Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Interview with Lori Goldstein for Screen Queens

Screen Queens

by Lori Goldstein
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 11th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


The Bold Type meets The Social Network when three girls vying for prestigious summer internships through a startup incubator program uncover the truth about what it means to succeed in the male-dominated world of tech.

This summer Silicon Valley is a girls' club.

Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they've come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party.

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she's only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it's time for the big leagues--ValleyStart--but super shy Delia isn't sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn't enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get...complicated.

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

Can you briefly describe SCREEN QUEENS and their main characters? 

SCREEN QUEENS follows three high school graduates as they enter a technology competition in Silicon Valley in hopes of winning a prestigious internship at the hottest social media company in the world. But this being male-dominated Silicon Valley, they’re not just battling their fellow contenders but a culture of discrimination and harassment that forces them to bond together personally and professionally. Ambitious and driven Lucy grew up in Silicon Valley and lives in the shadow of her successful mom who has high expectations Lucy never seems able to meet. Sarcastic and aloof Maddie from Boston is a talented designer who enters the competition solely to boost her resume and has every intention of returning home to her little brother, the only person in her life she can open herself up to emotionally. Finally, shy and loyal Delia is a coding genius attending on a scholarship, desperate to have a future in the tech world, but whose lack of confidence makes her constantly compare herself to others and feel like she never measures up. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why? 

There’s no way to claim a favorite! This was my first time writing multiple points of view and I loved the experience, partly because I was able to find something in each girl that intrigued me and I loved the storytelling experience of seeing this competition from three very different perspectives. I love how genuine Delia is and how she looks to find the best in everyone around her. I admire Lucy’s no-holds-barred drive and total confidence in herself. And Maddie’s history of not quite fitting in and being wary of trusting others is something I think we can all relate to. Together they complement one another and create a strong foundation for their friendship. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

I’m inspired by real life most of the time and that’s no different here. One of my favorite podcasts is called StartUp by Gimlet Media, which chronicles the issues faced by new businesses, especially tech-based ones. The second season centered on two women trying to grow their dating app. The struggles they encountered as female founders, things their male counterparts didn’t have to, affected me. Such as offers of funding from venture capitalists coming with the strings of dinner, drinks, or more attached. This led me to books like Brotopia by Emily Chang and articles in places like The Atlantic that offered deep insights into what it’s like to be a woman in the field of tech. The harassment and discrimination is a big part of the reason women leave the industry, which happened to a very good friend of mine who left her career as a coder. And it is also a barrier—among many barriers—for women entering the field. We all know that jobs in the future will be those related to tech, and we need to encourage more young women to consider this option from a young age, something I never did. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be? 

I think it would have to be Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” as much for the song as for the great video for it. A runner up has to be Beyonce’s “Run the World,” name-checked in the book. 

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

First it would be super fun to see SCREEN QUEENS as a movie, wouldn’t it? As a huge Game of Thrones fan, I think Maisie Williams would make a great Lucy. I could see Janel Parrish from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Pretty Little Liars as Maddie, and for Delia, Abigail Breslin (and not just because she was in the aptly named SCREAM Queens!). 

Summer is coming and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

The girls head into San Francisco a couple of times, which is a city of hills. It makes for a tough workout, but you are constantly rewarded with amazing views. The perfect location is any spot that takes some climbing to lead you to a great vista, be it a city skyline, a water view, or mountaintop. The best drink would match the cover . . . maybe an ice-cold mango smoothie with a twist of lime! 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish SCREEN QUEENS? 

If you are looking for another great book set in the summer with a female lead struggling to determine her future (with a good dash of swoony romance), I can recommend the YA contemporary NIGHT MUSIC by Jenn Marie Thorne. If you are looking for some more female empowerment and #metoo, then the adult WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker, out July 2 is for you. Kelly Loy Gilbert’s PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT is a beautiful book showcasing Gilbert’s impeccable writing, and for a great mystery, TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET by Karen McManus

What’s next for you? 

While I can’t give details, I am working on another YA novel with a timely spin on what’s going on in our country with respect to politics and the media.

Author of SCREEN QUEENS, coming from Razorbill, June 11, 2019, and available for preorder now (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound) about three teen girls who attend a startup incubator in Silicon Valley and learn what it means to compete in the male-dominated world of tech.

My Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy series Becoming Jinn and Circle of Jinn is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan).

Obsessed with books, beach, and Game of Thrones, Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog and sign up for my newsletter at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com, my Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/lorigoldstei... and my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com.

Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on upcoming releases.