Today is special and not just because it’s the first giveaway of 2023! I am bursting with excitement to share my interview with Ellen O’Clover celebrating her debut Young Adult Contemporary novel SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX which releases on January 17, 2023. I met Ellen through our local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) chapter exactly four years ago and have enjoyed our friendship and her writing ever since! In fall 2020, she trusted me to beta read a different YA novel she had written that tugged hard at my heart but hasn’t sold. Yet. And now, with a new agent, a completely new story, and an amazing book which I was lucky enough to beta read 🥁drum roll please🥁 ✨SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX! ✨
Ellen is offering one lucky winner (US only) a signed advanced reader copy of SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX! To enter the giveaway, comment on this blogpost.
To order a signed copy of SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX Preorder from the Wandering Jellyfish
What where you like at the age of your target audience?
In some ways I was a lot like Ro at eighteen: headstrong, sure of my strengths and my place in the world. Confident that my worldview was one hundred percent accurate. (And like Ro, I quickly came to learn how far that was from the truth!) In other ways, Ro is Senior Year Ellen’s opposite: a tech genius (I’ve always been a reader and writer), spontaneous and brave in a way that I never was. Ro’s a risk-taker, and I’ve always been a rule-follower.
What inspires you?
I live for that moment when you’re reading a book—or watching a movie, or listening to a song—and its creator perfectly articulates a feeling that you’ve always thought you were alone in. Or explains an emotion so well that you come to understand your own heart and mind better than you did before. Connecting with art in that way always inspires me to create more of my own—and always in the hopes of writing stories that make young people feel less alone.
What’s one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX is about a girl chasing her dreams of working in tech, but it’s also about how scary it is to be eighteen, standing on the precipice of the rest of your life. Looking out at the promise of adulthood and wondering what’s waiting for you there, and if the person you’ve been in the past will follow you into the future. Ro creates an app that predicts the future—partly for fun, but mostly because she’s desperate for control over the next part of her life. But we don’t get to have that power, at least not most of the time. Life is a messy, incalculable surprise that just goes on and on.
I hope that readers will walk away from SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX reminded that we don’t need to have all the answers—or even a solid plan—to be worthy or to find joy. That we can give ourselves the grace to make mistakes, and trust ourselves to figure it all out as we go.
What’s next for you?
I have a second contemporary YA in the works, which will be publishing in 2024! I’ve been deep in edits for it and can’t wait to share more about it soon. It’s a very personal story, and one that I’m very proud of.
To learn more about Ellen’s books and future events:
TikTok, Twitter, Instagram: @ellenoclover