Thursday, May 9, 2013

Author Spotlight: Kathleen Allen

Happy Thursday! Today we have author Kathleen Allen, here to talk about her newest release: How To be Almost Famous in Ten Days. I had a chance to read this book, and I've posted my interview below.  But first, Kathleen was kind enough to let me interview her:

Hello Kathleen! So tell us about this newest book.

HOW TO BE ALMOST FAMOUS IN TEN DAYS is a YA contemporary about 17yo Cassie who feels invisible because she’s a double-digit size. She devises a plan to become seen by being famous after she finds a book of rules to follow in a secondhand book store. She enlists the help of her model gorgeous BFF to pretend to be her on a music video. On her way to being famous she has humorous and sometimes serious consequences. I call it Cyrano de Bergerac meets Comedy of Errors but with a teen girl.

Yes -that is a perfect description! What inspired you to write this book?

We all have a voice and deserve to be “seen” no matter our size, our disability, the color of our skin, or whatever makes us who we are. I wrote this book to let young adults know that they can be who they are and still have a voice. Don’t give up on your dreams just because you don’t fit into the norm that society thinks you should fit into.

That is great advice, and I love that you relay that message in your writing. Are you working anything new at the moment?

I am currently editing a YA mystery from the POV of a 15yo teen boy, Evan. He accidentally takes a photo of a crime in progress and when his best friend is murdered, the cops think Evan did it. He has to clear his name and find out who the killer is before he becomes the next victim.

That sounds great! I look forward to reading it. Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with?
As long as I’m dreaming, I’ll choose JK Rowling. But I’ll collaborate with anyone who writes fantasy or YA or even middle grade. Karen? LOL.

LOL. Sure! Do you think we can get JK to join us? Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Having my YA historical fiction book, FITZROY: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING in the top 100 in the UK for bestselling historical fiction for children’s ebooks for three months in December, January, and February of 2013. That sent me over the moon.

Congratulations!! Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Sure, a part of me is in all my characters. In each one of my books there is some character that has red hair and green eyes (like I do) and I almost always have a strong, independent character somewhere in the book. Some might say “high maintenance” but I say independent. *smiles*

Yes - independent - I like that! As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I started out wanting to be a ballerina and took ballet from the age of three until I was sixteen. Then I switched to singer, then an actress. I did play acoustic guitar in clubs for a while and I have acted in community theaters and was a theater and drama major as an undergraduate in college. I even lived in mid-town Manhattan for a time and tried to make it on Broadway. I also lived in Hollywood and auditioned for different TV series. Oh, I have been an extra on the movie, Ides of March and got to see both Ryan Gosling and George Clooney up close. Alas, I didn’t get into the actual movie though.

Being a writer was more of a given for me because even when I was dancing or acting, or singing I kept writing. The songs that are in my current book are actual songs I wrote and sang. *hums the tune to Doctor of Love* It’s very bluesy.

Wow - what an exciting life you lead! Coffee or Tea?
I adore coffee, especially in the morning or well, anytime. But I also love tea and have a whole cupboard full of different flavors. I also collect teapots. I’m waiting for one of my family members to buy me a TARDIS teapot. *waits*

Yes, I’m a Whovian. I’m also a Sherlockian and a Browncoat. I am a bit of a Trekkie and one of my dreams is to be invited to ComicCon in San Diego in California as a guest panelist. *dreams*

I'm a coffee girl who has a full stash or tea and loves teapots also! You never know - that dream could come true one day! Is there anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am an eclectic reader and an eclectic writer. I write in different genres but YA is my favorite.

Where can people find you and your books online?
My latest release is available anywhere eBooks are sold. Most of my books are available in both print and eBooks. Please see my Amazon page for more information or my websites and be sure to follow me on Twitter or become a fan on my Facebook page. Oh, you have to check out my Avatar on my Weebly web page. She has a British accent, red hair and green eyes. LOL.

Thank you so much Kathleen!!

More about How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Cee feels invisible because she’s a double-digit size. She finds a book in a secondhand bookstore that she hopes will change her life. Her best friend’s brother wants to make vlogs about how she is following the ten rules she found in the book, why she is doing it, and how she feels about being invisible for his school project. She agrees, but only if he promises no one but his college advisor will see the vlogs. He promises, but a friend of his posts them online and they go viral. When one of the "famous rules" puts her best friend, Rachel in a dangerous situation, Cassie makes one last vlog and Chuck posts it online. But emails begin arriving from other girls who have felt invisible, and she realizes she has to own up to being "the real Cassie Cee.

My Review

Poor Cassie - she's never the one getting the attention, at least not when her gorgeous and perfect best friend Rachel is around. But when Cassie finds a book called "How to Be Famous in Ten Days" she decides it's time to be noticed … sort of. You see she follows all the steps, but has Rachel fill in as herself, so as to get even more attention. Of course, the attention goes to Rachel, not Cassie - including the attention from the cute boy who works at Starbucks.  Once Cassie realizes that her plan is not going quite as planned, everything changes for her.

This is a great book for teens, and deals with the important topics of self-esteem and confidence - I also love how the author brings in Rachel's brother and his partner's relationship. This was a quick and fun read and quite enjoyable.

My fingertips drifted across the dusty books stacked haphazardly on the shelf. I wasn’t looking for any particular book title—just wasting time while Rachel searched for a book in the romance section. I walked around the second hand books piled in haphazard stacks on the faded brown carpet in search of a science fiction. Closing my eyes as my fingers flitted over the books, I played a game I used to play when I was younger. If some book wanted me to read it, I’d know by the feeling the book gave me. Forgetting about the piles everywhere I ran into one—or two, I’m not sure—I opened my eyes just as I fell, sending the piles sprawling across the floor. Which, by the way, smelled and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in centuries.
Rachel called out, “You okay, Cassie?”
“Yes,” I mumbled, sitting up.
No clerk came to my rescue, so I began to restack the books. My elbow was a bit scraped a bit, but otherwise no damage. Sighing, I continued piling up the books until a small yellow book caught my eye.
“How to Be Famous in Ten Days,” I read aloud.
“What?” Rachel asked from the other side of the aisle.
“I found a book,” I yelled back.

About Kathleen Allen:

Kathleen has been writing since she was able to hold a pencil and scribble lines on paper. She self-published her first book of poems at the tender age of eight. Okay, she printed her poems on notebook paper in her best printing, added an orange and blue construction paper cover with the words: MY POEMS written on it in blue crayon, used a paper puncher to make three holes in the sides, threaded a red ribbon through the holes and, TA DAH! Her first book. She’s been writing ever since. She writes in different genres but YA is her favorite.

Websites: with blog
On Pinterest:
On Twitter: @kathleea
On Facebook: Witch Hunter
Author Central page:
Book Trailers on You Tube here:

Book Trailer:



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