Friday, February 5, 2016

Chocolates, First Loves and Book Crushes: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Interview + Giveaway)

Chocolates, First Loves and Book Crushes is a blog event featuring debut authors answering questions that I have sent them as they talk  about their Valentine's day routines, love, book crushes and more. For a list of all the participating authors, check it out here.

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, FIRSTS, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press in 2016.

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.

Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles.

Laurie is represented by the amazing Kathleen Rushall of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Find Laurie: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

1.    Have you always seen Valentine’s as an important event? What do you usually do on Valentine’s Day?
  • I’ve never really made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. I prefer the day after, when all the candy is on sale! I usually have to work on Valentine’s Day, but last year my husband and I went out to a nice dinner afterward. 

2. What is your fondest memory about Valentine’s Day? Can you go into details about it?
  • For our first Valentine’s Day together, my now-husband surprised me by taking me to Toronto to see a play and go out for dinner. The night ended with a chilly rickshaw ride back to the hotel. But my best Valentine’s Day ever was the one that took place during our honeymoon. We watched the sun set on a deserted beach. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!

3. What has always been your idea of the perfect date?
  • I don’t have a specific idea in my head of the perfect date. I can have fun doing just about anything. I love going out for dinner or sharing a bottle of wine and talking, or going for a long walk somewhere.

4. Has it always been a walk in the park or had there been any Valentine’s Day disasters you’ve encountered? (Maybe about your own or someone you know who you would like to share)

  • I haven’t had any Valentine’s disasters, but I remember one year, my sister and I were both sick of being single and seeing cute couples everywhere, so we threw an anti-Valentine’s party and invited other singles. Our soundtrack was depressing and angry music and everyone wore black! 

5. Can you tell us about your first love? What was he/she like? 

  • I consider my husband to be my first true love. He’s smart and thoughtful and funny and someone I can talk to about anything. He has been so supportive of my writing career, and I’m very grateful for that! I like that I can be my weird and wacky self around him and he loves me because of it. 

6. Any book crushes/boyfriends?
  • Well, Rhett Butler from Gone With The Wind is my book husband… Also, I’m reading Underwater by Marisa Reichardt right now and I have to say, Evan is pretty dreamy and if I were a teen, I’d have a crush on him for sure!

7. Are the characters in your upcoming novel big romantics or total party poopers?
  • Mercedes would definitely roll her eyes at the prospect of Valentine’s Day cheesiness. If some guy (like Zach) tried to surprise her with flowers or chocolate, she’d probably pretend it meant nothing and call him out for being sappy. She’d later eat the chocolates and put the flowers in water, though. 

8. If you can go out on a date with a character in your book, who would it be and why?
  • Well, it would have to be Zach. He’s just such a sweet guy and the type to do anything to make a girl feel special. He’s kind of goofy and clumsy so he’d probably say the wrong thing or trip over his own feet, but the fact that he’s not perfect makes him genuine! 

9. What would you like to say to any reader out there this Valentine’s season?
  • I hope readers out there have a wonderful day! Whether it’s going on a date with someone special or staying in with a book boyfriend and conversation hearts, enjoy the day on your terms. And don’t forget about the major candy discounts the next morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
  • This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY
  • The giveaway will run until February 18th 2016
  • You must be 13 years or older, or have parents’ permission to enter.
  • All your entries will be disqualified if you pickup entries for something you haven’t done. (I had to do this for so many of my last giveaways, please don’t make me do this again.)
  • If you only use ONE account to do all these tasks and enter under different names, they will still only constitute as ONE entry.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.

Title: Firsts                               
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publication: January 5th 2016, St. Martin's Griffins                    
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | Kobo | National Bookstore / Fully Booked (PH)

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her
bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Thank you so much to Laurie for her kindness! Do follow her on social media! She is the sweetest! Stay tuned tomorrow for author, Melissa Gorzelanczyk! Keep on reading!

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