Author Chat with Iva-Marie Palmer (Gimme Everything You Got), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Iva-Marie Palmer author of
Gimme Everything You Got.
Read on for more about Iva-Marie and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Iva-Marie Palmer!
Iva-Marie Palmer is the author of two novels for teens, The End of the World as We Know It and The Summers, as well as the Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook series with Harper. A former journalist who oversubscribes to periodicals, she loves books, running, cooking and eating elaborate meals, classic screwball comedies, food sold off carts and trucks, old movie palaces, word games and crossword puzzles, adventures large and small, indulging her curiosity and overextending herself. She lives with her husband and two sons in Los Angeles. You can find her online at ivamariepalmer.com.
Meet Gimme Everything You Got!
A feminist, sex-positive, and hilarious rom-com about a girl in 1970s Chicago trying everything she can to score—on and off the soccer field.
It’s 1979—the age of roller skates and feathered bangs, of Charlie’s Angels and Saturday Night Fever—and Susan Klintock is a junior in high school with a lot of sexual fantasies…but not a lot of sexual experience. No boy, at least none she knows, has ever been worth taking a shot on.
That is, until Bobby McMann arrives.
Bobby is foxy, he’s charming—and he’s also the coach of the brand-new girls’ soccer team at school and totally, 100 percent, completely off limits. But Susan decides she’s going to try out for the team to get close to him anyway. And over the course of an eventful season, she discovers that what she wants might not be what she first expected when Bobby McMann walked in the door—and that figuring out who she is means taking risks, both on and off the pitch.
Author Iva-Marie Palmer returns with a fresh, funny, feminist coming-of-age novel about learning to take a shot at the things that truly matter.
~ Author Chat ~
- What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
A friend had told me about a new soccer coach at their kids’ school who had a lot of the moms swooning. I had this notion of a new coach walking through a high school as every girl stopped to watch. They all know he’s off-limits but he’s so fantastic-looking that to not stare is impossible. Then, I imagined one girl in particular becoming fixated on him, and who she was.
And once I came up with Susan Klintock, and thought Bobby McMann – the new coach – should be starting the first girls’ soccer team at her high school, as part of Title IX, I knew I didn’t want the story to go in the expected direction: Susan trying to get close to the coach and him taking advantage of her youth and interest. Instead, I wanted to explore the positive powers of an unrealistic crush. So, instead of a scandal, Susan’s attraction to Bobby becomes a motivating factor in trying something she’d never imagined herself doing, and later finding out she’s good at it.
- Who is your favorite character in the book?
If you’d asked me which character I’m most like, I’d probably say a combination of Susan and her friend Tina, but if we’re going for favorite, then I have to say Joe Gianelli. He’s the punk rock former soccer player who volunteers to help Susan get better at the game. Joe is always dating a new girl, which has Susan dismiss him outright as not a romantic possibility (though to be fair, Susan dismisses everyone this way), but he finds a way to become her friend. I enjoyed so much writing his subtle charm offensive that allows how cute and funny he is to sneak up on her and, I hope, the reader.
- Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel, for sure. When I first came up with it, the title was McMann, because his arrival and Susan’s fixation on him were so central to the story. But, while he is still the motivating factor behind Susan joining the team, the team at Balzer + Bray wondered if the title was misleading in a way, since the book is about so much more than Bobby McMann. So, after a lot of title ideas, Gimme Everything You Got came up as one that touched on the spirit of the novel, and Susan’s arc. Of the other contenders, the one that stands out as an almost was Hit Me With Your Best Shot, which I liked a lot but had to nix because Pat Benatar’s song of the same name didn’t come out until 1980, and the book is set in 1979. I’m a former journalist so I could not let a historical inaccuracy like that slide.
- Do you have a favorite writing snack?
In my idealized writing world, there’s a charcuterie platter of cured meats, crusty bread, and fancy cheeses sitting at my elbow while I work. Maybe some of those cute little pickles and a square of decadent dark chocolate to round it out. But, my snacks when I’m in the press of a deadline are often eaten while standing in a corner of my kitchen, thinking about how to solve a manuscript problem, and they would all border on embarrassing if they weren’t somehow the exactly right thing in the moment. Aerosol cheese fashioned into a smiley face on a Ritz cracker has made an appearance. My hand has gotten stuck at the bottom of a Pringles can more than once. I have pilfered the best of my kids’ Halloween candy stashes in times of need. But someday, that charcuterie thing is going to happen.
- Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That to be a writer, you have to write. A great idea for a novel will never be a novel unless you sit down, hopefully every day, to put it down on paper, sentence by sentence. I think I’ve always known this, deep down, but now I put it into practice, and have finished books to prove that it works.
- What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I have to give so much credit to Catherine Lee because the cover of the book rates an instant “I love it!” from everyone I show it to. But to pick out a specific facet? Well, I love the script, as it’s just so ‘70s, and I can completely picture the words as one of those decals ironed across the front of a raglan T-shirt. But, my favorite aspect is the repetition of the word GIMME behind the main title. It absolutely captures Susan’s yearnings, and the pulse of the book.
