I’m sure there are a lot of teens out there who know first hand how hard divorce can be, especially if they have to move to a new town with the “other” parent. That’s the exactly the issue facing the introspective main character of Lauren Strasnick’s new YA novel, HER AND ME AND YOU, which debuted through Simon Pulse this week.
First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two.
Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred–and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred–and something about Adina–that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world, no matter the consequences.
Here’s what Lauren had to say:
Q: In AMIGAS AND SCHOOL SCANDALS, Mariana takes a road trip to Cornell. What’s your funniest road trip story?
Lauren: I’m not great on freeways, so I don’t have many road trip stories. Last summer my friend Jenna and I drove up to San Fransisco for a friend’s wedding, and I made her drive my car – stick – the entire way there and back. Funny! Or not. 🙂
I feel your pain. I suck at highways too! I once made my friend drive my stick car all the way to OCMD (3 hours) right after she got off a plane.
Q: I often talk about how I didn’t always “know” I wanted to be a writer. Did you? Or did you have other plans when you were little?
Lauren: I’ve always written/wanted to write. But I also wanted to dance professionally when I was a kid (wasn’t good enough!). I like taking pictures too. And I was a film major as an undergrad, so there was a moment in time when I wanted to make movies.
Q: Throughout the AMOR series, Mariana and her friends celebrate their Sweet 16s (and 15s). What did you do for your Sweet 16 or Quinceañera?
Lauren: No Sweet Sixteen, but my parents threw me a surprise party for my fifteenth b-day. Shocking and terrific. Strangely, I’m attending a “Double Quinceañera” tonight. No joke! My friend is turning thirty.
Q: I wrote the AMOR series organically, no outlines. My new manuscripts, I’ve outlined extensively. How about you? Are you an outliner?
Lauren: I am an outliner. I wasn’t always this way! But I rewrote H&M&Y three times from scratch. So after that misery, I’ve committed myself to outlining thoroughly.
Q: Where were you when you found out that your novel was going to be published? Tell us the story.
Lauren: Well, this book was the second book in a two-book deal, so there’s no exciting story to tell. But w/ the first book, I was at home, waiting, because I’d heard from my agent that an offer was imminent. I got the call, flipped out, then called my family and closest friends. One of my best friends came over to congratulate me in person. She gave me a vintage charm bracelet to mark the moment.
Thank you, Lauren! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!