Thursday, August 16, 2012

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Presents... Elise Allen

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a web ring of YA authors which I've recently had the great honor to join. Check these posts for the latest releases!
This week, I'm so excited to be emerging from my revision cave to celebrate Elise Allen and her newest novel, POPULAZZI, which just came out in paperback. Check it out!

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be? Would you grab it? Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi.

It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.

Praise for Populazzi:

"In her first solo novel, Allen offers a smart mix of hilarity and tragedy in this Macbeth–meets–
Mean Girls tale.” -- Publisher's Weekly

"The story unflinchingly depicts the dark and dangerous side of high-school popularity, making it a captivating read."—Kirkus Reviews
Named a "Great Summer Beach Read" by Shape Magazine
One of Justine Magazine's "Chick Lit Picks"

Named one of the "Top Hits of the Summer" by Girl's Life Magazine

About Elise:

After starting her career in television, ELISE ALLEN has emerged as a vibrant new voice in teen fiction. She is the co-author of Hilary Duff's New York Times Bestseller Elixir, as well as its sequels, Devoted and True. She received an Emmy nomination for her work on the PBS show Dinosaur Train, and fulfilled a lifelong dream when she wrote for the Muppets. She lives in Los Angeles, where she indulges her inexplicable desire to run marathons. Visit her at www.eliseallen.

com, or on Twitter @EliseLAllen.

And now, for my favorite part...Elise's writing life:

Is there a time of day you like to write best? 

Not really; I’m pretty adaptable. I can write just about anytime or anywhere… with the exception of on a plane. I hate writing on a plane. I find it nearly impossible.

Where do you write most often? Do you have a picture you wouldn’t mind sharing of your writing space?
Most often I write at a coffee shop, usually Panera or Muddhouse Coffee, usually after some form of exercise that leaves me gross and sweaty. I don’t have a picture handy of either place, but I do have a link to one of my earliest blog posts that was all about why I don’t take pictures of my natural writing habitat. You can check it out here:
What things do you always have on hand when writing? Special pens, notepads, snacks…
There’s no real “always” with me, since I’m very not precious about my writing rituals. Most often though, I have headphones, music (ideally Pandora), and Quest Bars, sliced apples, and baby carrots.
And of course my laptop. I can’t read my own handwriting, so a computer’s a must.
How do you stay focused when writing?

Hmmm… got any pointers? Music helps. It drowns out the distractions. Also being away from home helps a lot. I have a zillion things I need to do at any given moment at home (right now my head is spinning with them), so vacating the premises is often vital for me.
What is your worst writing distraction/procrastination tool?
Oh god, the internet, absolutely. Facebook and Twitter are ridiculous time sucks if I let them take too much time. I’m also not allowed to play video games because I become obsessed. In college I played Tetris and Risk for hours on end; in my 20’s it was Spider Solitaire; more recently Bejeweled is the greatest danger on the planet. What they have in common is that they’re mindless (computer Risk doesn’t have the strategy of real Risk), so I use them like pacifiers... but there’s a reason kids are weaned from pacifiers. The one game I do allow myself is the NYTimes Crossword puzzle. I get it on the computer, and do one puzzle a day, except when there’s a Sunday Acrostic, which I always fit in as well.
 Describe your perfect writing day:
I wake up early, get outside, and go for a long run at the beach with a friend – not so long that it eats up the day, but long enough that I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Let’s say 13 miles. Then I change into something loose and cozy, drive to the Panera in Encino, (which I just discovered and is my new favorite Panera because it’s not overly crowded and has lots of electrical outlets), curl into a booth with a big cup of coffee, and have one of those glorious writing days where everything flows and time flies, and I finish up completely excited and energized because I’ve been in the zone.
Days like that are rare. Often I’ll get pieces of the perfect writing day, but it’s not often that everything comes together.
Thanks so much for the questions, Jessi! I really appreciate you having me on the blog!

Thank YOU, Elise! And I'm sure readers will thank you too for this fab giveaway!
"To thank everyone for their support with the paperback launch, I'm doing a giveaway on my blog where commenters can win a pack of five books -- Populazzi plus books from the four authors who blurbed it (including the marvelous Girlfriend Eileen Cook!). Here's a link to that:" http://eliseallen.



  1. Very cool! I'll have to check this out. I have a similar subplot to my story and always curious how other authors handle popularity-focused stories. I love the title too.

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