Sunday, December 28, 2008

Interview with author Bethany Griffin

I'm excited to say that I've had a chance to interview YA Author Bethany Griffin. Her debut novel, HANDCUFFS was just released and has terrific buzz! You should definitely check it out!

And, she's pretty great too! Here's my interview with her!

1.) Okay, okay, let’s get it out of the way. HANDCUFFS. Personally, I love the title, but I have to believe you’ve caught some grief over it. What are your feelings about it now?

Up until a week ago, I would’ve said, what grief? People have been amazingly cool about it. But yes, there are some romance readers who have been freaking out over it. I still think it’s the best title for the book.

2.) Did you have any alternative titles?

Nope. I had a working title until I got to the chapter with the handcuffs. After that it was always Handcuffs.

3.) Parker is an ice-princess. Did you have any trouble getting inside her head?

No- the whole little bit where she opens up and says it’s better for people to think you’re stuck up than to know you’re so shy you’re a stuttering freak? That was all me, and it felt incredibly revealing. Getting out of her head to write the next book with a different voice was the hard part. :)

4.) The obsessive first love is something nearly everyone can relate to. What sort of emotions do you touch on in HANDCUFFS?

Lots of jealousy. Insecurity, worry, anger…those are all things Parker has to deal with before the end of the book.

5.) Come on, give me a hint! What’s the first letter of her ex-boyfriend’s name?

I guess since several of the big reviews have mentioned now that I never used the ex-boyfriend’s name, I’ll admit that I didn’t have one for a long time. I only named him when I was writing a synopsis, cause it’s hard to do a synopsis without a name. The first letter is M. Flood my website with guesses, you won’t get it. Only one M guess per person, please, some people have been sending me a list of 50 names…. explanation- there’s a contest on the website where whoever guesses the name gets a signed copy of the book.

6.) Let’s talk blurbs. What would your perfect cover blurb be? And who would it be from?

Oh, I don’t know, The worlds most awesome book? Every Teen in America should have 3 copies of this? Or maybe, Hey, Barnes & Noble, get this book out of your warehouse and put it on the shelves! That last part would be a memo, not a blurb. My first choice would be Laurie Halse Anderson, because I teach Speak with my Sophomores. My second would be, maybe Chris Crutcher, because when I first started reading his books I was trying to write MG (what I was teaching) and was so not right for that. The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books review recommends Handcuffs for fans of Sarah Dessen, “who like their main characters inwardly focused, their family relationships complicated, and their endings happy.” So, can I pick Sarah Dessen?

7.) I can’t wait for your next book. Will it be another love story? (hopes!)

Aren’t all stories really love stories? I can’t imagine writing anything without lots of relationship issues and details. Assuming Greedy is my next book, I think it could qualify as a crazy convoluted love story!

8.) Where can we find out more about you? You’re awesome!

Thank you! If I can be half as awesome as you, I’ll be pretty freaking awesome! My website has information about me! I’m making a scrapbook of the whole first book experience… if you have some night vision goggles you could watch me work on it…email me for my address. :) Or, yeah just check out the website, the blog (which I swear I will update more often, I promise I promise…I’m getting ready to post a story about getting my tattoo. There are pictures).

Visit her website at

So there you go, folks! Bethany rocks! And so does HANDCUFFS!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

GOING GREEN (the story blog)

As I walked off my porch, I looked over to see Conner standing on the sidewalk. He was a few houses down with his arms crossed over his chest. He looked furious. Idiot.

He was probably on his way over to try to sneak me out, and instead, I was sneaking out with Becker. Yeah, I felt really bad about that. Hah!

I tossed my hair over my shoulder and strutted to the car. I didn’t normally strut, especially at school where everyone hated me, but right now, it just felt good. As soon as I dropped in the seat, Becker cleared his throat.

I looked over at him, not sure what to expect. He was biting his lip, trying not to smile.

“Shut up,” I said, laughing.

“Two things. First, you look beautiful.”

I met his eyes and felt a rush of warmth slide over me. He’d said it sweetly, not like when Conner said it. Becker was just talking, not trying to talk me into anything.

“What’s the second thing?” I asked softly.

He looked out the window. “I’ll give you twenty bucks if you hit Conner with this when I drive past him.” He grabbed an air freshener off his rear view mirror.

“I think it’ll just flap in the wind.” But I was grinning from ear to ear. The thought of assault was oddly appealing.

“You can try to whip it like a ninja death star…” he said under his breath as he started his car. I laughed and took it from his hands shaking my head.

“Ninja death star?”

