.

Now, the interview:
Was there any particular inspiration behind this book?
I've met and read about so many ambitious teens over the years, so I wanted to create a passionately goal-oriented character. In PERFECT SHOT, London Abrams is a totally driven girl. The same goes for her crush Brent, who's already taking steps toward a career in photography.

When you were a teen, were you more of a jock girl or a chic girl?
I was more of a jock girl--although the sport I played (outside of gym class) was "spectator sport!" I was a HUGE major league baseball fan. Instead of plastering posters of New Kids on the Block or New Edition to my locker door, I had the NY Mets' game schedule taped neatly to it. Good times.

What, if anything, do you have in common with the heroine of this book?
Well, a lot of people have said that I look like the girl in the cover art. For the record, I had nothing to do with that. LOL! But seriously, London Abrams and I have both endured teasing because of our long, lean, lanky physiques. Oddly enough, London has moved past that awkward stage, whereas I'm sort of still in it. (If one more person calls me "skinny" I'm gonna screeeeaaam!)

Your book is a milestone for Simon Pulse. Can you tell us what that means to you?
Thank you for mentioning it! I'm very happy about bringing an African-American protagonist to the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies. Crazy thing is, this "integration first" is a scenario that's played out in my life several times before. Back in my teens when I worked at a clothing store, my boss had me integrate his team of cashiers after a customer complained that there were no people of color in that coveted position. You should've seen how he did it. He marched right up and pointed to me: "You, Debbie -- get up on register!" At the time I remember thinking, Why me? Now I say, Why not me?

When you were working as a journalist, did you always have dreams of becoming a novelist, or did that come later on?
I loved working as a magazine writer. But behind the scenes, yes, I dreamed of weaving fictional tales -- but not in the way you'd think. I saw myself eventually becoming a TV writer. I dabbled with screenplays and obsessed over the script sales listings. But thanks to friends' suggestions and a little more self discovery, I found that my writing style is a nice fit for novels. But don't count me out in the TV writing world yet!

I have to ask this as we're coming out of a serious cold snap (in Texas! There was still ice in the canals yesterday!), but tell us a little bit about what it's like to live in Bermuda. Emphasize the warm parts. :)
LOL! Well, if it's any consolation, I found myself missing snow and wintry weather around the holidays. :-) Bermuda is great. My husband and I moved here two years ago and it's so different from my East Orange, NJ hometown. We've had so many visitors from home, it feels like we run a bed & breakfast! Aside from the lovely palm trees and gorgeous (and very close!) beaches, the culture and the people are awesome. I now drive British-style, on the left side of the road; I say things like "car park" instead of "parking lot"; and I shiver and scream for mercy in 65-degree weather. What's happened to me? I'm in for a rocky transition when we move back home.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on another romantic comedy and a humorous novel inspired by my strict upbringing. There's also a paranormal story on the backburner. I can't wait to share more details about them in the coming months.

For more info, visit Debbie's blog. Or you can order the book from Amazon.

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