Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blog Tour: FRANNIE AND TRU by Karen Hattrup (Interview)


Publication Date: May 31st 2016 by HarperTeen

Goodreads Synopsis:
When Frannie Little eavesdrops on her parents fighting she discovers that her cousin Truman is gay, and his parents are so upset they are sending him to live with her family for the summer. At least, that’s what she thinks the story is. . . When he arrives, shy Frannie befriends this older boy, who is everything that she’s not–rich, confident, cynical, sophisticated. Together, they embark on a magical summer marked by slowly unraveling secrets.

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Tell us about the two protagonists, Frannie and Tru?
Frannie is in a tough spot in her life – it’s the summer before her sophomore year and she’s drifted away from her friends, she’s switching schools, her father is short on work. She’s always been smart and sensitive, but she’s shy and self-doubting, too, and her recent troubles have intensified that. Frannie’s very isolated when the story first begins.

Tru is, in many ways, her opposite. He’s charismatic and confident. He’s used to bending others to his will, and he thinks that he can do the same with the entire world around him. He’s bright and funny, but can also be cruel, and is hiding some pain beneath his cocky exterior.

What’s one of the strangest things you had to research while writing Frannie and Tru?
You know, I did a million little bits of research for the book, but nothing particularly strange. The story is set in Baltimore where I live, so the settings were very familiar to me. I will say that once the book got to the copy editors, I was amazed at their brilliant attention to detail and the little things that we had to change to get them right! I’ll never forget the lengthy note I got about what songs would have been on a Rolling Stones CD that Frannie and Tru played in her parents’ car.

What’s the hardest and easiest type of scene to write?
The hardest scene is always the very first scene. It’s some of the most difficult mental work I’ve ever done, getting those opening moments down. I think it’s because there is so much that’s being established in those initial pages. Tone, pacing, voice, personalities, relationships. . .

Dialogue is the easiest for me. I love writing conversations, especially between teenagers. I feel like those are some of the most meaningful moments in your life, when you’re in high school and you’re talking to your friends about the world.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
People always say that you should just write as quickly as you can – get a draft down on paper, and then edit it later. But I’ve never been able to do that! I have to edit as I go; I can’t help myself. I keep creeping back to what I just wrote and trying to make it better. It’s probably because I don’t actually like the writing part (it’s so very hard and painful), but I do love editing.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading, of course! Spending time with my kids. Going for a run to clear my head. Having very involved conversations with my husband about TV shows both brilliant and stupid.

Describe your book Frannie and Tru in 6 words.
Self-searching girl in a shifting world.

Are you currently working on a book? Care to share?
I’m in the process of editing my second book – it’s about an American girl who accompanies her father on a business trip to Thailand. She meets a very dreamy boy and some of his friends, and adventure ensues.

About Karen Hattrup:

Karen Hattrup grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her parents and brother, devouring books from an early age. At Loyola University Maryland, she studied journalism and spent a semester abroad in Thailand. She went on to become a newspaper reporter, first in Maryland and then in Indiana, writing features and serving as an award-winning arts critic. Karen later studied nonfiction writing at the Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Baltimore City with her husband, daughter, and son.


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