Sometimes, a few dares can change lives…The weekend before the start of senior year, Sophie Erickson and her best friends, Ella and Grace, discover a handwritten list of dares tucked away in the glove compartment of Sophie’s beat-up old Toyota. But this isn’t just any list; it’s a dead girl's bucket list.
Sophie's beloved aunt Suzy died as a teenager in a fatal fall, leaving Sophie with an overly cautious family, a few fading photographs, and a bucket of bolts that barely passes for a car. But now, Sophie has Suzy’s list of the things she wanted to do in her last year of high school. Sophie can't help but wonder: What would happen if she tried to fulfill Suzy’s last wishes, to live out the longed-for life of her aunt, her hero?
As Sophie and her friends attempt to knock off the things on Suzy's list of dares, love blossoms in unexpected places and Sophie begins to feel that her life is finally coming together...when in fact, everything is slowly unraveling around her. When the truth about a long-held family secret threatens to shatter everything she believed to be true, Sophie is forced to question everything she knew about the life and people she believed in, and ultimately herself.
I la la loved this book, to check out my review, click HERE. I recommend it to anyone that hans't read it yet!
- Hello Erin, thanks so much for stopping by Leilani Loves Books. Let's start off by talking a little bit about you. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Thanks for having me!
I didn’t really figure out I wanted to be an author until about ten years ago. I’ve always loved reading, but I never imagined anyone would want to read stories that I wrote. When I graduated from college, I got a job at Scholastic as an editor. I really loved that job, since I got to work with other authors to help make their stories better. When I left my job there, I discovered how much I missed the storytelling, and creating characters, and fussing through plot problems. That’s when I started writing for fun—for me—and was surprised when I ended up selling a book to Simon & Schuster in 2005.
- Which of your books was your favorite to write and most difficult to write and why?
Kiss It was definitely the most fun to write. Chaz has a lot of personality and I love the way she spoke her mind.
My first book (Dancing Queen) was one of the hardest (not the hardest, but it was a close second). It’s almost impossible to get past that first chapter when you’ve never written a novel before!
The most difficult book for me was a book I haven’t published yet—it’s a YA novel I wrote a few years ago, and I intended for it to be the first of a two-book arc. I’m not sure I’ll ever publish the book, to tell you the truth. I’ve rewritten it and messed with it so much that it’s kind of a wreck. I love the love story and the characters, but the plot is a mess. Maybe someday I’ll figure out what to do with it…
- If you could chose to live as one of your characters from any one of your books who would you want to be and why?
I’d love to get inside the heads of some of my guy characters—Sebastian from Kiss It or Johnny from None of the Regular Rules. They both seem so fearless, but there are so many issues simmering below the surface for both of them.
- What type of advice could you give to someone who wants to be an author one day?
Keep writing. Like I said, it’s so hard to keep going when you’ve never been published or never shown your work to anyone—but with practice, you’ll get better. Write for you, write what you love to read. Don’t worry about publishing anything, since that just gets your head all mixed up. Focus on the stories you want to tell and write because you love to do it!
- What you're writing process? What comes first to you? Do you do outlines or do you just dive into your stories?
I work both ways. Sometimes, I outline like crazy. For my middle grade series (The Quirks, which launches this spring under a different name—Erin Soderberg), I do chapter-by-chapter outlines. For my YA, I try to just go by the seat of my pants. But I usually get stuck about halfway through, and then I outline the rest. But I like to just let it flow at the beginning.
- What does it take to make realistic characters and settings?
I spend a lot of time trying to get into the minds of my characters. Sometimes, I write up character sketches. Settings come naturally to me—I envision a place I know, and then build off of that. That way, something about the places I write is familiar, and it helps the scene come alive in my head.
- How do you come up with dialogue? I find conversations between characters so amusing!
I listen to people everywhere to get a good handle on realistic dialogue. I also tend to act out little conversations in my head. It helps that I was an only child, so I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, making up people to chat with when I was bored.
- What can we expect to see from you in the future? Any new projects you're working on?
I have a series for younger readers coming out with Bloomsbury this spring (The Quirks). Then I’ll have a tween novel coming out with Simon & Schuster around Christmastime (Best Friends Forever…or Until Someone Better Comes Along). I’m also wrapping up an adult novel that I’m really excited about. I haven’t started writing a new teen novel, but I hope to be writing something new for teens this summer sometime!
- If you could spend one night with any fictional character who would it be and what would you be doing?
I’d love to spend some time in the world of Harry Potter. I want to try butterbeer.
- Coffee or tea?
I quit coffee a few months ago. Now I’m a tea girl.
- Left or right?
Well, since Sophie’s car only likes to go left in None of the Regular Rules, I’ll say left.
- Up or down?
I’m afraid of heights, so down.
- Reading or writing?
- Breakfast or dinner?
- Thanks so much for stopping by Erin! Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for having me. And thanks for reading both Kiss It and None of the Regular Rules. I’m so happy you liked them!
Thanks so much or stopping by! And thanks for writing such great books, I'm definitely trying to get my hands on A Funny Thing About Love soon!
Now, for all of you lucky readers, Erin so was gracious to offer an ebook copy of None of the Regular Rules, Kiss It, or A Funny Thing About Love! Thanks, Erin!
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Now here are those fun facts about Erin I was talking about!
I love to travel and explore new places. I spent a year living in Stockholm, Sweden (and even slept one night inside an Ice Hotel). I have also worn a Delhi-bought Sari to a wedding in India, danced a midnight jig in Red Square in Moscow, walked on a Norwegian glacier, and was forced to see a bunch of my guy friends in teeny tiny bikinis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I have an overactive sense of smell. This means the following things really bug me: bad breath, body odor, smoked and raw fish, and head. You know that “head” smell? A combination of needs-to-be-washed hair and natural body essence? Ew.
I like lip-gloss. A lot. My favorite is Grape Lip Smackers, but I can’t ever find it at stores anymore (so if you do, buy an extra for me!).
In high school, I was on the swim team, cross-country ski team, student council, and played trombone in the jazz band. I quit all of those things senior year in order to co-direct a very bizarre interpretation of Alice in Wonderland for the drama club.
I do not play basketball. I am 5’10”.
One time I stole a poster from a drug store. I still feel guilty.
I am almost always growing my hair out. But I think I'm addicted to haircuts.
I bite my nails and can only prevent this disgusting habit by getting professionally-manicured fingernails. I am very fancy that way.
Most of the time, I read books on my Kindle.
I love artichoke hearts in a very obsessive way. I also like wine, tater tots, and panna cotta.