Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee
In the tradition of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes a hilarious, madcap, and quirky debut novel about a group of oddball teens struggling to find themselves when facing their own mortality.
The life of homeschooler Stevie Hart gets all shook up when she meets a strange boy, Max, who survived a freak near-fatal accident and is now obsessed with death. He enlists her and her best friend, Sanger, to help him complete his absurd “23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying” checklist. What starts off as fun begins spiraling downward when Stevie’s diabetes sabotages her fumbling romance with Max, Sanger announces she’s moving out of state, and then death—real death—cuts close to home.
Tell us an elevator pitch for your book!
Two homeschooled girls meet one death-obsessed boy, and fake death shenanigans ensue. Think Harold and Maude meets John Hughes.
Can you tell us a bit about your publishing journey?
Sure! I was a big bookworm growing up and studied English in college with the intention of getting a PhD and teaching at the university level. Then, my sophomore year, I completed my first book (what would eventually become The Water and the Wild), got an agent, and realized I could actually make a living doing what I love best. It was a pretty long process to publication. I got “the call” from an agent when I was 19, but it wasn’t until I was 22 that I got my first book deal and 25 that my debut novel came out. I learned a lot during that time, and I feel crazy lucky to be writing books on a daily basis. My favorite part by far is getting to know authors, bloggers, readers, teachers, and publishing professionals; this is such a smart and talented community!
Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
This isn’t spoiler-y at all, because I most loved writing the first chapter! In it, Stevie gives her take on the different kinds of homeschoolers out there. I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school graduation, so it was fun to channel twelve years of observations, experience, and home educated pride/angst into Stevie’s irreverent voice.
Who was your favorite character to write?
Oh gosh, this is hard. I don’t have a favorite, but I probably had the most fun with Sanger Sadler-Hamasaki. She’s smart, snarky, and full of energy, and she also has plenty of inner demons to fight. I loved writing her “sistermance” with Stevie and modeling it after the amazing female friendships in my own life.
I’m always interested as to how authors choose names for their characters. How did you choose the names of your characters?
Love this question! Stevie’s name is funny, because she explicitly states in the book that she wasn’t named after Stevie Nicks. But . . . she was. Haha. I’ll admit it: I’m a huge Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac fan. I named Sanger after an itty bitty Texan town north of Dallas. I like to imagine her moms’ car broke down there on a road trip and they took it to be a sign. I gave Max his name because . . . I like the name Max! Also because I love Max Medina’s character on Gilmore Girls. Insert wistful sigh here.
Were there different titles for your book? If so, why did you come up with Lucky Few?
There weren’t, actually! Which was surprising to me, because I’m pretty awful at coming up with titles. I think Lucky Few is the shortest, catchiest way of summing up several of the books’ themes: accepting your differences, accepting others, and embracing the lucky wonder of being alive.
Are you working on any future projects that you’re willing to share with us?
Yes! I’m working on revisions for my next YA, Tash Hearts Tolstoy. It’s about an aspiring filmmaker named Tash Zelenka who identifies as asexual. After her Tolstoy-inspired web series goes viral, she has to deal with internet fame and all the craziness that comes along with it. It’s a story that’s very close to my heart, and I cannot wait until it’s on the shelves next summer. I’m also working on my next Middle Grade, which is a stand-alone magical realism about a rural mountain town, secret agreements, and Death incarnate. At the moment, I’m prepping for my next book release this October—The Doorway and the Deep, which is the second book in my MG fantasy Water and the Wild duology.
Thank you so much for having me on the blog! ❤
And a big thanks to Kathryn for joining me on my blog! All the hugs.
Hello! I am a ginger girl who writes stories. My debut novel, THE WATER AND THE WILD, is a Middle Grade fantasy out now from Chronicle Books, with a sequel to follow in Fall 2016. My YA debut, LUCKY FEW, will be published by Simon & Schuster in Summer 2016. THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD, a standalone MG fantasy, comes out in 2017.
I was born and raised in the Bluegrass State. Then I went off and lived in places across the pond, like England and Spain, where I pretended I was a French ingénue. Just kidding! That only happened once. I also lived in some hotter nooks of the USA, like Austin, TX. Now I’m back in the land of Proper Autumn.
In my wild, early years, I taught English as a Foreign Language, interned with a film society, and did a lot of irresponsible road tripping. My crowning achievement is that the back of my head was in an iPhone commercial, and people actually paid me money for it.
Nowadays, I teach piano lessons, play in a band you’ve never heard of, and run races that I never win. I likes clothes from the 60s, music from the 70s, and movies from the 80s. I am from the 90s.
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3 Finished Copies of LUCKY FEW (US Only)