Blog Tour: A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison | Interview | Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on A Totally Awkward Love Story tour for Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison. This tour is hosted by Random House Children's Books!

A Totally Awkward Love Story
Author: Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genres: Contemporary
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Delacorte
Kate Sullivan at Delacorte has won North American rights at auction to Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison's A Totally Awkward Love Story (previously titled Lobsters in the U.K.). The book, which Sullivan calls The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight meets Bridesmaids, is a dual narrative novel by authors who dated when they were in high school, about a boy and girl who must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears about being virgins forever. It's slated for summer 2016; Allison Hellegers of Rights People brokered the deal on behalf of Barry Cunningham and Elinor Bagenal at Chicken House in the U.K.


Being former sweethearts, did they pull information from their relationships to write their book?
Yes very much so! The two main characters are pretty much loosely based on ourselves, and a lot of the things Sam and Hannah do in the book are things that we really did over that summer when we finished high school - i.e. go to a music festival, go on holiday with friends, do slightly tedious work experience... and lots of the other characters in the book are based on real friends of ours, too.

Did you find "the one" for your first time and if not what would you have done differently?
Well, we were each other's first serious relationship - but we split up after two years, so neither of us found 'the one' there! But obviously we're very glad we dated - it helped us to become such good friends, and to write this book! So, I don't think we would have done anything differently, looking back.

Since your novel was written in the UK did you make any changes for the US edition?
Yes, we made LOADS - all the little cultural references that only UK readers would get had to be changed, as well as a lot of the dialogue. Some of the funniest emails we ever received came during the re-drafting period ahead of the U.S. publication, because in the original UK book we use lots of British slang and swear words that needed to be changed so that American readers could understand. So we'd get these huge emails from quite high-up publishing people with subjects like 'KNOBHEAD = DOUCHEBAG?' and then someone else would reply, 'No I think 'knobhead's best equivalent is 'asshat', or 'I think 'dipshit' is the way to go here'. So that made us laugh a fair bit.

Why do you think people like to have a bit of comedy in their reads?
Well, everyone likes a laugh! Comedy can be good escapism, to take your mind off any worries you might have... Awkward comedy is also great because not only does it make you laugh, but also reassures you that everybody goes through embarrassing stuff at some point in their life. So in that way comedy can be quite therapeutic, too!

What is your favorite things about Sam and Hannah?
Probably that they are both really genuine. They're not pretending to be anything they're not - and they're totally open (to each other, at least) about how insecure and un-self-confident they can feel. So, hopefully real teens reading the book will relate to that!

Why do you like writing YA?
There are so many possibilities with YA. YA readers are open to anything, from comedy to romance to sci-fi to horror to ... whatever. Also, we really like the idea that we are writing very realistic (occasionally awkwardly realistic!) YA books that might give teens an idea about what love/sex/relationships are REALLY like - as opposed to the glossy, airbrushed version they are sometimes given in other movies/books.

What is your favorite bit in A Totally Awkward Love Story?
TOM: My favourite bit is (slight spoiler) when Casper breaks the news to Hannah that lobsters don't actually mate for life, and her whole life-motto has basically been based on a lie that she saw on Friends. That scene was written really last-minute by Lucy but it turned out to be one of my favourite bits in the whole book.
LUCY:  SPOILER – When Sam’s Mum asks him if Cambridge University has texted him. I don’t know why but it just cracks me up every time. Mostly because I know Tom’s Mum really well and I picture her every single time.

What are you working on next?
We are currently working on another dual narrative novel aimed at older teens, about a boy and girl in their first weeks at university. That'll be out in summer 2017, and we are very excited about it!
Do you have an inspiration board for your novel?
We didn't for A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY... Our equivalent was just to write down everything we did during the summer after we left school, and then brainstorm ideas around those things. But for our second book, NEVER EVERS (which came out in the UK earlier this year), we did a proper inspiration board, with a little story chart so we could see how the plots and sub-plots were all developing from chapter to chapter.

TOM ELLEN AND LUCY IVISION met at the end of high school and quickly became sweethearts. Though they broke up in college, they remain best friends. Lucy runs the online teen magazine Whatever After and teaches in girls’ schools across London, specializing in building confidence and creativity. Tom is a journalist and has written for Time Out, Vice, ESPN, Glamour, and many other publications. They cowrote A Totally Awkward Love Story, which was partially inspired by their own high school relationship. This is their first novel.

Win a copy of A Totally Awkward Love Story, courtesy of Random House!
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May 10: The Social Potato
May 11: Butter My Books
May 12: Peace Love Books
May 13: Tales of a Ravenous Reader
May 16: Me, My Shelf and I
May 17: No More Grumpy Bookseller 
May 18: The Irish Banana


  1. I love contemporary YA, friendship, romance, coming of age stories. Plus this book has humor. This will be a fun book to read.

  2. If this is even a fraction as great as The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, it will be fantastic.

  3. I love the fact that it is a dual narrative novel and gives two different viewpoints!

  4. The title & description make this sound like my kind of read.


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