Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Drummer Girl - Q&A with author Bridget Tyler and GIVEAWAY!

Today, I'm kicking off the blog tour for the the fab debut novel, Drummer Girl, by the fantastic new YA author, Bridget Tyler. I have a Q&A with Bridget about Drummer Girl and about being an author, and I also have a very special giveaway! Check the bottom of this post for details! Here are Bridget's fab answers. Enjoy!

 Hi Bridget! It's great to have you here on Bookster Reviews! For those who haven't read Drummer Girl, your debut novel, could you give us a description?

Drummer Girl is the story of Lucy Gosling, a teenage drummer, and the band her BFF (and sometimes frenemy) Harper McKenzie put together to compete in Project Next – a reality competition show that offers them the chance to be rock stars. Lucy and Harper’s band, Crush, is very successful and takes them to LA for a summer of rock and roll, fun, boys, triumph and tragedy… if the Crush girls are going to make it through, shy Lucy is going to have to learn to believe in her own natural ability to lead her friends through the tumultuous waters of the music business. If Lucy can learn to believe in herself, then she may just find that she’s far more extraordinary than she ever dreamed!

Where did you get the idea for Drummer Girl?

I love telling stories about people finding out what makes them special and navigating the challenges that come with harnessing their abilities, their super powers if you will. Often, my stories involve a young woman discovering exactly that – a magical power or psychic ability that makes them more than the ordinary human being they thought they were. When I sat down to write Drummer Girl I wanted to see if I could tell the same sort of story, but in a real world scenario. You see, discovering that she’s actually got what it takes to be a rock star actually turns out to be a very similar experience for Lucy to discovering that she is actually a fairy princess or secretly a space alien with super powers. She discovers her abilities… then she discovers exactly how frightening and difficult it can be to harness those abilities. But, if she wants to reach her full potential (and save her friends) she’ll have to believe in herself enough to use her powers.  The fact that Lucy was a real girl, living in a real world full of real problems that confront teenage girls like her every day made her all the easier to fall in love with!

I love the way that in the book, as well as having Lucy as the main character, we see what's going on from the point of view of lots of different characters. What made you decide to write the book like this?

I considered staying in Lucy’s point of view for the whole novel, but it became clear very early that this was a story that needed to be told from several points of view. These girls have very different experiences of their summer in LA and the story just wouldn’t have been complete without seeing it from several different points of view. I actually didn’t plan on telling some of the story threads that ended up being the most fun to write. Skye, for example, wasn’t a point of view character until very late in the game… but her story is just too romantic and wonderful to miss!

Bridget Tyler
Do you base any of your characters on yourself or other people that you know?

My characters often start from people I’ve met – friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers… interesting people in the check-out line ahead of me at the grocery store. Real people are so much more complicated and contradictory than anything I could make up, which makes them a natural place to start when I’m building a fictional character. When I was writing the physical descriptions of Trent, for example, I drew on my own boyfriend (when you’re creating a dreamy guy, might as well start with the dreamiest one you know, right?). But Trent is nothing like my boyfriend, who is a scientist, not a rock star. They might enjoy talking about surfing together, if they ever met in person, but that’s about all they have in common. That’s how it goes with all of my characters – they might start out being based on a real person but they take on a life of their own pretty quickly. If they don’t, that usually means they don’t belong in the story. Skye is a great example of a character that really took turns I didn’t expect her to take. She started out as a fairly minor villain and became one of my very favourite characters in the book.

What are your favourite and least favourite aspects of being a writer?

Oooooh good question! My favourite part of being a writer is the moment when the characters take that leap from a collection of facts that I’m making up to suddenly being three-dimensional people who have stories that I can tell. It sounds weird, I know, but building a character feels a lot more like getting to know a friend than it does like inventing something. There’s a wonderful moment with every character when they suddenly become more than the sum of their parts, and that’s the very best part of writing for me.

My least favourite part of being a writer is proof reading! It’s so important, but I’m pretty terrible at it so it’s a bit like pulling teeth. I usually sit down with a lot of coffee and read the whole book or script out loud to myself. It really helps to find the typos and punctuation issues and it also helps me make sure that the dialogue feels real and the sentences flow smoothly.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

That depends on whether I’m working on a television show or not. Most writers have a particular time of day that they work best, and for me that’s early morning.  When I’m working on a show, I get up, work out (when you sit in front of a computer all day the gym is a MUST) then I go to my office and work on my own projects for an hour or so before the writing staff gets going. When I’m off for hiatus, I get up early and write first thing. How long I work depends on what phase I’m in with a project. Sometimes, if I’m on a roll, I’ll write for ten hours straight. Sometimes, if I’m stuck, I’ll clean the whole house while I try to think through the problem I’m tangled up in. Most of the time, however, I work for four or five hours and then I go to the gym, get some lunch and do some research. Research reading, whether it’s for a current project or just on some topic I find interesting, is vital. You can’t have new ideas if you’re not learning new things all the time!

Do you have a playlist for Drummer Girl? Were there any songs/artists you listened to while writing it that helped you along the way?

I was always looking for upbeat, high-energy music while I was writing Drummer Girl. Kate Nash, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Mike Snow, Imagine Dragons… just to name a few. I also listen to a lot of movie soundtracks while I’m writing. The soundtrack to Joe Wrights’ Pride and Prejudice is a favourite, and anything by John Williams. Pixar soundtracks are also great to write to - so fun, but also dramatic and moody.

Are you working on any other books/series at the moment? What's next for you?

I am on the writing staff of Burn Notice at the moment (it’s a USA Networks TV show about a down and out spy who solves mysteries, it’s really fun!) and I’m also in the process of casting my own pilot, which USA Networks is going to shoot this summer. It’s called Horizon and it’s about a young woman who discovers that aliens are visiting Earth during WWII. I love writing TV, but writing novels is one of my absolute favourite things to do, so I’m working on my next novel as well. It’s going to be set in a fantasy/science fiction world but just like Drummer Girl it’s the story of an ordinary girl who discovers how extraordinary she really is.

Thanks so much Bridget for those fantastic answers!

Now for the giveaway! The prize is...*drum roll*...a copy of Drummer Girl (ooh!) and this fantastic make up set (aah!)!

Doesn't this look great? I'm jealous of whoever wins! ;)
Giveaway rules:
-Open to UK residents only (sorry my international readers!)
-Prizes will be sent out by publisher.
-Neither me or Templar are responsible for prizes lost in the post.
-You must be a follower of my blog to enter this giveaway
- The giveaway closes on the 21st May at 12:00am and winners be announced in the following couple of days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Drummer Girl was published by Templar UK on the 5th May. Check it out on Amazon UKGoodreads, or The Book Depository.

Thanks to Templar for the prize!