Indie Superstars with the Author of The Last Hurrah + Giveaway (US Only)
Welcome to YA Books Central's "Indie Superstars" column. This event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors
This week we’re interviewing Victoria Anders, author of The Last Hurrah
Welcome to YABC, Victoria!
Caitlin Haines: Can you tell us a little about The Last Hurrah?
Victoria Anders: The Last Hurrah is a young adult romantic comedy where we meet Everly after she’s spent her entire summer in hiding because her boyfriend broke up with her. Her best friend lures her out with tickets to the weekend-long music festival. She meets and teams up with fellow teen angst sufferer, Link, to complete a scavenger hunt to win a chance to see their mutually favorite band, Black Moon.
Caitlin: The proceeds for the first 90 days are going to #SaveOurStages. Can you explain what that is and its significance to you?
Victoria: I spent much time from my youth and into my thirties enjoying live music at various big and small venues. With COVID, so many concerts have been canceled, and most of the smaller venues are having a hard time staying afloat as they have ZERO revenue coming in. They need our help! NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) is a group of over 3,000 independent venues across the US that banded together to ask for targeted legislation to help them survive. They were the first to close and will be the last to open. I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy live music again. #SaveOurStages is my way to help these venues.
Caitlin: What was your first concert? What was the last concert you went to?
Victoria: My first concert ever was when I was in eighth grade. I saw Alabama (the country band). The last concert I saw was when Better Than Ezra (BTE!) and Tonic played at the food and drink festival at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
Caitlin: If you could see anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Victoria: Chris Cornell. RIP.
Caitlin: Do you have any musical talents?
Victoria: Absolutely not! I did play the bells in fifth grade and the flute in middle school. And you definitely don’t want to hear me sing.
Caitlin: Other than concerts, what are some of your favorite summer activities?
Victoria: Anything in the water. I love to swim and scuba dive. But since I live in Florida, the best summer activities are indoors ‘cause it’s so darn hot!
Caitlin: I know you do more with books than write, would you like to share about that?
Victoria: I’ve been in the book world for over ten years now as a book designer. I design covers and format interiors for book print and eBooks. I’ve been a graphic designer my entire career doing various types of work. When I came into book design, I finally found my home and what I was meant to do. Working in the book world also helped me find the courage to finish and publish my own books.
Caitlin: You have at least a couple other series out or partially out, right? Are they the same genre? Can you tell us a little about them?
Victoria: Overall, I like to write coming of age tales about troubles that teens can face, usually with a slightly humorous twist. I keep it real and angsty but always with a happy ending. It’s about facing the trials that are thrown at us and persevering through the fires. How to become a better person. How to withstand the heat. It’s about growing up.
I have two series out. One is a co-written series with Heather Dowell. The Merryville High series is an upper YA romance series dealing with hard-hitting trauma. We currently have two books out in the series with the third and final one due out later this year. The books are dual POV and serve as standalones; however, the characters have interconnecting stories.
My main series is the My Life series. Right now, I have three books out in this series with two side stories. Each book focuses on one character’s point of view. All of stories fall in the coming-of-age trope. Two of them are also romances. With the exception of My Life as Noah, all of the stories serve as standalones but have interconnecting characters.
Caitlin: Is this short story set in the same world as any of your other books?
Victoria: The Last Hurrah is an offshoot of the My Life series. Stone, a character from My Life as Kelsey, has a cameo in this book. I will also have cameos of Link and Everly in future My Life books.
Caitlin: Do you have any future books you can tell us about?
Victoria: I have so much planned! This year, book three in the Merryville High series will happen. I also have a rewritten fairytale contemporary YA standalone that comes out late May. In the fall, I have several books coming out. To Find You Again, a short story in the Ephemera Life Lessons Learned anthology, is being extended into a super angsty upper YA romance. We will also get more stories in the My Life series; including stories about Stella, Sierra, Ellie, Virginia, Harper, and Delilah; and a couple of offshoots from the series.
Victoria Anders is a born and raised Atlanta chick. This Georgia peach now lives in the land of sunshine and barely a winter, just north of Tampa, Florida with her husband. Her daughter, currently a Pharmacy student at the University of Georgia, is out of the house but not off the payroll (will she ever be?).
She’s a dog lover, a Diet Dr. Pepper lover (although she’s trying to cut it out), and sometimes sports the pink hair.
As a book designer by day and a writer by night, she lives almost 24-7 in the book world. Her absolute most favorite book is Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall.
She loves stories about teens learning who they are as they fumble through life. So, that’s what she writes! All her books serve as stand alones (except Noah’s book) and delve into the inner workings of a teenage mind. She brings you nothing but contemporary, realistic stories about kids growing up and discovering who they are. Oh and yeah, there’s always a little bit of love thrown in from every angle.
As a teen, she worked at an amusement park which molded her into who she is today. Her and her friends started the Group B club. She doesn’t remember exactly why they started though—something like they weren’t Group A and they weren’t Group C, so they must be Group B. Her nickname was TCCG (tall cool cover girl—which does not even come close to who she was other than the tall part). Her favorite class was yearbook staff. And she absolutely hated English, even though she loved to write.
3 nights, 2 days, and 1 massive music fest . . .what could go wrong?
I’ve been content sweating under the covers, hiding from life all summer. That’s what happens when you suffer from a broken heart.
After being away most of the break, my best friend returns and tries to draw me out of my funk. She can try all she wants, but I’m not leaving my bed until school starts.
But then she dangles tickets to The Last Hurrah. Broken heart or not, this weekend-long music festival is not to be missed.
I expect the music and ambience to be awesome. What I don’t expect is for my heart to forget it’s been crushed when I meet the cute and quirky Link. We team up on a scavenger hunt for tickets to a super-secret show from our mutually favorite band: Black Moon.
Suddenly, the dark clouds resembling a shattered heart are breaking up.
Until we cross paths with my crowd-hating ex during the middle of our quest. I'm abruptly torn between my feelings of the past and my new attraction for Link.
Will I lose focus on the finish line of the scavenger hunt by folding into the reason I hid all summer long?
The Last Hurrah could turn out to be more than just a music festival. It could be the biggest turning point of my life.
One (1) winner will receive a paperback edition of The Last Hurrah