{Interview/3-bookGiveaway} Anne Eliot, Author of UNMAKING HUNTER KENNEDY

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An interview with
Anne Eliot

Anne Eliot writes sweet, first-love stories. She was raised in the mountains of Colorado, but says she really learned about life, love and friendships from summers spent with her large, Italian immigrant family in Ontario, Canada.

Anne Eliot’s first book, ALMOST, became a top 100 best selling Kindle book, and was a Readers Choice, Top 12 of 2012 book for Amazon.com at #11, and will be translated and released in Germany and Turkey fall 2013. Her second book, UNMAKING HUNTER KENNEDY, is a also a Kindle, top 100 best selling book in Teen Romance for 2013. She's also written HOW I FALL. She loves to hear from readers.
Follow Anne on her website, Twitter, and Facebook!

What inspired you to write UNMAKING HUNTER KENNEDY?

UNMAKING HUNTER KENNEDY was inspired probably from a lifetime of reading fairy tales. I always love the stories about the secret prince, or the hidden princess and how they show up in town and fall in love with the normal person who’s not famous. Today we don’t have very many princes and princesses to go around, but boy do we have very sexy rockstars all over the place and we do treat them like royalty. I wanted to write a rockstar romance. 

The backstory in Hunter Kennedy’s life about his deep bout with depression came out of knowing an amazing mom and friend who’d suffered terribly from depression as a teen. So much so, that she’s covered in scars because she almost took her own life. This woman is so amazing, as are her beautiful children. She’s a nurse and she helps people every single day get through something difficult and I truly can’t imagine this world without her. Often over the days of our friendship, I’ve pondered her scars and the ‘what ifs’ behind how many people would miss her should she have succeeded when she was depressed. I wanted to explore that a little, and she was kind enough to lend me all of her journals from that time in her life and so with her help and the help of another friend who’s also a survivor, a mom and an an inspiration to so many thanks to the life long help of antidepressant medications that she credits saving her life numerous times, I added that part of the story in to Hunter’s life. 

The other inspiration for the story happened because at that time some famous actresses and singers were going through rehab and always on the news. These were some of my favorites while growing up who’d somehow lived this famous, what I thought ‘dream life’ yet as adults they’d train-wrecekd everything, were on drugs were possibly crazy and probably never getting any sort of normal life back again ever. I kept having this idea, like…if a teen star happened to be on a bad road, would anyone be able to turn the thing around. To stop that future train wreck? Like could a kid who’s been a pop star for years fall off the grid and just live a normal year?

What was it like having UNMAKING HUNTER KENNEDY win the Best First Kiss 2013 award? Do you have any stories about when you wrote that scene?

Ahh such a fun question. The Best First Kiss Award came from another blogger, Judith at I love YA Fiction, but then it went around and around to become something bigger and many more readers and bloggers agree. It also started a war between the readers who think Gray Porter, the character in ALMOST, should have the best first kiss award. Now that my third book is out, I personally think Ellen Foster and Cam Campbell in HOW I FALL should get the best first kiss award. I do work very hard on the first kisses because the characters in my books (so far) don’t have any sex or graphic content. It’s all first love and first kisses, so I work to make that first kiss between the characters really memorable and I’ve been known to take a full month on combing through those kisses.

In your head, what singer come closest to bringing Hunter Kennedy into reality?

In my head, and for the age of the character I’d have to insert one of the guys from One Direction (I’m all about the sweet Irish boy as well as I die sometimes sighing over Harry’s perfect smile and mop of hair). 1D and their music, their journey, were really on my mind when I wrote this book. Personally, and probably outside the correct age, I of course have my own crushes on Adam Levine—wow, Ed Sheeran—poet boyfriend crush, Jared Leto—holy cow crush, Kurt Cobain—how I wish he were still alive crush—there’s so many more of course. We all swoon over sexy rock star boys.

Did you ever want to be a “star” growing up? What was your dream?

I don’t think I ever wanted to be a star, but I did want to be a writer—a romance writer. I distinctly remember thinking, ‘I just want to write a book where someone will fall in love inside the pages that I wrote’. That was my absolute dream and I feel really lucky that I did get to see my books published, and even better the fact that people say they fell in love while reading makes me so happy.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Celebrity crush… I think I said them up there, Adam Levine, Ed Sheeran (really I am so in love with Ed and his lyrics as well as the Avett Brothers and heck anyone who writes poetry and love songs into music—I’m all for those dreamy wordsmith guys). But let’s not forget Jensen Ackels and my girl crush is Katy Perry. I know she gets a bad rap from a lot of people but if you watch her documentary there is no way you can’t fall in love with Katy Perry and the journey she’s been on, how hard she works and how real she was in that documentary. I LOVE HER. 

Do you have a favorite movie or book about a star encounter?

I LOVE the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore (that’s almost a star encounter—the classic remake of Cinderella handsome prince falls for girl who sleeps in the ashes).

Do you have a personal theme song?

Personal theme song…this one is difficult because it depends on my mood. When I’ve been smacked down a lot or there’s sadness going on and I need to build myself up, I listen to Avett Brothers a lot because they remind me to just be love and to not let other people’s energy become my energy. I love the LIVE album they’ve got out and if you listened to "The Ballad of Love and Hate" on there, there’s this part where they sing about ‘hope’ and the crowd cheers along with the story in the song and it gives me goosebumps because they’re cheering for ‘LOVE’. The song "Color-Show" encourages me to be louder when I want to crawl into a hole and cry or "Paranoia in B Flat Minor" also gets me to feel better because their message is, you can’t please everyone so just live your life. Once in a while there's this old song I go to called "This is My United States of Whatever" which makes me laugh because if you find it on YouTube you will hear the lyrics and say—what the heeeeck and if you don’t crack up, well…then I guess I don’t know what’s funny. Then of course there are Katy Perry’s songs. I love "The One That Got Away"…so dreamy and sad.

Did you listen to anything in particular while writing FAMOUS IN LOVE?

When I write, I usually have to listen to movie soundtracks and mostly songs without words otherwise I can’t concentrate and I wind up spacing out and dreaming along with the song. Hunter Kennedy was actually written to this soundtrack for a favorite movie I have called Dear Frankie (with Gerard Butler, by the way back before he was all famous and there’s a scene in that movie where when he’s first introduced that will actually have you gasping out lout because he’s so darn attractive—I SWEAR—watch this love story). Other favorite writing soundtracks are ones from movies like Pride and Prejudice and, also, the Jane Eyre soundtrack is awesome as well. Titanic plays a lot also…. there, now you know my secret. I’m nerdier than you thought.

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Anne Eliot
Release Date: Oct. 17, 2012
Publisher: Butterfly Books, LLC

After a car accident--an event he considers a prank gone bad--pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a 'nice' guy.

Funny thing is...Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.

She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation.

When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist...

And that’s when things get out of control...

High School Romance, first love, sweet romance.


Ready to fall in love with

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