Hi, everyone! Today’s officially the book birthday of Love and Vandalism by Laurie Boyle Crompton! In honour of its release date, I have a few questions that were answered in an interview by none other than the fabulous author herself! Honestly, I’m really ecstatic that she took the time to answer these questions! 😁
1. First off, I noticed that you’ve written YA novels, specifically contemporary. Are there any other genres you think about pursuing or is it YA Contemporary all the way?
LOVE AND VANDALISM is my fourth YA novel (thanks for noticing!) and the next few projects I’m working on are definitely YA, but I do love to stretch myself and have been playing with some other forms of writing. I’ve actually written poetry since high school and have really grown in that area and my newest passion is scriptwriting! I’ve always vacillated between drama and comedy and while it can be tough to incorporate both I’ll never stop trying!
2. Is there any inspiration behind Love and Vandalism?
Besides painting my first car hot pink using 40 cans of spray paint, I did have an actual vandalism experience. I grew up in rural Western Pennsylvania which is hardly what people think of when they hear the word ‘graffiti’ but we had this one bridge near our high school that was covered with a bunch of seniors’ names along with a few bad words. My friend and I were sick of being goody goody girls and since we weren’t about to try drinking or smoking we decided we were going to get our names on that bridge. There were no streetlights and we dressed all in black so we wouldn’t get caught so looking back it wasn’t our brightest moment. Our names stood for a week before someone painted over them but we had a blast doing something that felt so rebellious and wild.
3. Likewise, are there any authors that have inspired you? It could be based on the topics they write about, their writing style or just general admiration.
Like many writers, Anne Lamott is right up there in my list of favorite authors. Anne is so brilliant and inspiring, particularly when she discusses the writing process. I love all of her non-fiction so hard! And actually, Rory’s dreadlocks are a tribute to Anne Lamott who is just so gifted and generous. Also, I’ve been a lifelong fan of Stephen King and was thrilled when ON WRITING came out and he gave us a small peek behind the dark curtain. There is actually a secret backstory between two characters in one of my books that serves as a twisted private homage to my love of Stephen King. I won’t say who or what or which book; only that it’s super dark!
4. If you could describe yourself as one character in all of fiction, who would it be?
I don’t remember how old I was when I read the book LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott. Probably around ten or eleven, but I do know it was the exact right age because I identified so strongly with Jo March I wanted to be just like her! It’s actually a large part of the reason I became a writer! Thankfully, beyond just wanting to be like Jo, I truly do love to write.
5. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Or both?
I definitely do a bit of both. I started off as a pantser but then I had to rewrite the second half of Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and decided it might be worth it to take a little time and think things through beforehand. I’m not much of a planner in real life, so it’s easy for me to get off track, but in writing that’s where some of the best plot twists come from. I love unplanned detours both in writing and in daily life.
6. As a writer, are there any scenes that are hard for you to write? Were there a few in Love and Vandalism?
The toughest scenes aren’t always the deep emotional ones that make me reflect on painful parts of my past. In fact, those scenes are often the reason why I’m writing the book in the first place! Those connector scenes are the toughest where I know what needs to happen but I want to let things happen organically. I think the trick to writing any scene is to find an interesting way to get inside it, so even when I already know the outcome I can still let my characters dictate how to get there.
7. What’s the best compliment you have received as a writer?
Having my agent believe in me and then having multiple editors say “I’d like to publish your book” is really the best feeling! I’ve been lucky to have some enthusiastic readers and really love it any time anyone says they enjoyed one of my books. I’m honestly just thrilled that people are willing to spend time with my characters! The only stories that really matter are the ones that are shared and I’m blessed for the opportunity to share some of mine. Thanks for reading!!
About the Author
Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of ADRENALINE CRUSH (Macmillan/2014, Square Fish/2016), BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and the upcoming LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks/2013, 2014, 2017). Growing up in ‘Pennsyltucky’ in the 1980s, Laurie couldn’t wait to escape rural life. After saving up her tips from waitressing at a local greasy spoon at 18 she packed up her acid wash jeans and moved to NY. Where everyone else had stopped wearing acid wash.
She graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and a minor in Journalism. Since then she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, ‘toy expert’ is an actual profession. Really.
She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never going to Disney.
Laurie occasionally enjoys hanging out in fields of blooming flowers and also refering to herself in the third person.
Thanks for reading, everyone!