I'm excited today to welcome Corey Ann Haydu to the blog. I really enjoyed her debut, OCD LOVE STORY, but today she's here to chat about her 2014 release, LIFE BY COMMITTEE.
First, a bit about the book:
Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu.
To be published: May 13, 2014
by: Katherine Tegen Books.
Some secrets are too good to keep.
Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.
Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.
Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.
Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.
But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
Sounds really intriguing, right? I knew when I heard about it that I needed to hear more! Here's Corey to share some extra info.
Jess: "Twitter Pitch" your novel to me (140 characters or less).
Corey: Out of loneliness, Tabitha joins Life By Committee, an online community where you tell a secret, receive an assignment, and complete your assignment to keep your secret safe.
J: Definitely intriguing! Which of the characters are you most excited for readers to meet?
C: Although I love my main character and narrator, Tabitha, I’m most excited for readers to meet her nemesis, the weirdly sexy, super spacey, totally fragile Sasha Cotton. I had a lot of fun writing her, and I don’t think people have read a lot of characters like her.
J: Interesting! I like the sound of her. She certainly sounds unique and it's always cool to come across characters that feel very new. What would you say is Tabitha's biggest fear in the beginning of the novel?
C: I think Tabitha’s biggest fear at the beginning of the book is being left behind. She’s already had a taste of what it’s like to be ditched by her best friends, and now she’s scared of being forgotten by her parents and rejected by the boy she likes. She’s also scared of how the world sees her. That fear is the same one, in some ways, I think. She’s scared that how the world sees her will mean she’ll lose everything.
J: Those are both very relatable fears. I can see people connecting with Tabitha over those. What is the first assignment you think you'd be given if you started participating in the Life by Committee forum?
C: Oh what a great question! Well I think by this point I definitely would have had to get a tattoo. I’m not sure what secret I could have told that would have led me there, but it’s something I’ve almost done a million times, and it seems like Life By Committee would pick up on that.
I can also say for certain LBC would have imploded a whole bunch of my relationships by now—romantic and platonic both. Maybe sometimes for good reason! Like Tabby, I have a history of getting involved with the wrong people—especially back when I was in high school.
J: I can totally see something like that messing with tons of relationships. Sounds like it could get pretty intense! A tattoo would be a great one, though. What has been the best part of the writing and publishing process for you so far?
C: Honestly it’s all an absolute dream come true. That said, I found out about the sale of Life By Committee right before I went to Paris with my boyfriend, so I’m not sure anything can top that moment. I got to have a whole week of cheese-eating and Notre Dame-viewing all the while knowing my second book had sold! It was pretty magical.
J: What a high to live on for a while! Book deal plus Paris with someone you love. Sounds amazing. What are some of the biggest ways LIFE BY COMMITTEE differs from your debut, OCD LOVE STORY?
C: The biggest difference is that OCD LOVE STORY doesn’t have a lot of external conflict, whereas LIFE BY COMMITTEE has both an internal struggle and a lot of external conflict and obstacles. Because LIFE BY COMMITTEE is a community I invented, a lot of my work in the writing of the novel was in making it seem real. For OCD LOVE STORY, I had research to help guide my writing of the novel, not everything was coming from my imagination. In some ways, I felt like writing LBC was a little like writing a fantasy novel. I had to work on world building when I was creating the online community, and that was a really exciting new challenge. I didn’t have to do the same kind of in depth research I did for my first novel, but I almost had to research my own creation, if that makes sense. I don’t know how fantasy writers do it all the time!
That said, I think readers who loved OCD LOVE STORY will also love LBC (I hope!!!). I think Tabitha and Bea would be friends, if they went to the same high school, and the books are both tense reads that are meant to really bring the reader fully into the world of the novel, even if, in both cases, that world is a little unfamiliar.
J: Can you share a favourite quote from LIFE BY COMMITTEE?
C: “Sometimes the pauses in between our words are so long I have to get out of the computer chair and pace the room, brimming with the restless energy of falling in love.”
J: Ooh, I love that! Can you share a secret about LIFE BY COMMITTEE?
C: I will say that one of the secrets that one of the members of LBC shares is a secret I had to keep at one time in my life. But I’m not sharing which one!
J: Still managing to be mysterious, even when sharing secrets. Thank you, Corey! I know I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on Tabitha's story!
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