Savannah “Van” Leone has loved Peter since the day they met. The problem is, Peter has loved Van’s best friend, Janie, since the moment they met. And now they’re walking down the aisle, with Van standing nearby in a Halloween orange bridesmaid dress, her smile as hollow as a jack-o-lantern. After the wedding, Van drowns her sorrows in Kool Aid-vodka cocktails and reruns of Rin-Tin-Tin, and does what any woman in her situation would do: She buys a German Shepherd over the internet...
The Magic 8:
1. Mindi Scott: At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?
Allie Larkin: At eight, I wanted to be a pig farmer. By nine, I’d learned that pig farmers didn’t get to just hang out with pigs for fun, so that dream was totally squashed. At eighteen, I was a theatre major. I think at that point I’d realized I loved working with characters, but I hadn’t found my medium yet. By twenty-eight, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I also knew that I wanted it badly enough to actually make it my goal.
2. MS: Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?
AL: The Space Agent. I was a serious daydreamer!
3. MS: What are some of your superstitions and/or phobias?
AL: In second grade, my teacher told the class that it’s bad luck to leave the closet door open at night. That is, unfortunately, what I chose to take away from second grade. It’s not even that I think anything bad is going to happen if I leave the closet door open, it’s just an ingrained habit. If I don’t close the door, it bugs me and I can’t sleep. It drives my husband crazy.
4. MS: Without giving away too much from your book, which character or scene are you the most pleased about having created, and why?
AL: I love my main character, Van, to the point where I wish she were real and we could be friends. But I also love Diane, who possibly falls a little into the love to hate category of characters. Diane and Van have such a complicated relationship. It was interesting to write their shared scenes, and watch Diane evolve from one draft to the next. She has a lot more layers than I’d originally thought she would.
5. MS: Was there any certain music that inspired you while you were writing this book, or is there a song that could serve as your protagonist’s theme song?
AL: Van is a HUGE Boston fan, so I listened to a lot of Boston while I wrote STAY, and it always helped to get me in her mindset. I had a playlist of songs just for STAY. It was a combo of bands Van would like (Scandal, Journey, The Breeders, Counting Crows, REM), and songs (like On Your Side, by Pete Yorn) with lyrics that seemed to fit perfectly with things that were going on in the story.
6. MS: What’s up next for you as a writer?
I’m working on something completely new with completely new characters, but I’m not really ready to talk about it yet. And someday, I’d love to get to check in with Van again. I have ideas. :-)
7. MS: And now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. ;-)
AL: Elvis. One of my friends from high school is an Elvis impersonator. I don’t think the Beatles ever inspired anything as awesome as Lady Elvis (http://www.ladyelvis.com/).
8. MS: Okay, your turn. Do you have a question you’d like me to ask my Magic 8-Ball on your behalf? (I’m telling you, this thing is scarily accurate! Well, except for when it’s lying.)
AL: Will I ever get to go to the Galapagos Islands?
MS: Well, apparently, that was a hard one to answer today! Thanks so much, Allie!
AL: Thank you, Mindi!!!
To learn more about Allie Larkin and her novel, STAY,visit http://allielarkinwrites.com/