Today we’re excited to introduce you to Ami Allen-Vath and Liars and Losers Like Us, which is slated to release March 2016!
- Why did you choose the setting for your book? Did you draw from any real places to create your world?
LALLU is set in Belmont, Minnesota. There’s an actual Belmont in MN, but I’ve never been there. I created Belmont High School to be very much like Anoka High School in MN—which is where I went. Also, My grandparent’s had a house on a lake in Zimmerman, MN when I was a teen. I loved it there, so I created the BFF, Kallie’s house with their house and the lake in mind.
- What was your inspiration for LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US?
I was really into watching 90210 at the time, so I was inspired by the intensity of all the fun and awful things that can happen in high school; drama, first love, and family and friend issues. None of the characters in LALLU are based off actual people I knew in high school but I will admit that I was inspired by my own experiences. And that’s all I’ll say (right now) about that. *zips mouth shut to avoid over-sharing*
- What was your favorite part about writing this book?
I loved writing Bree’s experience with a heavy crush turned romance. Crushes and love in high school can be exciting, frustrating, amazing and anxiety inducing all at once. It was fun to try to weave that into the pages.
- What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Writing from Bree’s POV was really fun but it’s also hard not writing the extent of the pain, intentions, and backstory behind some of the other book’s characters.
- Who is your favorite rogue character from a book, TV show, or movie?
I love Michonne from The Walking Dead. She’s been through some rough shit, and although it affects her, it doesn’t bring her down or define her. She’s strong, independent, but works well with a team and as a leader. And she is so freaking badass with that katana.
- Which character in LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US do you identify with most, and why?
Good question. I can’t pick just one so I’m going to call it a three-way tie between Bree, Maisey, and Jane. For reasons.
- LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US tackles some heavy issues like bullying and suicide. What do you hope readers will take away from the story’s message in regards to these issues?
LALLU touches on some heavy topics, and although I feel strongly about these issues, it wasn’t my intention to have a message in terms of bullying and suicide. The story basically is what it is and I don’t think there’s any huge lesson behind it. I’m not sure how that’ll be received but sometimes there’s not going to be a happy ending for everyone. However, if there is a take away from this story, I’d really like to emphasize that everyone has a backstory that can affect their actions and interactions with others, especially in the YA years. Even a little compassion can go a long way.
- Describe the type of reader you hope will pick up your book when it’s on shelves.
Everyone? Anyone? At least someone! ; )
- What sources did you draw inspiration from while writing LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US?
90210, Adam Levine, and ice cream.
- I love that LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US balances its darker elements with humor. Describe for us a little about how you managed to find that perfect balance!
Oh man. I have no idea. I didn’t set out looking to balance that out—it just happened that both elements are in there and I think that’s really because of the person I am. It’s easier to get through a dark situation if you’re finding the humor and joy in the light and funny moments that come your way. I love the idea that some shitty times can be hijacked by some great moments with fun friends. I hope readers can experience that with Prom Bitch.
Ami Allen-Vath is into books, yoga, and vacations. She’s the author of LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US. It releases March 2016 but can currently be pre-ordered via Amazon. You can follow Ami on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and/or check out her blog.