Jan 7, 2013

Interview with Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Erica Lorraine Scheidt's Uses for Boys, hosted by Itching for Books! I have all the info you need on the book and the author, an interview with the author, and a giveaway! Awesome, right? So prepare to be amazed--by the time you reach the bottom of this post, you'll want to read Uses for Boys!
The Book

Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical,  Uses for Boys  is a story of breaking down and growing up.

Release Date: January 15, 2013 by St Martin’s Press
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon!

The Author

When Erica was a kid all she did was write. She dropped out of high school and attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University where she was surrounded by writers and artists.

But then, in Erica's early twenties, she got a job. She worked hard at that job for 15 years and didn't write a word.

Then this happened: Erica walked into a bookstore and bought two books by Francesca Lia Block. No particular reason, she just liked their covers. Then Erica read everything Francesca wrote. She read all the YA she could. She still does. Erica think's the world that happens between 13 and 17 is everything.

She quit her job. Studied writing. And then spent three and a half years writing Uses for Boys. Now she's working on a new novel and it's like falling down a hole. Writing her first novel taught her nothing about writing the next one. Find her by visiting her website and Twitter.

The Interview

What inspired you to write Uses for Boys? 
Childhood, divorce, stepfamilies, the suburbs, The Lover by Marguerite Duras, this word: slut, borrowing your best friend’s clothes, thrift stores, The Ice Storm by Rick Moody, sharing cigarettes, the stories our moms tell us, the lies we tell our friends, Francesca Lia Block, first apartments, taking off your bra without taking off your shirt, bathtubs, Portland, parties your parent’s basement, Rum 151, faded t-shirts, best friends, sneaking out in the middle of the night, boyfriends, Anais Nin, blue jeans, kissing.

What are uses for boys?  
It’s odd to think of it that way, isn't it? Usefulness as a lens to look at the world, didn’t work for Anna. I think Anna’s story, certainly her experiences, combat the idea of using people—that the richness in our life comes from the ways we’re needed and ways we need others.

Which fictional characters do you think make the best and worst uses out of boys?  
I like complicated family movies like Margaret and Rachel Getting Married, that show our frailties and the ways that we struggle to be our best selves. And all the ways that we fail. I was a big fan of Friday Night Lights, especially in the early seasons, because of the complexity that it portrayed those young athletes and the people who tried to use them. 

In 140 characters or less please describe Uses for Boys. 
It’s about boys and best friends. About lies and the stories we tell. It's about using sex as a shortcut to intimacy. It's about family. 

What's next for you? 
Lots of writing, a bunch of teaching and a whole lot of walking the dog. I’m writing a novel set in San Francisco and adapting one of my favorite short stories into a play. I’m teaching a Novel Writing Workshop in February at 826 Valencia and running a Writers’ Workshop at the YMCA Teen Center in Berkeley. I’m SO excited about both of those. And then, every day, no matter how hard it’s raining, I’m walking the dog.  

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great to learn more about the author behind this book. I still have not read any Block although she's on my to-read list.

  2. Cool interview. Thanks for participating :)

  3. I"m so excited! I'm looking forward to this book. I might have to run out and buy it even if I don't win!


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