Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stephanie Kuehnert Interview + CONTEST!

As you know Stephanie Kuehnert's new book Ballads of Suburbia comes out TODAY! You all know who she is, and most of you love her, but do you really know her? Well I set out to ask Stephanie some question I know you want to know. So without further introduction here we go!

How are you today?
Well, I'm answering this on Weds July 15 and today I am just exhausted. I spent the weekend at ALA and Monday was my birthday and I just haven't caught up on sleep or anything else since then. Book release time is a crazy time. But the day this posts, on book release day, I'm sure I will be both nervous and excited!
What is the most influential book for you? What book hit you the hardest when you read it?
This is really hard for me to answer because there were so many books that influenced me heavily throughout the years. Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block is probably my all-time favorite YA and the book that inspired me to write for an audience of teens who feel different and sometimes isolated the way I did when I was a teen reading Weetzie Bat. Though of FLB's books the one that actually hit me the hardest was The Hanged Man. However there are other books that influenced me big time, too. The classics like The Grapes of Wrath and The Scarlet Letter. Contemporary fiction like Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh and Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson probably hit me the hardest. Though there are books like Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr and Almost Home by Jessica Blank and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh that have really hit me hard too.
What is your favorite part about being a published Young Adult author?
YA readers. They are some of the most passionate readers out there. Every time I hear from a reader and find out the impact my words had on them, it just blows me out of the water. It's the best part of the job.
What are you afraid of, phobia wise?
Failure and imperfection are probably my biggest fears. But phobia wise, spiders terrify me and centipedes. Anything with more than four legs is just freaky.
What was the first thing you said or did when you found out I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone was going to be published?
I asked repeatedly if it was really happening. When my agent confirmed it was she said, "You're a published author. Call your mom and tell her." So I did exactly that. Then I called my fiance (who was just my boyfriend at the time). And then I called the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago where I got my Masters and where a lot of my friends worked and told them.
Where does your last name come from, nationality?
It's German. If you are curious how to pronounce it, I explain that in a recent vlog I did which you can find here.
What is your favorite recent-ish Young Adult book?
Well, I love Melissa Marr's faerie series, so Fragile Eternity was probably my most recent fave. Though I just blurbed a book called Hollywood Ending by Kathy Charles that is coming out in September in Australia that I really really adore.
What is the last movie you watched?
I just saw The Wrestler on dvd. I don't get to the theater as often as I would like though hopefully by the time this posts I will have seen or be on my way to seeing the new Harry Potter!
What would you like to tell the world?
Break the silence. Talk about the hard stuff. Write songs or stories or poems about it. Make art about it. My whole goal with writing Ballads of Suburbia was to destroy the myth that the suburbs are safe and happy. I wanted to get people talk about about things like addiction and self-injury and depression because the only way we heal and solve problems is my talking or expressing ourselves.

So Thank You Stephanie and people so ahead and check out here blog here and today go buy Ballads of Suburbia, wherever you get your books, you won't regret it! You can check out my review of it here.

Contest Time

In honor of Stephanie's book release I am going to be giving away 1 brand spankin' new copy of Ballads of Suburbia to a lucky winner! All you have to do is comment below with your e-mail address and tell me why you want to read this.

Extra Entries:
+2 for becoming a follower
+3 if you already are a follower
+2 for each time you link to this post (please leave a link if it's not on your blog)

Contest ends August 18th or when 50 people enter whichever comes first.

Sorry I didn't put this before but contest IS international.


  1. This looks really interesting and like something I'd enjoy reading.
    I'm already a follower.

  2. This book looks fantastic!

    +3 I'm already a follower
    +2 I added a link to this on my blog's sidebar under cool contets.

  3. Stephanie is awesome. I read her 1st book. I luv her writing style. I'm waiting anxiously 2 read Ballads of suburbia.

    +2 for becoming a follower
    +2 for each time you link to this post(sidebar)

  4. AH.

    +2 - follower
    +2 - Twittered (@wordforteens)

    i'm dying to read this. :]

  5. I really really want to read this simply because I've been hearing lots and lots of great things about it and also, I love that it's heartbreaking and really sad, I kind of love a book when it's sad because it makes it more realistic that way:D

    +2 I'm a follower


  6. I want to read it because everyone's been talking about how good it is so it makes me really want to read it!
    +2 became a follower

  7. Great contest and great interview! Stephanie is awesome. I met her last year at a signing for I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. :)

    Please enter me! I really want to read this book because it's by Stephanie of course and because I've been hearing such great things about it +1

    I just became a follower :) +2

    Thanks for the contest!


