Monday, June 7, 2010

Interview with Allie Larkin and book giveaway!

By Melissa Amster

"Stay" by Allie Larkin hits shelves this week!

Check out the trailer:

I recently had the opportunity to do an online interview with Allie Larkin. I enjoyed reading her answers to my questions and hope you will too!

About the book and/or writing:

1. What was your inspiration for "Stay?"
It wasn’t just one thing. STAY started as a writing exercise in a college course, and from there it evolved. Once I developed Van as a character, she inspired the story. I took a look at Rochester, where I live now, and Westchester, where I grew up, and tried to see them through the eyes of someone in her situation, with her personality. Argo, my dog, was absolutely the inspiration for Joe and for realizing that Van needed a dog, but Van existed as a character before Argo joined our family and I realized Van needed that kind of unconditional love too. And later, when we adopted our other dog, Stella, some of her personality ended up in the mix. I live in Rochester, I grew up in Westchester, and obviously some little things from those experiences carried over into the book.

2. How long did it take you to complete the novel from start to finish?

The writing exercise that started STAY was from a class I took in 2002. From there, it turned into a short story; then, it sat in a drawer for a long time, until I decided to go back to it.

3. What did you do to celebrate "Stay" becoming published?

I cried in Target (I was shopping when my agent called to tell me Dutton wanted to publish STAY). Then we went out to dinner at Lento, which is our favorite birthday/anniversary/special occasion restaurant.

4. Do you have plans to write another novel?
I hope to write many, many more novels. And someday, I think I’d like to check back in with Van and Joe and the gang.

5. If "Stay" were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?

I think the important part is who I wouldn’t cast. Argo should not play Joe. He is brilliant, and smart, and oh so loveable, but not trained for film. In an early idea for the book trailer, Argo was going to be in it, so I took him out to film some test shots. Trying to get him to stay in the frame was one of the most impossible tasks I’ve ever faced, and I did not succeed.

Fun questions:

6. What is your favorite chick lit book?
I am awful at picking one favorite anything. Of course, I loved Bridget Jones, which is the ultimate classic chick lit book, isn’t it?

7. Who is your current celebrity crush?
We’ve been watching Buffy episodes on Netflix a lot lately, and I’ve decided that James Marsters should be in everything all the time. I don’t think I’d call it a crush, but I do find him fascinating.

8. What were you like as a teenager?

I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until I was 18, so I had some confidence issues related to feeling like a square peg and not knowing why. I was a little on the shy side. I had lyrics to Toad the Wet Sprocket songs written all over my binder. I cut pep rallies to hang out in the art room. I was in chorus, chamber choir, and plays. I wore flannel and Doc Martins, and a little too much eyeliner. And I had a great group of friends that I still keep in touch with.

9. What is the funniest thing your dog has ever done?

A few years ago, in the waiting room at the vet’s office, Argo burped, loudly, just as the receptionist turned away to grab a file. She heard it, but she didn’t see him, so she totally thought it was me. As she got us checked out, I could tell she was trying not to giggle about it. Blaming it on the dog just seemed like too lame of an excuse to even bother. At the time, I was pretty embarrassed, but now, it cracks me up to think of it.

10. You talk a lot about your husband in your Divining Wand interview. How did you meet him?
J and I both got roped into going to a picnic at Cobb’s Hill Park in Rochester. He smiled and said “hi” to me every time he walked passed, but we didn’t get the chance to talk. It’s so cheesy to say, but I do think it was a bit of love at first sight. I had to leave early to meet some people, but I slipped him my e-mail address before I left, because I really couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing him again.
At the beginning of our first date, I told him not to expect it to turn into anything. I was decidedly single at the time. But, by the end of our first date, I was pretty sure I was going to marry him. It was a wonderful thing to be right about.

As we know from the trailer and story description, a drunk Van buys a 100 pound German Shepard from the Internet. In honor of the release of "Stay," Allie Larkin is giving away the book to 3 lucky readers. In order to be considered, comment below by letting us know: What was your strangest impulse buy?

