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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Interview with Author Robin Brande & Fat Cat Giveaway!

Robin Brande is a former trial attorney who is also the author of the young adult novel Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature. Robin was herself an overweight teen, and knows that a smart girl can figure out a smart way to be fit. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

I am thrilled to welcome Robin Brande to my blog. Robin stopped by to discuss Fat Cat, a smart and funny story about healthy eating and the way young women feel about their bodies. Fat Cat was recently released in October and you can read my review of the novel HERE.

Fat Cat is about an overweight teenage girl who makes some simple dietary changes in her life and finds out that healthy eating and exercise really do have benefits. Is there any one message you would like teens to take away from your book and possibly apply to their lives?

Honestly, the message was as much for me as for anyone else! I was curious about how it would feel to really go back to basics—I mean, WAY basics (as in prehistoric times) and live a much simpler life. I wondered whether giving up all processed food and a lot of the technology and modern conveniences we depend on now would make any difference in my life. Oh, boy, did it. I went into that book innocently thinking it would turn out one way, and instead both the book and my own habits took a major shift that I didn’t expect at all! So now both my main character, Cat, and I have come out of the experiment changed women. You just never know what will happen when you sit down to write a novel.

In recent interviews, you’ve stated you did everything Cat did in the book such as giving up processed food, artificial sweeteners and cooking more. Can you discuss that experience with us- perhaps tell us what was the hardest thing to give up was and what positive changes you saw from the process?

THE hardest thing for me to give up was coffee. My love for Starbucks goes deeper than I knew. So I’ll admit that once I turned in the book, I returned to my coffee habit. But hey, it’s only one cup a day, so I don’t think I’m too desperate.

Other than that, I have to say there were times when I really, really missed chocolate and cookies and all the other fun comfort foods we all love to turn to as some sort of loving gesture to our taste buds and stomachs. But even those cravings went away eventually, and I came to truly love the simplest of foods: beans, greens, grains, and fruit. It’s possible I’ve even made up a little song about that. But let’s move on . .

In a world where women are bombarded by the media with images of manufactured beauty and perfection, what would you say to all the girls in Cat’s shoes who struggle with self image and confidence issues?

First of all, I’d say that I’ve been Cat, I am Cat, I know Cats—so, so many girls and women out there are in constant warfare against their bodies and their looks. It hurts me to know all the mean things I’ve thought and said about myself. I know a lot of other people can relate to that. It’s so easy to attack ourselves for not being as pretty as the actresses and models we see every day. We forget that a lot of the images we see are photoshopped and otherwise altered, and that a lot of actresses wish they could eat normally, the way the rest of us do!

On the other hand, I really appreciate the strong, fit, healthy-looking women out there who show us what’s possible. I love watching the Olympics for that reason: there are athletes who have devoted themselves to making the most of their physical form and talents. I might never be able to do as much as they do, but I love to know what’s possible for humans.

So I guess my answer is, choose your role models well. Personally, I love to pretend I’m Xena, Warrior Princess, or Meryl Streep in River Wild. Those are the kinds of strong, healthy women I want to emulate. The models I see on Project Runway? Mm, not so much.

One of my favorite characters in fact cat was Cat’s best friend Amanda. Amanda was loyal, supportive, stylish and so talented- everything a girl could want in a best friend! Do you draw from your own experiences and the people in your life when constructing the characters within your novels?

I’m so glad you loved Amanda—she’s one of my favorite characters ever! She’s based in part on my own best friend that I’ve had since high school. What I’ve always appreciated about her is how completely supportive she’s always been, how accepting of me no matter what I looked like or what I did, and how ready she is to always cheer me on. Like a lot of us, I’ve had friends in the past who were competitive and snarky and always willing to cut me down. I have no idea why I ever became friends with anyone like that, but I’m hoping I have the sense never to do it again!

What do you think Cat’s theme song would be if you had to choose one in particular for her?

I love that question! I think there’s a lot of truth for Cat in “Through the Fire” by Chaka Kahn. And I think she could also relate to “Realize” by Colbie Caillat.

Do you have a favorite quote/passage/scene from Fat Cat? If so, can you share it with us?

