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Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn’t a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she’s learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree.
When she meets a group of riders who welcome her into their pack, she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. One particular rider—a boy with an amazing smile and an even more amazing ability to see what she’s truly capable of—gives her the confidence to go after what she wants: her own life with her own rules.
There’s only one problem—he’s not her boyfriend.
Just as things seem to be falling into place, her parents put on the pressure to figure out her future—one that doesn’t include riding. Mike soon realizes that having everything isn’t that great when she’s not the one choosing it. She needs to decide if she’s going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail.
Link to Goodreads:
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If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I’d love to go back to the late 1840s during the time of the women’s suffrage movement. Women’s rights are very important to me and all my main characters are strong, female role models (even if they take a little while to get there). I think it’d be fascinating to witness those history-changing times.
What is the last thing you googled?
“When was the women’s suffrage movement,” lol. I was thinking it was the 1820s, so I’m glad I checked. Clearly I know TONS about that era.
What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Reading or writing or watching a movie. As a creative person, gloomy days energize my imagination. They make me want to cuddle up inside my brain and I’m far more productive than on nice days, when I want to be outside. I lived in Mexico for a few years and the constant sunlight nearly drove me mad.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m very active and play a ton of sports, most of them with my husband. Things we regularly do: golf, kayak, bike, hike, walk the dog, softball, bowling, ski… plus all kinds of yard and bar games like cornhole (bags), darts, pool, etc. I also like to do DIY projects around the house and go beer and wine tasting.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your characters do you want by your side?
Hmm… any of my love interests? Cameron from the Flicker series was my first character I loved. Blake from The Slope Rules is a little immature for me (well really, they all are since I write YA), but Mica from The Trail Rules is pretty swoony. He’s outdoorsy so could probably handle the whole find shelter and food thing pretty well, and he’s not too hard on the eyes either.
What is the hardest part of writing?
For me, the hardest part of writing is getting started. I love telling stories and letting my imagination take over, but I always feel like I need to do “one more thing” before sitting down to write. I outline extensively and have a set time when I write—every morning before work—so I have very little excuses to not stick to my schedule. Once I push my other obligations out of my mind and acknowledge that this is the time I’m going to write, it comes much more easily.
How long have you been writing?
I first started writing in elementary school and that carried into middle and high school—primarily poems, songs, and short stories—but I stopped when I got to college and I didn’t start again until my mid-thirties. Now I’ve written nine full-length manuscripts (one memoir and eight novels) and I have several more planned.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
Honestly, writing is just something that I’ve always done. I suppose I could say my early teachers, or my early love for reading, but I’ve just always loved telling stories and writing was a way to do that. There is a specific person who I credit for inspiring me to write novels: my former co-worker Matt. I was leaving Chicago to live in Mexico with my (now ex-)husband and Matt said, “now you can write the great American novel.” I don’t know if I’d ever shared my desire to write a novel with him, but that casual comment stuck with me and I started my first novel a year later.
Tell us about your next release.
My new release is The Trail Rules, the second book in The Rules Series. It’s about Mike, a 16-year old girl who thought she had it all figured out, but starts to realize that maybe everything she thought she wanted isn’t enough. A lot of the story takes place while she’s mountain biking, and I had a lot of fun exploring the Colorado forests with her.
The third book in the series, The Edge Rules, follows the mean girl from the story and comes out in October 2018.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I adore Cally, Mike’s best friend and the main character in The Slope Rules (the first book in the series), but I think Alex is my favorite. Mike meets her while riding and her no-nonsense attitude and openness to new adventure draws Mike to her. She’s a total [badass] who teaches Mike to challenge herself and not be afraid to go after what she really wants.
I’m especially excited about Alex because she’s the main character in a short story that’ll be in a YA contemporary romance anthology that comes out later this year.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I’ve have to say Kenzie, one of the Snow Bunnies (mean girls) from the series. She starts off in The Slope Rules as the number two mean girl, but over the course of the series her nastiness shows its true colors and I really don’t like her. She’s basically a combination of the mean people I’ve known in my life, all rolled into one self-absorbed, hurtful girl.
This or That?
iPod or Mp3? my iPhone
Kids or No Kids? no kids, but I have a furbaby
Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate
Outline or Pantser? OUTLINE
Married or Not? married <3
Pie or Cake? pie (but I love cake)
Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream? frozen yogurt (dairy is not my friend)
Spring or Fall? fall
Soda or Pop? soda (it took 3 years to beat pop out of me)
Dogs or Cats? dogs
Wine or Beer? depends on my mood?
Comedy or Drama? drama
Indie or Traditional? indie
Fantasy or Reality? reality
Call or Text? TEXT. What kind of heathen calls people?
Coffee or Hot Chocolate? the two mixed together (I’m more of a tea gal)
eBook or Paperback? eBook, but I buy paperbacks from my friends.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan. When not at her day job as a Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.
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