He shrugged.

The window was already down and as we drove down the street, Conner didn’t try to hide the fact that he was staring. In fact, he flipped me off.

I squinted my eyes, gripped the air freshener and flung it as hard as it could.

It made a satisfying ping as it bounced off his forehead. And as he yelled, I rolled up the window, leaned back in the seat, and held out my hand.

“You owe me twenty bucks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Going Green (the story blog)


The minute I got home I tried on my green dress so that I could examine it, just in case the store had been using one of those skinny mirrors.

My phone rang. And it was the same stupid ring from earlier. But without the distraction of my father’s judgmental stare, I was weak enough to answer.

“What?” I said.

“What? Now is that polite, Stella?” Conner chuckled.

“Shut up. What do you want?” It wasn’t like Conner and I were fighting. It was more like when I didn’t talk to him, I realized I hated him.

“Nothing.” He sounded wounded. “I missed you.”

“Really? Because when you and Trish breezed by me at lunch you didn’t look all that sad. Oh, and when you had your tongue in her mouth after school, you sure didn’t look sad then either. Gross… maybe. But not sad. Not over me.” And there was a twinge. Even just thinking about him and Trish hurt. And no matter how times I snuck off with him, she’d still be the one he made out with in the front of the school.

“You’re mad at me.” He didn’t sound worried.

“No,” I said. “I’m just tired of you.” I flopped down on my bed and suddenly, my green dress wasn’t perfect. It was awful. Prom would be awful. My entire life was--

My other line beeped. I pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at the caller ID. Talk about timing.

“Gotta go,” I told Conner and clicked over before he could respond. “Becker?” I asked.

“Um, no. It’s still Conner.”

Oops. I clicked again. “Becker?”

“It’s still freaking me, Stella? What the hell?”

I laughed. “I’m sorry! I’m not doing it on purpose!” But the moment was sort of awesome. I tried one more time. “Hello?” I whispered.

“Hello?” Becker whispered back.

“Thank God it’s you.”

“Glad you’re happy to hear from me.”

He was so clueless. “I got a dress,” I said, smoothing the fabric over my thigh.

“Is it pretty?”

“My father thinks so.”

Becker paused. “Huh. Well, that just ruined whatever dirty thing I was going to say.”

I smiled. “You can probably still say it if you want.” I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. For the first time in a while, I looked sort of happy.

“Hey,” Becker said.


“Wanna come watch me play tonight?”

The last time I went to watch Becker’s band, I ran out in the middle of his serenade. “I don’t know…”

“Please?” He paused. “I wrote a new song.”

“What’s it called?”

“It’s called, I’m waiting outside for you to come down.”

“Really? Not very catchy.”

He laughed. “Maybe I’ll change it. But I am waiting outside for you to come down.”

I jumped up and crossed to my window. Sure enough, a super hot college guy was in his car at my curb.

“That’s sort of stalkerish,” I said. He ducked his head to look up at me and waved. I waved back. “I’ll be right down,” I said.

As I hung up, I noticed something else. Conner, sitting on his porch, watching the whole thing.

Going Green...(the story blog)

More to follow soon... you can start from the beginning with the Going Green labels at the side. :)


Well Brandi was right about one thing. Everyone at school pretty much hated me. And you know, I was fine with it. I wasn’t all that impressed with myself either.

The only bad part about not having friends was that when the time came to buy a prom dress, there was no one to ask for opinions. Or at least, if you were lucky there wasn’t.

“I don’t know, Stella,” my father said as he lounged in the store’s waiting room chair. “I liked the green one better.”

Yes. I brought my father to help me pick out my prom dress.

“Green in Oregon?” I asked. “Do you want me to blend in with the trees?” I personally liked this red one better.

“The red looks a bit… trashy.”

I laughed. “Did you just call your own daughter trashy?”

“I said looks. You just look trashy, honey.”

I exhaled, turning in the mirror to study my rear, and then agreeing that I indeed looked a bit less than wholesome.

“Fine,” I said, putting my hands on my hips. “I’ll get the green one.”

“Score one for the old dude.”

“Ew. Please don’t use the word dude.”

“Score one for the groovy guy.”

“Oh my God! Stop.” My cell phone rang from my purse on the dressing room floor. I knew that ring tone. It was Conner.

“You gonna get that?” my father asked, standing up and stretching.

I looked back for a second, but then shook my head. “Nope,” I said. “I think I’ll just let that one go to voice mail.”

My father nodded but I swear as he was walking away to wait for me at the counter, he mumbled, “Good girl.”