Hamden author Louise Rozett is making good in L.A. and has a new book!

 Louise Rozett is the author of Confessions of an Angry Girl and Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend. She lives in Los Angeles with her fierce protector, a giant Bernese mountain dog named Lester, and is a proud graduate of Hamden High School. Visit Louiserozett.com for more. Here’s her page for the new book:


Also, she will be participating in an online panel called “Humor Me!” with Paul Rudnick and Don Calame as part of the School Library Journal’s Summerteen 2013 program on 7/24 at 4:15 pm. (www.slj.com/summerteen/program/)

almost girlfriend

Tell us about your new book.

I’m so excited about Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, which is the sequel to Confessions of an Angry Girl. The main character, Rose, is growing up—fast. She’s a sophomore now, and there’s a big difference between freshman and sophomore year of high school. The issues she has to deal with are even more intense this time around. As are her feelings for the mysterious and frustrating Jamie Forta.

Where did the germ of the story come from?

I was intrigued by the fact that a lot of the people around Rose seemed have a clearer idea of who they were and what they wanted to do than Rose did. I wanted to explore what it’s like to be lost in high school when it feels like everyone around you knows what they’re doing, and to see how Rose would dig her way out of that. And when she did dig her way out of that, how her newfound confidence affected her decisions—particularly with regard to Jamie.

Did this book come to you easily?

In some ways, the book did come easily to me, because it’s about the beginnings of Rose’s journey as a singer, which was something I could relate to based on my own experience. I remember what it felt like to realize that there was something I could do—something that other people thought I was good at it—and how that made me feel. So in some ways, I feel like my journey is really linked to Rose’s, which made the book easier to write than I expected. However, there are things that happen to the characters in this book that I really didn’t want to accept, and I fought against it, tooth and nail. But the voices in my head won out in the end—I had to let the story go the way it wanted to go.

What are the big issues that Rose had to deal with in this book?

 

There’s a lot going on for Rose. She’s coping with depression as a result of the loss of her dad, and feelings of inadequacy based on what she perceives as the successes that her friends are having. She’s also trying to figure out how to handle desire, and the havoc that that seems to be wreaking in her life. And there’s a new character in this installment of the series—a pissed-off gay student who is doing everything he can not to be a victim of the homophobic athlete culture in their school—who really challenges Rose in a number of ways. She is once again trying to figure out what it means to stand up for what is right, and she’s getting an education from a number of different sources, some of them not-so-pleasant.

How much of you is there in Rose?

Probably more than I would like to admit! I definitely had my share of crushes on the brooding, mysterious types at Hamden High, and I struggled to stay true to myself in the face of those intense feelings. The question Rose is trying to answer is, how do you hold on to yourself—your values, your beliefs, your boundaries—when you’re feeling desire and romantic love for the first time? And that was a question that I never quite found the answer to until I was much older. But in Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend, Rose starts to realize that the key is to have your own goals and passions that are separate from the person you’re crazy about, and to pursue them with the same ardor and devotion you use to pursue love. It’s a pretty major realization for her, as it was for me, once I finally had it!

Another thing that Rose and I have in common is that we were both in productions of Anything Goes in high school. Rose dips her toe in the musical theatre world in high school as an homage to what was probably the most important part of my high school experience—discovering my love of theatre, and learning the art of discipline within creativity from mentors like Joe Juliano and Julian Schlusberg.

What are you working on right now?

 

I’m currently in Los Angeles, writing the pilot for the Confessions series. It was originally a half-hour format, and now I’m working with my manager to change it to an hour-long format, to make it more suitable for places like ABC Family and the CW. It’s a really fun, strange process—it’s like writing the Confessions books all over again, but in a parallel universe, where everything is shifted by at least a few degrees, and some of the characters are completely different from who they were in the books. It’s weird, but good.

Will there be another installment of the Confessions series?

 

I certainly hope so. I’m if lucky, I’ll get to write both junior and senior year. I need to know what happens to Rose, and she won’t tell me until I start writing the next book. She keeps her cards pretty close, I have to say.

 

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