It’s totally a personal thing, but I crack up every time I read Amanda’s line, “Is carpeting allowed?” As for favorite scenes, my heart goes pitter-patter every time I reread the Valentine scene. Sigh . . . Oh, and I get a real guilty pleasure out of all the Nick scenes. So I guess you could say I like a lot of different parts!

What upcoming projects can we look forward to from you?

I’m deeply into the research for my next novel right now, trying to learn as much as I can about quantum physics, string theory, and nonlinear mathematics. Yes, this one will be a romantic comedy, too. Trust me, and stay tuned!

I loved these questions! Thank you so much!!!!!


You are what you eat. . . .

Cat smart, sassy, and funny—but thin, she’s not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment—on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living—and eating—like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits.

As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy! If only she weren’t too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice. . . .

This funny and thoughtful novel explores how girls feel about their bodies, and the ways they can best take care of their most precious resource: themselves.


Robin has graciously offered to give one lucky winner their choice of either an AUDIOBOOK or HARDCOVER copy of the book!

To Enter:
Leave a comment for Robin about the interview or her novels

Bonus Entry:
Link/Post to any social network of your choice

This contest is open to all US entrants
End Date: 12/22/2009


DarcyO said...

Robin, Fat Cat sounds like a great read for my daughter. Thanks for the fun interview.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I like the premise of this books. Great interview!

Hardcover book please :)

foltzsfantasticbooks at gmail.com

Bianca said...

Robin, even though I haven't read Fat Cat yet, I am so thrilled to hear that your working on your next book! I know absolutely nothing about the things you mentioned you were researching (I'd probably fail at those subjects) but it's sounds great!

I'd prefer hardcover.

Tweeted at http://butterflybookreviews.blogspot.com/2009/11/interview-with-author-robin-brande-fat.html

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Dani. said...

Fat Cat looks sooooo good I eagerly want it! It sounds very fun and exciting but also kind of inspirational or motivating which i like! Overall it sounds amazing!

I'd prefer hardcover:)

+1: Tweeted- http://twitter.com/Danidlion/status/6193472830


Melissa Burmester said...

The book looks great. I cannot wait to read it.


Melissa Burmester said...




brizmus said...

In my sidebar under the contest list

It's really so true that you have to choose your role models well. And at certain times in our lives, that something really hard to do.
I wish I had thought to choose Xena back when I was in high school. Although I chose Liz from Roswell, and I think that's also a pretty good choice.
I love Cat's theme songs!!


jpetroroy said...

This seems an intriguing take on a common theme. I'd love to enter

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

+1 tweeted at https://twitter.com/jpetroroy/status/6203391735

jpetroroy said...

Oh, and I'd prefer hardcover

xxsquigglesxx said...

This book looks really good; I'd love to win a hardcover copy.


etirv said...

I enjoyed this interview with Robin! There is a Cat in us, regardless of our age!


carrie said...

I loved this interview and how Robin actually did all those things. I also like how it's a story which makes it more fun! :)



Texy's bookself said...

Great interveiw with Robin,seems like Fat Cat is a great book!

Side bar - http://deepdangers.blogspot.com/


van_pham said...

Great interview! Fat Cat sounds really interesting and will check it out :)

van p.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, darling. I'm dropping in to say kudos to Robin -- and thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book.

Veronica :) said...

Oh my goodness, Robin, your book covers look completely fantastic :) I <33 them!

email. theveronicaproject[at]gmail[dot]com

The Book Owl said...

Great interview. Now I want to read Fat Cat!
Please enter me


Melissa said...

Robin, your book sounds amazing. Looking forward to reading it, and your other works as well.


Melissa V.

Martha Lawson said...

I'd love to win this one for my granddaughter! I think she would really like it..

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

kalynnick said...

Robin, I never read any of your books so which book would you recommend me to read first?

Anonymous said...

I love the cover of this book...please add my name to your drawing.


Jessy said...

Great interview! I recently read Wintergirls and loved it. I thinks Fat Cat sounds a lot like Wintergirls and I am looking forward to reading it.

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/Emma015/statuses/6252565824

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Lindsay's Photographys said...

