Monday, April 21, 2014

An Author a (Mon)day: Emery Lord

An Author a (Mon)day is my sporadic feature where I ask authors a few questions about anything - themselves, their books and writing, to name a few. While it doesn't happen on a regular basis, you can be rest assured that it always happens on a Monday!

The fun thing about reading debut novels is discovering new authors to love! This year, one of my absolute new favorite discoveries is author Emery Lord. She wrote a YA contemporary novel called Open Road Summer, which was absolute perfection in my eyes! She's so fun to tweet with, and seems like one of the nicest, sweetest, most enthusiastic authors out there. Without further ado, please welcome Emery to the blog!

Alexa: Hi Emery! Where did you get the idea for Open Road Summer? It's seriously almost like you went into my brain, took some of my favorite things and turned it into this incredible story. (Also, bonus question: who inspired your characters? Obviously, I'm referring to Matt mostly, but it would be cool to learn about Reagan and Dee too!)

Emery: The premise came to me after I passed a few country music tours on the highway in Ohio, and I started wondering what happens in those in-between spaces on the map. The idea for Reagan (and Matt!) was inspired by the Mike Posner track Cooler Than Me. Beyond that, I think all of the characters are inspired by questions that I had. What is really going on in the mind of that beautiful, cold girl who looks so confident and bitchy? What would it really be like to be a teen celebrity, at once so normal and so elevated? Dee is, of course, partially inspired by my girl friends, who are so vulnerable and so strong all at once. Matt has a few pieces of many guys I know/love--cocky and a little immature and cheesy but sweet and unafraid of pursuing love in a really earnest, unblinking way.

Alexa: Did you have to do or go anywhere fun for research when writing Open Road Summer?

Emery: Yes! After I wrote it, my since-junior-high girl friends and I roadtripped to Nashville, so I could check all my facts/hone the descriptions. OMG we had so much fun, hanging out in the car, dancing, eating barbeque. I made them go on a tour of Ryman Auditorium (where Reagan sees Matt doing his sound check at the end of the book) and to Bluebird Cafe and to a BP gas station where Dee also makes a quick stop ;) Haha!

Alexa: How does it feel to be a published author? I can only imagine how exciting/nerve-wracking/crazy it must be!

Emery: Yeah, mostly exciting! Haha. I've been reading contemporary YA since I was thirteen, so it's a big part of who I am as a person. So I'm really just thrilled I have the opportunity to try to give a piece of that back. Plus, I'm really passionate about the power and potential of girls...getting to have that be part of my job is the best!

Alexa: Are you excited about going on tour for Open Road Summer? I certainly can't wait to catch you in NYC!

Emery: Thrilled! I get to hang out with some of my favorite writers and travel? That's the perfect spring for me :)

Alexa: And now, let's talk about writing (since I'm a writer who aspires to be published too!). Did you always know you wanted to write stories or be a writer?

Emery: I always planned on pursuing writing as part of my career, but I took the communications-writing path because I thought it would be more practical. I took me until age 23 to realize if I wanted to be a writer, I could just...start writing fiction. So, I guess I've always known writing would be part of my future, but it took me a while to realize it could actually be the kind of writing I *wanted* to do!

Alexa: Do you have a writing routine? Tips? Quirks?

Emery: I actually don't really have a routine! If I'm on deadline or really making progress with a draft, I'll work non-stop for days straight. Then I'll take a day or two breather :) My tip would be: try to find the intersection of characters that interest you and ideas that matter to you: write inside of that sweet spot. One of those two things (characters you love/issues that mean something to you) will always keep you coming back to work hard!

Alexa: Okay, now on to more fun things - first, the future. What's up next for you in terms of writing?

Emery: Book 2 is out in April 2015, if all goes according to plan! It's so different from ORS--written in past tense, set in the suburbs of Indiana during the school year, with an introverted, good girl narrator. [Interviewer's Note: Sounds like I'm going to love this one too!] But it still has all my favorite things: the girls who stick beside you no matter what, imperfectly perfect families, setting who you are against who you want to be & trying to close that gap, and A Boy ;)

Alexa: What are your current favorite reads, TV shows or movies, and music?

Emery: Hmm...I'll pick just one of each, which is so hard--haha!
Reads: Just finished SOMETHING REAL and loved it!
Movie: I've already seen the Veronica Mars movie twice. So obsessed. I'm rewatching the TV show too, haha.
Music: Lately, a mix of The Royal Concept, Gregory Alan Isakov, and The National!

Alexa: If you could be doing anything or be anywhere 5 years from now, what would it be, where would it be and who would it be with?

Emery: Oh, wow! I...err...do not actually have a 5 year plan, haha! I'm always up for an adventure but, truth be told, I'd also be happy in the same spot: in my little house with my husband and dogs and friends and books :)

Alexa: And last, since it's finally spring, what are your favorite spring activities, trends and things?

