Today I’m having someone very special on the Blog – Sabrina Elkins who just released her Debut YA/NA Contemporary Stir Me Up with Harlequin Teen. I loved this book so much and gave it 5 glowing stars and so I was excited when I got the opportunity to chat with Sabrina about her debut!
Please welcome now, Sabrina on the Blog and enter below a Giveaway where you can win 5 copies of Stir Me Up!
Welcome to the Bewitched Bookworms today Sabrina! I’m very excited having you here as I am a big fan of yours after reading and loving Stir Me Up. You just told me that this is your first Interview, I feel especially honored hosting you today! J
So, let’s first start with how you ended up with HarlequinTEEN and especially their Digital First Line?
My amazing agent, Laura Bradford, told me my future Harlequin TEEN editor Margo Lipschultz missed her train stop the first time she read my novel. I must admit, I did really love hearing this! Laura spoke very highly of Margo. Also, I was thrilled to learn Margo is Katie McGarry’s editor. Additionally, I was extremely excited about the idea of launching the Digital First line for Harlequin Teen and being part of a new program from the ground up.
As I am a big fan of eReaders I prefer reading my books on my Kindle or iPad (I know I might be the minority here). How do you prefer reading and what do you think about Harlequin’s new Digital Line?
I strongly prefer eBooks because I can read them on my phone. I love this function. I’m waiting in line somewhere, and reading on my iPhone. It’s fantastic! I have a Kindle as well, but between my husband and kids, I almost never get a shot at the iPad.
In terms of Harlequin’s new Digital Line, I think first and foremost, it’s a great way for readers to discover new authors. I personally am increasingly hesitant to buy a book the more expensive it is. With the new Digital Line, there’s greater flexibility to keep prices low enough to help build a new author fan base.
HarlequinTEEN has some amazing editors and I especially love Margo Lipschultz who is also the editor of Katie McGarry. Would you mind sharing how was working with Margo, and did Stir Me Up change from your earliest draft?
Margo is a phenomenal editor. She’s overwhelmingly gifted at every stage of the writing process, whether it’s reworking an entire theme or a tweaking a sentence. She’s very kind and supportive, but she also knows just how hard to push to get the very best out of me. I consider myself extremely fortunate, particularly as a new author, to be able to work with her. In terms of revisions, Stir Me Up has seen some big ones. I think back on those early drafts now and smile.
Let’s talk about Stir Me Up a little. I absolutely loved how Cami was so driven and determined to become a Chef one day. Why cooking?:)
Ahh… well, I have a background in cooking and in working with chefs, but beyond this I made Cami an aspiring chef because I think food can be very sensual and romantic. Cami doesn’t necessarily realize this at first, but she tends to convey her feelings for Julian through the recipes she makes for him. Also, I went with cooking because restaurant kitchens are interesting places. I wanted to capture some of that.
I was especially moved and touched by what Julian had to go through both physically and emotionally. And even though I have no experience with soldiers who came back broken from war, or with people suffering from PTSD, I found that you dealed with it very bravely and realistically. What kind of research did you do to describe Julian’s situation and emotional vulnerability the best?
I’m so glad this element of the novel worked for you! One of my main goals was to make sure I portrayed Julian’s situation as accurately and sensitively as I could. To that end, I first did a good amount of research on my own. Then after I was signed with Harlequin TEEN, I felt brave enough to approach numerous people who know and work with Marines, amputees, and amputee vets. Their expertise was essential to me, and I called several of them repeatedly. I remember feeling so surprised and thrilled whenever any of them would take the time to call me back.
Stir Me Up could be labeled both YA and New Adult in my mind. Was it difficult for you especially with the more steamier scenes to fit into one or the other genre?
The steamier scenes in the book were a risk for me, but one I decided to take. I wanted a lot more heat than most YA novels. Fortunately, one of the great things about being a Digital First eBook is that you don’t have to tailor your work so that it can sit on a certain shelf. A digital format is perfect for a book like mine, that is breaking a boundary between two genres.
Do you have any plans for future novels? We would love to hear if you have some ideas you could share or tease us with todayJ
Well, I can’t say much yet. But I can tell you this… My next book will be about (little drumroll here, please…) Cami’s BFF, Taryn!
Thank you so much for stopping by today and I wish you so much success with Stir Me Up!
Thanks, Danny! I’ve enjoyed chatting with you and greatly appreciate your support!
About Stir Me Up
by Sabrina Elkins (Website, Facebook,Twitter)
Published by Harlequin, HarlequinTEENon October 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary,New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon • Goodreads
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She’ll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father’s French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami’s family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.
Julian’s all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami’s starting to feel. And Cami can’t stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He’s got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….
Quote from my Review
Sabrina Elkins gave us a wonderful, beautiful and very sexy love story that all fans of mature Young Adult will devour in one sitting. Stir Me Up is perfect for fans of Katie McGarry as we find the same careful development of strong, yet vulnerable characters that will melt our hearts!
SABRINA ELKINS, author of STIR ME UP, has also worked as a journalist, movie copywriter and prep cook. She grew up in Vermont, graduated from USC, and now lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids.
Sabrina loves hearing from fans and encourages you to visit her website, sabrinaelkins.com, and find her on Twitter @sabrina_elkins, Facebook, and here at Goodreads.
And now, what would you like to ask Sabrina? She will be around today, so ask whatever you’d like to know!
and, please enter the Giveaway to win one of 5 Copies! Woot!