Welcome and happy book birthday to Lynn Weingarten whose latest book, THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS hits shelves today from HarperTeen. If you missed my review, I called it “a fun and thought provoking read that was anything but predictable, and will leave you wondering if it’s ever okay to break a heart.” I’m dying to talk about the ending with somebody, so hit me up when you read it 🙂 And if you want one of the very cool swag pack containing some exclusive heartbreakers tattoos from the book, check out the giveaway below.
ATUF: The mythology behind the Heartbreakers was deceptively simple on the surface. How did you come up with the idea and can you explain it briefly?
LW: The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers is a group of girls who break boys’ hearts and use their broken-hearted tears to perform magic. In order to join them a girl must have had her own heart broken and then sometime within the next seven days, break a boy’s heart and bring his broken hearted tear to the SSH.
Then they’ll make the girl’s heart heal back in an instant, and she’ll be one of them – a magical girl with an unbreakable heart.
I first got the original seed of the idea after reading a non-fiction book about picking-up-women told from the point of view of a guy who studied with a professional pick-up artist (professional in that he made his living teaching other guys how to do it). In the book, groups of guys would go out together to hit on women and I started thinking about how it would be fun if there were a book about a group of girls who did a similar thing. The rest of the idea grew out of that.
ATUF: Lucy has arguably one of the best guys friends a girl could have in Tristan, the blues playing, lollipop loving, insomniac. I loved him from the first scene. How important was it to have a character like Tristan in THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS?
LW: He was a really fun character to write and I’m very glad you liked him! I think we need him in the story for a couple different reasons but most importantly because he helps show us things about Lucy that we might not otherwise know. The Lucy we meet early in the book is a bit of a mess, this is not who she is all the time, it’s who she is when she’s just had her heart broken. But you can learn a lot about a person from looking at who their closest friends are, and Tristan is her very best friend. This says something about her.
In addition to this, he’s important because he lightens things up and provides a counter-point for the mostly sly and knowing sisterhood. He’ll play an even bigger role in the next book.
ATUF: In a story featuring a trio of beautiful but dangerous girls who prey on guys in order to break their hearts, I was surprised not to see more obviously despicable guys in this book. Was that a constant decision to create ambiguity for both Lucy and the reader in regards to the Heartbreakers?
LW: It was definitely a conscious decision. I didn’t want this to be a book about a group of mean girls who go around getting revenge on jerks – I wanted it to be a little more complicated than that. The idea in the book is that the SSH break the hearts of those who deserve and, more importantly, those who can benefit from it. The SSH don’t just dole out broken hearts as punishments for wrongdoings because, ultimately, having your heart broken isn’t necessarily a punishment. When you’re going through it, it hurts like hell. But going through the process of having a broken heart and then having your heart heal up, can also help people learn a lot about themselves, about the world and about other people. A broken heart can make people wiser and more compassionate.
All of that said – it’s not always clear who is right or wrong in this book. I think most readers will have mixed feelings about most of the SSH. And that is also part of the point.
ATUF: The entire ending of THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS was a complete shock to me. How did you settle on such an unconventional ending, and was it as big a surprise to you as it was to me?
LW: I loosely plotted the whole book before I started writing, and one thing I knew for sure was the ending. There will be a sequel coming out a year from now which will explain some things.
ATUF: The book trailer for THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS looks almost like a movie trailer! What can you tell us about the production of this very cool trailer?