Friday, February 22, 2013

Laurie Boyle Crompton Author Interview

Photo Content from Laurie Boyle Crompton

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of ADRENALINE CRUSH (Macmillan/2014, Square Fish/2016), BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and the upcoming LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks/2013, 2014, 2017). Growing up in ‘Pennsyltucky’ in the 1980s, Laurie couldn't wait to escape rural life. After saving up her tips from waitressing at a local greasy spoon at 18 she packed up her acid wash jeans and moved to NY. Where everyone else had stopped wearing acid wash.

She graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and a minor in Journalism. Since then she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, ‘toy expert’ is an actual profession. Really.

She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never going to Disney.

Laurie occasionally enjoys hanging out in fields of blooming flowers and also refering to herself in the third person.


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (February 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402273436
ISBN-13: 978-1402273438


"Blaze is a hero for the modern age!" Jennifer Ziegler, author of How to Not Be Popular

"Blaze made me laugh...and cringe...and laugh again. The blend of snark and heart will keep you turning the pages." Mandy Hubbard, author of Prada and Prejudice

"Laurie Boyle Crompton's super power is bringing the funny. Readers should make this book their trusty side-kick." Eileen Cook, author of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood

"BLAZE absolutely pops off the page. I loved this book!" Robin Mellom, author of Ditched: A Love Story

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer? 
I’ve always loved reading so writing seemed like a natural fit for me but it wasn’t until high school that I discovered just how much fun it could be to try making people laugh with my words. I remember reading an essay aloud to my class and getting huge satisfaction in hearing my peers laugh at what I’d written. Even the teacher gave a few chuckles.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
We connect with each other through stories. The best ones speak to universal truths that help us stop gazing at our own navels and see that those around us are struggling just as much as we are. Stories can make people care about things they normally wouldn’t and help us feel less alone in the world. 

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre? 
My favorite book is oftentimes the last book I read. I recently got around to devouring The Perks of Being a Wallflower which was awesome. My favorite book outside the YA genre would probably be one of John Krakauer’s books. Most likely Into the Wild.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Don’t quit. Writers must be tenacious and I don’t know of a single published author who didn’t face crushing rejection or criticism at some stage along the way.

In your new book; Blaze, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
Blaze is a comic-obsessed girl who is stuck driving her little brother and his friends back and forth to soccer practice. She has a huge crush on the team’s coach and is thrilled when he notices her. But after they hook up he dumps her supervillain-style. When she posts a parody comic about him online he retaliates in a very harsh way. Blaze ends up becoming the subject of gossip and bullying, yet she manages to stay strong throughout the novel. I hope book nerds enjoy reading her story as much as I loved writing it.

What part of Mark did you enjoy writing the most?
When I was writing Mark’s character I wasn’t entirely sure how things were going to go between him and Blaze. Seeing him thorough Blaze’s eyes meant I ended up sort of crushing on him myself which was fun. Of course as things progressed even I was trying to tell her to please walk away.

 For those who are unfamiliar with Blaze, how would you introduce her?
She’s a girl who tends to make bad choices but who loves fiercely and manages to keep her sense of humor and stay true to herself through tough times.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I have two books coming out in 2014. From Sourcebooks I have The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High which is a super-fun reality show farce. And from FSG/ Macmillan there’s Adrenaline (tentative title) which is about a thrill-seeking girl who gets injured while rock climbing. She must learn to overcome her fears in order to embrace life again.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love it if Blaze could meet Bliss Cavendar from Whip it. The way both of them start out completely stuck in their lives and fight their way out is similar in some ways. I think if they ever met they would get along great and Blaze would probably end up sketching a kick-ass comic of Bliss soaring along on her skates.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
When people ask if I color my hair I’ll usually say it’s ‘enhanced’ which is a wicked lie because it is totally bleached about seventy shades lighter than my natural color. Otherwise I’ll respond that it’s ‘Naturally Blonde’ since that’s exactly what it says on the bottle.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Spend as much time writing as possible. Do a lot of reading and limit time spent on the internet. Some people claim that writing is 90% ignoring the internet but I’d say it’s more like 98%. The only way to hear your inner-voice is to block out the many voices around you from time to time.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
A lot of times I’ll just go directly to my journal. Otherwise I turn to my Best Mate (unless of course he’s the reason for the bad day). ;)

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I did a lot of babysitting against my will when I was younger and one summer I got roped into a gig watching two boys who were such a challenge it’s amazing I ever had children of my own. I am not exaggerating. One time the parents came home to find the boys had locked me in the garage.

Who was your first boyfriend?
A boy from church who started out as a friend. I highly recommend this arrangement for first boyfriends, although it did not prepare me very well for some of the jerks I dated after we broke up.

Tell me about your first kiss
My first boyfriend and I were hanging out with a group of friends and the two of us went for a walk in the woods alone. It was very sweet. We both had braces so I guess you could say it was dangerous as well.

