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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Susan McBride interview!

Susan McBride, author of The Debs, has kindly agreed to give an interview! I can't wait for Love, Lies, and Texas Dips, the sequel to The Debs, and for those of you who haven't read The Debs yet, I highly recommend it! For my review, go here, and for a chance to win a signed copy of The Debs, check out my Birthday Contest!
Thank you, Ms. McBride for this fantastic interview!


What inspired you to write The Debs?

A few years ago, while I was busy writing my Debutante Dropout Mysteries for HarperCollins, my agent had lunch with an editor at Random House who asked if she had any authors who could write about debutantes in the South for a YA series. Of course, my agent replied, "I have the perfect person," and she called me that day to ask if I'd be interested. It sounded great to me, as I'd lived in Texas for 20 years and knew plenty of debs. So I wrote a proposal for THE DEBS that featured four prep school seniors in Houston, Texas, and my editor at Random House loved it. It's been a lot of fun getting to know Laura, Ginger, Mac, and Jo Lynn, and it's a blast to write from each girl's point of view. There's so much to explore in their lives as they go through their senior year and juggle school, love, disappointments, cliques, family, and their deb duties. I don't think any of us ever forgets what it feels like to be seventeen, so I'm conjuring up a lot of emotions from my high school years (and even some real-life experiences) and using it all in these books.

Did you ever debut like the girls from The Debs will?

No, I never debuted, but I had friends who did, both in high school and college. I was invited to deb balls and assigned escorts, the whole drill. And since my five Debutante Dropout Mysteries have been out, I've heard lots of stories from debutantes all over the South. So I have loads to draw from when I'm writing about these girls and their debutante season. I'm always open to hearing new deb stories, too, if any of your readers have tales to tell!

When will the next installment of the series hit bookstores? Can you give us a little summary?

The second book in the series is LOVE, LIES, AND TEXAS DIPS, and it'll be out in June of 2009. The cover art is done already, and it's up on my web site if anyone wants to take a peek. Whereas THE DEBS introduces you to Laura, Ginger, Mac, Jo Lynn and their friends, families, and guys, LOVE, LIES, AND TEXAS DIPS moves everyone forward, increasing the tension and the drama. I hate to spill any of the storylines, as I'd like for it all to be a surprise. But I will let on that Queen Bee Jo Lynn still hates Laura's guts and desperately wants to take her down for good. Mac finally finds out what it's like to fall in love, only things might not work out quite the way she plans. Ginger has yet another encounter with a guy who may or may not be appropriate for her. And rumors fly, possibly terminating one deb's chances of making it to the Rosebud Ball.

Who was your favorite character to write about in The Debs?

It's so weird, because I initially thought Mac would be the lead character, and it turned out that Laura kind of took over. She's got such a big personality, and she doesn't fit the mold of what a Glass Slipper Club debutante should be. I loved that she was determined to fulfill her deb dreams anyway. She's very gutsy, and she doesn't care too much about what other people think. I have to confess that, evil as she is, I love Jo Lynn. Growing up in Texas with plenty of beauty pageant girls, I totally know where she's coming from and what made her the kind of person she is. So I'm looking forward to seeing her get a couple hard knocks and maybe grow throughout the series. Or perhaps she'll just get more evil. We shall see!

Do you have a favorite fashion designer?

I really love comfortable clothes that look good (and pack well when I travel). I'm pretty partial to Gap jeans and T-shirts. I used to go crazy at Arden B so I have a lot of cute jackets from there. But mostly I'm shoe-crazy. I have a favorite pair of Kenneth Cole that are hot pink with a little orange (I know that sounds gross, but they look great). They match perfectly with one of my Arden B jackets. In high school and college, I was all about Ralph Lauren. Now it's more whatever feels good on. I wear a lot of flip-flops in the summer!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read as much as you can and try to figure out what makes the books you love work. Is it the characters? Is it the setting or the plot? Is it the writing style or voice? Don't try to emulate anyone else. Just be yourself and tell your own story in your unique fashion. Write whenever you can, even if it's jotting down your feelings in a journal every night before you go to bed. I think exercising your "writing muscles" is the only way to get better and better. Experiment with your prose and don't be afraid to take risks. If you're a girl and want to use a guy's point of view for your story, do it! I know people say "write what you know," but I find it's more like "write from your gut and your imagination." You can always research what you don't know. And hang in there! If you want to become a published novelist with a long career, it's a hard road (well, unless your dad runs a publishing company or you're a celebrity!). Stick with it and believe in yourself. If I hadn't believed in myself from the get-go, I wouldn't have lasted the ten years post-college that it took to get published in the first place. Good luck! Sometimes luck and being in the right place at the right time counts more than talent. If anyone has a question they'd like to ask, please feel free to email me through my web site at I read and answer all my emails, and I love hearing from young writers.


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Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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