Welcome to March, where the debuts are plentiful and the books are awesome!
Small Town Hearts
by Lillie Vale
Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.
And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had - to never fall for a summer boy?
March 19th, 2019
Introduce yourself and your debut novel!
Hi, Sofiya! Thanks so much for having me :-) I’m Lillie Vale, the author of YA contemporary Small Town Hearts. It’s a messy BFF breakup + found family novel taking place in the summer after high school, the last summer 19yo bi baking barista Babe thinks she’ll have before her friends start college in the fall. She has a somewhat co-dependent relationship with the people she loves, and change has never been a good thing, in her experience, so she’s trying to hold on tight during a time when she has to learn how to let go. Matters are further complicated when her ex-girlfriend returns to their sleepy Maine village of Oar’s Rest at the same time as a mysterious summer boy shows up to rent Babe’s mom’s cottage on the beach.
What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?
My concept of time. I’m forever counting down to something publishing related. It’s not January, it’s “the month Rachel Lynn Solomon and Hannah Capin’s books come out!” It’s not March, it’s “MY PUB MONTH!!!” The markers in my calendar are so different to pre-debut. Now, every month is filled with tons of celebrations and milestones, whether that’s x days until friends’ books come out, y days until my hardcover author copies of Small Town Hearts arrive, z days until I can scream about [redacted] news, whether mine or others!
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
There’s such a wealth of talent in our novel19s group that it’s so hard to choose just one, but I’m so excited for Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan, Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl, These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling, Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson—*runs out of breath* no, wait, I have more!!!
What’s a cool thing about your book that isn’t in the blurb?
Spend two minutes with Babe and she will probably feed you something delicious. Not pie, because there is no pie in this book despite covers to the contrary!!! But seafood chowder, ten kinds of cake and cookies, and so many yummy vegetables. This book will make you want to eat or cook—maybe both! This is your only warning…have food handy! ;)
What is your writer patronus?
A sleepy ginger cat or possibly Snorlax.
How do you select character names?
Baby name websites, usually! Babe, the main character of Small Town Hearts, got her name because I was playing around with quirky nicknames and thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be a hoot if her full name was Barbara, but everyone calls her Babe, and Levi (the new summer boy in town) mistakenly (read: hilariously) thinks everyone is hitting on her, like, ALL the time?”
What is your favorite word, and why?
Labyrinth. I love everything about it. It’s so fun to say, so delightfully twisty and eerie to type, and conjures up all kinds of images that gets my writer brain excited!
Show us your novel aesthetic!
AAHHHHH thanks Lillie!! Pick up Lillie's book on 3/19/19!!