Sometimes you want an adorable, funny, all-around delightful book about teenagers doing teenagery things– and our guest this week, Liz Czukas is a master. Her latest book, TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS, arrives in stores Tuesday, December 9.
According to Liz, TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS is what happens when you spend too much time watching the high school students who work at your regular grocery store (not in a creepy way — promise). If you have ever gotten excited about Rex Manning Day or can quote The Breakfast Club, you are her people, and this book is for you.
I just love the back cover copy on this book and can’t wait to get my copy!
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day
5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market
4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi
3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm
2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)
1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000
Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.
This week, Liz stopped by the Ball to share some of her favorites and give us a peek into what is coming next. And we’re so excited to welcome her!
Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?
Meg Powers from The President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White. I read the first three books in this series when I was a YA myself, and I loved them so hardcore. I actually had them specially ordered by my bookstore because they only carried one of them–this was before Amazon because I am OLD. Then just a few years ago, Ellen Emerson White updated the original three and added a fourth and I was over-freaking-joyed. They were just as wonderful as I remembered. Meg is so real, it’s like reading an autobiography rather than a novel. She is flawed, and relatable, but also a little better than most people so you want to be like her. I mean, she’s the president’s daughter for heaven’s sake. I wish I could make everyone on the planet sit down and read these books.
What’s your secret or not-so-secret superpower?
Memorizing song lyrics! I have an encyclopedia of song lyrics in my head! Some of them, I wish I could get rid of–like cat food commercials from when I was in first grade–and others I wouldn’t trade for the world–like Then End of the World by R.E.M. I can also do it with bits of dialog from movies and TV shows. I have been known to quote lines from movies I’ve just seen for the first time. Luckily, my superpower also seems to extend to song titles and the artists, so I’m kind of like a human Google. “Hey, who sang 867-5309?” “Tommy Tutone.” I guess it was more impressive before everyone had iPhones.
What three things would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?
An infinite power source
Basically, I don’t belong on a desert island. This is not a surprise, as I am largely opposed to being outdoors and would rather die than go camping. I start to get nervous when I’m more than five miles from the nearest Target and Starbucks.
When you were a teenager, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?
In the course of high school, I wanted to be a writer (though I never told anyone that), an actress (which I was serious enough about that all the colleges I looked at had theater programs of decent reputation), and Indiana Jones (and I did actually go on to major in anthropology and ancient history in college!). Later, I applied and got into law school, but ultimately went to nursing school, pretty much because I was in a panic about having to find a job. But through all those very unrelated career plans I was secretly writing fiction. Mostly YA, and what has now become NA, though at the time it was nothing. Just goes to show, the best job you can have is the one you do even when no one’s paying you.
What’s your next big thing?
I feel like I rubbed a magic lamp and out popped a publishing genie, because not only have I had two YA books come out with HarperTeen in 2014, but my first NA romance is coming out in February from Ballantine under my pen name Ellie Cahill. It’s called When Joss Met Matt and it is definitely more rom-com than angst. Not that there’s anything wrong with angst, it’s just not my forte. I have a hard time taking anything very seriously, and that definitely shows when I tackle relationships in my stories. I’m very excited for this book, though, and I hope readers will be, too!
Liz Czukas is a freelance writer living near Milwaukee, WI. She is the author of ASK AGAIN LATER and TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS, and also writes New Adult romance under the name Ellie Cahill. Liz is an aficionado of chocolate chip cookies, watching other people DIY, and all things that cause raucous laughter.
GIVEAWAY: Liz will be giving away a signed copy of TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS — sorry, US only. Comment on this post by Noon (EST) on Friday, December 12 to enter to win. Follow The Debutante Ball on Facebook and Twitter for extra entries—just mention that you did so in your comments. We’ll choose and contact the winner on Friday. Good luck!