Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

lovelargeBelle Philbrick’s got a lot to deal with. Her non-dating mom has started dating again. Her best friend needs her to buy condoms (Yes! Condoms!) at Wal-Mart. Belles’s juggling teaching gymnastics, going to her boyfriend’s baseball games, school work, parental issues with all the weirdness that comes with the end of senior year. Then her busy but almost perfect life implodes. Her boyfriend, Tom, acts really strange. Her arch nemesis Mimi spreads evil rumors. All this and pretty soon senior year will be over. Belle’s life is going to change. A lot. Not necessarily for the better. Why? Because someone might be preggers.


Sometimes strange things happen. Like you’re flipping through the channels on your tv’s remote and you see this image of a girl throwing up in a toilet and her mom is sitting on the floor. The mom looks so sad but like she still loves her daughter. The daughter looks gross because she’s just thrown up. You can tell she’s pretty and tragic though. So, you stare at this image.

And you stare.

And you stare.

And then you realize you’re watching a country music video with the sound off. The big clues were the guys hanging out in the middle of a field playing bass, drums and guitar. They all wore cowboy boots.

Then you check over your shoulder to see if anyone has noticed that you’re watching a country music video with the sound off. No one has. Whew.

That wasn’t the actual image. But who wants an image of a girl bent over a toilet? Puppies are much cuter.

Well, that one ORIGINAL image was the inspiration for LOVE (AND OTHER USES FOR DUCT TAPE). I started with that one image and began writing scenes. I used the Alison McGhee method of just writing and writing and writing, not necessarily in order. Andrew, my editor, says that’s a very sexy way of writing. A-hem. I am now officially a sexy writer. Don’t deny it. Andrew said so.

But writing that way is hard. You have to cut things out, shift things around. Being a sexy writer is fun, but it’s not easy. And LOVE (AND OTHER USES FOR DUCT TAPE) was just overall difficult because I really love Belle and Emmie and Tom and Shawn. Bad things happen. That just stinks. But it’s all good. Really. I swear. I mean, how bad can a book inspired by a country music video image be?

LOVE (AND OTHER USES FOR DUCT TAPE), the sequel to TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND was released March 2008 on my birthday!!!!

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