Want by Stephanie Lawton
It’s always a fun day when we get to bring you lots of fun and goodies from a debut author and their debut novel. Today, we are bringing you an interview with Stephanie Lawton, author of WANT, a YA Contemporary Fiction. We are also doing a GIVEAWAY of an E-copy of WANT for you as well. To top it all off, you can read and watch Kallie and Kelly’s reviews of WANT. It’s a post full of excitement!
Stephanie Lawton Interview
Who would you cast as your main characters if your book were to be made into a movie and you could choose anyone?
First, I. Would. Die.
Second, I’d be all over Matt Bomer (from White Collar and Magic Mike) to play Isaac. YUM. A younger, broodier Tom Welling would also be good. Dave would be played by a little-known South African actor named Sean Else. He’s got spikey blond hair and has that playful and sweet look to him. He might have to gain about 20 pounds, though. Mr. Cline would be played by David McCallum (Ducky on NCIS). He’d have to swap his British accent for a Southern one.
Juli … that’s tough. She’d have to be on the tall side, have an athletic build, and be able to portray a wide range of emotion. I’m open to suggestions!
Which character in your book would you bring to life if you could?
Dave, hands down. (Don’t tell my husband!) I’ll take fantastic personality over smoldering good looks any day. I’d love to be able to call him or hang out and just goof off. There would never be a dull moment, and I’d know there was always someone I could rely on.
If someone were to write a book about your life, what do you think the most prominent theme would be?
My husband just said, “Mood swings.” Turd.
When you’re not writing your own books, what is your favorite genre/subgenre to read?
I read YA almost exclusively because of my blogging obligations and because it’s what I enjoy most. I’m open to just about anything except high fantasy, and I like everything from sweet romance to horror. I used to love paranormal, but it has to be pretty outstanding for me to pick it up these days. My absolute favorite is when an author takes something from real life and weaves it into the story—like a real historic event, person, etc. I like to learn something while I’m reading, even if it’s a fictionalized version.
I’m sure it’s nerve-wracking to release a novel out into the world. What is the one scene from the book that you are most nervous to have people read?
That’s hard to talk about without spoilers. I guess I’m most worried about the intense scenes. I tried to convey really strong emotions and fear without being melodramatic.
If you could have the absolute perfect day what would it look like? What would you do?
When my husband and I were still in college, we used to go on “broke-student” dates: We’d eat at Wendy’s, browse the shelves at Barnes and Noble, and then go see a movie at the dollar theater. They were all in the same plaza and honestly, it’s still my favorite thing to do.
These days, I’m thrilled if we get to go somewhere without the kids. I love them, but I do miss having actual conversations with my husband.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? Best compliment? How did you handle those comments?
So far, I’ve been blessed with really great feedback. I belong to an outstanding critique group that helps me iron out most issues. I was once told my characters lacked development (not in Want, in a different manuscript). I calmly accepted the criticism, and then seethed for about two weeks.
The best compliment I’ve gotten was from a beta reader who said Want touched her very deeply because she had been through similar circumstances growing up. Those kinds of remarks get me every time.
What kind of Starbuck’s drink would each of your characters order?
Confession: I know nothing about Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee much, except those doctored-up chocolate iced thingies. I think both Isaac and Dave would drink their coffee black. Juli would prefer sweet tea, though I can see her acquiring a coffee habit in college.
What does the optimal writing environment look like for you?
I’ve been drooling over those modern roll-top desks that look old – except they have holes drilled for cables and wires and enough space for a laptop. Then you can roll closed the top and lock all your stuff away so little fingers can’t access it. I need a place where I can store all my research materials and books. Right now, they’re stacked on a little Ikea table next to the kitchen table where I write.
If you could time-travel, what age or era would you go back to?
I’ve always had a fascination with the Victorian era, but after living in and attempting to restore a Victorian home, it no longer holds any appeal! It would be dirty and stinky and dangerous! I’m happy to be where I am.
What is one habit you wish you could change about yourself?
I’m going to pull an Oprah here—I wish I wasn’t an emotional eater. In my family, we celebrated everything with food. You got straight A’s? Let’s go out to dinner! Your boyfriend was a jerk? Have some chocolate. Having a tough day? Let me make you grilled cheese. I’m trying not to pass that on to my kids.
Quick choice or short answer questions:
Chocolate or vanilla - Chocolate
Light or dark chocolate - light
Scruff or clean-shaven men – both please
Dogs or cats – both
Ice or no ice – ice
Tattoos or piercings – Mmm, tattoos. But tasteful ones.
Beach or mountains – beach—I hate being land-locked
Favorite donut – plain cake donut with chocolate frosting and colored sprinkles
Believe in love in first sight? – absolutely, though it rarely works out
Favorite pizza topping – green peppers
Stupidest thing you’ve ever done? – opened my big mouth when I shouldn’t have
Biggest fear? – stinging insects
Radio or Ipod – iPod
Glass ½ full or glass ½ empty – neither, it just IS
Favorite take-out food – Wendy’s cheeseburgers
If you could choose four authors, dead or alive, to make up your very own dream critique group, who would they be and why?
Ohhh, interesting. Cassandra Clare because she’s a master at pacing and heartbreak; Maggie Stiefvater because her writing it so lyrical and lovely; Charlaine Harris because she knows what’s sellable; and Aaron Karo because he’d make me laugh the whole time!
Want, by Stephanie Lawton, was a novel that pulled at my heart strings and had me aching for the characters. I was teased out of my reading-comfort-zone by Kelly with this read, and glad for it. If you love to read about overcoming obstacles and finding love, this novel is for you! I give Want 3 books on the bookshelf!
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.
Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.
Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?
WANT by Stephanie Lawton kept me gripping the edge of my seat. The characters were intense and so were their interactions. As a classically trained musician, I could picture myself going through my college entrance auditions all over again. Lawton amazed me with how accurate she portrayed the intensity of a musician of that caliber-their emotions, their work ethic, their desires to just be free at times, but not know how they can really live without it. These same things tend to leak out of their music and training and into the other areas of their lives, and this can definitely be said for the main character, Julianne. Juli has several dreams. She wants her mom to be well, her dad to pay attention to her, and to get into the college of her dreams. She’d also really like to be in control of one thing in her life-so she scrapes. To say that there are some intense topics within WANT would be an understatement. While hard subjects are definitely being broached within the story, they are done in a way that makes you need to know more. Lawton definitely wasn’t afraid to tackle some hard subjects-mental illness, the desire to feel loved, fear of failure… She does it all in a way that makes you press in instead of shy away.
I ended up really being drawn to the main characters-even Isaac. I knew I should feel put off by him a bit, but I really did understand him in a way. While he isn’t easy to love in places, I definitely did like him. Dave is wowow! And Julianne is a girl. A girl who wants to succeed, chase her dreams, be important, and feel love in a real and unconditional way. I definitely related to her.
So, while WANT is intense-it is also beautifully written. I was hooked by the third page, and I believe you will be too. I give WANT by Stephanie Lawton 4 out of 5 books!