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Character Interview - Luke + Giveaway

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Today, Alecia is here to talk about a very special guy from her debut novel The Queen of Kentucky, and Luke himself is making a guest appearance! Don't tell him I said this, but I adore the guy. He's sweet and reliable and comfortable with himself in spite of all the problems going on around him.

Book synopsis
Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would preferred to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."

Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.

Mini Interview
Alecia Whitaker

Thanks for interviewing with us today, Alecia! What do you admire most about Luke?
I admire that he is settled in his skin. That is a hard thing to do, but every now and then you come across a person that just seems at ease with themselves. He's not interested in changing himself, he's interested in changing his environment. So where Ricki Jo wants to change to be like the people she's around, Luke wants to change the people he's around (i.e. his mom and dad).

I agree. I wouldn't say that I have a spontaneous personality (though on occasion I decide to do something on the spur of the moment), but I can't say that I'm as at home with myself as Luke. What is your favorite scene with Luke and Ricki Jo?
The last scene. I love that scene and I don't want to give anything away, but I really love that scene.

I adore that scene as well. If you were to visit Luke's farm, what would you do first?
Skip rocks at the creek. I love that he and Ricki Jo meet up there a lot and find it easy to get lost in my thoughts on the bank of a creek.

Character Interview

To start, would you tell readers about yourself and your interests?
I think I'm just a regular guy. I like hanging out with my older brothers and playing ball out back. And I like FFA, but otherwise, I'm not really into school activities, you know? I like country music and sports and just, you know, regular guy stuff.

I love country music too. We should talk artists sometime. What is your first memory with Ricki Jo?
Ummm... I guess the first day of kindergarten. I know we'd played together before and stuff, cause our moms are best friends, but I really liked that first day of school. When I got on the bus, my brothers shoved their way to the back but I was nervous cause I didn't know anybody. But Ricki Jo waved and scooted over against the window. She had pigtails and she'd saved me a seat.

That's a nice childhood memory. I have a similar one myself. My parents had some friends with children my age, but I never really got to know them until preschool when one of the girls walked up to me at the playground and asked if she could play on the ropes with me. When did you first realize you were in love with her?
In love with her? I never said... I don't know. Did she tell you I said that?

She tells me everything. I'm her imaginary best friend from forever! *fingers crossed behind  back* What were your feelings when you got sent to the hospital and when Ricki Jo snuck in to visit you?
I felt relief. A lot of people kept coming in and out of that room, doctors and nurses mainly, but also a social worker and policemen and my momma crying nonstop. It was a relief to see Ricki Jo, and to tell you the truth, I didn't know if she'd come at all. I was surprised to see her after visiting hours, but then again, that's Ricki Jo for you!

That is! And an amazing girl like her deserves something special. Is there something special you'd like to do with Ricki Jo on Valentine's Day?
I don't know. I'm not some smooth Don Juan guy. We'll probably go to the school dance or something, cause she loves that stuff. And I'll get her flowers, probably bring 'em to school so she can show her friends. She loves that stuff, too.

That's sweet of her. I'm sure she'll love that! What are your plans for the future?
Get through high school. Maybe go to UK or Eastern, but it's hard to think about college when life's messed up right now with my mom and dad and the divorce and everything. I might just go wherever Ricki Jo goes, although knowing her, we'll end up on the moon.

That sounds sweet. You two are going to have a lot of fun. Thanks for interviewing!

About the author
Bio and photo from author site
Alecia Whitaker grew up with a big imagination on a small farm in Kentucky, which was worlds away from where she currently resides in fast-paced New York City. She knows more about cows, tobacco, frog gigging, and carpentry than the average girl, and she applies the work ethic and common sense she learned from her southern upbringing to the way she now navigates her career and family life in the big city.

Now living in New York City with her husband and son, she is amused at how often her big imagination takes her back to a simpler life in Kentucky.

Author Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Little Brown has  provided a copy of The Queen of Kentrucky to one lucky U.S. winner! The giveaway is open through July 19th.

To enter, follow Imaginary Reads and leave a meaningful comment on the interview. Extra entries for tweeting about the giveaway and commenting on my review of The Queen of Kentucky. Then fill out the form below. Do not leave your email in the comments section.

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23 comments on "Character Interview - Luke + Giveaway"
  1. The last scene? Why that one? You guys could have elaborated on any others to give us a sneak peak, but no, the last scene. GRR! :)

    And Luke sounds so sweet. Wish we had boys like that around here. :D

    1. But the last scene is THE MOST ADORABLE!!!!!!! *squeee* I reread it a couple times the first time around, and it'll happen again when I get back to rereading it (because I will). <3

      He is the sweetest boy ever. The kind of guy you'd want to bring back home to meet the parents ;)

  2. i love character interviews! and luke is just so cute, especially with the love question and his response : ) i will most definitely have to read more about him!

  3. That character interview was great. It seems like Luke is one of those great male characters in YA, just an overall awesome kid.

    1. He is! I had a smile on my face every time he made an appearance. He's so sweet and kind-hearted.

  4. Great interivew! I really like character interviews. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Such a cute interview :D Luke is such a nice character. I especially like the fact that he and Ricki Jo knew each other since kindergarten & that their moms are best friends. /faints. So cute :D

  6. This interview was very cute to read. I love how nice Luke is. Looks like a perfect summer read

  7. I love the interview. I think character interviews are so much fun. I'm a KY girl myself.

  8. Eeee I love Luke now! Thanks for the character interview as well as the mini interview with the author- I haven't read her book yet, but I believe she has potential. =) Thanks!

    1. I love THE QUEEN OF KENTUCKY and can't wait to read Alecia's next book! :)

  9. He sounds like such a sweet guy.

  10. Love country music! I think I've fallen in love with this character already :D Thanks for the amazing giveaway and great interview!

  11. Great interviw!
    Luke sounds like a sweetheart! I love the fact its set in the country, there's not a lot of books like that. :)

  12. awww, sweethearts since kindergarten, how cute!

  13. Ahaha I love character interviews! I didn't even think about doing them! Without even reading the book, I can already tell I'm gonna love Luke!


  14. I like Ricki Jo, Luke and Alecia. They all seem to be down home KY folk, just the way we raise them here. I'd love to read this book, not just because I live in KY.but because I'm sure the book is bound to be a hit.

  15. This book sounds sooo awesome! It sounds like a cute contemp read:)


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