I would LOVE to win this!!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D
I am reading one of her book right now and I LOVE it!! :D:D



Mary Catherine :) said...


:) Love the concept: can't wait to read the book (if I don't win it, I'm going to get it for myself for Christmas!). :)

Bhumi said...

Robin, I didn't know that the character of Amanda was based on your best friend. How interesting!

Sounds like a great read and I'd love to be entered into the contest.

Tracey N. said...

Great interview about Fat Cat - can't wait to read it and share it with kids at my work, the local public library. Your current book in progress sounds intriguing too! Please enter me in the contest.

I found out about Book Butterfly from www.bookworminginthe21stcentury.com - my daughter's blog.

Amaliazy said...

Wow, what a great interview. =) I enjoyed reading it, and Fat Cat sounds really really interesting! Love forward to reading it.


Linda Henderson said...

I enjoyed your interview very much. I would love to win your book.

seriousreader at live dot com

Mary Catherine said...

I had to make a comment: I finally couldn't resist temptation anymore and bought the ebook: it was really very good! I had so much fun reading this book and I am SOOO inspired by Cat (a character I can very much relate to since my name is also Catherine with a C, I also loved to swim and I also gained a lot of weight the same way she did and I also entered quite a few science fairs in my high schooling days). I don't think I'll be starting her project but I AM interested in possibily getting some of her receipes!!!

Thanks Robin for such an awesome book. :)

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

Mary Catherine- I'm so glad you got the book and are happy. I too have been inspired by Cat and made some great changes- Good luck to you!!

Sara said...

Robin: I loved Fat Cat! I listened to the audiobook and was hooked right from the start. I loved that it not only had a distinct teen vibe and cute love story, it also had some great lessons and tips about diet and what you should/shouldn't eat. :) I borrowed it to my mom even!

I'd love to be entered to win a bound copy of the novel... It'll be easier to borrow to friends and I'd love to read it again, instead of listen to it again!

+1 linked to sidebar @ http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

nicoliolipoli said...

Robin, I wish to read fat cat really badly. I have body weight issues, too. I don't like how I look, but people constently tell me I look fine. I don't know how to be healthy anymore, so i'd like to win this book!(:


Jen said...

This book looks amazing. My sister is and has been dealing with these issues for as long as I can remember. I think this book looks like something that is perfect for her, and even if I don't win I think I'm gonna insist that she reads this. =3


jtcallaway said...

This books sounds very inspriational and I can't wait to read it, even though I am older than the genre for the book. I had a friend who struggled with her weight back in high school and I can relate to that a little now.

If I don't win the contest, I will definitely check out the book and request it on one of my swap sites.


Hardcover please:

Alysa said...

i'm a big fan of Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature. I listened to it on audiobook. But I'd have a hard time choosing between hardcover and audio!

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book!

Tweet! Tweet!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

Oh man, I'm not sure I could ever give up my daily cup of coffee!

This book sounds really fantastic. Weight is a constant issue that everyone struggles with day to day. I like reading books like this because they're often inspirational and help you evaluate your own lifestyle.

I'd love to win a hardcover copy. Thanks for the interview!

- Nikki
(nikkinizzle [at] gmail.com)

misskallie2000 said...

Don't know what is wrong with my puter but took over 1 hr to finally get in to make comment.

Robin, I love your book. I would love to win hard copy for my 15 yr old grand daughter who has a weight problem. She was thin until her parents divorced 5 1/2 yrs ago. I think Cat will help her lose weight.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Jessica Capelle said...

the book looks great- seems to be a real positive message for teens.

jessicacapelle at gmail dot com

Sarah (Limerick) said...

I love the message that she is trying to convey with this new novel. I think that female weight issues is a major topic that we need to address properly and I'm glad that Robin has done so.

I'll admit though, it would be extremely hard for me to give up my processed. I congratulate her for being able to do it!

Thanks for the interview, Kim! :)

Ashley said...

I will agree with you its hard to give up coffee, its what i look forward to each morning, my cup of joe so i congratulate you. and on this book it really sounds amazing, a storyline all girls should read, and it has romantic comedy, im really excited to read it. please pick me to win it! Thanks for the giveaway!


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