I’m happy to have the Firsts blog tour stop by today for an author interview plus a chance to win! Let’s see what this book is all about first:
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Interview with Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Hi Laurie! Thanks so much for visiting this little blog of mine! Let’s start with telling us a little something about your book that might surprise us:
Hi Giselle! Thank you so much for having me on your blog. That’s a great question! I think readers may be surprised to find out the reasons behind why Mercedes tries to help the boys. While she puts on a tough front and can be even cruel at times in her incisiveness, Mercedes is soft and vulnerable in a lot of ways, and things that happened in her past contribute to her need for control.
A surprising thing about the actual writing of Firsts: The first draft was completed in three weeks. This was one of those books that felt like it wrote itself. My hands could barely keep up with the thoughts cycling through my brain.
What was your favourite scene to write?
I loved writing the very first chapter, since there was this electricity happening in my mind and this absolute desire to know everything about Mercedes and write her story no matter what. I’ll never forget the night I sat down to write that chapter because of that feeling. There is a scene later in the book that also has my heart, and without giving anything away, I’ll say that it includes a reference to a certain popular type of pasta!
If you could hang out with one character in Firsts, who would it be and what would you do?
Oooh, that’s a tough one! I bet Faye and I could get into some trouble. I’d let her plan the whole day and I have a feeling I’d never be bored once. I also think it would be fun to bake cookies with Mercedes and Angela and settle down to watch a movie (not a chick flick, though… Mercedes and I both dislike them)!
If you had a do-over, would you tackle anything differently?
That’s a great question. My journey to publication didn’t happen overnight– I wrote two other novels before Firsts, both of which I shelved. But I don’t regret any of the time I spent on those projects, because I learned from each one. The only thing I would go back and tell myself not to do is compare myself to other writers. There’s a saying that comparison is the thief of joy, and I firmly believe it. I’d tell myself to enjoy every stage of the process and not be in a rush to get to the next step.
If I were to ask you for the perfect snacks to go along with your book once I sit down and read it, what would you send me?
I’d send you some chocolate chip cookies and microwave popcorn! Both are mentioned in the story, so I think they’d go well with your reading of the book. I’ll try not to burn the cookies, but I can’t promise anything… I’m not a very good baker!
Thanks again for having me on your blog, Giselle! It was great chatting with you!
About the Author
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, FIRSTS, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press in 2016.
Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.
Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles.
Laurie is represented by the amazing Kathleen Rushall of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Raincoast Books has generously offered up a finished copy of Firsts for giveaway!
Open to US and Canadian addresses only
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