Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash.
Some work at the mall.
Becca Williamson breaks up couples.
Becca knows from experience the damage that love can do. After all, it was so-called love that turned Huxley from her childhood best friend into a social-world dictator, and love that left Becca’s older sister devastated at the altar. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Becca strikes back—for just one hundred dollars via PayPal, she will trick and manipulate any couple’s relationship into smithereens. And with relationship zombies overrunning her school and treating single girls as if they’re second-class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even Becca’s best friend, Val, has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple in school: Huxley and the football team’s star player, Steve. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date—starting rumors, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars…not to mention sneaking back into Huxley’s good graces. All while fending off the inappropriate feelings she may or may not be having for Val’s new boyfriend.
No one said being the Break-Up Artist would be easy.
In mid February I reviewed The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel, having gotten the chance to read an ARC copy through the girls at Literary Lushes ARC Tours and I loved it! The plotting, characters and concepts portrayed through this book were fresh and amazing to see come to life. Then I got the chance to interview Philip Siegel about his process of writing his debut. And the results? Find out below!
1) Describe THE BREAK-UP ARTIST in five words.
Girl destroys couples for money.
2) Were you ever a break-up artist?
No. I usually kept my mouth shut about my friends’ relationships. But I should’ve put some of these schemes into place. Less talk, more action!
3) Have you always wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you to start writing?
I’ve wanted to tell stories since forever. Movies and TV shows were my big inspiration growing up, as I wasn’t much of a reader. Pretty much anything I watched gave me some kernel of an idea.
4) Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Mostly in Becca. I didn’t date in high school and was usually the odd man out, so I could relate. Also, I’ve had friends who were very boy-crazy like Becca’s friend Val. In order for me to write, I need to identify in some way with every character or else they turn into caricature.
5) If THE BREAK-UP ARTIST had a theme song, what do you think it would be?
Love Kills by Robyn. Her Body Talk record is pretty much a concept album for THE BREAK-UP ARTIST.
6) What was your favorite/least favorite part of writing this book?
I love breaking story, figuring out the plot. Becca uses twisty, complex, slow-burn schemes to break up couples, and it was fun hashing those out. I also loved compiling my Top 10 movies list for an interview in the back of the book. The least favorite part was having to write any type of synopsis for this book. Query letter, summary, you name it. Condensing a 60,000 word story into 500 words, 250 words? It’s no picnic.
7) Did anything particularly stick out to you about the publishing process?
Seeing my cover for the first time was a wonderful moment. It went so beyond my expectations.
8) Do you think we’ll ever see Becca or any of the other main characters in your books again after THE BREAK-UP ARTIST?
If Indiana Jones and Joaquin Phoenix can return to movies, then anything is possible. Never say never.
Thanks so much to Philip for doing this great interview! Really looking forward to seeing the finished THE BREAK-UP ARTIST.
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