Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Beth Rodgers, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Beth Rodgers is an author, editor, and college English instructor. She started writing as a little girl and never gave up on her dream of one day being a full-fledged author. Besides her love of writing, she is an avid TV and movie watcher, and she loves to hunker down with a great young adult novel any chance she gets. She lives with her husband and sons in Michigan.
Meet Sweet Fifteen!!
Sophomore year starts off on a positive note, with Margot Maples enjoying a circle of new friends, an influx of confidence, and the attention of the oh-so-cute new basketball player, Kirk. But she quickly finds herself stuck in a rut, battling mean girls, and getting caught up in Kirk's past. Margot's friendships, heartaches, and presidential campaign lead her on a path to self-discovery, making sophomore year one to remember. Come along on Margot's journey in this sequel to Freshman Fourteen that has new faces, backroom politics, and a few twists and turns along the way.
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YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I really enjoyed my time in high school. It's part of the reason that I decided to teach high school at first, before I moved on to teaching college-level classes. I've also always loved reading novels and watching television shows and movies about teenagers. That age range just fascinates me for some reason, so I guess some of my inspiration came from my own experiences, and some from the enjoyment of living vicariously through others' experiences.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
It may sound cliche since she's my main character, but Margot is my favorite character in Sweet Fifteen. I liked her in Freshman Fourteen, but Walter Gribble was more my favorite in that one. He was written as a sweet, but dorky guy who likes Margot, even though she doesn't like him back in the same way. In Sweet Fifteen, Margot has come more into her own. Even though she still has issues, from how she feels about herself to how others treat her, she finds that over time she becomes slightly more self-assured, and this is a positive step for her. She also gains more courage in this book and is able to step out of her shell and take matters into her own hands once in a while instead of waiting for them to blow over.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. I had the idea for what I wanted to write about for Margot and her friends during their sophomore year. I also wanted to have a play on words, if possible, since Freshman Fourteen kind of played on the idea of "freshman fifteen," even though the book has nothing to do with weight, so Sweet Fifteen kind of came from the idea of a "sweet sixteen."
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I really love the scene where Margot hears Kirk sing his song for the first time. I wrote 'Poster Girl' for the novel and had it recorded, so that lends an extra sense of gratification to it. Hearing him sing his words and describing how he looks as he's singing it was fun to write. It was even more fun to write the song and then get it recorded. Anyone who purchases a copy of Sweet Fifteen gets a copy of the song, too, by the way!
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I like how it shows Margot's growth from the first book to the second. The cover of Freshman Fourteen shows her more reserved and focused while the cover of Sweet Fifteen shows her more laid-back and carefree. Even though every novel must have conflict and cannot be as carefree as Margot looks, her development into a somewhat more self-assured teenager resonates in the cover, in my opinion.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2016?
I really loved Saving Red by Sonya Sones. She is one of my favorite authors, and she writes really amazing novels-in-verse. I can't recommend her highly enough. Her books are quick and easy reads, and they stay with you after the fact.
YABC: What's up next for you?
I've started working on an outline and preliminary notes about the third book in my series about main character Margot and her friends. I'm looking forward to taking her into her junior year and discovering what issues will pop up for her and how she'll deal with them. I love the idea of following her through all four years of high school. There are so many books that I've read and loved, but I've sometimes wished that I could continue with the characters and see what happens next rather than leaving it up to my imagination. So I'm trying to give my readers the benefit of getting to follow Margot on her journey. It's what I would want as a reader, and I hope anyone who reads my novels will appreciate this.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Main character Margot's new crush Kirk gave me the most trouble, but it all worked out. I had an idea for the kind of guy I wanted him to be, and that changed over the course of writing the novel. I'm very happy with the way he turned out. I guess he was worth the trouble!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I enjoy drafting more. Even though I am also an editor and find joy in revising and adapting my writing, the drafting process is so much more fun. It allows me to get down in words anything and everything I want to say. I can write questions, answer them, write scenes, create dialogue, and so much more. It's really thrilling to find an escape through words by writing them down and figuring out how to best share them with readers.
By: Beth Rodgers
Publisher: Clear Stone Press
Release Date: December 7th, 2016
One winner will receive a signed copy of both my first novel, Freshman Fourteen, as well as its sequel, Sweet Fifteen, and a free download of 'Poster Girl,' sung by Margot's crush, Kirk, in the second book of the series.
~ (US Only) ~
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*