Friday, January 25, 2019

0 Olivia Hinebaugh, author of THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME, on stealing time to write

We're delighted to have Olivia Hinebaugh join us to chat about her debut novel, THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME.

Olivia, what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

It solidified a lot of opinions I have about the need for thorough and inclusive sex ed. But I also learned a lot about the term amatonormativity, which is the social structures that focus on and prioritize amorous relationships. Like how we all kind of assume romantic relationships are more important than any other types of relationships. Learning about this really made me start to see things through a different lens, and as I edited the book, I really think it informed how important the platonic relationships in the book are. You can read about amatonormativity here!

In terms of learning about writing, it really struck home that writing a book is a great way to explore topics that interest me. I love falling into research holes. Even when my writing time is spent reading and learning more than actual writing, it's all been so valuable and enjoyable. I hope to always work on projects that invite this kind deep dive into new worlds.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME?

I honestly mostly hope it makes people happy. But, especially for teen readers, I hope they learn something about sex that makes them feel empowered. I hope they see that there are supportive adults and that it's possible to make changes and reject systems that aren't working for them. Oh, and I hope they like the characters half as much as I do.

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

I wish I had more of a ritual. The idea of writing at a certain time of day under specific circumstances sounds like heaven. But I'm a write-at-home mom who has to steal time when I can. I will say that music is pretty crucial to writing. I work really hard to cultivate playlists for the project and normally putting that music on is what helps me get in the zone. For The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me the playlist was also really important because I had to know what the band in the book would be playing. And not to be a cliche or anything, but I super enjoy having a hot beverage or peanut M&Ms when I work, but that doesn't always work out.


The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me
by Olivia Hinebaugh
Swoon Reads
Released 1/22/2019

Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke feels like the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she's been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita.

But then everything changes.

When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls' restroom. Meanwhile, things with Theo have become complicated, and soon Lacey is not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but her own as well.

Purchase The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me at Amazon
Purchase The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me at IndieBound
View The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me on Goodreads


Olivia Hinebaugh loves all stripes of literature for children. When she isn’t writing fiction, she can be found writing freelance, making art, discovering new songs on spotify, texting her writing buddies, or folding laundry. She lives near Washington, D.C. with her spouse, three kids, a dog that looks like a coyote, and a one-eyed cat. The Birds, The Bees, And You And Me is her debut novel. Her bio feels incomplete without this mention of coffee.

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