Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Author Spotlight on Robin Reul

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

Hi, guys! I'm back for the last day of the OTBF Blog Tour! I'm so glad I got to participate in the tour this year because I love Teen Book Fest. Thanks to the lovely Sara Santana for having me on board! 

This year's OTBF is on Saturday March 25th at Colony High School (3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761)  from 9 am to 5 pm. It is a completely free and unticketed event that is a full day of fun to hang out with authors and make new friends! The event is also sponsored by Once Upon a Time Bookstore. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well. 

This year's blog tour follows all 21 of the participating OTBF authors, and I'll be spotlighting two of them. My interview with Jeff Garvin went live earlier this week, and you can check that out here. Today's author spotlight is on Robin Reul, another 2016 debut author.  Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour, including today's stops and all previous stops, for other interviews; the schedule - with blog links - will be included at the bottom of the post. Now it's time to get to know Robin Reul! 

About Robin Reul: 

Robin Reul has been writing since she was in early elementary school, when she used to make her own book club flyers for her classmates and then pen them original stories. Though she grew up on movie sets and after graduating Boston University she worked for many years in the film and television industry both as an actress and in motion picture development, she ultimately decided to focus her attention on writing young adult novels. She likes to write the same kinds of stories she loved as a teen: the ones that give her with butterflies in her stomach and are filled with quirky, memorable characters who stay with the reader long after the story ends. When she’s not writing, Robin can be found singlehandedly driving up the profit margin of her local Starbucks and indulging her love of baked goods, particularly those in the key of pumpkin. She lives in Los Angeles suburbia with her husband, son and daughter.  

About My Kind of Crazy

Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.  

A Conversation with Robin Reul (my questions will be bolded and Robin's answers will be in normal type): 

1.    Describe My Kind of Crazy in seven words or less.

Failed fiery promposal leads to unusual friendship

2.    My Kind of Crazy is your debut novel. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes, I have wanted to be a writer since I was three years old. By the time I was thirteen I’d written seven novels and had the good fortune of meeting with an Executive Editor at Putnam about one of them. However, it wasn’t until much later in my life that I would have the time and the focus to be able to pursue writing full-time.

3.    Where did your inspiration come from?

When I was a teenager, I felt like I was always on the outside of things and was dealing with a lot of stuff. I had a friend who saw that I was struggling and she reached out to me and was there for me. She never tried to minimize what I was feeling or fix me - she just listened. She was killed by a drunk driver when we were both seventeen, and I’ve carried the story of that friendship connection and the layers of loss and grief and the stories we tell ourselves to get by in my heart but never knew quite how to tell it. Then one day while I was working on an entirely different project, the complete first chapter of the book showed up in my head and I switched gears and wrote it. And by the end of Chapter Two I knew I’d found the story’s voice through Hank and Peyton.

4.    Which of your characters do you believe is the most like yourself?

There are aspects of myself in both Hank and Peyton but if I had to pick one I would say Hank. We both tend to hide behind humor and undervalue ourselves more than we should. We both believe that there is good in this world and that it often lies in unexpected places and sources. We’ve both known what it feels like to be broken and to discover that we are stronger than we realized.

5.    Which scene in My Kind of Crazy would you Iike to see translated on screen?

Without question the opening scene where Hank’s promposal goes south quickly. From the setting up of the sparklers to the escalating situation with the fire as things go awry lends itself to so much fun imagery and humor.

6.    Sort your characters into Hogwarts houses.

Hank is definitely a Hufflepuff – loyal, hard-working, modest about his accomplishments, friendly. I would say Peyton is a Slytherin – she’s all about self-preservation, cunning, resourcefulness. Nick seems like a Gryffindor to me – courageous, daring, chivalrous. And lastly, I would say Monica is probably a Ravenclaw – she’s pure wit, wisdom, creativity and individuality.

7.    What, if anything, can you tell us about your upcoming books or current writing projects?

I have another book tentatively slated to come out Spring 2018 with Sourcebooks but I’m not at liberty to say much about it at this point other than it will be another contemporary YA stand alone with humor and heart that takes place over the course of one night with a ticking clock in the background about two semi-strangers who decide to not leave their destinies entirely up to destiny.

8.   Finally, this won't be your first year at OTBF. What is the aspect of the event that you most enjoyed last year, and what are you excited about this year?

Honestly, last year’s OTBF was my favorite event of last year, and not just because it was my first one ever and my book debuted there three weeks before it went on sale, which was really exciting. Courtney Saldana and her team that puts on the OTBF are the best. It’s a really well-coordinated event and the love and thought put into it shows, both for the authors and the attendees. Everyone is enthusiastic and excited to be there, and the panels are so interesting and fun. Last year, I was a moderator but this year I’m excited and honored to be on two panels alongside some of my favorite authors.

Thanks so much for being on the blog, Robin! I hope you have a great time at #OntarioTBF! And I hope all you fellow SoCal readers can make it to the event! 

Blog Tour Schedule

March 15th:
Spotlight on Romina Russell - The Consummate Reader
Spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras - 
Book You Very Much 

March 16th:
Spotlight on Catherine Linka - What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on BT Gottfred - 
My Fangirl Chronicles 

March 17th:
Spotlight on Elana K Arnold - Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana - 
Starkiller Readers

March 18th:
Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil - Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Charlotte Huang - 
A Traveling Book 

March 19th:
Spotlight on KM Walton - Recently Acquired Obsessions
Spotlight on Jeff Garvin - 
Reading Over Sleeping 

March 20th:
Spotlight on Jessica Brody - A Reader's Antidote
Spotlight on Aditi Khorana - 
Read Now Sleep Later

March 21st:
Spotlight on Ann Stampler - Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi - 
My Fangirl Chronicles

March 22nd:
Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum - A Traveling Book
Spotlight on Cindy Pon - 
Book You Very Much 

March 23rd:
Spotlight on Martina Boone - Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Mary Weber - 
What A Nerd Girl Says

March 24th:
Spotlight on Jessica Love - Nite Lite Books
Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera - 
Starkiller Reads
Spotlight on Robin Reul - 
Reading Over Sleeping