On 01/09/2022, I interviewed Robbie Couch: author of The Sky Blues and his new novel Blaine for the Win. I had him answer a few questions, and these are his responses:
Question 1: Is there an author/book that inspired you to write your books?
Couch responds: There are so many authors that inspired me to write! The first author I adored was Patrick Dennis, who wrote “Auntie Mame” in the 1950s. That book made me fall in love with reading. Stephen Chbosky, David Levithan, and John Green were big influences when I was younger, and more recently, authors like Becky Albertalli, Leah Johnson, Adam Silvera, and Julian Winters are blazing trails in the young-adult genre in really inspiring ways.
Question 2: What is the difference between The Sky Blues and Blaine for the Win?
Couch responds: I would say that Blaine for the Win is more of a classic teen rom-com (the story is inspired by the film, “Legally Blonde”!) while The Sky Blues falls a bit more into a coming-of-age teen dramedy. The Sky Blues also is a bit more autobiographical(ish).
Question 3: If you could have a dream cast of actors for your books who would each character be?
Couch responds: This is such a fun but tough question! The Sky Blues has been optioned for film rights and they’re currently looking to cast roles, so I’ll bite my tongue on naming specific actors. But I’ll just say that there are a small handful of actors that I think would be PERFECT to bring Sky, Blaine, and all their friends to life on screen.
Question 4: Which character was the hardest to write about?
Couch responds: I love this question. Oddly enough, I struggled with Cliff in The Sky Blues quite a bit. He’s such a bully in the most obvious ways, but — spoiler alert! — as evidenced by his actions toward the end of the story, he’s also a person with the potential to love, grow, and be better. Finding that nuance between a flawed antagonist and a straight-up villain was tricky for me.
Question 5: What is your go-to way to get through the writing process?
Couch responds: I drink a lot of caffeinated drinks! But beyond that, I’m a big proponent of outlining my books before I start writing them. I have the entire story plotted out, chapter by chapter, beat by beat, and that helps me be much more productive and efficient when it’s time to write.
Question 6: Which character do you relate to most between The Sky Blues and Blaine for the Win?
Couch Responds: I would say probably Sky Baker more than Blaine Bowers. I built the world around Sky based on my own experiences growing up in rural Michigan, and the way Sky sees and moves through the world is a reflection of that. But I certainly see aspects of myself in Blaine! I was my high school yearbook editor, so Bree Brandstone will always have a very special place in my heart too.
Question 7: If you could crossover with any other book what would it be?
Couch responds: Oh my, this is fun to think about! I would love, love, love to do a crossover with Ben and Authur in Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli books, “What If It’s Us” and “Here’s to Us.” I love those characters so much. It’d be a blast to explore how those worlds could converge.
Question 8: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Couch responds: Hm, that’s a good question. I think, in general, readers love to consume stories that feel familiar in certain respects but then have added originality in surprising, interesting ways. So I strive to have a good balance of both in my work!
Thank you all for reading this edition of the Book Nook. As always, stay tuned for more juicy interviews and book recommendations!