1. Hello! Laurie, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I’ll make it quick, so first and foremost, tell us a little bit about what Pretty in Punxsutawney is about?
Pretty in Punxsutawney is basically a Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup starring Andie, the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. Andie is addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again. She’s convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, so she embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. Along the way, she discovers that people who seem completely different can share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups, and that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with surprises.
2. With summer being here, the probability of teen romance is high in the air, so to aid teens in the venture to love, and quench the rest of us single people from our lack of love life can you recommend to us some teen rom-com novels that people who enjoyed Pretty in Punxsutawney may also enjoy?
I LOVE teen rom-com novels and there are a few great ones that are in a similar movie-centric vein as Pretty in Punxsutawney. Two of my favorites are: Just Like the Moviesby Kelly Fiore Stultz, and Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori Mcarthy. Of course, for teen romance, I love anything by Sara Dessen, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins or Jenny Han! Such awesome YA authors whose books are sure to hit that summer read sweet spot!
3. In retrospect to the previous questions, can you tell us some of your personal favorite teen rom-com movies and/or tv shows?
Aside from the John Hughes obvious choices like Sixteen Candles, my core rom-com movies that I must watch at least once a year include: 500 Days of Summer, 13 Going on 30, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and of course 50 First Dates! As far as TV shows, my tastes run very much toward The Office, Parks and Rec, and Friends, which aren’t perhaps rom-coms so much as perfect shows to binge while hanging out in air-conditioning while recovering from too much sun exposure which is my default-summer-setting when I’m not outdoors getting too much sun.
4. Romance is all around us, in the air, in books, in music, and sometimes in our faces, so tell us from where did you draw the inspiration to write Pretty in Punxsutawney? You may choose to be specific or not or both.
I love writing about LOVE and I attribute part of that to the fact that I remain madly in love with my husband year after year. He is always so supportive of my writing and my first book BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) was dedicated to him with the quote: “To Brett, who told me once that love is a super-power. And who continues to prove this is true.” I went through my share of heartbreak when I was younger, but never gave up on believing in LOVE and am so glad I didn’t! After 26 years of marriage my biggest piece or relationship advice is to choose a life partner who you enjoy hanging out with! All these years later, my husband is still the person I most like to be with and my absolute favorite movie-watching buddy! I like to give the romances I write the same kind of ‘love is timeless’ feel. Of course, Pretty in Punxsutawney brings timelessness to new levels!
5. Last but certainly not least, the question that has been on my mind and I’m sure everyone else’s as well, why Punxsutawney?
I grew up in a small western Pennsylvania town called Butler, and when I was a teen I couldn’t wait to move to New York. I left Butler to live in New York at nineteen, but I can’t say I never looked back. I still live in NY but I love writing about rural Pennsylvania towns! Punxsutawney is a little over an hour away from Butler, so I chose the town as a nod to the movie Groundhog Day while still keeping in mind the area that will always be close to my heart. The novel actually takes place in a fictionalized version of Punxsutawney that is a mash-up of that real town and Butler, the town I grew up in!
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