{Interview + Event Giveaway} Kenley Conrad, Author of HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD

Return to the Schedule of Events!
Don't miss a second of all the great stuff in store for you!
Grab a promotional banner for your blog
and stop back for exciting author visits, fantastic giveaways, 
fun reviews, and more!
Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

An interview with
Kenley Conrad

I'm the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, coming September 2014 by Swoon Romance. I'm a twenty-something cat lady who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working my office day job or writing books, you can find me either singing and dancing or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.
Follow Kenley on her website, Twitter, and Facebook!

What inspired you to write HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD?

At the time, I was all about modern day fairy tale stories. I was trying to think of the most underused fairy tale and The Little Mermaid is what came to mind. I couldn't figure out how to translate the concept of The Little Mermaid into a modern tale, and then suddenly, the idea of a girl who sells her voice to a record studio popped into my head and the rest was history.

HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD is the first in series. How many books are you anticipating? What's in store for Holly in future titles?

I'm anticipating at least three. I say "at least" because I believe that there are many possibilities in the Holly Hart universe, including prequels and spin-off series.

In your head, what actors come closest to bringing the sound of singers Holly Hart and Grayson Frost into reality? What stars would bring Serena Salazar and Lacey Bennett to life?

When I first saw Megan Trainor's music video "All About that Bass" I nearly cried because she embodied my image of an older, more grown up Holly. 

Grayson is definitely Hunter Hayes. 

Lacey is easy: Taylor Swift. A much meaner Taylor, that is. 

Serena is kind of a special girl, and it is harder for me to think of musical inspiration for her. She does what she wants and she isn't like anyone else.

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

 I flip flopped between wanting to be a teacher and a writer when I was growing up. I'm seriously obsessed with Broadway musicals and I participate in local theatre in my community, so there was totally a point when I was younger where I dreamed about living in New York and performing. But I knew that my talents didn't lie there, so now I dream about telling stories to lots of people and hopefully inspiring others.

Who is your celebrity crush?

I can only have one? Um, I'll give a short list. Ryan Gosling (who's a dad now and is totally off the market), Dane DeHaan (he looks like a young, fashion photoshoot version of Leo DiCaprio), and Michael Fassbender, who is just an all-around flawless human being.

Do you have a favorite movie or book about a star encounter?
Meg Cabot's book TEEN IDOL about a teenage heartthrob going to a local high school undercover for research is an old favorite. Meg Cabot anything is an old favorite of mine.

If there was a soundtrack to your life, what would be on the playlist?

It is hilarious to me that I wrote a book about music when I'm so terrible about music. Literally, I'm the worst ever. Never ask me for recommendations because I pretty much listen to only Broadway showtunes. I'll listen to the original cast recording of Ragtime and cry my eyes out in traffic over certain songs. I'm a total dork. But the good thing about showtunes is that there's a song for every occasion. So I wouldn't say there's a playlist, but you can just turn my showtunes albums on shuffle and we'll be good.

Do you have a personal theme song?

When I'm not listening to showtunes, I'm listening to country music. There's this new song called "Girl in a Country Song" by Maddie and Tae and it gives me life. You should go listen to it or watch the music video right now because those girls are awesome.

Did you listen to anything in particular while writing HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD?

I'm probably the only author I know who not only doesn't listen to music while writing but literally can't listen to music while writing. It distracts me. I can have the TV on or have a hundred people over for a barbeque and write just fine. But I can't and don't write with music on. I told you, I'm awful when it comes to music. That's the definition of irony, I guess.

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Kenley Conrad
Release Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance / Macmillan


Seventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.

But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?


During A Week of Shooting Stars,
I'm giving away a book of YOUR CHOICE
from the event!


Enter now!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

Enter now!