Welcome back to my second stop of the Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour! I’m so so excited to have this author back to What A Nerd Girl Says. She is a fabulous writer and an even more fabulous person and I am so grateful to count her as one of my friends. I absolutely loved her debut novel and am counting down the days until I get her sophomore novel in my hands. Robin Reul is returning to OTBF and I know I, for one, am stoked to have her back!
WHERE TEENS AND BOOKS MEET
Saturday, March 9th, 2019
9:30 am to 5 pm
Colony High School Branch Library
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761
This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!
You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.
Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Once Upon a Time by purchasing a book!
There is also free lunch provided by Panera Bread!
ABOUT ROBIN REUL
Robin Reul has been writing since she was in early elementary school, when she used to make her own book club flyers for her classmates and then pen them original stories. At thirteen, she had her first meeting with a major publisher, and the dream of someday being a published author firmly took hold.
As the daughter of a film producer, she spent her childhood on location, growing up on movie sets, and developing a fine appreciation for strong black coffee. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Broadcasting and Film, and worked for many years in the film and television industry, both as an actress and in motion picture development. One of her favorite jobs was working as an Outreach Assistant for the Disney/PBS show “Bill Nye The Science Guy.” Ultimately, Robin decided to return her focus to writing young adult novels full-time. She likes to write the same sort of stories that helped get her through her teenage years: funny, honest stories filled with quirky, memorable characters that at the end of the read, make you feel like you’ve just had a visit with a good friend.
When she’s not writing, Robin can be found singlehandedly driving up the profit margin of her local Starbucks and indulging her love of baked goods, particularly those in the key of pumpkin. She lives in Los Angeles suburbia with her husband, son and daughter. MY KIND OF CRAZY is her first novel.
ABOUT HER BOOK
Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.
FIND HIS BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
You can also read my review of this book here.
Nerd Girl: Last time you appeared at OTBF, you were a fairly new debut author – what do you think you’ve learned about writing or publishing since then?
Robin: So much. I’ve learned the power that words can have on a reader and how important a book can be to someone who finds themselves in those pages at the right time, so I feel a different sense of awareness and responsibility going into book two to make sure I continue to deliver something meaningful and personal, not just tell a story. That being said, I’ve learned the truth of how publishing is really a business, and sometimes even telling a good story isn’t enough. On the one hand it seems easier now that I’ve been published because it feels like I’ve proven myself somehow, but on the other hand it’s harder because it has created levels of expectation that I did not foresee. I’ve learned that every book is different in its creation process. While my first one seemed to flow, this second one has come out a sentence at a time. Having been through the editing and revision process once , I find myself more mindful of the sorts of things that were flagged or changed and am applying what I’ve learned as I’m writing in a more conscious way. The debut novel was like taking a Master Class and moving forward with my writing from there feels like riding a bike without training wheels for the first time.
Nerd Girl: What can you tell us about your new book? Can we expect something similar to My Kind of Crazy or something very different?
Robin: My new book is another stand-alone contemporary much in the same vein as My Kind of Crazy. I like to write stories about underdogs who are struggling with finding their voice and sense of self-worth. My new book poses the question “How much do we owe anyone else to live up to our potential?” My main character is struggling with grief, loss, and uncertainty about his future on the eve of leaving for college and finds himself taking an unexpected detour with a girl who mysteriously disappeared from his high school two years ago that stands to change everything. Similar to MY KIND OF CRAZY, it’s emotional and raw but also funny and deals with some serious topics.
Nerd Girl: You get the call that your first book is going to be published: how did you celebrate?
Robin: I went out to dinner with my whole family at our favorite restaurant. In that moment, there was no one I wanted to celebrate and share that with more than the people who knew how long I’ve wanted that and how hard I’d worked for it.
Nerd Girl: Ontario Teen Book Fest is all about teens and books meeting together so I wonder, did you consciously go into young adult literature or did you fall into it?
Robin: I think I fell into it because for a good chunk of my life I’ve felt sort of stuck at seventeen. Lots happened to me at that point in my life and it seems like it was so rich with emotions and changes and baggage to unpack that many of my stories formed there. It seemed natural to slip into that skin as a narrator, and as a result realized that this may be the genre where my stories belonged. Having teenagers in my home at that time gave me access to tapping into that world regularly. I think there is no age limit to YA really. I know so many adults who read it and prefer it, so I don’t feel like my audience is limited to a specific age group.
Nerd Girl: As a mother of teenagers – or recently teenagers (I can’t remember exactly how old your daughter is!), do they have an influence in your writing or characters? Are you more conscious of what you write in your novels because you’re a mom?
Robin: Yes, absolutely. I still have one teenager who is about to leave for college this fall, and my oldest is in his early twenties, but certainly being around them with a pulse on their lives growing up has had a huge influence on my writing and feeling like the characters are authentic. They would be the first ones to tell me if something was off, or I would ask them what someone today would say to make sure I had lingo right. I have certainly been inspired by bits of conversation or pieces of story from experiences they have had and incorporated things as appropriate. I am definitely more conscious of what I write as a mom. What I offer in those pages may be more than someone is getting at home, so I want to be sure I am sending the right message, offering options or hope, showing characters that learn how to take charge of their lives and fix their own problems or at least begin to work towards it.
Nerd Girl: Which book is harder to write, the first or the second? Why?
Robin: Hands down, the second. There is so much more pressure to create something that is as good or better than the first. There’s a bit of Impostor Syndrome going on – a sense of trying to remember how to do this again and fear that I won’t be able to. Aside from the external expectations, now there are internal ones too. With each letter or email from my agent or the publisher, there is a sense that someone is waiting for this next book, and that can feel stressful on the days where the words don’t flow the way I want them to. A week after my first book was published, my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and for the next year underwent chemo, radiation and a high risk operation. He survived but ultimately passed away nine months after his surgery from an unrelated condition. I was supposed to have delivered my second book not long after the diagnosis and as you can imagine, those events rocked my world and hindered my ability to write and focus. My publisher has been INCREDIBLY patient and wonderful and has given me the space to write this, throwing their full support behind writing a great book instead of staying married to a specific timeline. This second book has been both therapeutic and cathartic for me to write and in a sense mirrors my own journey through layers of grief and sense of place and purpose.
Nerd Girl: Writing a second book can often be very, very different from writing a first book. What advice do you have for an author working on that second book?
Robin: Be kind to yourself. <3
One Winner (US Only!) Will Win an Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by all attending authors!
ONTARIO TEEN BOOK FEST BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Spotlight on Abdi Nazemian – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Bookchelle
Spotlight on Suzanne Young – Movies Shows N Books
Spotlight on Isabel Quintero – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Amy Spalding – Nite Lite Book Reviews
Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – My Fangirl Chronicles
Spotlight on Demetra Brodsky – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Kayla Cagan – Movies Shows N Books
Spotlight on Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – BookCrushin’
Spotlight on Jeff Sweat – Movies Shows n Books
Spotlight on Robin Reul – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Jessica Brody – The Readers Antidote
Spotlight on Stephanie Garber – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Jennifer Brody – Bookschief Managed
Spotlight on Carrie Arcos – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – Bookchelle
Spotlight on Mary Weber – BookCrushin’