The title Revenge of the Homecoming Queen might bring to mind a horror film or a murder mystery. The book's cover might make you think of a comedy or a high school dramedy. The story itself is a fun, fast-paced blend of all of these things, except for the horror film.
But when you're Aspen Brooks and you lose the title of Homecoming Queen to Angel Ives, the school's brattiest girl, that is an absolute horror. Aspen is also shocked when the Homecoming King's crown is placed on the head of a geeky boy named Rand. Sooner than she can blink her pretty eyelashes, everything has changed. Aspen's boyfriend breaks up with her, Rand gets a makeover, and girls from her class start disappearing.
Homecoming candidate one moment, quasi-detective the next -- who died and made her Nancy Drew? Determined to get to the bottom of things - and get that crown! - Aspen starts to investigate the recent disappearances with Rand's help. Will the missing girls be found? Will Rand continue to climb the social ladder? Will Aspen ever get crowned? You've got to read the book to find out!
While looking for her crown, debut author Stephanie Hale dropped by Bildungsroman for an interview.
Do you own a tiara?
Unfortunately not. I don't like to talk about it.
That's a shame. If you did have a tiara, what would be your royal title?
In my wildest dreams, I'd loved to be crowned Queen of Teen Fiction!
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen blends comedy, mystery, and romance. Did you set out with a particular genre in mind?
Not really. I knew that there would be a romance, and I hoped it was funny, but the mystery kind of dropped in as I wrote it.
My agent sent it out to several editors and Berkley responded very quickly. I was so excited that they wanted Revenge so badly because I am a huge fan of all the authors in their line.
What are you working on now?
I just finished up the revisions to my sequel, Twisted Sisters, which will be released April 1st, 2008.
What is the hardest thing about writing young adult (YA) fiction?
Sometimes I have to remind myself to think like a teen instead of a 30-something! I might think that John Cusack is hot, but he's probably going to remind my readers of their dad! Eww!
John Cusack rocks. I hope your husband also appreciates him. Now that you have two munchkins, would you consider writing a picture book, or does your heart belong to YA?
I don't think I could ever do a picture book. I'm not good at limiting my word count. I like to talk/type too much! I do hope to expand into the adult market someday though.
You've professed your love for the original Choose Your Own Adventure novels. Did you have a favorite adventure?
I have to admit that I don't remember one particular book standing out. I just loved the control I felt at being able to make the book go in the direction that I wanted it to. Now I get to do that all the time! :)
What are your ten favorite books of all time?
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen (oh, come on, you knew I was gonna say
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
The Little Leftover Witch by Florence Laughlin
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
Any Sweet Valley High novel by Francine Pascal
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
Conversations with a Fat Girl by Liza Palmer
Sweet 16 by Kate Brian
Walk down the hallway and open a locker at Stephanie's official website.