Dash-Board Interview: Bria Quinlan

9 May

I have about a bazillion blogs that I owe the Luv YA readers… all 4 of you… including an update on the Auction from last week and the YA Survey from 2 weeks before. Those are coming, I swear!

But, this week we kick off my little series introducing my 2011 YA Golden Heart Finalist sisters. They’ve been wonderful to get to know. We’ve bonded over important things like Em-Dashes. You might even say they’re my DASH-BOARD *snort* Okay, yeah.

Wednesday, we’ll start with Jennifer Stark (w/a Jennifer McGowan), but I thought all was fair in the interview world, so here’s mine. Enjoy (hopefully)~~~

Let’s start off with a short bio.

 Bria Quinlan’s close friend loves to tell people she’s like a puppy: Cheerful, inquisitive, and willing to jump into things with both feet. Also, she likes to be fed at regular intervals and play outside daily.

It didn’t surprise anyone when Bria started writing YA Rom Coms… after all, her life is a walking sitcom (minus the commercials). Plus, secretly Bria is still 16 (although her license says something different). Finally putting those English Literature and Creative Writing degrees to work, Bria’s excited to get her quirky stories on the page to share with the world (or at least a segment of it). A four year member of RWA, she expects that her experience as New England Chapter Workshop Chair and VP will help her take over the world.

She’s represented by the awesomely amazing Lauren Macleod of the Clan…. Oh, wait. Of Strothman Agency.

Bria writes Romantic Comedies for teens that take hard topics and make you laugh through your tears. You can contact her at briaquinlan@aol.com OR twitter @briaquinlan


Tell me a little about your GH book. 

My book, SECRET LIFE, finaled in the GH this year. It’s very excited, because it had never even left home for a contest before.

Rachel Wells is a liar. No one outside her family knows about the panic attacks or the medication, the weekly therapy drive-bys or the rules she has to follow to stay sane. No one, not even her best friend knows about The Disorder. When Rachel comes home from a summer of counseling and coming off the meds, everything is upended enough. But when her best friend’s bad boy kind-of-ex-boyfriend needs a tutor, she’s painted into a lying corner she should have avoided at all costs.
Chris Kent is IT. Hot, popular and a state-wide soccer god. He can have any girl he wants. Actually, he pretty much has…and that’s the problem. Chris is fighting his own demons after he lost the one girl who liked him for who he might have been. As he tries to score his way into college, he needs to get his grades up and the only qualified person available without a hook-up-history is Rachel.
Now, the two most messed up people in Ridge View High are trying their damnedest not to fall into the one trap that will expose all their secrets: Love.


What’s the opening line.

I wish I could have blamed my mad dash to the restroom on what the school passed off as nutritional fare.


Tell me about your GH call… and aftermath

My call came while I was waiting for another out of state call, so I had a moment of “It’s just Stacy” — And then all I heard was “RWA” and I started weeping…. Not pretty, Demi-Moore-In-Ghost tears, but overwhelmed-nothing-has-gone-right-in-so-long-I-really-needed-this tears. I had to ask the poor caller to repeat herself two more times. Then, I hung up and called my first-call buddy Ms. Jeannie Lin. But when I opened my mouth, a realllllly high pitch scream came out instead of words. The poor girl was driving. I think I nearly killed her.

Then, I called Ms Gwen Hayes (I tried to stall because she’s on the other side of the country, but the stalling didn’t work. More screaming and jumping.

Then I called my Awesome Secret Agent Macleod. You might be wondering why I didn’t call Awesome Agent first, WELL – note the screaming and stupidity. I wanted to purge that.

Then I tweeted it. I live for twitter – go, go join twitter right now.

After all those “thens” were done, I remembered the amazingly vivid dream I had about getting the call the night before. It was life-like vivid and I panicked. What if I just dreamed this? What if I called two of the besties, the agent and tweeted the freaking news and I’d made it up? Holy Schnikies that would be bad! Rush! Rush to the RWA site. *refresh* No Bria Quinlan *refresh*

Oh thank the Lord. There I am. Wait, that says me, right? Maybe it doesn’t. *refresh* Yes! Yes it does! OMGOSH! I’M A GOLDEN HEART FINALIST *and the screaming and jumping started again.


