Author Chat with Rebecca Elliot (Pretty Funny For A Girl) Plus Giveaway! ~ (US/Can Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Rebecca Elliott author of
Pretty Funny For A Girl.
Read on for more about Rebecca and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Rebecca Elliott!
Rebecca Elliott is an author and illustrator. She earned a degree in philosophy and once did a brief stint in a dull office. Now, she enjoys eating angel delight, loudly venting on a drum kit, and spending time in her sunny garden. She lives in England with her family, some chickens, and a cat named Bernard.
Meet Pretty Funny For A Girl!
A candid and laugh-out-loud journey of family, friends, and fierce mistakes.
Haylah Swinton is an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an incredibly patient sister to a four-year-old nutcase of a brother. Best of all, she's pretty confident she's mastered making light of every situation--from her mom's new boyfriend to unsolicited remarks on her plus-sized figure. Haylah's learning to embrace all of her curvy parts and, besides, she has a secret: one day, she'll be a stand-up comedian star.
So when impossibly cool and thirstalicious Leo reveals he's also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the chance to ghost-write his sets. But is Leo as interested in returning the favor? Even though her friends warn her of Leo's intentions, Haylah's not ready to listen--and she might just be digging herself deeper toward heartbreak. If Haylah's ever going to step into the spotlight, first she'll need to find the confidence to put herself out there and strut like the boss she really is.
Rebecca Elliott's hilarious and authentic narrative voice is sure to capture readers' hearts as her plus-sized, teenage heroine navigates learning to love the body she's in while dealing with friends, family, and boys.
~ Author Chat ~
- What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I always wanted to write for teenagers because I feel like I still am one—I haven’t really grown up!
Also because I think those years are just the most crazy and fascinating times—exciting, unpredictable, with such high emotional stakes, when every day can be life changing.
And I chose to write about a character like Haylah because I don’t think we see my favourite kinds of girls represented enough in YA fiction—the ones who are more interested in being loud and proud and ambitious and weird and making you laugh ‘til you pee your pants, rather than trying to live up to the ridiculous social media ideal of how you “should” look and act if you’re a girl.
Ultimately I wanted to write a laugh-out-loud tale about the importance of self-love over the opinions of others and the joy of wobbling your funny bits in the face of life.
- Who is your favorite character in the book?
Well obviously I love Haylah but I guess it really has to be her four-year-old brother Noah because he’s based on my own son Benjy. I basically wrote down everything Benjy said whilst writing the novel and put a lot of it in the book! He comes out with such classic lines like, “the big toe is basically the thumb of the foot” and “A BBQ is eating food that survived a fire”.
- Which came first, the title or the novel?
Good question! Actually the title did but it was a different title! My original idea, scribbled down in one of my many notebooks was simply ‘‘PIG—story of a plus-size 14 year old girl who wants to be a comedian.” I liked the idea that the main character takes a name that was hurled at her and makes it into a positive, she becomes proud to be called Pig because as Haylah puts it, “They’re intelligent, cute, and they taste amazing—I can live with all that.”
Later down the line it was rightly decided that calling the book “Pig” gives the wrong impression, without the explanation of how the main character turned the nickname around and proudly owned it. I now love the title Pretty Funny for a Girl—to me it sums up the fact that she is pretty, and funny, but also the starkness of “for a girl” hints at the prejudices teenage girls who dare to do or be something different can face.
- Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Not to try to emulate someone else’s voice but to find your own, or perhaps more accurately, free your own voice really out the bag, and have fun with it. Also that so much of writing is in the editing, and knowing that takes away the pressure for it all to spew out perfectly formed onto the page the first time. As long as you have *something* written you’re half way there, even if it gets pushed, prodded, and shaped into something entirely different in the editing. So my advice now to any budding authors is just to get something down. Because you can’t edit a blank page.
- Do you have a favorite writing snack?
You can read all the advice around on how to be an author and write a book but honestly, the best advice I can give is—THERE MUST BE SNACKS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES. My favourite? Pretty much whatever’s in the fridge/cupboard at the time. And I do have a nasty habit of delving into the fridge and taking a bite right out the cheese. What can I say, I’m a classy lady.
- What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love that that simple image of a single microphone on a stool conjures up so much—yes, stand-up comedy, but alongside that the idea that as a teenager you so often feel alone, as if sitting nervously on a stage being scrutinized by everyone.
And I just wish every teenage girl could get handed a microphone so that they could shout loudly “This is me, here I am, and damn it I have a voice and need to be heard!”
- What’s up next for you?
I’ve written the sequel to Pretty Funny for a Girl called Pretty Rude for a Girl and am currently starting work on a possible third which is super exciting. As you write about characters you kind of fall in love with them and they come alive in your head so it’s amazing to be given the opportunity to carry on their stories. Also LOTS more Owl Diaries and Unicorn Diaries! I always have lots of other ideas bubbling around in my head too which I’m always desperate to have the time to take for a walk but we’ll see if I get the time!
- What would you say is your superpower?
Ooo, great question! Well, without sounding arrogant, I believe I have a few; Extreme powers of procrastination, the ability to not see mess around my house, reading my own mind, to sense when the kids are stealing snacks out the cupboard even when I’m in another room, the ability to make my keys/phone/purse disappear, and to wear my underpants on the outside of my trousers (pants) —although to be fair this is usually by accident.
If I could *choose* a super power it would be the ability to have an undo button on life. All those stupid things I say and do could just be clicked away. Now that really would be super.
Pretty Funny For A Girl
By: Rebecca Elliott
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing
Release Date: October 1st, 2020
One winner will receive a copy of Pretty Funny For A Girl (Rebecca Elliott) ~ (US/Can Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
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