Emery: I'm so excited to just get outside again, take my dogs to the park and play tennis with my girl friends. It's silly, but I can't wait to break out my spring nail polish colors. I could just really use some lilac after a snow white winter :)

Alexa: Ooh! Spring nail colors! That sounds more like fun than silly to me ;) You've reminded me that I want to do my nails in some fun color. Anyway, thank you so, so much for visiting the blog today! It was really great to have you, and to ask you all these fun, random questions.

If you want to find Emery online, you can check out her websiteher Twitter, her Pinterest, and her Tumblr.


Open Road Summer - Emery Lord
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: April 15, 2014

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. (from Goodreads)

Why should you read this book?

Best friends. Road trip. Music (with lyrics!). A boy-next-door musician type. Banter. Summer. If any of these things appeal to you, I'd suggest you get Open Road Summer RIGHT. NOW.

33 comments:

  1. I would love to spend it with Taylor Swift. I just love her and I think her songs are summer perfections!

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    1. Hooray for being a fellow Taylor Swift fan! I'm a huge Swiftie, and am just dying to see her in concert one day.

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  2. Her quick blurb of her new book practically described me. Thanks for the fun interview (:

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    1. I felt this way about Open Road Summer too! And you're very welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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  3. Loved to read this review! I also love the answer she gives :)

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    1. Plus, I would love to spend a summer tour with my favorite band, Avenged Sevenfold. It might get a little rough and all, but they seem like cool guys!

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    2. Ooh! I've never heard of them. Going to have to give their music a listen now, thanks to your comment!

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  4. UMMM first response was like, Taylor Swift because I want to be her BFF but also, BEYONCE because it is Beyonce. Perhaps they'll do a tour together so I can do both (hahahah). Ooh, I'm excited to break out spring nail colors too. Yay, great interview.

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    1. It would TOTALLY be amazing if Taylor Swift and Beyonce went on tour together. Two epically different, but equally awesome performers? I'd LOVE that. And I do want to catch them both on tour!

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  5. Great job! I love all of the questions you asked and her answers. The idea that Cooler Than Me inspired Reagan and Matt cracks me up. And now I'm listening to it on Spotify. I want to come see her in NYC, too!

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    1. When I first read Emery's reply with that song in it, I laughed. I gave the song a listen, and it really made me smile just thinking about Reagan and Matt ;) Also, I'm totally biased and think you should come in for her NYC event!

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  6. great interview & I can't wait to read this book. who would i want to spend time with on the road? um...Lady Antebellum b/c they're hilarious, or Eric Church b/c I love his music, or Luke Bryan b/c he's funny, hot & I love his music :)

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    1. I love Lady Antebellum! It would be kind of cool to jam with them, and sing a couple of their songs (particularly Perfect Day, which is my summer song). Also, Luke Bryan is a hottie and I love him and I'm so grateful Estelle (of Rather Be Reading) introduced me to his music.

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  7. Replies
    1. Never apologize for Britney Spears. I'm not ashamed to admit I have a lot of her music (mostly the old stuff) on my iPod and KNOW THE WORDS.

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  8. Uh, Taylor Swift obviously! And Hunter Hayes! And R5!!

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    1. I approve of being a Taylor Swift fan, if that's not obvious. And I really like Hunter Hayes' new song!

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  9. Beyonce! All the pics of her down time in between concerts look amazing.

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    1. I would love to catch Beyonce in concert! She's an amazing performer, and I would kill to see her sing live.

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  10. YAYYY so happy to read this fun interview with Emery Lord! I bought this book immediately after I finished my egalley. LOVED it and she seems so sweet! Can't wait to meet her someday!

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    1. I'm so thrilled that you really liked this one too! She seriously wrote a kick-ass book, and I'm so looking forward to meeting her.

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  11. Jack White!! That would be interesting!! :)

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    1. That would be pretty interesting indeed!

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  12. I would love a good road trip with girlfriends about right now! Looks like a fun read!

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    1. I approve of road trips. I don't get to go on nearly enough of them these days, but they're always so gosh darn fun!

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  13. Ellie Goulding or Kings of Leon! :) Thanks for a giveaway! :)

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    1. You picked two really awesome artists! I really like a lot of song from both of them.

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  14. SO EXCITED ABOUT THE FRIENDSHIPS IN THIS BOOK! :D

    I would love to go on tour with Bastille or Arctic Monkeys.

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    1. Yes! Friendship is a key element of Open Road Summer, and a very enjoyable one indeed. Also, I am currently obsessed with Pompeii and CANNOT STOP SINGING IT.

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  15. I'd love to spend a summer tour with The Script or Ellie Goulding! Thanks for the awesome giveaway. :)

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    1. I seriously wouldn't mind tagging along with the Script! They seem like great guys, and I am obsessed with their music (though not nearly as much as Mel is)!

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  16. I'd absolutely love to spend the summer on tour with Paramore!

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    1. NICE! I love Paramore! My latest favorite from them is Ain't It Fun, because it's just so darn catchy.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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