An Interview with Marni Bates {DECKED WITH HOLLY, AWKWARD}

Last year, I took part in a blog tour for the launch of AWKWARD, Marni Bates' debut YA novel.
I featured Character Word Associations with Logan (Who you will totally want to know a little bit better after reading AWKWARD), as well as a review with my thoughts on the novel.  If you're looking for something fresh and fun, Marni Bates is a great new author in the genre.

Her second novel, DECKED WITH HOLLY, came out in late 2012.  I meant to both review the book and post this interview earlier, but all my good intentions disappeared when I got sick, so I apologize for the delay!  Here's today's review of DECKED WITH HOLLY!

One of the themes running through both AWKWARD and DECKED WITH HOLLY is the way the characters get into these crazy, embarrassing situations that start off the story.  I had to know why, and Marni was kind enough to sit down and answer this burning question of mine, as well as a few others!

Marni Bates began her writing career at the age of 19 with her autobiography, MARNI, for HCI’s Louder Than Words series. Her debut fiction novel, AWKWARD, has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian and has been optioned by Disney Channel as a made for TV movie.

She has three other novels with KTeen; DECKED WITH HOLLY, INVISIBLE, and NOTABLE, as well as short stories in Ambush Books’ MAGICAL MAYHEM and LOVE STINKS anthologies. 

In her free time she can be found reading romance novels, rollerblading, singing really loudly (and off-key) in public and . . . watching copious amounts of television.

Follow Michelle through her blog, her websiteTwitter, and Facebook!

An interview with 
author Marni Bates

What made you choose to have such embarrassing moments be the catalysts for both of your novels to date?

I pretty much embarrass myself on a daily basis. Sometimes it's a joke that falls horribly flat, or an award-worthy klutzy moment, or a random fluke of nature that totally shouldn't have happened. I mean, in college I somehow managed to break the showers in the girl's locker room...twice! I still don't know how I managed to do that. Neither does the maintenance staff, although I doubt they were amused when they got the call that a student accidentally transformed the locker room into a sauna. So it wasn't much of a stretch for me to imagine my heroines accidentally humiliating themselves in public. In fact, I'm kind of amazed that their moments haven't actually happened to me...yet!

Do you have any funny embarrassing stories that you don't mind sharing with us? ^.~


When I was studying abroad in Australia, everyone was required to write a blog post for our college group. These posts were supposed to be informative for our parents/faculty back in the states. Translation: deadly freaking dull! So I decided to spice up my piece by including a photo of a hot shirtless Australian guy that my friend had taken when we went to Bondi beach. And I wrote some little comment beneath the picture along the lines of, I could get used to this view! 

Innocent fun. 

Hilarious, innocent fun. 

Because it wasn't like that nameless, faceless Aussie would ever track me down and object to my post. 

At least that's what I thought right up until my fellow classmates started asking me just how long I'd had a crush on a guy in our group! That's right, my Aussie example of shirtless-ness was actually a guy I've known for years. And yet as soon as the shirt came off...sorry, what was I saying? 

The most embarrassing part was probably that I had commented on his ahem, physique on the blog I knew his parents and his girlfriend were reading. 

Getting busted ogling a friend/travel buddy...yeah, awkward! 

Thankfully, he laughed the whole thing off with me afterwards.

DECKED WITH HOLLY is a super-fun winter read. What inspired you to write a holiday novel?

DECKED WITH HOLLY kind of happened by accident. It all started with a call from my agent saying that KTeen wanted to hire me to write a spin-off holiday novel if I was up for it. To which I enthusiastically assured my agent I was absolutely ready for any challenge. 

Two minutes later I was freaking out over the phone with my mom. 

Me: What have I done? 
Mom: It’ll be fine, Marni. 
Me (hyperventilating): They asked the Jewish girl to write a holiday novel! I don't want to be writing about Santa. And there will be no Christmas miracles in my books! No non-denominational miracles either! SO HOW WILL THIS BE FINE? 

As you can tell, I always keep my head in times of uncertainty. 

And yet when I actually got down to the task of writing, I absolutely fell in love with DECKED WITH HOLLY. As soon as I typed my first sentence (I looked like a skank), I grinned at my laptop and I knew it would be nothing but smooth sailing ahead. So maybe I got my miracle after all! I had the best time with Holly and Nick, so I just hope everyone enjoys reading their story as much as I loved writing it!

What are you hoping Santa brings you for Christmas this year?

A trip to Romania? Or Brazil? Hmm...maybe Italy! I love traveling and when I can't seem to fall asleep I usually spend hours entering online travel sweepstakes. Not even kidding. 

But since I think that's a lot to ask of the big guy what I really want for Christmas is for everyone to check out the book trailer I made for DECKED WITH HOLLY. I hope everyone likes it!

I did the whole project entirely on my own...and now I see why Santa delegates to all his little helpers!

What is your favorite holiday treat to make...or enjoy at a get-together?

I am hopelessly addicted to the holiday drinks at Starbucks. Peppermint mochas are pretty much the most wonderful things ever invented. I don't think I'm exaggerating here. *Starts walking to Starbucks*

Have you ever wanted to be a rock star or hang out with one?

Oh, heck yeah! Unfortunately, when it comes to singing, I sound less like Mackenzie and a whole lot more like Jane...

What can you tell us about your upcoming 2013 novel INVISIBLE, the sequel to AWKWARD starring Jane?

It’s not easy being best friends with a celebrity... 

Jane Smith has always been invisible at her high school and she's been fine with it. Or at least she was until her best friends became too preoccupied with their own love lives to spare her a second thought. So when the school newspaper staff insists that Jane write a cover-story, she decides to find out just how much scandal one geeky girl can uncover. 

Except nobody warned her that once you leave the shadows you can never go back to being invisible...

Okay there is a lot more to INVISIBLE, but I don't want to give the whole thing away! I can promise that there is flirting, fist-fighting, and maybe the start of some highly unlikely friendships. 

I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of it!

Thank you so much, Marni! Your interview had me rolling around in hysterics!  
Bookworms, Marni's books are just as funny as she is when chatting as herself,
so make sure you check them out!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Marni Bates
Release Date: Out Sept. 25, 2012
Publisher: K-Teen / Kensington

Smartly blending of-the-moment pop culture references and timeless themes, Bates follows her YA debut, AWKWARD, with a hilarious, over-the-top adventure about a teen girl who becomes the fake girlfriend of a cute rock star. 

Taking a Christmas cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when seasickness forces her into an open suite, she's pepper-sprayed by a gorgeous guy called Nick. But when Holly makes her exit, she's greeted by a horde of screaming teenage fans. Because Nick happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for one of the hottest bands in America. Suddenly rumours are swirling and Holly's face is plastered all over the Internet. The band can't risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend - just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be "fauxmantically" involved with a cute rock star? She's about to find out...


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