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About Paula

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers! Find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Title: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Publishing Date: 20th May 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

1. How did you get into writing?

I was always into reading and writing. I remember writing stories about talking tigers when I was 6 or 7. After I graduated from college, I applied to a lot of fancy MFA schools and I didn't get accepted anywhere. It messed with my confidence and I quit writing for a few years. That's one of my biggest regrets, but maybe I needed to spend a few years really living before I could learn to translate my experiences and feelings to the page in a meaningful way. The first books I wrote (that got published, anyway) were through the book development company Paper Lantern Lit. Working with PLL was a great way to learn a lot about the publishing industry and hone my skills alongside established professionals.

2. When starting a book how much of it comes straight from your imagination and how much is research?

It really depends on the book. The Paper Lantern Lit books required a ton of research because they were set in a historical time period. The Art of Lainey is set in present day where I used to live, so it was less research, but I still looked up all kinds of facts about Venus flytraps, shock generators, vintage cars, tea leaves, The Tragedy of Faust, astronomy, reality TV, etc. Liars, Inc. (Feb, 2015) is a murder mystery set in Southern California. Among other things, I had to research surfing, legal stuff, guns, chloroform, burned bodies, Indian culture and cystic fibrosis. (That totally makes you want to read it right this second, doesn't it?)

3. Who is your favourite character you have written and why?

My favorite character, so far, is Parvati Amos, who you haven't met yet. She's the main character's girlfriend in Liars, Inc. I wrote her with a mild personality disorder so I suspect some people might find her hard to love at first, but to me she is just such a cool chick. She's very smart and does martial arts and writes for the school paper and is learning all these languages because she wants to work for the CIA someday.

4. Do you go into a book knowing how you want it to end?

Yes, almost always. Quite frequently I even have the words I want to end with when I write an outline or synopsis. Of course things can always change throughout the writing process and characters can take different paths, but they pretty much end up where I want them.

5. What 5 books would you recommend for your readers?

Books on writing:
On Writing, by Stephen King
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

Fave Fiction:
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
Holes, by Louis Sachar
Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz


Paula was very lovely and send a large bag of Lainey swag my way and there was plenty to split between a couple of giveaways. SO if you don't win this one keep an eye out and you could win some, along with a couple of The Art of Lainey later on in the month. 

Prize include: 
x2 Lainey bookmarks - one signed by Paula
x3 Lainey Magnets
x2 Lainey badges
x1 Signed Lainey book plate (post card) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Im liking the sound of this book and it may well go on a wish list, thanks for the giveaway x
    Gill x

    1. It's really good! My review will be up end of the month :)
      Thanks for entering x

  2. I've been hearing about this book around the web. :) I believe it's on my Goodreads wishlist/TBR list. I think I already know how this book ends. Lol. Great giveaway! I love that the books and bookplates are signed.

    --Amber @ YA Indulgences

  3. You could be eligible for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.