Sunday, April 19, 2015

0 Katie Sise, author of THE PRETTY APP, on throwing challenges at your characters

We're excited to have Katie Sise here to tell us more about THE PRETTY APP, her companion novel to THE BOYFRIEND APP.

Katie, what was your inspiration for writing THE PRETTY APP?

When writing THE BOYFRIEND APP, I always felt like there was more to Blake's story. I wanted to know more about why she acted the way she did. And I was intrigued by the idea of writing about a teenager who thinks the only thing of value about her is being beautiful.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

My favorite scene in the book is between Blake and her sister, Nic. It occurs at Notre Dame, (my alma mater), and the college where Nic is enrolled and where Blake and Audrey will attend in the fall. As I was writing THE PRETTY APP, the way the relationship between the two sisters develops was as (or more!) important as the romantic relationship between Blake and Leo.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
Elizabeth Eulberg's books! 

She's also a friend of mine, so I'm partial, but I always hear readers say that there's a similar tone and style.

How long did you work on THE PRETTY APP?

Much longer than THE BOYFRIEND APP! THE BOYFRIEND APP took about four months to write. THE PRETTY APP took much longer-- maybe about eight months--because there were so many stops and starts. It was just a harder book for me to figure out. Sometimes that happens! But I'm happy with how it turned out, so all of those rewrites were worth it :)

What do you hope readers will take away from THE PRETTY APP?

That everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and that you don't know someone's reasons for being the way that they are until you walk in their shoes. (Not that it excuses Blake's behavior in The Boyfriend App, but remembering that helped me to understand her as a character.)

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

Someone once told me to continually make things hard on your characters, no matter how much you love them. That helped! Throwing challenges at my characters in every chapter helps move the book along and creates suspense.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I always write in quiet. I get too distracted with music. I do love writing in a coffee shop, but for now, I write at home while my son naps, and on weekends, too. So that means I write a little less than twenty hours a week. When my children are in school, I'll go back to a full-time writing schedule. But for now, this works!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Just keep writing. Every day. I think the only reason I got published was because I'd written for so many years and had practice at it, so when the more salable idea came along, I was ready!

What are you working on now?

I'm so excited to be working on another romantic comedy for Balzer + Bray! This one has an entire new casts of characters, and it's been so much fun to write so far!


The Pretty App
by Katie Sise
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/14/2015

Poor Blake Dawkins! She's rich, she's gorgeous, and she's the queen bee of Harrison High. The girls want to be her; the boys want to—okay, enough said. But it turns out Blake’s life is not so perfect—just talk to her dad, who constantly reminds her that she's not up to par, or to her ex-bff, Audrey, who doesn't even look her in the eye.

Then Harrison—and every other high school in America—becomes obsessed with posting selfies on the ubiquitous Pretty App. Next: Leo, an adorable transfer student, arrives at Harrison and begins to show Blake that maybe being a queen bee doesn't mean being a queen bitch. And though Audrey suspects somebody’s playing foul, Blake finds herself catapulted to internet fame after being voted one of the prettiest girls in the country. She's whisked away to star in a reality show—in Hollywood, on live TV. But she doesn’t know who to trust. Because everybody on the show wants to win.

And nobody is there to make friends.

The Boyfriend App author Katie Sise spins another irresistible tale of technology, secrets, and big-time romance in this story of what it takes to be #trulybeautiful.

Purchase The Pretty App at Amazon
Purchase The Pretty App at IndieBound
View The Pretty App on Goodreads


Katharine “Katie” Sise is a New York City based author, jewelry designer and television host. Years ago, at age twenty-four— after dropping a rare and very expensive bottle of champagne on her way to deliver it to Robert De Niro’s table—she realized she needed a way to fund her acting and writing career that didn’t involve balancing a tray full of cocktails. That fall, she taught herself to make jewelry and launched Katharine Sise Jewelry. Within a few months, Lucky Magazine called her a “Designer to Watch” and her company appeared in every major fashion magazine—including Vogue, W, Elle, Self, Lucky, InStyle, Bazaar, Allure, Us Weekly, People, In Touch, Page Six Magazine, Real Simple, FN, Life and Style, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Women’s Wear Daily, Marie Claire and Glamour. Before she knew it, her celebrity clientele included Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Kelly Ripa, Ellen Pompeo, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Beyonce Knowles, Anne Hathaway and Drew Barrymore.

Katharine has been profiled on dozens of online fashion and lifestyle outlets including,,,, Sweet, The Huffington Post and The New York Post. Her jewelry has appeared on television shows such as The View, Live with Regis and Kelly, E! News, Good Day New York, Full Frontal Fashion, Movie and a Makeover, The O.C., Brothers and Sisters and Gossip Girl. While Katharine was chatting with the ladies from The View, one of her necklaces broke on air and fell from her neck to her lap because she didn’t spend enough time getting the clasp right. That moment is preserved, forever, on a DVD at her parents’ house.

Katharine has designed jewelry for national campaigns like Vera Wang, Gap and Keds. In 2009, Target launched Katharine Sise for Target.

Katharine has worked as a fashion and lifestyle consultant, appearing on-air for networks like HSN, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, CNBC and ABC’s Good Morning America. For eighteen months, Katharine co-hosted a live monthly television show for The Home Shopping Network. She also appeared as The Daily Special’s resident style expert.

Katharine’s first book, Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career (Perseus/Running Press) hit shelves in September of 2010. Creative Girl is written for every woman who wants to make her living in the creative world, whether in an office job or at the helm of her own business. The book is an encouraging and practical take on how to make a living doing what you love.

Katharine’s first novel, The Boyfriend App, was published by HarperCollins Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013. The Boyfriend App tells the story of a girl who, in order to win a scholarship offered by a secretly-evil global computing corporation, invents an app that makes any boy fall madly in love with her, with chaotic results. The Boyfriend App has received rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, and VOYA.

Katharine has a BA in Film, Television and Theater from The University of Notre Dame. She lives in New York City with her family.

What did you think of our interview with Katie Sise, author of THE PRETTY APP? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

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