Oh TMGEP followers, we hope that today your coffee was strong and your Monday was short. Four days ’til Friday, are we right?!
We’re back this week with the fourth in our series of “Author of the Week” Book Giveaways (for more information on our concept behind the giveaways, click here to read our first giveaway post)!
In the spotlight this week is author Corey Ann Haydu, author of multiple young adult books including Life by Committee (our focus for today’s interview!), Making Pretty, OCD Love Story and Rules For Stealing Stars. She resides in Brooklyn, New York with her fiancé and their dog.
Check out our interview with Corey Ann Haydu and then enter to win our giveaway–instructions are at the end of this post!
TMGEP: First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Corey Ann Haydu: I’m Corey Ann Haydu, the author of OCD Love Story, Life by Committee, Making Pretty and Rules for Stealing Stars. I live in Brooklyn, love cheese and leggings, live with my fiancé and our dog, Oscar, and was once a high school foreign exchange student in Italy. These days I write full time and also have a passion for teaching. I’ve been working in children’s publishing since 2009.
C: I started writing as a kid. I always kept journals. I now have a collection of about 30 of them, starting from when I was in third grade. I feel so lucky to have them. For a long time I was an actress who wrote on a the side, but back in 2009 I realized that my real passion was for writing, and I left acting behind to pursue publishing.
T: How did you come up with the story line for your book, Life by Committee?
C: Life by Committee was based largely on my own high school experience, although I was also inspired by the French film, one of my favorites, Love Me If You Dare. I used both my experience in high school and some of the ideas in that film for inspiration, and it was sort of wonderful to find a whole new story, using those two stories as a jumping off point.
T: What is Life by Committee about?
C: Life by Committee is about a girl named Tabitha who has recently fallen into a relationship with a boy who has a girlfriend. Her friends have stopped being her friends, her parents have a new baby on the way, and in her loneliness she finds a new community online. The anonymous online community, LBC, begins to take over her life, helping her make her decisions and pushing her past her limits. It’s a story about secrets and loneliness and shifting female friendships and identity and bullying.
T: HarperCollins Publishers released a collection of books whose characters struggle with bullying issues called “Stop Bullying. Start Reading” is listed as one of the books in this collection. Why was it chosen?
C: I was so happy to see Life by Committee on lists of books about bullying, because I think it touches on a side of bullying we’re less familiar with. Tabitha isn’t getting bullied by the “popular girls”, she’s getting bullied by her smart, nerdy former friends because of the way she dresses and holds herself. The book is about bullying and shame around female sexuality, and I think it’s important to remember that that, too, is bullying.
T: How are you tackling the issue of bullying in your book?
C: I always want to try to see all angles in a story, so I think I tackle bullying as it is—in a complicated, not black-and-white way. Tabitha isn’t a morally perfect character, and her former friends aren’t evil. Bullying can often come from discomfort, I think, and I approached the topic from that angle, and from a feminist angle, which is how I tackle most subjects.
T: How can your character’s struggle with a bully help one of your readers who may be dealing with bullying issues?
C: I hope readers can find comfort in Tabitha just by feeling less alone. I think bullying can cause loneliness and isolation, and hopefully through books, readers can find some connection and safety, even if they’re having trouble locating that in real life.
T: What advice do you think your protagonist would give to someone being bullied?
C: I think Tabitha would tell someone being bullied to find escape in books and to try to stay open to new connections, in spite of how hard staying open and vulnerable is.
T: Where can readers find your book Life by Committee?
C: Life by Committee can be purchased in many indie bookstores and also online through indiebound.com, barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.
C: I have quite a few other books! OCD Love Story and Life by Committee are my two other Young Adult novels, and I also have a novel for younger readers, age 8-12, Rules for Stealing Stars that just came out this year.
T: Is there anything else you would like to share?
C: For anyone getting bullied (or anyone doing some bullying!) I think the answer is always opening up and not keeping things secret. If something is going badly at school or at home, find someone safe to talk to about it. Keeping secrets usually makes things worse.
This week we will be raffling away two of Corey Ann Haydu’s books:
- Hardcopy of Making Pretty
- Paperback copy of Life by Committee
We’re excited to give these amazing books to two lucky winners!
GIVEAWAY ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS:
To enter TMGEP’s Author of the Week Giveaway, email email@example.com with your NAME and PHONE NUMBER (don’t worry, we won’t call you unless we can’t get ahold of you via email to claim your prize!) by Thursday, February 4th at 11:59PM PST. A winner will be selected at random, contacted and announced on Friday, February 5th.
And now for the less exciting stuff…
This is a sweepstakes involving The Mean Girl Extinction Project and an outside party henceforth referred to as “Author of the Week”. Both parties are aware of the sweepstakes and the donated prize. The value of the prize will not exceed $50 (US).
Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the United States ages 18 and older. Sweepstakes begins at the time of blog post and ends the following Thursday at 11:59PM PST. No purchase necessary. All entries must be received via email. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winner agrees to have their name and likeness used for media and publicity purposes. If potential prize winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize will be re-awarded, in TMGEP’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded.
Sweepstakes is hosted by The Mean Girl Extinction Project, California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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