The Musical 4 With…Author Emmy Laybourne
I’m ecstatic to welcome author Emmy Laybourne back to A.T.W.N. as part of MacMillan’s ‘SWEET Blog Tour’, and to debut our new interview segment here at A.T.W.N… “THE MUSICAL 4 With…” Emmy’s new book, ‘SWEET’, “takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.” Alright, let’s get to it…
In ‘Sweet’, your main character Laurel is invited on a weight loss cruise by her good friend Viv. But the way the two characters handle the cruise, one that turns addictive and deadly, and their own body image is polar opposite. If you had to pick a ‘theme song’ for each of them, what would the songs be and why?
Laurel and Vivika are have known each other since they were little, and, as can happen, they’ve turned out to be very different from each other, though their friendship is strong. While Laurel, who is sensitive, honest and shy, is repelled by the celebrity culture and excess she sees on the cruise, Vivika is totally into it. I’d pick Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” as Viv’s theme song. While she’s probably not quite fabulous enough to do all the things on this wild list-song, she’d really like to!
For Laurel, I have to step off the beaten path. I’ll pick the song “Lovers Carvings” from a 2009 album, “Ambivalence Avenue” by Bibio. This song has a delicate sweetness to it – and the lyrics speak to Laurel’s sensitive, romantic side, but it also rocks out. Laurel knows how to rock out.
From the outside looking in, your portrayal of character Tom Fiorelli as a classic ‘former child star’ is perfect. But as his role flip flops from ‘celebrity host’ to love interest, so does our opinion of him. Do you have a song that you feel describes Tom and his struggles as an actor, and with his own ‘image’?
I absolutely do. It’s the song “Losers” by The Belle Brigade. God, I love this song so much. Look at these lyrics:
I don’t wanna die knowing/ That I spent so much time when I was young/ Just trying to be the winner.
So I wanna make it clear now/ I wanna make it known/ That I don’t care about any of that shit no more.
If Tom doesn’t feel this way at the beginning of the song, he feels it at the end. By the end of the book, he knows what’s important: Love. And survival.
With ‘Sweet’ having been inspired by ‘b-movies’, are there any movies that you think our readers need to see?
I’ll tell you, as soon as I get back from the Fierce Reads tour, I’m going to work on a synopsis of Sweet to pitch to movie producers. I think I’m going to really amp up the romantic-comedy/horror paradigm – aiming for a tone in the realm of “Shaun of The Dead” or “Warm Bodies.” So I’m going to propose those two films for sure. But since you’re asking me if there are any films I think ATWN readers need to see, here are my favorite 5 films of all time. In order. I’m not messing around here:
Children Of Men
Fame. (Um, the 1980 one.)
Jane Eyre. (The Cary Fukunaga version.)
(Two little initials:) E.T.
Some say music is the driving force behind their writing, while some say music is something that they use to drown out the noise of their everyday life. For those writers reading this interview, can you take a minute and tell us what role music takes within your writing process.
Music plays an integral part in my writing routine. I maintain extensive writing playlists for each book or project. I select songs to set the tone for scenes, and if I’m really in a groove – or the music is really helping me, I will often set a song on repeat.
This has an interesting effect when I’m out of my writing studio. When I hear a song played that I use as a writing prompt, I will suddenly feel the emotions of the scene associated with it. This was a problem when I was writing the Monument 14 trilogy. Radiohead would come on the radio and suddenly all the color would leach out of the landscape. I’d feel like I was in one of the books – a teenager making my way across a scorched landscape – then Maroon 5 would come on and I’d have to bang on my head to get back into the present moment!
Thank so much for having me here on ATWN. This is one of my very favorite blogs and it’s always a pleasure to stop by! I’d like to invite your readers to continue the discussion with me on instagram and twitter and especially to join my mailing list, where I do special giveaways and post all my good news first!
Thanks again to Emmy for stopping by to chat with me. ‘SWEET’ hit the shelves on June 2, 2015 and you can order your own copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. Now sit back and enjoy the official playlist for Emmy Laybourne’s latest book, ‘SWEET’.