Friday, February 18, 2011

Q and A With Author Abby McDonald and Book Giveaway

What's the backstory of the LIBERATION OF ALICE LOVE?

The first seeds of the plot were planted when I read a magazine article about a young woman who carried on an extravagant lifestyle via identity theft: stealing mail from friends, using their credit cards, opening new accounts in their name. She was pretty inept, and quickly caught (hint: don't post facebook photos of your fabulous vacation if you're supposedly a penniless college student!) but that idea of identity theft being something young, and glamorous, really took with me, and I got to thinking about the kind of person who would commit a crime like that - and what would be in store for their poor victim.

All my books play on the idea of identity and reinvention in some respect, and this was a great way to delve deeper, and really explore how our lives are constructed out of habit. What kind of life would you lead, if you had the chance?

In the novel, your main character Alice has a favorite red cocktail dress. What is your favorite outfit that makes you feel brave and bold?

Right now it's an uncharacteristically racy blue/purple animal print bustier. I know, it sounds tacky, but the print is so subtle, and the cut so bold, it makes me feel invincible, especially when I pair it with skinny jeans and boots. I also have a red dress of my own, a simple jersey, that always makes me more confident. The power of a red dress is not to be underestimated!

You're 25, relatively young for a novelist. Is this your first novel and what got you interested in writing?

Believe it or not, Alice Love is actually my fourth published novel. I have two books for teens - SOPHOMORE SWITCH, and BOYS, BEARS & A SERIOUS PAIR OF HIKING BOOTS out with Candlewick Press - and another adult title out in England, THE POPULARITY RULES, which Sourcebooks will be publishing in the States in Fall 2011.

I've always loved literature and writing. As a kid, I would juggle three or more at a time (my book-bag could have knocked you cold), and I wrote my first book at 19. So by the time I graduated college, I knew there wasn't anything else I wanted to do. And luckily, after a while bouncing between minimal wage admin jobs, I got my first book deal and never looked back!

Who are some of your literary influences?

I don't know if they've influenced me, but there are a few authors who I really admire: Jenny Crusie writes the best commercial fiction, her plotting and characters are always superb. I'm always moved by Marisa de los Santos, there's so much emotional depth and heart to her novels. And Emma Forrest is a writer who always impresses me with her use of language, and how vivid and bold her prose is.

Your novel is about identity theft, If you could steal anyone's identity (in every possible way, appearance, accomplishments, etc) who would it be and why?

Wow, this is a tough one! If I can cheat, and use a fictional character, then I'd have to say Amy Gardner, a feminist lobbyist from The West Wing. She was so smart, witty, and driven to further the women's movement - and she got to date Josh Lyman too!

Abby McDonald grew up in Sussex, England and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She began writing at college, and graduated to work as a music journalist and entertainment critic; drawing on her loves of pop culture, film and feminism, and interviewing acts as diverse as LeAnn Rimes, The Kings of Leon, and Marilyn Manson. She is now a full-time novelist and screen-writer. Visit her at
Book Giveaway! Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win an ARC of The Liberation of Alice Love. Winner announced Saturday.


  1. Great interview! The Liberation of Alice Love sounds great, can't wait to read it. I bought a red dress a few years ago but have never worn it (and sadly, it probably doesn't fit anymore). This post has made me want to go shopping to buy brave clothes...

  2. Great interview - I follow Abby on Twitter and love her. And I'd love to win a copy of the book (although I'll buy one if I don't.) ;)

  3. Sounds great...please enter me!

    pocokat AT gmail DOT com

  4. Lauren sent me to your site and I think this book will be a great read ♥ I'm in!

  5. The premise of the book sounds very entertaining; I'll need to make note to find out when it comes out.

    Also, Ms. McDonald sounds really entertaining. :D

  6. I love the idea of this book. The cover is quite an eye-catcher. I am looking forward to reading it!

  7. Looks like it would be fun to read!!

  8. Lauren sent me to this site I would like to enter the contest!! This book looks like lots of fun to read!!

  9. Thanks for the great interview! I'll definitely be picking this book up.

  10. Don't enter me for this one as I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this one last week but I just wanted to say how excited I am to read it!!

  11. Awesome! I love the cover and the sound of this. I'd love to win this. :)


  12. seems like a great book :D
    would like to enter the contest.

  13. I got my big book win today in the post! Can't wait to dive in for this great read. Thanks for the great giveaway! ♥

  14. Love the interview, seems like a wonderful book. Can't wait to read and enjoy the whole story.