Feb 182013

As part of her blog tour for The Obvious Game, I have Rita Arens here today answering a few questions. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the page to win your own copy of the book.

What books have influenced your writing?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Looking for Alaska by John Green, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

What are your thoughts on ebooks? (i.e. love them, hate them, wave of the future)
I think ebooks are just another content medium. I don’t care how people access my writing, and if someone prefers an ebook, I absolutely want to make my book available to them in that way. As for my own personal reading preference – I read much faster on my Kindle for some reason, so I like to check out library books that way. If I love a book, though, truly love it, I usually buy it and put it on bookshelf. My bookshelves make me happy and reflect back to me the kind of writer and person I want to be.

Do you read reviews written about your book?
Of course! If something is working, I want to do more of it. If something isn’t, I want to do less. Everyone who takes the time to review my book gets my attention.

Do you keep track or write reviews for books you read?
I do – I review books on Amazon and rate them on Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing. I also have a bunch of lists on Riffle for Facebook. It’s important to me that I participate in the community of readers. I also think participating helps potential readers see my taste and then have a better idea based on my taste if they might like my writing. Finally, I believe in paying it forward and reviewing other authors’ work.

What input, if any, did you have in the cover design?
InkSpell gave me a tremendous amount of involvement in the cover, which was amazing, down to making sure the color of Diana’s hair was right. They don’t realize this, but the wall Diana is leaning against on the cover looks exactly like the back of my parents’ garage. It’s eery – I didn’t pick that part, but when I saw it, I gasped. I really love this cover – I didn’t want to have body parts with no head like so many YA covers, and I didn’t want her to look sexy, because that’s just not Diana. I love that she’s sitting – you can’t really even see her body, which is such a focus of her story, and it changes over the course of the book so I didn’t want her to be heavy or skinny on the cover. I think this cover is just perfect.

Rita ArensAbout Rita Arens
Links: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Rita Arens is the author of The Obvious Game and the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep Is for the Weak. She writes the popular blog Surrender, Dorothy and lives in Kansas City with her husband and daughter. The Obvious Game is her first young adult novel. She is at work on a second.

Rita has been a featured speaker at BlogHer 2012, BEA Bloggers Conference 2012, BlogHer Writers 2011, BlogHer 2011, Blissdom 2011, Alt Summit 2010, BlogHer 2010, BlogHer 2008 and BlogHer 2009, the 2008 Kansas City Literary Festival and 2009 Chicks Who Click and appeared on the Walt Bodine Show in 2008.

She’s been quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek, The Associated Press, Forbes Woman, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek and Businessweek Online and featured in Breathe magazine, Get Your Biz Savvy, The Kansas City Star (archived material available on request), Today Moms (Today Show blog) and Ink KC.

The Obvious GameThe Obvious Game by Rita Arens
Links: Amazon, Goodreads

“Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.”

“Your shirt is yellow.”
“Your eyes are blue.”
“You have to stop running away from your problems.”
“You’re too skinny.”

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse’s past with her own secrets — which she’ll protect at any cost.


Enter the tour-wide giveaway to win paperback and ebook copies of The Obvious Game. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
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  4 Responses to “Interview: Rita Arens + Giveaway”

  1. Interesting interview. I especially liked the story of the cover.

  2. I *love* a good modern YA that is honest and compelling (and there’s a lack of those right now)- your book sounds fantastic, and courageous to release into the current trend of supernatural and post-apocalyptic YA adventures. Well done!

  3. nice cover. i’m intrigued by the book from the brief bit i read about it.

  4. Thanks so much for interviewing me and sharing about my book! I so appreciate it. And thanks to all the commenters — I know exactly what you mean about dystopian and paranormal — they are EVERYWHERE.

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