When was the last time you cried? 
Just a week ago when my daughter’s pet died. But trust me, I don’t need something that awful and traumatic to get a good cry in!

Blaze’s character showed up in my mind like Blam! Pow! “Tell my story!” She’s really into comics and is sort of stuck in her life as an outsider, but she isn't ashamed of being a geek. She displays her superhero buttons proudly and is constantly drawing and reading comics. I couldn't wait to write about her. Of course, working on a project where studying comic books counted as research was a bonus!

My step-father has this Ah-mazing! collection much like the one Blaze’s dad has in the book and I remember staying up late at night reading through stacks of them as a kid. I would try to tell my friends about these awesome characters like the Silver Surfer and Iron Man, and I’d even try to imitate Thor’s Norse God way of speaking. This was before the movies made these guys more mainstream and I was definitely on the fringe with my obsession, but when I’d find another comic book nerd we had an instant bond.

As I was writing, Blaze surprised me when she fought back against Mark the way she did and I knew at that point I could just allow her character to take over. Of course things don’t go as she plans, but no matter what tight spots she finds herself in, she uses comic books to guide and empower her. Readers who aren't into comic books will definitely still enjoy Blaze, but my hope is that she will inspire them to check out comics for themselves, too!

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

Laurie Boyle Crompton’s incredible debut novel, Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) is a modern and quirky coming-of-age story. Comic book aficionado, Blaze (named after Johnny Blaze of Ghost Rider fame), is not your typical teenage girl. Some might say she’s different because of her likes and hobbies, but deep inside, she’s like any normal girl. In fact, she’s tired of being invisible and would do anything to have Mark notice her. And notice her he did. Only after Blaze’s best friend had texted him a picture of her in sexy lingerie. A date is then arranged for the two and Blaze couldn’t be happier. But it ends quickly and Mark suddenly dumps her. Using her passion for comics and drawing, she vows revenge and makes a comic strip starring Mark the Shark as the villain. But just like the characters in the comic books she reads, their planned attack sometimes back fires as Mark posts her lingerie photo and she basically turns from virgin to slut overnight.

Readers will appreciate how author Laurie steers away from your typical teenage girl and presents us with a rare look into the small percentage of comic-reading girls. Blaze is a fantastic protagonist. Even for people who may not understand the kind of passion comic fans have, they can’t help but root for Blaze to come out on top. Although she may feel invincible like one of the super heroes inside comic strips, she is still vulnerable and makes humanly-driven bold and daring choices/mistakes. She has a lot of traits that are relatable even for young girls who have never read a line from a comic book. It is Laurie’s writing style that manages to make this possible. She digs inside Blaze and guts out the pieces of her characteristics that most girls can relate to: her desire to get noticed, finding love, and the need of change.

The teenage years are a section of our human lives where we make choices, most of the time wrong ones, and we search within to find a way to make our wrongs right. Blaze has a powerful theme that suggests that we should not let hurtful words change us into something we are not. Laurie has written a wonderful and charming story with very likable characters. This amazing story will immediately have readers feel engaged from the beginning and persists throughout. A fantastic debut novel that can only be the driving force that will catapult Laurie as an author to look out for. 
You can purchase Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LAURIE BOYLE CROMPTON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) 
by Laurie Boyle Crompton


  1. Awesome interview!! I really loved this book :) I totally wasn't expecting it to be so great! Shame on me! lol

  2. If I had super powers I'd want to be able to turn invisible, fly or read peoples minds.

  3. Just to tell you I follow by GFC but I wrote Maryse Emeru or something like that instead of Maryse Emery. I wanted to erased but instead pressed enter....

  4. I'd love to be able to tell the future!

  5. I'd want to be able to turn invisible or to see the future

  6. To be invisible, read people minds, or transport myself to wherever I want to be.
    Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  7. Telekinesis!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  8. i would love to be super smart - would invent cool stuff and get rich XD

  9. I would love to have the ability to breathe under water. Gosh all the discoveries that can be made! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Being able to move things with either my hands or mind.

  11. I'd love to be able to just apparate to places.

  12. I wish I could teleport.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Great interview! I've always wanted the ability of teleportation! :)

  14. Either Teleporting or ability to manipulate water :)

  15. Teleporting and Telekinesis!
    Thanks for giveaway :)

  16. I would love to have telekinesis :P

  17. Ability to travel through time! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. I would love to have super strength and oh! I would love to be able to fly!! That would be so amazing!! Thank you for a chance to win your giveaway!

  19. I would love to be able to travel through time.

  20. Controlling time! Speed it up, slow it down, stop it all together, or rewind! I'll never be late for class again!

  21. Either mind reading or super hearing. I am so freaking nosy, lol.

  22. i wish i can read peoples minds when i want to

  23. Power to fly!:) that would be spectacular;)

  24. Time controlling... i would love to go back n forth in time

  25. Teleporting or telekinesis! :) That would be awesome! Thanks for a giveaway!