Amy Holder is the debut author of the fabulously fun novel The Lipstick Laws, which is now out! And recently I had the chance to ask her a few questions, so without a further ado...
In your opinion, what are the top three reasons why teens (or even adults) should consider picking up The Lipstick Laws the next time they see it in stores or online?
1) If you're looking for some laughs with a light, fun read.
2) To open dialogue about social issues, peer pressure, bullying and/or body image.
3) To learn random new words, clever ways to use Kleenex, how to hide in a clothing store, survive sabotage...and get revenge.
The Lipstick Laws tells the story of April so would you mind telling us a little about her? Also, if you could offer her any advice what would you say?
April is an insecure, self-deprecating sophomore with a quirky sense of humor, curly hair, and an addiction to bra stuffing. She has a good heart, but her insecurities and desire for friends make her vulnerable to Britney Taylor and the Lipstick Laws.
If I could give April advice, it would be the same advice as her friend Haley gives her – stay away from red lipstick!! Apart from that, I’d also advise her to be less judgmental of herself and others…and to never let popularity pressures change who you are as a person.
The Lipstick Laws deals with social hierarchy and how falling in with the wrong crowd can lead to some very bad things, so what made you decide to talk about "mean girls" in this?
Unfortunately mean girls and bullies in general are so commonplace during high school and teen years, so I thought it would be a subject that's both relatable and relevant to write about. Also, with every good mean girls plot, there's usually some good drama and revenge that follow. And I'll admit, writing about drama and revenge is fun...and it's a lot safer to write about it rather than do it.
If The Lipstick Laws had a theme song, what would it be? Why?
It would have to be Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos because it's about a girl who doesn't fit in with the mean girls. Plus, it was one of my favorite songs when I was April’s age. If Britney were to pick the theme song, however, it would probably be Don't Cha? by the Pussycat Dolls.
Do you have a favorite line or scene from The Lipstick Laws? If so, would you mind sharing it or telling a little about it?
One of my favorite chapters to write was April's initiation into Britney's group, when she pledges her loyalty to the Lipstick Laws (chapter five). April knows she is in over her head at this point, but feels completely stuck and doomed. This realization on April’s part paired with Britney’s evil ridiculousness led to one of my favorite set of fun lines in the book:
“Yes, it’s a fact; I have sealed the deal. I stamped, certified, and lipsticked my life in a package sent through priority mail directly to the devil herself…and there’s no turning back.”
If you had a set of Lipstick Laws, what would they include?
First, they wouldn't be Lipstick Laws because I'm more of a lip gloss girl. So, my Lip Gloss Laws would be:
1) Never sacrifice comfort for style (which is the opposite of Lipstick Law #2).
2) Don't sweat the small stuff.
3) Never take yourself too seriously.
4) When in doubt, eat chocolate.
5) Treat others the way you want to be treated…unless they’re like Britney.
6) Laugh often and dream big!
What great rules, and I have to say I'm more of a lip gloss girl as well! What were you like when you were April's age? Were you similar to her or any of the other main characters in any way?
As a teenager, friends, fun and boy ogling were all extremely important to me. I also loved talking on the phone (I had my own phone line), the mall, and many of the same things that are still important to me today - writing, art, family and animals.
I was similar to April in that I was insecure and unsure about myself at times. At that age, I felt that acceptance and blending in with my peers was necessary to be happy. Now I know that being unique totally trumps fitting in with the crowd. On a physical level, my hair is also naturally curly like April’s, and I wore it like that for the first couple years of teenagedom... until I was introduced to the miracle that is a hair straightener.
What was one of the hardest aspects involved in writing The Lipstick Laws?
The hardest part was making April's character likable enough for readers to root for her, but flawed enough for her to be susceptible to Britney and her Lipstick Laws. It was a tricky balancing act at times, and was something my editor asked me to focus on during the editorial process.
With Lipstick Laws release date fast approaching, do you have any plans on how you'll spend the day?
I predict that I'll spend the day stalking every bookstore within a 25 mile radius of my house to see if they've stocked my book. This will have to entail a vast array of disguises (and perhaps some stunt doubles) so I don't give away my obsessive stalking identity. I’m sure the day will end by celebrating with my bookstore stunt doubles (AKA family and friends) over a delicious dinner and drinks.
I also hope to have some signings and appearances around the time of my release. I’m still getting all the details together and am really looking forward to the excitement!
Since you're a fellow PA resident like me, would you mind sharing with us one of your favorite parts of living in PA?
I’m actually originally from upstate New York (around the area The Lipstick Laws is set in), but I moved to PA for college. After college I moved to the Chicago area for a little while, which is notoriously flat. Once I moved back to Pennsylvania after living in the flatlands of Illinois, I realized just how beautiful all of the rolling hills and lush topography are. It’s a stunningly gorgeous state – especially in the fall when the leaves change colors. The best part is that there are so many scenic places to visit all around the state to take in all of its serene beauty.
What's up next for you book wise?
I'm hoping that the contemporary YA novel (with a bit of a paranormal twist) that I'm working on now will be my next book to hit the bookshelves. I’m also tossing around ideas for a sequel to The Lipstick Laws, but it’s not set in stone yet.
Ooh, I would love a sequel to The Lipstick Laws, but the contemporary YA Novel with a twist of paranormal sounds fantastic as well! Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes! Thank you so much for having me on your blog and taking the time to read my book, Lauren! And thanks to everyone else who has been so enthusiastic about my debut! The support has been amazing and truly appreciated!
Thanks so much for stopping by Amy!
To find out more about Amy be sure to visit her website, blog, and/or twitter.
And to buy your own copy of The Lipstick Laws, head on over here to see which of your favorite book stores are selling a copy.