I’m sure anyone with a passing knowledge of the online YA community would be familiar with the brilliant and hilarious @broodingYAhero! Broody is my favourite parody account on twitter, walking that perfect line between sass and social commentary. Seeing a tweet by Broody on my timeline never fails to cheer up my day.
As you may know, Broody is getting his own novel – Brooding YA Hero: Becoming A Main Character (Almost) As Awesome As Me. I have the gorgeous new cover for you all to see later on in the post. We have the marvellous Carrie DiRisio, mastermind behind the twitter account and the book, with us here today. Joining her is the extremely talented book illustrator, Linnea Gear! Thank you both for this opportunity!
You’ll find many things within this post, so stay tuned until the very end for the following:
- Interview with Carrie and Linnea
- New Cover Reveal
- International Giveaway for a Preorder of Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) As Awesome As Me.
I N T E R V I E W
Q1: Hi Carrie, thank you so much for joining us today! Can you tell us a little bit about Brooding YA Hero and how it all started?
Brooding YA Hero started on a dark and stormy night, when a handsome stranger appeared at my window…
Which I promptly shut and started up a parody twitter account instead. 😉 Broody lovingly mocks some of the most over-used and eye-roll-worthy tropes in YA, while also sharing just what makes YA so magical.
Linnea, thank you so much for joining us as well – it’s so rare to see the perspective of a cover illustrator. Tell us about yourself, and your art!
I’m just a recent college grad living in 120°F heat in southern Arizona, who happens to
be obsessed with drawing! It’s been a hobby since I was first inspired watching Bambi 15
years ago. Different things around me influence my artwork so some days it will be all
cartoons and fanart, and the next day it will be elaborate portraits and watercolors. I
also enjoy history, chemistry, and learning about different cultures around the world!
Q2: Carrie, did you ever anticipate Brooding YA Hero’s immense success on the twittersphere and beyond? How did you deal with his popularity?
I had no idea it would be this big! Nor did I ever think he would become a book! I deal with the popularity by pretending it doesn’t exist. I tweet to make myself and my friends laugh, always.
Linnea, similar line of question, did you ever anticipate becoming an illustrator?
I was hoping it would happen, but not so soon! I was thinking perhaps in 5… 10 years,
so when this opportunity appeared, I was ecstatic!!!!
Q3: Brooding YA Hero’s hilarious tweets always provide an honest insight and perspective on some of YA’s most popular tropes. What are some of your favourite and least favourite tropes in YA?
Carrie: Favorite? Enemies to lovers! Musicians (both guys and girls, bonus points if they brood), really cool ensemble cast stories.
Least favorite? I’m not a fan of when a heroine insults other girls to “make herself look unique.” I think it’s really important to support other women.
On a lighter note, I dislike when characters smell like cinnamon, because I’m allergic!
Linnea: If done right, some tropes are swoon-worthy! I have a weakness for: Mr Tall, Dark and Perfect. Yes I said it. Even when there are eye-rolling moments surrounding
his story, or the way his love interest is handled, I can’t help but love him. Maybe
that’s why a lot of authors do it, because who can resist a mysterious, brooding
One thing I dislike is the imbalance in romances. I have read a lot of YA books
with romance and most seem shallow that I don’t even care if they are end game.
When love blossoms much too quickly and unrealistically, I think it puts pressure
on teenagers and young kids to find The One. It is important for the author to
understand the perspective of what point of view they are writing from – in many
cases, how teens feel when it comes to love. I think Maggie Stievfater did a great
job with this in The Raven Cycle.
Q4: One of the reasons I love Broody is how he cheekily points out issues with YA publishing. What do you hope to see for the future of YA?
Carrie: I would love for YA to expand to encorporate more diverse and marginlaized voices. Additionally, I’d love to see more STEM-loving ladies, boys with more gentle personalities, and more height difference books where the girl is taller! (SHoutout to Epic Crush of Genie Lo for rocking this!)
Self-promo here, but I’d also like to see more illustrated books, like BROODING YA HERO: Becoming a Man Character
Linnea: Diversity diversity diversity!! And not just adding one person of color as the sidekick, or killing off the one LGBT character in the entire series. Fortunately, more and more authors are recognizing this erasure of POC and LGBTQA+ characters and are fixing the problem. However these great, diverse books are not as popular as they should
be! I’d like to see these books front and center and just as popular as, say, Harry
Potter. It’s not enough if these books are only found in close-knit circles – they need
to be more widely advertised. The message of inclusivity would help the YA genre as a
Q5: Could you recommend some of your favourite YA reads? And if Broody read YA books, which would be his favourites?
Carrie: Oooh. That’s a tough one. I just finished Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody, which was SUCH an incredible, intense story. I also recently loved WANT by Cindy Pon.
