Welcome to my stop on the Uses For Boys Blog tour!
I ADORED this book and I'm so excited to be a part of this tour, hosted by Shane at Itching For Books!
You can check out the rest of the tour stops here at Shane's site!
And you can read my review of Uses For Boys below, or you could follow this link!
Today as part of my stop I'll be sitting down with the lovely Erica Lorraine Scheidt to discuss the book and that wonderful (read ghastly) time between child and adulthood!
But first, lets take a little looksee at the book!
USES FOR BOYS
by Erica Lorainne Scheidt
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Contemporary
Genre: YA Contemporary
Expected Publication Date: January 15, 2013!
Purchase your copy today
Carmen: Hi Erica, thanks so much for joining me on the Book Me! couch today. First Up could you tell us a little about Uses For Boys?
Erica: Sure, thanks for taking a look at Uses for Boys, Carmen. I really appreciate your questions.
Uses for Boys is a contemporary story about a sixteen year old girl who’s looking for a sense of belonging and using sex as a way to get there. It’s about Anna’s search to fill her loneliness.
Carmen: Uses For Boys resonated with me so much that I felt if you could combine Anna and Toy into the one girl who’d have me as a teenager. Where did the inspiration for Anna come from? And is there any of your teenage self in her?
Erica: That’s so funny, because sometimes I see those two girls as a mix of me and my childhood best friend. We were inseparable. And we compared everything we did to what the other did and checked everything we believed against what the other believed. And we were jealous of each other, usually for all the wrong reasons.
As a teenager I also had that same relentless forward motion that Anna has—that ability to keep trying and keep trying, even if I was totally wrong-headed, until I found something that worked.
Carmen: Sometimes there are characters that write themselves and others you have to work hard at getting their point across to your audience, was Anna one of those difficult characters to write? And did you feel you needed a breather after completing her story?
Erica: Writing Anna was hard in that there was such an emotional distance between her and the story she was narrating, I tried hard to close it, but in the end, I think if that distance wasn’t there, the story would be unbearable. I didn’t take a break after finishing the book, but immediately turned to a story that was full of friends and family and dialogue. I spent a long time with Anna and in that time she was very lonely and I longed to write a character whose life was rich with other people.
Carmen: You've said previously that Uses For Boys was three and a half years in the making, was there any point where you felt like just giving up? And if so, what spurred you on to see it through to finishing and then on to publication?
Erica: I spent a long time in what one of my favorite writers, Pam Houston, calls the “vertiginous, vomit-inducing forest of not knowing.” A long time. I remember one camping trip where I spent hours with a big sketchpad trying to diagram the arc of the book and being completely lost. But I never wanted to give up on Anna’s story.
Carmen: For me, this was such an incredibly poignant story! Anna struggles with who she is in the world, who she thinks she needs to be, who she wants to be and who and what is important to her. I think it’s a story every teen should read.
Having lived through the torture of teen hood, is there any advice you’d give to girls like Anna who are trying so hard to find out who they are and where they fit in?
Erica: Carmen, thank you, that’s exactly how I see Anna’s struggle. The teens I know are trying so hard to do the right thing—to be true to themselves and do right by their friends and do the right thing by their family. I’m amazed by the strength and the resilience of the young people I know. I love what Sam’s mom told Anna, you are strong. I guess I wouldn’t give them advice, necessarily, but maybe to those of us that know young people: they shouldn’t have to do this alone.
Carmen: There’s quite a bit of adult content within this book. Did you worry that publishers might overlook it due to the fact it’s a gritty and very real portrayal of life for some young girls and not another of the airy fairy romances that dominate the YA market?
Erica: I think there’s incredible diversity in the young adult (and children’s) book market. Editors, agents, librarians and booksellers are tremendous advocates for young readers, so even though I knew that Anna’s story wouldn’t be for everyone, I always believed there would be an editor willing to take a chance on it.
Carmen: What are you working on now? And when can we expect to find it in our favourite book stores?
Erica: I’m writing and working with teen writers. I have a novel in progress that hopefully you’ll see early next year.
Carmen: Okay, now we move onto the rapid-fire-useless-facts-no-one-ever-knew-about-you-until-now part of the interview.
Carmen: Favorite Book?
Erica: Just one? Probably A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Carmen: What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
Erica: Revision. I love rewriting. I like everything after the first draft.
Carmen: And finally, Erica, the question I ask everyone: the Apocalypse is here. The world has been overrun with Zombies or Vampires or some other freakish thing that wants to chow down on humanity. Before the human race is completely eradicated you get to save two literary legends (don't ask me why you can only save bookish people, I don't make the rules) who do you save?
Erica: Maurice Sendak and Frank O’Hara.
Carmen: Thanks so much for joining me, Erica!
Erica: Thank you for for having me!
A huge super special OH BRAD thank you to lovely Erica Lorriane Scheidt for the lovely interview and thanks to Shane at Itching For Books for including Book Me! in the Uses For Boys Blog Tour!
What are your thoughts on Uses For Boys?
I absolutely LOVED this book!
I absolutely LOVED this book!