  8. I so want this book! I have heard nothing but great things about it. Stunning reviews and Stephanie is in Chicago near me, which makes me want to read this all the more!

    +2 I just became a follower

    +2 Tweeted contest http://twitter.com/bookgoil/status/2881397537

    +2 Posted on sidebar of blog: http://www.bookworminginthe21stcentury.com/


  9. I really enjoyed IWBYJR, and love Stephanie's writing. She's spectacular!

    I'm a new follower :)

  10. I've heard its really good and I've read Stephanie's story about it, thats why I want to read it.


    +2 for becoming a follower
    +2 for each time you link to this post
    Twitter: SabriHorande
    Sidebar: http://crystalreviews.blogspot.com/

  11. Nice contest!
    +2 became a follower
    +2 posted here: http://prodelektric.blogspot.com/2009/07/contest_4918.html


  12. I want to read Ballads of Surburbia because it sounds really interesting. Gritty and dark. :) Also, there have been many good reviews for it.

    +2 Became a follower
    +2 Linked in sidebar on blog
    +2 Linked on Twitter (http://twitter.com/aflightofminds)

    Alex (& Lauren) at aflightofminds(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. I want to read Ballads of Suburbia because I've read only great reviews of this book and I've been reading Stephanie's page about it!

    +3 for being a follower.

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

  14. I want to read this because I've heard good things about it!

    I'm now a follower.


  15. I would very much love to win this book. It looks awesome! Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.

    +2 for becoming a follower

    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. I want to read this book because the cover is is stunning. The premise sounds fascinating. Plus a review I read said this book was fairly honest no holds barred, and I like that in a book.

    + 2 for becoming a follower.
    +2 for posting a link on my blog (http://readingisthespiceoflife.blogspot.com)


  17. It sounds like an interesting book! Ive read reviews and they have all been good

    +2 follower

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  18. Please include me in your giveaway.
    +2 New follower

  19. Is this open to Canada? :)

    +3 I'm already a follower.
    +2 I linked here: http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2009/07/july-21st-2009.html

  20. I have so many good reviews about this one, it sounds like a must-read for me!
    +2 became a follower
    + posted link to contest on my sidebar: http://lilibethramos.blogspot.com
    + tweeted about contest: http://twitter.com/Lilixtreme/status/3229623715


  21. I share Stephanie's love of punk rock music and that's why I want to read this!

    +3 I'm already a follower, but it seems so real now that I've admitted to it in print ;)


  22. Great Contest!

    +2 Become a follower


  23. This sounds like an awesome book! Please enter me. I want to read this book because my best friend really wants to read it and she got me intrested.

    +2 I became a follower.


  24. +2 added to my sidebar

  25. I want to read this book because it sounds like a heart felt and passionate story.


  26. Want to read because everyone who has says it's good. I know, not the best reason, but hey, I'm human.


  27. Being human isn't the best excuse either. I have:

    +2 added this contest to my sidebar.
    +2 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/Patchworkkay/statuses/3337915838

  28. I would love to win this. I've heard good things about it. booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

    +3 I follow.

    +2 I posted on my sidebar at http://booksobsession.blogspot.com

  29. I have heard interesting things about this!!! hence my interest!


    PS Tks for making it international

  30. I've been DYING to read this book! Please count me in!

    +2 follower
    +2 for posting this contest on my blog (contest)

    Thanks for this AWESOME giveaway!


  31. I want to read this, because I adored Stephanie's previous book I Wanna Be Your Joey Romano and this has been getting fantastic reviews!

    +3 I already follow!


  32. +2 For becoming a follower
    +2 Sidebar: http://bookingthrough365.blogspot.com
    +2 Twitter: http://twitter.com/SekritEmuSister/statuses/3365108734

  33. I've been hearing a lot about this book. It sounds really awesome.

    +2 following
    +2 linked on twitter: http://twitter.com/reader_meg/status/3366231354


  34. Awesome interview! Yay, and now I know how to pronounce 'Kuehnert'. ;) I want o read Ballads of Suburbia because I loved IWBYJR, and I've heard tons of great things about this as well!=)

    +2 I became a follower

  35. Oops! I forgot to give my email:


    And because the description looks AMAZING and the cover is GORGEOUS. I'm the Emma two comments above. Thanks.


Hello readers! I love comments, so please feel free to leave them. I do comment back on every comment I get, though it may take me a couple of days. Thanks for stopping by!


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