Today I’m pleased to welcome author Trish Cook to the blog. I hope you enjoy getting to meet Trish! Don’t forget to check out her book, Outward Blonde, out today on B&N.
1. What got you interested in writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, even as a little kid, and always did it for enjoyment. Once I graduated college, any time someone asked me what my biggest dream was, I’d always say “to write a book.” It took me a decade or so more to actually get started on that dream, but since then I’ve never looked back. Outward Blonde is the fifth YA book I’ve had published (and I’ve certainly written other ones that have never seen the light of day—I consider them my precious practice babies.)
2. What was your inspiration for Outward Blonde?
For Outward Blonde, the inspiration came from my publisher, Adaptive Books. They have a really unique way of approaching YA books: They take unmade film projects and ask YA writers to create novels based on them. Outward Blonde was originally a movie set to star Hilary Duff. Adaptive Books came to me with what they call a “spark page”—just the most basic outline of what the story is: A spoiled, rich New York girl gets in trouble and gets sent to wilderness camp. I never read the script for the movie that was never made. I just developed the story based off the spark page and had so much fun doing it.
3. Glam vs. Nature, which would you pick?
Both! I love putting on a cool outfit for a night out in the city, and I also love enjoying all the wildlife surrounding the river at rowing practice—heron, turtles, ducks, geese, deer, fox, beavers.
4. How did it feel releasing Outward Blonde into the wild vs. how it felt releasing your first book?
Less scary! Being that this is my fifth time around, I know what to expect (and what not to expect!) I think I had some crazy idea the first time around that my life would completely change after the release date. This time, I know we’ll have a bunch of fun at the launch party, and from there, hopefully, the book finds a receptive audience but I have to just let it happen and be happy with the results.
5. What is your favorite way to connect with readers?
I love when readers write me emails about how a book I’ve written has affected them. I can give them an extended answer and I love the exchange of ideas. I also love Twitter for short, witty conversation!
6. Do you have any other creative hobbies?
I’m kind of a secret crafter. Right now I’m embroidering shirts for the ladies in my boat at Head of the Charles. Shhhhh, don’t tell them, it’s a surprise. I also like to make iMovies after a trip or special event using pictures/videos we’ve taken during it and songs that remind me of it. Basically, I like to make things that make my friends happy/laugh/remember the good times we’ve had together.
7. What is one thing on your bucket list you’ve done, one thing you want to do but aren’t likely to, and one thing you know you will do but haven’t yet?
Two things on my bucket list that I’ve already checked off are running a marathon and seeing a concert at Red Rocks. Both amazing experiences! Something I’d love to do and hopefully will one day when I have enough time and resources is go on a bike trip somewhere exotic. I love the idea of seeing awesome new sights every day and getting a good workout in at the same time. Something I’d love to do but probably won’t—mostly because my regular travel companions would likely want to do this some other way—is to wander through Europe with just a backpack full of belongings, going from hostel to hostel, with no particular agenda. Just go wherever we feel like it on any given day, wherever the adventure takes us. (Basically, I guess I’d like to be a teenager again!)
8. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
My favorite thing about being an author is making things up as I go along and seeing where my characters take me in a story. It’s always a surprise to watch them grow and change. Where the brain comes up with these things is a mystery and it’s so cool to experience. And to be honest, I also love making my own hours and not having to adhere to a strict schedule.
9. What is the best advice you would give to young writers?
To all aspiring writers: Write. And keep on writing. And don’t let anyone make you stop. Share your writing with friends you trust, or find an online community. Writing is a lonely sport, but we do it to connect with others through words. So let someone see what you’re doing. You’ll get better because of it and find a sense of camaraderie too. Join clubs at school, like the newspaper or literary magazine, and share your talents with others. Be brave and submit your writing to contests. There are even summer programs and literary conferences that are like writing camps where you can go and bond with other creative people. Dream big. Why not? You never know what you can do unless you try. Trust that you know yourself well enough that you’re probably not going to grow out of whatever it is you dream of doing. If you’re scared—even more reason to give it a shot. That just means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and that’s okay. Be brave. Start now.
10. What can readers be on the lookout for from you next?
I have this big idea I’m just starting to put on paper that was sparked by a crazy news story. It’s still very much at the fledgling idea stage so we’ll see if it works out!
About the Author:
Trish Cook is the author of four YA novels: So Lyrical, Overnight Sensation, Notes from the Blender, and A Really Awesome Mess. Her personal essays have appeared in Graze Literary Magazine and Spittoon, and she is currently completing her memoir, tentatively titled Bret Michaels at the Symphony. When she’s not writing, Trish is a runner, rower, music and pop culture fanatic. Visit her on her website.
About the Book:
Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Finkelstein is a hard-partying socialite who lives a charmed life with her mother in Manhattan. After a public drunken escapade results in both an arrest and an embarrassing viral video online, Lizzie’s parents stage a late night intervention. Lizzie finds herself whisked away to Utah to learn a lesson or two about taking responsibility at Camp Smiley, a wilderness survival program for troubled kids.
Camp Smiley is a far cry from Lizzie’s high society life in New York. Without her stable of luxury hair/makeup items, her teacup Pomeranian, contact with the outside world or access to social media, Lizzie must face the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Grouped with troubled campers in which she’s certain she has nothing in common (except Jack, who’s pretty hot), Lizzie must now learn to dig her own toilet in the woods and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together before the camp will ever let her go back to her former existence. She has a choice: get with the program, or get out of there.