I think we all have that one author who reduces us to a series of fan-girl squeaks and mumbles, and for me, that author is E. Lockhart. Thank goodness all rgz correspondence was conducted via email so she couldn't hear me stammer!
Needless to say, I'm thrilled to celebrate the fourth book in the Ruby Oliver series, Real Live Boyfriends. I've been a fan of Ruby's since The Boyfriend List! Here's what E. has to say about Ruby, and this month's theme of Self-respect:
Self-respect. It's the readergirlz theme but it's also what Ruby is trying to figure out in these four books. She goes from calling herself a leper (really grodie and unloved) to calling herself a roly-poly (only a little grodie and even beloved by certain bug-fond weirdos). A bit of progress, right.
Now that I think of it, that's all we really need in life, yeah? Not to be beloved by the masses. To be beloved by a few discerning weirdos. It'sjust a hard thing to figure out when you're in high school and some people seem golden and others hopeless. So that's what I'm writing about.
Someone wrote to me on Twitter recently that all four novels seem like one big book, together. That made me very happy, because I never planned to write four books. I planned two, and then maybe a third, and then, oh, yah, I kinda want to write a fourth. The search for self-respect does tie the novels together. Ruby has messed up. She's angered her friends, and partly for good reasons. She's an incorrigible flirt. She's self-deceptive. Sometimes selfish.
So, what I'm looking at in these books is the question: what do you do if you're a person with actual faults that piss people off? Meaning, if you're human?
Do you go on blindly, feeling virtuous and deluding yourself that you're victimized when other people hate you? Or do you realize the errors of your ways and fall into a pit of helpless self-loathing and flagellation?
Neither way leads to actually finding those discerning weirdos who think you're awesome. Neither leads to mental health.
You (and when I say "you" I mean "I") -- you have to figure out what you think makes a good person and then try to be it. You have to forgive yourself for your failures but not forget them, because if you forget them you'll do them again. You have to laugh at what a wanker you've been. Maybe you have to say sorry.
Thanks so much for joining us, E!
Readers - stay tuned for information on a Ruby Oliver giveaway later this month!
And in the meantime, why not chime in with some of YOUR favorite Ruby Oliver moments?