My all time favorite YA Is THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE.
Broody’s favorite book would be his own…. or a book with a mirror in it so he could see his reflection.
Linnea: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Q6: Carrie, what’s the most amazing thing about your publishing journey so far? And what’s been the funniest?
The most amazing is autographing books! I can’t believe I get to meet fans and share my love of YA with them.
The funniest? When people think that there’s an actual man named Broody McHottiepants who will be attending.
Q7: In addition to Broody’s narration, I’m told the book contained quizzes and games as well! Why did you decide to incorporate these, and did you face any challenges in integrating them into the book?
Carrie: Well, the story is that Broody himself is attempting to write a book… except he doesn’t know how to, so he adds lots of quizzes and things to distract himself.
Honestly, no challenges at all. Linnea was a dream to work with! Her art really brought my story to life.
Linnea: Not at all. Carrie and her editor helped me immensely in making their vision for
each illustration come to life. If anything, those were the easier ones to do!
Q8: Carrie, you seem to juggle it all: the viral twitter account, a day job, writing, and your own promo for the upcoming release – how do you do it? And what would be one advice you would give to all aspiring writers?
I have a time turner that, I, as a good Slytherin, stole.
Or, I just don’t sleep and drink too much coffee. Take your pick.
My advice to aspiring writers is to find joy in every part of the journey–and not to stress out if other people seem further ahead than you. Keep your eyes on your own incredible path.
Linnea, your bio mentions that you’re a chemistry student – how did you do it while maintaining your art? And what would be one advice you would give to all aspiring illustrators?
Linnea: Balancing school and art involved a lot of late nights!! My priority is school and
it wasn’t until I finished class and homework that I would draw. I would always
try to set aside at least an hour to draw – it helped me relax after the long day.
The one piece of advice I can give to aspiring illustrators is to be confident!! The
one thing I’ve heard the most is “I don’t want to open commissions. No one will
buy from me.” It doesn’t hurt to try though! The first time I opened commissions I had one customer. However after advertising myself more and more, it all worked out in the end. I’ve been in contact with several authors, including Carrie, through commissions and fanart. There are all types of people asking for art, and they may be looking for someone just like YOU! So don’t be afraid to put your art up for all to see – there’s no shame in self-promotion.
Q9: I saw on one of your recent blog post that you haven’t seen a movie since Rogue One because you’ve been so busy! Using your stolen time-turner, which movies and tv series would you proceed to binge first?
Okay, I would love to watch: Orphan Black, all of the Marvel Movies (I’m missing some), catch up on the Vampire Diaries, and Once Upon a Time.
And can I go forward in time to watch A WRINKLE IN TIME, please???
Linnea, which movies would you binge?
All of the Studio Ghibli movies! They hold a sense of wonder and nostalgia and I feel most inspired when watching them, Ponyo in particular! Speaking of – I’m on my way to watch that now!
Q10: The following questions are for Broody – because the spotlight should always fall on him .
Describe yourself in 3 words!
Too handsome to play by the rules.
3 things you’ll take with you on a quest to save the world
My leather coat, a bag of hair products, and a main character who knows what they’re doing.
3 must-have qualities you admire in a YA heroine
Heroine or hero (I do love all main characters, you know) I’m always looking for someone who is excellent at posing on book covers, uses a great deal of adjectives, and is incredible at describing my eye color.
C O V E R R E V E A L
When the original cover of Brooding YA Hero was revealed a month back, I was a little disappointed by the difference in Broody’s skin-tone, it appeared vastly paler compared to his twitter avatar. Given that Broody’s appearance was chosen by fans, I am ecstatic to reveal that the final copies of the book will restore Broody to his original glory! I would also like to thank Carrie, Linnea, and Sky Pony Press for responding to the concerns of fans with such speed and efficiency. Behold!
Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?
Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?
Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.
As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.
Release Date: 3 October 2017
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R
I’m a writer, a knitter and a business woman. I’m currently in grad school at the University of Pittsburgh.
I’m also the Marketing and Social Media intern for PROGRESSION an indie feature film comedy set in the hipster-est neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Check it out here.
I love books and music, my family and my friends, and whole bunches of other things. But I’ll try to keep this blog focused on the basics.
A B O U T T H E I L L U S T R A T O R
G I V E A W A Y
Thanks to Carrie, we’re giving away 1x Preorder of Brooding YA Hero: Becoming A Main Character!
- Giveaway will run from today until Friday 11th August.
- Open internationally as long as Amazon/Book Depository ships to you.
- Entrants under 18, please make sure you have parental permission to provide us with your shipping address.
- No giveaway accounts please, I will be checking!