Pro Talks with Laurie Devore

Posted February 21, 2017 by Jamie in Features, Interviews, Pro Talks // 0 Comments

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Here at BAMF we are always looking to shine the light on authors and their books. And what better way to do so than to hear about a book than from the author themselves? That’s why we have started our Pro Talks Feature where we interview an author about their book(s) and get the down low on characters, plot and anything else they want to share with us about their life as an author! You can find your next great read here.


Today’s Guest Is

About Laurie Devore

Laurie Devore was born and raised in small town South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University. She now lives and works in Chicago, where she misses the charms and contradictions of the south every day. In her spare time, she reluctantly runs marathons, watches too much TV, and works a “y’all” into every conversation.


BAMF: What is the best part about being an author?

Laurie Devore: You can’t beat the feeling of reading something you wrote back and thinking, “Hey, that’s pretty good!”

BAMF: What are the hardest scenes for you to write?

Laurie Devore: For How to Break a Boy specifically, it was important that Olivia’s life felt fully lived in, especially because she has grown up to be someone she herself doesn’t particularly like. It was really key to the rest of the book that the family and history that had shaped her into this person made sense. Getting the pieces of her family life in place was a huge challenge, particularly her difficult relationship with her mother. I worked so hard in those scenes to balance Olivia’s resentment but also this desperation of love that Olivia feels and that balancing act was so challenge, but ultimately, rewarding in terms of understanding my main character.

BAMF: Do you find it difficult to balance being an author with the other aspects in your life?

Laurie Devore: Hmm…I think this is one of those tricky questions where the answer is sometimes. I work full time in advertising during the week so I absolutely have to carve out time to write and I’m very much not a scheduler – stuff gets done when I have the brain capacity to do it. That said, I try to very consciously balance out my writing time (even on deadline) with social time as I think it’s so important to be out there living life in order to tell stories that feel authentic.

BAMF: Which of your characters did you find it easiest to write?

Laurie Devore: I think Whit was probably the character that I understood right away in that he’s this ambitious, sarcastic overachiever who usually means well and could come across a little bit arrogant – I definitely see a lot of him in my high school self (should I admit that?). Those attributes also made him a great foil for Olivia, and even Adrienne.

BAMF: What has been the best book you’ve read in the past six months?

Laurie Devore: Kate Hart, who is another 2017 debut author, wrote an absolutely fabulous contemporary called AFTER THE FALL, which just came out a few weeks ago. It explores important questions about consent as well as feminism and I just think it’s such a smart, wonderful, heartbreaking book. I highly recommend it.

BAMF: How do you hope reader’s react to Olivia, who seems to follow the ideology of Machiavelli’s “The ends justify the means”?

Laurie Devore: This is such a great question! As more and more people have been reading the book, I’ve only really just started to understand how polarizing of a character Olivia is. But in fiction, just as in life, Olivia has to work towards her redemption. I hope that to some point, even if readers disagree with Olivia’s choices, they’re able to empathize with her mistakes and give her the room to grow. As someone who really enjoys complex characters, I love adding a female voice to the “unlikable character” cannon but also giving her a chance at forgiveness – and girl really needs to forgive herself!

BAMF: What sort of hijinks can we expect from Olivia and Whit’s fake relationship?

Laurie Devore: Ah, Olivia and Whit were so much fun to write because they start out not necessarily liking or understanding each other. Both characters are very locked into their respective stereotypes of mean girl and golden boy – and not just by each other but by their own perceptions of themselves so ultimately they are peeling back the layers of each other and pushing at their own personal boundaries. Plus lots of the classic ‘is this real?’ romantic moments. Blurry lines and hormones make for an interesting mix.


About Their Work

Pro Talks with Laurie DevoreHow to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore
Published by Imprint on January 31st 2017
ISBN: 1250082862
Pages: 352
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Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation.

After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war.

Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit.

And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself.

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