Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Author Interview + Contest: Elise Allen

Dropping in today is Populazzi author Elise Allen, running the gauntlet of my random questions! Then check out your chance to win a copy of the Elise's book right after the interview!

Describe Populazzi in three words.

Hysterical; Surprising; Resonant

If you could pair Cara with any character from any book, who would it be?

Given that I think she’s perfect for the guy she ends up with in Populazzi, let me think… Ooh, I’d put her with Noel from E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver series. Noel doesn’t play the popularity game, so Cara wouldn’t get sucked into that kind of drama with him. He’s fiercely witty, so he and Cara could banter like wild; and he’s also deep enough to enjoy the kind of long, thoughtful conversations Cara would love.

What has been the best feedback you've gotten so far on the book?

This is actually tough, because the feedback has been so incredible that it’s hard to pinpoint one “best.” I’m so grateful to everyone who has posted reviews, and all the people who have gotten in touch with me to talk about the book. For so long it was something just between myself, my editor, and some early readers – it’s still earthshattering to realize it’s now out there for everyone!

That said, there are a few comments that stand out to me. I always love it when I hear that the book surprised someone – that from the summary they assumed it was just another girl-wants-to-be-popular story, then they read it and found so much more. I’m also thrilled when someone says it rings incredibly true to their high school experience – a comment I’ve heard from both people in high school now, and people whose high school days have long since passed. Yet the very best thing is when people get emotionally attached to the characters, and tell me about moments where they rejoiced with them, feared for them, or even wanted to crawl into the pages and scream at them (the characters don’t always make the best choices, I’m afraid…).

Cara can have any guy in the world as her boyfriend. Who does she pick?

Any guy in the world? In the beginning of the book, I don’t think any guy could live up to the imagined perfection in her head, and by the end of the book she’d stick with the guy she has, no matter what.

What god/goddess would be your nemesis?

Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home. She’d be horrified by my housekeeping and cooking skills, possibly enough to smite me on the spot.

You're dropped into a room full of Death Eaters! What do you do?

I immediately shout “Protego,” which shields me just long enough to slip on my invisibility cloak and dive away before the slew of Death Eater curses busts apart my shielding charm. Now cloaked and invisible, I race silently around the room, and since I’m of course beyond N.E.W.T. level, I can do hexes without saying the incantations out loud. I then become a silent force of doom, invisibly and wordlessly hexing each one of my enemies. They never know what hits them. I play it like Dumbledore and rope them up to go to Azkaban, though it’d be tough to refrain from a little Cruciatus Curse if Bellatrix Lestrange or Lucius Malfoy was among the bunch.

What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?

Something nutty, for sure. Trader Joe’s has these cookies – I forget the name – they’re like Nutter Butters, but covered in chocolate, with extra bits of peanut on top. I like them because they’re not only nutty, but they also have a lot going on, so you never what exact flavor and texture combination you’ll get in any given bite.

Thank you, Elise, for answering my questions and congrats on the release!

Now for your chance to win a copy of Populazzi, just fill out THIS form!

Contest is US only and ends August 26.

No entries will be accepted through the comments, but they are more than appreciated.

About Populazzi

What would you do if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be? Would you grab it? Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?
Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi.
It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.

About Elise Allen

Elise Allen has among the most random television-writing resumes ever, with credits that run the gamut from Cosby to Dinosaur Train. She recently fulfilled one of her many life’s ambitions by writing for the Muppets. Another ambition, anytime-access to Disneyland’s Club 33, is for the moment still a pipe dream. Elise has a sick penchant for running marathons, and can’t seem to stop even though fifteen really should be enough already. She lives in L.A. with her husband, daughter, and insatiable food-hound of a dog, Riley. For more, visit or follow Elise on Twitter at


  1. Great interview! :) I laughed at her Death Eater response, and the kind of cookie that she is sounds delicious! Thanks for the giveaway as well. :)

  2. Awesome interview, and thanks for the giveaway! Lol, Hestia would probably smite me too, and that I WANT THAT COOKIE NOW; I love Nutter Butters and combining those with chocolate... yum. :)

  3. I LOVE your gauntlet of random questions! And the Death Eater one couldn't have come at a better time for me, since I'm re-reading the entire series to my daughter AND we just came back from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Living and breathing that one in a huge way.

    Thanks for having me on the blog!



  4. Thanks for the interview - and I have been in Harry Potter withdrawl, thanks for the Death Eater Q&A!