By: Leslie Hauser
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
It’s great to be back again. Thank you for having me here for another visit!
1) What is on your desk or where you write? What do you need to write? Do you have a writer’s survival kit?
My desk can often become a dumping ground for “stuff I don’t feel like putting away.” So, since I’m working on a WIP right now, I’ve cleared it off. When it’s cleared of junk, it’s serious writing time.
In order to write, I really just need my Dr. Seuss pencils (for editing), the computer (for typing a first draft, printing it out, and adding in edits), Cheez-its, and water/coffee/beer depending on the time of day and how painful the drafting is!
2) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?
I am a super-plotter. I map out the story in my head, outline in a notebook, plan out each chapter on a Post-it note (I love Post-its!), and only then do I begin drafting.
Which came first: the novel or the title?
The novel always comes first. I’m horrible at titles. With the exception of my current WIP. I have a title that I love and that came after drafting only one chapter!
Which do you prefer: drafting or revising?
By far I prefer revising. In fact, I love revising. To borrow some words from the great Lorelai Gilmore, drafting “to me is something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite.”
3) What is your number one writing tip?
Write. I always write a first draft that I would never show another human being. It’s awful, some of those first words. But the beautiful words don’t come until my fingers are moving and I’m getting the awful ones down first.
4) Describe you book in 5 words or less
So much awkward
5) A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
- Ivy’s name was originally Ashley. (I’d forgotten all about this until I recently saw a first draft. I like the name Ashley, but it doesn’t fit Ivy at all! haha)
- The title used to be The Mary Kennedys.
- My own high school chemistry teacher used to merge the lab partner names (just like Ivy’s does.). I was partnered with a girl with the last name Lillard. So she and I were Lauser! (Lillard + Hauser). He said it with a German accent and that made it even funnier.
6) Do you have a special story behind your inspiration for the book? A specific band or bands or a particular point in music history? If Chasing Eveline was a real band would you listen to their music?
I wrote Chasing Eveline as a love letter to music. The story was born out of my undying love for all things musical. If Chasing Eveline were a real band, I would for sure listen to their music. Mostly because their music was inspired by so many of the bands I love.
7) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
Matt was my favorite character to write. He sort of gave himself his own story. I hadn’t originally planned for him to develop as much as he did, but as I wrote I really did feel like he was taking over and I just typed the words he wanted to have said about him.
Ivy actually gave me the most trouble. I think the enthusiasm I put into her was coming across as immature in early drafts. Also, at times, early readers felt her obstinance made her unlikeable at times. So I really had to refine her in later drafts.
8) If you could ask a character of your choice from CHASING EVELINE one question what would it be?
I would ask Sean, Why did you drive all the way from Cincinnati just to find out what was behind that Craigslist ad? lol Although, I drove 6 hours by myself to see a band play, so I guess I know the answer.
9) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)? Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?
I’m most proud of a scene with Ivy’s dad. I don’t want to say too much and give away a plot point, but there’s something Ivy goes through with her dad, and I’m really happy with the emotion that came out of it.
10) Music plays a large part in CHASING EVELINE, you even supplied a playlist the last time you were on the blog. Has music played a large role in your life or as inspiration? Do you have a connection with your main character, Ivy, through music? Do you have any similar musical interests?
Ivy and I have the same musical tastes. I don’t particularly care for today’s pop music. I prefer older music from the 70s and 80s along with current indie bands, most of whom don’t get radio play.
11) What is next for you? What are your currently working on?
I’m working on another YA contemporary that deals in part with a current world issue. I’m really excited about it and I’m working hard to have it finished by August.
I’m also going to be doing some promo for Chasing Eveline. In fact, I’m going to Indiana (the setting for the story) for a couple of events in mid August. I’m looking forward to sharing Chasing Eveline with people!
I am a YA writer and middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.
When I’m not living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances, torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
My debut novel CHASING EVELINE releases in 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.Find the author:
7/17/2017- Novel Novice– Excerpt
7/18/2017- Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile– Review
7/19/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
7/20/2017- Book Princess Reviews– Review
7/21/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview
7/24/2017- Bibliobakes– Review
7/25/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Excerpt
7/26/2017- The Pages In-Between– Review
7/27/2017- YA and Wine– Interview
7/28/2017- Book Briefs– Review
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by Rock Star Book Tours.