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Monday, 29 June 2015

You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison ~ Author Interview + Giveaway

Click for tour schedule

Welcome to my tour stop for 

You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison


Paperback Princess is kicking off You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison's blog tour! Today we are very honoured to have Kris here with us to answer a few questions. 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway courtesy of HMH Kids and Kris for your chance to win a copy finished copy of You and Me and Him. 

About The Author

Kris Dinnison



Kris Dinnison learned to read when she was five years old. She grew up reading books nobody else had read and listening to music nobody else had heard of and thinking she was weird, which she kind of was. She spent nearly two decades as a teacher and librarian working with students from kindergarten to graduate school. The bulk of that time she spent teaching High School English while dreaming of becoming a writer. Nowadays, when she’s not writing, she helps run her family’s retail and café businesses. She lives in Spokane, Washington with one husband, one daughter (when said daughter is not living in some foreign country or other), two cats, and a labradoodle named Charlie.






Thanks Kris, for allowing me the opportunity to be part of this tour, You and Me and Him was such a fantastic read, I devoured it in two days. 

Your Top 3 Favourite Cookies?

Well, I don’t bake quite as well as Maggie does in the story, but I do love cookies. I have a lot of great emotional associations with certain cookies. 

I love Madelines, which are this kind of cakey French cookie shaped like a shell. I eat them when I’m in France, and I baked them with my daughter a few times, so they always make me think of her and of traveling. 

I also love Oatmeal Scotchies. I’m not sure why the fake butterscotch chips are so appealing to me, but they are just perfect with the oatmeal and the cinnamon. When we first opened our café business, I was so inexperienced. I didn’t really know how to do anything well, but those cookies were one thing I could make and people seemed to love them. 

Finally, the chocolate chip cookies my friend Randy makes. He’s a teacher and he regularly makes huge batches of them for students and staff. He has been such a great friend that I can’t taste one of those cookies without thinking of him.

In your blog you mentioned that growing up you felt a bit strange, not like everyone else, was Maggie's character based on yourself? 

Maggie is more the person I wished I had been in high school. I definitely struggled with a lot of the same things she did: body image, dating, friend drama, listening to weird music, feeling like people didn’t get me. And on top of it all, I moved from Washington State to the Bay Area in California halfway through my junior year in High School. I definitely felt like an outsider then. But unlike Maggie, it took me so much longer to become okay with a lot of those things. To be honest, some of them I’m still struggling with. But writing her character gave me a little of that sense of getting a “do over” on some of the things I wished I’d handled differently. In a way, it allowed me to go back and give some advice to my 17 year-old self.

You refer to a lot of different era music throughout the book, and you mention that when growing up you listened to a lot of music that no one else had heard of, give me one of your favourite singer/band and song when you were growing up, and why were they your favourite? 

Stephen Chbosky has a great line in “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” where someone asks his main character what his favorite book is and he answers “The last one I read.” 

(I think that's going to be MY favourite quote)

It’s really hard for me to say I have a favorite book or movie or band or whatever, because I like so many different things. In fact I was just talking about this after seeing the documentary “Kurt Cobain, Montage of Heck”, which I thought was incredible, by the way. I had this realization that I was never rabidly, obsessively into one band the way the fans of Nirvana were. I love music, but I’m not one of those people who knew everything about them or needed to feel connected to them to enjoy the music. 

So anyway, that question of favorites always throws me. But when you talk about someone I listened to a lot that nobody else listened to, Billie Holiday was definitely one of those. I loved her voice, and the rough, scratchy quality of the recordings, and just the whole “Lady Sings the Blues” thing. I remember there was one song I listened to a lot, Lover Man. 

I had a lot of friends, but I really did long for that special someone who I would have a different bond with. I was kind of like Nash in the book, I wanted to hold hands and dance at prom and that whole romantic picture. The song Lover Man really spoke to that sort of yearning. 

“I don’t know why but I’m feeling so sad/I long to try something I’ve never had/Never had no kissin’/Oh what I’ve been missin’/Lover Man, oh where can you be?”

You have walked into Square Peg, which of the 3 in the RTP (Records to Play) pile would you want Maggie and Quinn to play whilst your shopping? 

I think I’d like to hear Louder Than Bombs by the Smiths and Head in the Door by The Cure. In high school I literally wore out those cassettes and had to buy new ones. And I love stepping into a place and feeling connected to the people that work there by their music choices. And then I’d love it if they were playing something I didn’t know but really liked. That’s part of the fun of going into a real record store (or bookstore or library or whatever). The people there know about the stuff you don’t know about yet and they can introduce you to some great new artist or book if you let them. 

I guess the algorithms online will do the same thing based on what you buy or what toothpaste you use or whatever, but somehow it’s not as gratifying for me as having a conversation with someone who says, “Hey, you have to check this out!”

I absolutely adored the banter between Quinn and Maggie, and those sessions at Square Peg became one of my favourite scenes, their relationship was so easy...did you base that on a relationship you have with your brother?

My brother and I have a good relationship, and he’s one of the smartest people I know. I love talking with him, but we tend to talk about more serious things. I wasn’t really thinking of him at all when I started on Maggie and Quinn’s relationship. Actually I’d be hard pressed to say where their banter came from. I think they just see that kindred spirit in each other, in spite of the age difference, so they feel comfortable giving each other some crap and also supporting one another.

You have worked in a lot of different industries, which of those jobs (excluding being a Writer of course) would you say was your favourite job and why? 

I really did love being a teacher. The kids I got to work with during that career were amazing. And I always felt like they were teaching me as much as I taught them. I’m still in touch with some of the students I had my first year of teaching, which was over twenty years ago. Seeing them grow up and be amazing makes me really happy. The system has changed a lot since I started teaching, and it wouldn’t be a good fit for me anymore, but I’m really grateful for the time I had with students. I also like being a barista, because free coffee. Duh.

About The Book

You and Me and Him 

by Kris Dinnison


Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books 
Buy It Now: Amazon | Book Depository


“Do not ignore a call from me when you know I am feeling neurotic about a boy. That is Best Friend 101.” —Nash         

Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.

~ Giveaway ~ 

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Stay tuned for an upcoming review coming shortly at Paperback Princess! 


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