- What’s on your TBR pile?
The more appropriate question for me is what’s not on my TBR pile. I’m an extremely eclectic and voracious reader. In young adult, I’m excited to read Brandy Colbert’s latest The Voting Booth, as I love everything she does, and I’m sure Ben Philippe’s Charming as a Verb is going to be outstanding; his debut The Field Guide to the North American Teenager was hilarious and heartfelt, my favorite combination. I love a retelling, so Lilliam Rivera’s Never Look Back, a modern Latinx take on the Eurydice and Orpheaus myth, and I’m also intrigued by Jennifer Lee’s Anna K., an update of Anna Karenina, a book I adore. Kelly Yang’s Parachutes is in my stack, too, and I tell everyone seeking a middle-grade recommendation to check out her debut, Front Desk. Megan McCafferty’s The Mall sounds like it will hit all my sweet spots – I adored her Sloppy Firsts series and somewhat idolize her, and the concept of Anna Carey’s This is Not the Jess Show has me sure I’ll devour that book. Julie Buxbaum’s Admission looks like it will be so current and incisive, as it takes on the college admission scandal, and I read everything Mary McCoy does, so her upcoming Indestructible Object is on my list for 2021. Anyone who hasn’t read her yet should get I, Claudia right away.
In adult and non-fiction reads, I’m really looking forward to Jason Diamond’s The Sprawl: Reconsidering America’s Weird Suburbs – he also grew up in Illinois so I know some of it will feel familiar. Self-Care by Leigh Stein – a dark comedy about the wellness industry and influencer culture – is going to be my pretend-my-backyard-is-the-beach read. Brit Bennett’s new book The Vanishing Half sounds incredible, and I want to read it before the HBO series debuts.
These are my picks of new and upcoming books and I’ll admit my TBR pile is deep and stretches back to include a lot of older reads, too. It’s both a comfort and a curse to know I’ll never read everything I want to read.
- What’s up next for you?
I don’t have anything officially slated for publication, but I’m working on a young adult novel – present-day this time – that tackles wealth and class in what I hope will be a hilarious way. I also have two adult concepts I’m batting around – both comedic – but nothing solid enough that I’m ready to get into them.
- Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Probably drafting, especially at the very beginning of whatever I’m working on. I usually start with an idea and a character and his or her voice, and – because I often get a new idea while I’m finishing up whatever book I’m working on – I get obsessed with the new thing for a while before I actually have time to sit and write it. So, once I finally do get to sit down with it, those first fifty pages or so of setting up the story are a lot of fun to me, and often a relief after toting the idea around in my head for so long. It’s like when you have a story you’re dying to tell a friend, and when you finally get to recount it, you’re so happy.
But drafting has its woes for me, too, and if I don’t pause to outline where the story is going, I can almost guarantee I’ll hit a midpoint and not know what to do with what I’ve started. I write myself into trouble I can’t always get out of without some time to break out the story. If I have an outline, then drafting is a real joy because I never feel quite as stuck.
On revising, I’ll just say that I love making a book better, but it’s so much more enjoyable to do it when I have notes from a reader or, best case, an editor. If I’m the only person who’s read my work and I attempt to revise, I never know if I’m making it better or worse, and I find it hard to land on a place where I feel “done.” I like the assignment of having notes from someone to apply to the draft.
- Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I will admit that the more I learn about those in need, the more I am adding new causes to the places I give. This year, because I worried participating in Black Lives Matter demonstrations might put my family members at risk for Covid, I gave to several bail funds both to make sure protestors didn’t spend the night in a cell, but also because in general the bail system in this country is predatory and punitive.
But, since you’re giving me the chance, I’d love to name a few organizations whose work I follow, try to give to, and love. The Loveland Foundation, started by educator and activist Rachel Elizabeth Cargle raises funds to provide free therapy sessions for Black women and girls. Being Black at School, founded by Kelly Wickham Hurst, another writer and educator whose Twitter I’ve learned so much from, works toward building a safer and more equitable educational system for Black students. Beauty to the Streetz, founded by Shirley Raines, provides food, as well as showers, hair wash, makeup and wigs to Los Angeles’s Skid Row population. I also love 826LA, and have done a few volunteer events with them; they offer homework help and writing workshops for kids at centers around the country.
And, last but not least, the American Library Association. Libraries changed my life, and they change others’ lives, too. They are one of the most radical entities we have in the United States, and their services go way beyond books – in L.A., they’re a cooling station and resting spot for unhoused people, they offer meals to kids home on summer break who might not eat otherwise, and they offer a space for kids to work on homework, or just hang out together, flipping through books or using the computers. I’ve always spent a lot of time at my local libraries, wherever I live, and I can’t imagine life without libraries and librarians.
Gimmie Everything You Got
By: Iva-Marie Palmer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Two winners will each receive a copy of Gimme Everything You Got (Iva-Marie Palmer) ~ (US Only)
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