SWEET. A story about a celebrity cruise to help promote the launch of a new weight loss product that goes terribly wrong. You can read Pixie's 4 "leaf" review HERE where she called it a "comedic horror story" that was "an edge of your seat, could not put down, up all night read"
What kind of research did you have to do for SWEET? Did you come across anything that was too crazy for you to use?
Ha! Too crazy? Never! One of the interesting things I got to read about was Hollywood Fauxmances - you know, the relationships between pop or movie stars that no one is ever quite certain are legit. When I started to research whether or not these occur, I felt like I was reading conspiracy theories! One site showed photos of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart looking sad while in each other’s company and from their body language decided the two weren’t really a couple. That strikes me as a bit far fetched, but I decided that, in the world of SWEET, anyway, these arranged romances are a real thing.
One of the lead characters in the book, Tom Fiorelli, who is a former child star and is now basically a young, hot Ryan Seacrest, is cornered by his publicist and his producer. They try to talk him into an arranged romance with Sabbi Ribiero, a Brazilian heiress and the star of a reality TV show about wealthy young Manhattanites called Teens of New York. (I really want someone to make that show, btw. And give me a producer credit, please.) Tom is conflicted. It would be good for his image - he’s suffering from a catastrophic break up with a teen pop star who leaked private voice-mails to TMZ. But on the other hand, Tom is really falling for a girl he’s met on the ship (That’s our heroine, Laurel!).
Do these arranged romances really happen? I feel like they do - and researching it was really fun.
You list the ingredients of the weight loss drug, what was the most addictive ingredient or was it the combination of things that caused the problem?
Here’s another place where google helped me out! Neither of the ingredients I list in SWEET, bitter candyfruit and bacopa (which I think I found by searching for something like: plants that are naturally sweet) are particularly addictive. It would have been the combination that makes Solu so addictive. Or perhaps there was an accident at the manufacturing plant. Who knows, another substance could have been added by accident…
If you won a spot on a promotional cruise, would you take it and what kind of cruise would it most likely be?
I would love to go on a cruise to Scandinavia to see the Viking hordes! My next project is set in 1880’s Dakota territories and involves Norwegian immigrants with ancient Viking superpowers, so I’d really love to get to see the relics of the ancient Norse in person. The book is tentatively titled, BERSERKER, and should be out… oh… around Fall, 2016!
The end of SWEET leaves it open for more crazy to come. Will we be getting a follow-up book?
Right now there are no plans for a sequel. In fact, the next books I’ll be writing are probably books two and three of the Berserker trilogy, but… I would like to see what happens when Tom and Laurel are flown to the White house to be de-briefed by the Director the National Security - only to be trapped there when Day 4 of Solu symptoms hits!
Spine Out is an awesome new program you've created. Can you give our readers a bit of info on this new way to experience our favorite authors?
Oh thank you! I’m really excited about Spine Out. It’s a new live literary event where novelists read personal essays.
Right now we’re having the shows four times a year. Our first one, in March, featured Leigh Bardugo, Matt de la Péna, David Levithan and RL Stine! It was truly one of the most fun evenings of my life. My partners in presenting the shows are Susanna Einstein, of Einstein Literary Management, and Dixon place, a non-profit arts institution on the Lower East Side of Manhattan - with a full bar!
Our next show is on Thursday, June 18 at 7:30 PM and features Gayle Forman, Daniel José Older, Margo Rabb, Abby Sher and Eliot Schrefer. I host the shows and also perform. Look, I’m not overselling, I promise- the shows are really special. If you can make it to NYC, come join us and see for yourself.
Note from Emmy:
Thanks again for having me here. I’d love to know what you think about SWEET! You can connect with me on twitter or instagram @EmmyLaybourne. Or sign up for my mailing list here and get all the news about the Monument 14 trilogy and SWEET - and have access to exclusive giveaways: emmylaybourne.fanbridge.comYou can also learn more about Emmy Laybourne and all of her books at emmylaybourne.com
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