For additional entries:
1. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower.
2. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Winners will be picked at random on Friday, June 11th. Please leave your e-mail address in each comment, so I know where to find the winners. Good luck!


gradgirl75 said...

I think one of the strangest impulse buys for me was a little denim "bolero style" shrug. I saw it on eBay and thought it would look adorable. I got it and tried it on, and it looks ridiculous! On top of that, I need the help of my 7 year old daughter to pry it off! LOL!

(Allie, if I win, I would LOVE a signed copy!!! ;)

Sheila B said...

Actually a dog, although I think they call it an adoption "fee" We were adopting a dog Chelsea, she was wanted by four families. One night the foster dog family called with some questions. During the call she put the phone down and said Dee Dee, shush! Dee dee was another of our choices but was a puppy we figured every one wants a puppy and went for Chelsea instead. Since they were socializing at the foster care already we decided to take both dogs. Dee Dee apparently was a difficult dog no one wanted. I still find that crazy she is the sweetest little doll on earth! I would love to read this book, I hope I win!! ~Sheila

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway.


I am a follower.

The Book Chick said...

That's a hard one! I truthfully don't do a lot of impulse buys, I pretty much like to plan everything that I buy because I'm just like that. :) Yesterday I went to my favourite used bookstore looking for just one particular title, but ended up with 11 instead (and not the one that I was looking for). Does that count??? LOL!


The Book Chick said...

I am already a follower through GFC.


The Book Chick said...

Your contest has been added to my contest sidebar at!


Anonymous said...

My strangest impulse buy was a very orange print blouse for an interview. I chickened out and wore something else. Never wore the blouse because I didn't feel comfortable in it. I gave it away.

I am a follower.

~c said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~c said...

A car. A 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS to be exact! Fun little va vrroom!!!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow your blog through facebook and emails when you update it every day.

I also sent a link for the contest to my yahoo group.

Anonymous said...

Eight years from start to publication. There's hope for me yet. Bodicea77@yahoo*dot*com

Unknown said...

I once bought shoes because I didn't like the ones I was wearing, and got called for an interview that day. I didn't end up wearing the new shoes because they were so uncomfortable. They're still sitting in my closet and I still have not worn them.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book! Love dogs....should be interesting :)

Melissa said...

Will the last person who posted as anonymous please post with an e-mail address. There are several "Anonymous" people on here, but this is the one from 11:20 am today.

Unknown said...

My most recent impulse buy was a InStyler - one of those hair-styling tools that is a combination of curling iron and straightening iron. I fell for the infomercial and of course it never worked for me as it did on tv! Also, I had to buy 2 of them! When I tried to return it they talked me into keeping it at a discount { - :

I am a follower!

Cathleen Holst said...

Great interview! You had some really fun questions.

I can relate to the MC of 'Stay' purchasing a dog without any real thought. A few years back I did the same thing. Although it wasn't a 100 pound German Shephard (it was a min-pin). What can I kids wore me down.

I also tweeted the link to the contest.

Anonymous said...

I'm lovin the book trailer thing . . .


Misha said...

I usually don't read YA fiction bt last week I bought 3 on impulse!
Enter me if this is international.

Anonymous said...

i recall buying a brown and white dress a few years ago because it was on the cover of a chic magazine...i have never worn this lives in my closet.

thanks for this giveaway :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kiara Gilbert said...

I'm following the blog through my twitter account, and my e-mail is

My strangest impulse buy was a Hawaiian print maxi dress. I loved the colors, and it was very summery... but I felt so self-conscious in it that the only time it was ever worn, was when I was in the hospital after giving birth to my youngest daughter.

I blogged about the contest here: . I also Tweeted about it here: .

Kiara Gilbert said...

I also posted about the contest here - .

Kaethe said...

I try not to buy things impulsively, because it's been a problem for me in the past: a car, a bed, entire new outfits when I didn't like what I was wearing, a skateboard, and a cat all come to mind.

Melissa said...

Winners have been posted in the comments of this blog:

Didn't win? Here's another chance to get a free book.

Thanks again for participating! There will be many more giveaways in the future. I hope to see your comments on all of them!

Kelley B. said...

I hope I am the lucky one. I posted the contest on twitter.