What got you started writing?

 I’d always written, but after a fire in college right before I graduated where I lost everything I’d written, I stopped. It just hurt too much. When the need to get the stories out of  my head (and my friends’ need for me to not be living in my head when I was with them) became too great, I started writing them down again… Which I’m not sure the friends appreciate any more than the living in my head 😉

Have you always written YA?

Yup. YA is stuck with me.


What’s your book’s or character’s theme music?

 Rachel and Chris are a mess. Both of them. But they just can’t seem to steer clear of each other even though they know they’d never be good for one another. It’s a story of falling in love when it’s the last thing on your mind. Their song has been Beautiful Wreck by Shawn Mullins since the very moment they started sparking.

It’s a beautiful/sad/hopeful/messed/sensical song. You can check out the cool video HERE.


Now, let’s do the fast money round!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

 Chocolate. All the time.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?

 Fall. I adore Fall. When I was in first grade and we’d moved north, I got my first ‘F’ for writing about “My Favorite Season” as Indian Summer… Yup, I colored outside the lines.

Movies or TV

 I’m not much for TV. If the TV is on, there’s probably a movie in.

Hot or Cold

 Cold is the enemy.

Beach or Mountains


Travel or Staycation

 Travel! I have itchy feet 😉

Soccer Boys or Some Other Sport Guys (yes, we’re a little partial here at Luv YA)

 Soccer Boys…. I know, you’re all shocked

Silly or Serious

I take my silliness very seriously 

Early or Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer. I kid you not when I say my awkward phase lasted about 17 years 

Morning Glory or Night Owl

 Night Owl

William or Harry

 William who?

Since we’ve been doing Quirky Facts on the GH Loop – share the quirkiest one you have… about you

 I’ve been in absolute darkness. I hadn’t realized how truly uncommon this was till I went to Carlsbad Caverns and did one of the advance tours. It was freaky and awesome and totally not what I expected.

12 Responses to “Dash-Board Interview: Bria Quinlan”

  1. Arlene @ Love & Laughter May 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    What fun! Loved reading more about you than I’ve gleaned from the GH loop — and your book sounds fantastic. (Note the em-dash. I might not be in the YA category, but I’m an em-dash fiend.) 😉

  2. Jenn May 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Bria, no fair being so much more fun than me! 🙂 but now you have me bellowing “MaCleeooooooodddd!!!” I totally want to use that name for the Scotsman hero in book 2 of my MAIDS series, but all of my friends think I need to get out of the 80s. (sigh) It was so much fun being part of your auction, and I can’t wait to meet you in person!


  3. briaq May 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Oh Jenn… Come to the darkside! I refer constantly to the agency as The Clan Macleod and that, with Lauren, there can be only one… We actually had someone on twitter ask us what the heck we were talking about and I decided not getting that means an auto form rejection (everyone is lucky I’m not in charge!)

    Ditto on the meet in person thing! I can’t believe it’s less than 2 months away!!!! AAAHHHH

  4. briaq May 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Arlene – Just saw you! Thanks – Loving the loop but it is hard to get to know everyone at once!

  5. Gabi Stevens May 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Oh, Bria, I wish I could be there to cheer you on. Your words are sunshine.

  6. briaq May 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Thanks Hun! In my head I thought you were going!

  7. Jo Ramsey May 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    The book sounds great! Congratulations on being a finalist.

  8. briaq May 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Thanks Jo. This book was a joy (and emotional rollercoaster) to write 🙂

  9. Shoshana Brown May 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again–I want to read SECRET LIFE!!! It sounds so good.

  10. briaq May 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Awww thanks Shoshana – There isn’t a YA GH this year I DON’T want to read!

  11. Gwen Hernandez May 18, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Bria: I could probably read your grocery list, you have so much personality in every word you write. SECRET LIFE sounds awesome. Very Jennifer Echols.

    And, yes, I am getting caught up on blog reading. You noticed? 😉

  12. briaq May 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    LOL – thanks. Someone just told me they read a party invite email out loud at work. She said I was funny in my details. No idea what that meant.

    Super Secret Agent Lauren and I just discussed book 3 for the Secret Series and the topic is really hard. She was like: as long as you can do funny… um, you can do this one funny too, right?


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