Welcome to The Selective Collective. Together with our friends at The Book Addict’s Guide, Gone Pecan, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks, we’ll be exploring a new release in its entirety, from review to author spotlight, to a roundtable chat, among other fun things.
This week we’re discussing Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt.
When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far. (Goodreads)
Oh, you guys. You guys, you guys, you guys. You know how some books are just so fun, so adorable, so sweet you want to read them again and again? That’s Going Vintage. I loved it. Totally adored it. So I was really excited to have the opportunity to interview the author, Lindsey Leavitt (Princess for Hire, Sean Griswold’s Head). She’ so nice and funny and even better, she wrote a hello note to my eleven year-old, which really made my daughter’s day (and mine, hello!).
YA- Lindsey, I loved Going Vintage and completely identified with Mallory’s belief that life was simpler in earlier eras (personally, I’ve always believed that life on Leave it to Beaver or Bewitched seemed so ideal). If you could choose, what time period would you like to live in?
LL-I have lots of nostalgia wrapped up in the eighties, because that’s when I grew up, and I believe every childhood should include Rainbow Brite. But when I was a teen, I really thought like Mallory did—that life was simpler during XYZ. It was the late forties for me, with swing dancing, war heroes and Jimmy Stewart movies like It’s a Wonderful Life (I see the great irony here. It’s a Wonderful Life shows the joys and struggles of living in any era, which is what makes it timeless. I was a naïve teen, ok?)
YA-In Going Vintage, Mallory decides to give up modern technology– including her phone and her computer, eeks!–in an attempt to live as she would were it 1962. What modern gadget would you find it hardest to live without?
LL-I-PHONE. A million times, I-PHONE. What would I do during awkward elevator rides without Words with Friends? What am I supposed to do, talk to a stranger?
YA-I’m a Southern California girl, in love with the beach, the perfect weather and all things Disneyland (I’m an Annual Passholder just like Mallory!). What made you decide to set your book in Orange County? What sort of research did you do to try to make the details feel authentic?
LL-I didn’t know the setting for the first half of writing this book, something I’ve never done before. I knew I wanted a town that had big things close but still was a smaller town within a larger population. I have a brother who lives in central California, and I went out there to visit and fell in love with all the California Main Streets. I started researching online and found Orange, which fit so well with what I had going in the story, especially the historic district. I have another brother in Anaheim (we are a pro-CA family), so I drove down and spent a few days exploring the area. Growing up in Vegas, I always had so much envy of the southern Californians, and it was fun to finally “live” there through my fiction. I can’t imagine setting the book anywhere else now—the tone, the weather, the culture—everything fit so well with Mallory’s journey.
YA-Whether we were angsty teens or happy go lucky ones, there’s always wisdom we have now that we wish we’d had way back then. Any advice for Teenage Lindsey?
LL-Grow out your bangs. That big poufy curl does not look good on ANYONE.
Oh, and dream big and believe in yourself. You’ll do fine, once those bangs are gone.
YA-I recently read that before becoming an author you were an elementary school teacher. How did you make the leap into writing? Was it a long-term goal or something that evolved over time?
LL-I always loved writing, I just had no clue how to go about getting into it as a career. Teaching was something else I loved to do, something that I knew I had set courses in school and likely had a job in the end. In short, it was a more “practical” career choice, and with a husband set on being a doctor, I needed practical with health benefits to get him through. But after only 2 years, my husband got into a school on the other side of the country and I wasn’t able to find a teaching job in PA. I ended up substitute teaching, which was nice schedule-wise, but not nearly as rewarding as teaching full time. So I started writing during my lunch breaks and prep periods, just for myself. I had a baby, decided to stay home with her, and the writing became this beautiful creative outlet for me. I had no clue that my life would take the turns it has, but I’m so happy that I’m in a job now that still gives me chances to be in the classroom. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for teachers.
YA- My eleven year-old daughter is a huge fan of Princess for Hire and she begged me to say hello to you. Hello from Chloe!
LL-Hi Chloe!! Thanks for reading. Send me your address and I will send you some bookmarks, okay? Happy reading 🙂
Isn’t she awesome? I think we can all agree that Lindsey should be added to my list of Authors Who Are My Best Friend and Don’t Know It.
We are giving away a copy of Going Vintage! Trust me, you want this book. To enter, make a comment and tell me what bit of modern technology you can’t live without. Don’t forget to include your e-mail. The contest is only open to US residents. It closes at 9pm PST on March 28, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified via e-mail. If you do not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!
Be sure to check out my blogging partners in The Selective Collective as they continue to explore Going Vintage:
The Book Addict’s Guide- Casting Call
Gone Pecan- Review
The Grown Up YA- How I Went Vintage
Teen Lit Rocks- Roundtable
Special thanks to Bloomsbury for providing review copies of Going Vintage and to Lindsey Leavitt for taking the time to chat with us!