(Edited to add: Hey! It's Tiara Day! Happy Tiara Day!)
Today we're celebrating this week's release of Debbie Rigaud's PERFECT SHOT. If you like the Simon Pulse romantic comedies, you'll love PERFECT SHOT. It's clever and fun and the first of the group to feature a heroine of color.
Debbie's also the first African-American author to write for the series. She's been writing for teens for years in such magazines as Seventeen, Twist and CosmoGIRL!. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians and other social figures, but enjoyed interviewing “real” girls the most. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie lives in Bermuda with her husband.
You can find out more about Debbie, her work, and PERFECT SHOT on her website here or her blog here.
The official backcover blurb for PERFECT SHOT:
London Abram’s first love is volleyball, so why does she enter an online modeling competition? Answer: superhottie Brent St. John. London spots Brent signing in contestants at a store, and she gets in line simply to say hi. But she never dreams she’ll make it into the competition!
London’s now up against fourteen hungry fashionistas willing to do whatever it takes to win. All she wants to win is Brent’s heart…but the money prize couldn’t hurt. If London plays this right, she can win the contest, the boy, and the cash. GAME ON!
What inspired you to write PERFECT SHOT?
I like exploring what happens when a character steps way out of their comfort zone. In PERFECT SHOT when London suddenly goes from the volleyball court to the fashion runway, she feels out of her league. In life there’s going to be super uncomfortable moments that have a lot to teach us. It’s about having the courage to step outside of our self-assigned or socially-assigned boxes.
Have you ever done anything crazy like London does in PERFECT SHOT?
Yes, like London, I have done some wacky things after a crush attack. Once, on a high school class trip to Wall Street, I used hand signals to communicate with a young intern working the floor. Back then there was a visitors’ mezzanine above the trading floor that was, I believe, enclosed in glass. The intern signaled back and this exchange at the - er, stock exchange caught the attention of my classmates who all crowded around me. This was way out-of-character for me so that’s how I know I was seized by a crush attack.
Have you ever had a premonition? What happened?
I sort of have. Several years after college, I moved to London for about two years. Sure I was working a regular job out there, but I also used the opportunity to go on dance auditions. Well, before one audition, I psyched myself up by visualizing that I?d rock it out so hard, a guy would jump in and dance with me during my audition. I don’t know why a guy jumped into my visualization, but there he was. Fast forward to the actual audition - I was called before the judges in a group of three performers, a guy and two girls. When the three of us started dancing, the guy in my audition group turned to me and we danced together, just like in my visualization. Crazy. I didn’t get the part, by the way. I guess I should have visualized the judges giving me a call back instead.
If you could hang out with any literary character, who would you choose and why?
Baby Suggs from Toni Morrison’s BELOVED. The elderly are like royalty to me and I love being around them. And Baby Suggs is a gem. I could sit at her feet all day and be content.
Are you superstitious? In any way?
If you’re asking if I’m superstitious in the don’t-split-poles or avoid-stepping-on-a-crack way, no. But believe me, I’ve got lots of quirks that some may consider eccentric or ‘woo-woo.’ For instance, I never put my purse on the floor because I was raised to believe that, in essence, it means I’m debasing myself.
Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
No, but I’m hoping to adopt something that feels right to me. I think rituals can help build more discipline in my writing routine. I can use more structure to keep me organized and productive.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I’m super whiny. Fortunately, the Hear Debbie Whine club is a very exclusive one. I only whine to my mother and my husband. My sisters have heard me whine, I’m sure, but I don’t whine to them.
To be entered to win a signed copy of PERFECT SHOT, leave a comment below, telling about the craziest thing you've done for a crush. This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, December 9.