Where I Belong is a contemporary riches to rags story about how one spoiled Manhattan teenager learns to deal with the effects of the recession on her life.
1. As much as I like Corinne, and I do like her a great deal, I loved her grandparents, especially Grandpa. How would he describe Where I Belong?
I love her Grandpa too! I had a friend’s grandfather, who he is loosely based on. (That Grandpa fished every morning for hours and built a sailboat out of canoes!)
Grandpa Houston (pronounced like the city not the NYC street) would describe Where I Belong like this:
Where I Belong is the true story of how my granddaughter Corrinne found her Texan roots and got rid of her Hudson River view of the world. Basically, it’s the story of how she went from a teenager to a young woman.
2. What type of research did you do for Where I Belong?
I live in NYC and I watch Gossip Girl, so that helped me created NYC Corrinne.
For the Texas Setting, I drew from the fact that I have a lot of Texan friends, so their Texan pride helped me to create my loveable Texan characters with their quirky names and colorful language. Also, I have been to Texas several times, so that of course helped.
Youtube.com filled in A LOT of gaps. For instance, what mutton busting is and what dressage is.
I loved doing the research bit since my degree is in journalism! I only wish I had time (and money) to do even more further research- especially of rodeos!
3. I have this thing about names; I love hearing the stories behind them. How do you come up with names for your characters?
Real people definitely inspire my character’s names. I have a friend Corrie, who’s real name is Corrinne. She’s the inspiration for Corrinne’s name. (Coincidentally, my now-boyfriend is also named Cory!) Let me run on a tangent for a second: Some readers say they don’t like Bubby’s name because it means Grandma. I’d like to say that I have met boy Bubbys, so it doesn’t just mean Grandma! I like Bubby as an adorable nickname!
For some of the other names, I googled. Somewhere in the world, there is a Kitsy who competes in rodeos. (Kitsy is my favorite name by the way- if I ever have a girl…..) The rest of the names I pretty much just made up!
4. If you could have a character from any other book join Corinne and Tripp in Broken Spoke, who would you choose?
Those vampires from Forks, Washington. I want to see how they’d do in Texas heat! And I want to see if they’d fight over Corrinne like they did Bella!
5. Would Corinne be willing to share some of her favorite recessionista tips?
Yes, Corrinne would love to share how to be a recessionista in NYC. Her first tip is don’t take cabs. It costs almost three dollars just to get a cab with no mileage! She also thinks staying in Jersey City or Hoboken as a tourist is a great idea. Both cities are only one subway stop away from the tony West Village and you will save hundreds of dollars in hotels. Corrinne also recommends hiring younger siblings to do services for you. Since they are related to you, you are allowed to pay less than minimum wage and stiff them on the tips. Kidding, sort of.
A big thanks to Gwendolyn and Corinne (for sharing her tips)!
For more information about Where I Belong, check out Ms. Heasley's blog.