I had the privilege of interviewing author Lauren Gibaldi (The Night We Said Yes, Autofocus) about her new book, ‘This Tiny Perfect World’, which will be released at the end of February! Preorder links will be included down below!
My spoiler free review will be posted on Wednesday!
Penny loves her small-town Florida life, and she has her future mapped out. She’s going to community college after graduation to stay close to home and her best friend, Faye. She’ll take over the family diner that her dad has been managing since her mother died. And one day, she’ll marry her high school sweetheart, Logan.
But when she unexpectedly lands a scholarship to a prestigious summer theater camp, she is thrust into a world of competition and self-doubt. And suddenly, her future gets a little hazy. As she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that maybe the life everyone (including her) expects her to lead is not the one she was meant to have.
COURTNEY: What inspired you to write contemporary young adult fiction?
LAUREN GIBALDI: I’ve been writing most my life. After college I got a bit more serious about it, but never knew exactly what I wanted to write. A combination of reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and discovering my high school journals inspired me to write for teens. Because the teen years are hard and fun and memorable and just…a lot. My memories from that time are some of the most vivid I have. I just knew I wanted to write that.
COURT: Which character changed the most from the first draft to the final copy of ‘This Tiny Perfect World?’
LAUREN: Probably Chase (Penny’s friend in the theatre camp). He was the hardest to write because I liked Logan (Penny’s boyfriend) so much. It was hard to write another guy in her life. Also, Penny. Her journey was always the same, but she changed a bunch in small ways that made her become more real.
COURT: What inspired TTPW, and how long did it take for you to write the first draft?
LAUREN: I wanted to write a book that takes place after the happily ever after. For Penny, she has everything figured out–she has a great boyfriend, a wonderful best friend, and her future all planned. That should be the end of her book, but it’s just the beginning because she starts to see that maybe what’s planned for her isn’t, well, perfect. As for how long, this is the first book I completely wrote while having a child so it took far longer than my previous books. Probably, in total, three or four months.
COURT: If TTPW were to be adapted into a movie, who would be your fan casts for Penny, Logan, Chase, Sam, and Faye?
LAUREN: I’m so bad at these questions! I don’t know! Who do you think? Fan cast for me! 🙂
COURT: What was your favorite scene to write? What scene were you most excited to have your readers read?
LAUREN: The production of The Glass Menagerie! It’s my favorite play, so I loved any time I could work it in. Also there’s a scene where they go to downtown Orlando that was a ton of fun to write. All the places mentioned are real (though names changed), and the library DOES have a wall that makes music!
COURT: If you characters had social media, which one do you think they would use the most? (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.)
LAUREN: Penny would like Instagram because she could follow the many theatre accounts and see behind the scenes photos. Sam would also like Instagram, but at the same time have the happiest, most inspiration and song-tactic Twitter account. Logan wouldn’t really use social media. Chase would use Snapchat and post ridiculous things. And Faye hates all social media, as she hates most people. Ha.
COURT: Can you see yourself writing another book with the same characters in TTPW? (Whether it’s a sequel about Penny, or a companion novel that focuses on some of the supporting characters.)
LAUREN: Honestly, as much as I love them, at this point I think these characters are done. But I’d totally write another theatre book.
HUGE thanks to Lauren for answering my questions!!
Connect with the author! You can follow Lauren on Twitter at @laurengibaldi, and on Instagram at @lgibaldi!!
Lauren Gibaldi is a public librarian who’s been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller, and circus aerialist (seriously). She has a BA in Literature and Master’s in Library and Information Studies. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and daughter. Her books include THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, AUTOFOCUS, and the forthcoming THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD.
PREORDER ‘THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD’ HERE: