Mundie Moms

Monday, January 20, 2014

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens; Blog Tour / Author Interview

Last year I was thrilled to be apart of of Rebecca Behrens's cover reveal for her upcoming release, WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE. Now I'm thrilled to welcome Rebecca Behrens back to Mundie Moms to talk about her new book.

First, here's a little bit about When Audrey Met Alice:

By Rebecca Behrens
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
February 2014
Ages 9 -12

First daughters just want to have fun.
Thirteen-year-old First Daughter Audrey Rhodes is convinced that living in the White House is like being permanently grounded. While her parents are off saving the world, Audrey Rhodes spends most of her time pining for friends back home, sulking about security restrictions, and suppressing the crush she's developing on Quint, her only DC friend. After the Secret Service cancels the party she planned, Audrey is ready to give up and become a White House hermit.  What good is having your own bowling alley if you don’t have anyone to play with?
Audrey is ready to give up and spend the next four years totally friendless—until she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary beneath the floorboards and starts asking herself…What Would Alice Do? But not everyone is on board with Audrey's attempts to be more like Alice—especially not her mother’s super-stern Chief of Staff. Will meeting Alice brings Audrey happiness—like the freedom to attend the school trip and possibly a First Boyfriend—or a host of new problems?
The former First Daughter’s outrageous antics give Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun...and get her into more trouble than she can handle. A fun, smart middle grade debut that brings a fascinating historical character to vibrant life and showcases relatable tween issues like fitting in, first crushes, and finding your own way, the White House hijinks of these First Daughters is a story readers won’t want to miss!
Pre-order the book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indie Bound

Welcome to Mundie Moms! We're so thrilled you're on the blog today. We loved being apart of your cover reveal a couple months back. Did you have a say in your cute cover? 
Thanks! I wish I could take credit for my cover (which I think is very cute, too!), but it all goes to the great team at Sourcebooks and the designer, Liz Connor. Early in the process, I did make a Pinterest board with some images that I felt represented Audrey, Alice, and elements of the story, and that was part of what they considered while coming up with cover concepts. 

What inspired some of Audrey's wild antics? You can plead the 5th if you'd like. ;) haha
Most of Audrey’s antics were inspired by Alice, both the character and the real-life person. The book only begins to cover her crazy life! Although, I did once try “driving” a car under my older sister’s supervision, years before I could get a learner’s permit. (Basically, she let me sit in the driver’s seat and attempt to steer, no gas, when we were waiting in an empty parking lot. Sorry, Mom!) That’s kind of like taking a golf cart for a not-totally-authorized spin on the South Lawn, right?

Do you see more of yourself in Alice or Audrey? Why?
As a teen, I was probably more like Audrey—a little unsure of who I was, but eager to figure it out. Audrey finds that she cares a lot about using her voice for the issues she’s passionate about, and so do I.

Then and now, I admire Alice’s spirit. She was such a vibrant person! I like to think that since I started researching and writing about her, I’ve found more ways to “eat up the world.” I firmly believe that hijinks are part of a healthy lifestyle.

Who would you have been friends with growing up?
As much as I would love to say that Alice and I would’ve been partners in crime, I think she would’ve been a little too wild for me! Audrey, on the other hand, I could see myself getting along with great. She’s curious and spirited but still pretty responsible, like I was at her age. We could’ve had tons of fun doing sleepovers in the White House: watching movies in the Family Theater, sneaking the key to the official cookie tray, stargazing outside the Solarium . . . and maybe sneaking in some crushes.

Which character changed the most from your initial outline to the final draft of your book?
Alice’s character didn’t change much between my outlines and the final draft because I based most of her actions on things the real-life Alice did when she moved in to the White House at seventeen. Audrey, on the other hand, evolved over the course of many drafts. The biggest changes had to do with her age: I wasn’t sure until a few drafts in whether she was a MG or a YA character. At one point, I aged her down a little—in that version, she stole a lab rat from her father’s lab and named it “Emily Tofu,” a la Alice’s “Emily Spinach” snake. In another draft, Audrey edged into YA territory—smoking and actually stealing the golf cart. The essential idea of who she is as a character (a spunky but mostly good girl just trying to find her place in an extraordinary situation) was always the same, and eventually I settled on the sweet spot for Audrey’s age and antics, thirteen.

What is one of your favorite journal entries of Alice's?
I love the one in which Alice describes sneaking out of the house with her friend Lila to go on a joyride from Newport back to Boston. More than the glee she felt about breaking the rules (young women were not supposed to drive “automobiles” without a chaperone in her time!), she is so enthusiastic about being independent and adventurous. I also love the image of Alice “practicing” for a yacht christening by smashing bottle after bottle of Champagne in the backyard.

But perhaps my favorite is the entry in which Alice, who usually skips out on the Roosevelt family breakfast in favor of sleeping off her partying, wakes up at a reasonable hour and slinks into the dining room to join her parents and siblings. It’s kind of a rare moment of reflection and reconciliation for her.

Can you please share with us a few of the upcoming YA releases you're looking forward to picking up this year?
I’ve been lucky enough to read some of the 2014 YA debuts already as part of OneFour KidLit and the Class of 2K14. I can’t stop recommending Emery Lord’s OPEN ROAD SUMMER: think the TV show NASHVILLE meets Sarah Dessen. Her writing and the characters are just fantastic. Liz Czukas’s ASK AGAIN LATER is a really fun prom story with a SLIDING DOORS twist. I’ve also heard amazing things about Brandy Colbert’s POINTE, and I’m excited to read Alison Cherry’s next book, FOR REAL—but I’ll have to wait until December!

Can you tell us what you're working on next? 
I’m working on another upper-middle grade that blends contemporary with a little bit of historical fiction. This one doesn’t have any wild presidential kids, but it does feature the beach, the lost colony of Roanoke, shipwrecks, and mysterious boys. Also ice cream.


Thank you Rebecca for stopping by and chatting with us today!

Find out more about Alice Roosevelt and the real life events & more HERE.

Growing up in Wisconsin, Rebecca Behrens dreamed of becoming the following: a marine zoologist, an Olympic swimmer, or an author. One out of three isn’t bad! Today she lives in New York City, where she works as a textbook editor. Some of her favorite things are: Central Park, bright shoes, running, and doughnuts. Visit her at

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