I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this brilliant memoir Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe
Girl Hearts Girl was released on the 24th June 2016 published in paperback by Scholastic and is a fab YA contemporary.
A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour.
For my stop on the blog tour I have had the chance to put some questions to the lovely Lucy Sutcliffe!
There is also a tour wide giveaway at the bottom of the post!
An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, from Michigan. They began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together was the first in a series of vlogs documenting their long-distance relationship. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on.
Hi Lucy! Thank you so much for joining me today! I am so excited for Girl Hearts Girl!
Can you tell us a little about Girl Hearts Girl?
Girl Hearts Girl is a coming-of-age memoir which details the things I went through as I was growing up. The book is centred around my struggles with my sexuality, but I also touch upon topics such as bullying, social anxiety, and feeling like an outsider.
Can you elaborate on which characters are based on real people?
99% of the characters in Girl Hearts Girl are real people. But a few characters here and there are an amalgamation of several different people at once! Melissa Edwards, for example. She existed, but as a character, she also represents several other crushes I had on girls over the years.
What inspired you to write your memoir?
Oh, so many things. And so many people. But the main reason I felt inspired to write Girl Hearts Girl was because when I was growing up, no books like this existed. My only hope is that by publishing this book, a new generation of kids won’t have to worry quite so much as I did.
What was it like writing a story so close to your own experience?
A little bit terrifying, but in equal parts, utterly exhilarating. Laying out your life into chapters and sub-headings is a very surreal experience, and it’s also very therapeutic. It was hard for me to filter out the things that weren’t relevant – because to me, everything that’s ever happened to me is relevant.
What was your favourite part to write?
Weirdly, my favourite parts to write were the parts where I got to describe my home town. The concept of a “home” has always been very important to me, and Oxford has such a special place in my heart. It’s a beautiful part of the world and I love that I got to paint that picture for people.
What was your writing process like? Did you start from the very beginning or from another point?
One afternoon, I bought a $1 notebook from Target, sat down at my desk, and literally wrote out my entire life, year by year. Planning out the chapters took weeks. It was a crazy process because I’d remember one thing and then that would spark another, and another, and another. My memory isn’t the greatest, so it was always a race to see if I could get it down in time before I forgot it again!
Did you find that you developed any writing habits whilst writing Girl Hearts Girl? I saw in your acknowledgments that you thank your three cats.
I definitely had to get myself in the mood for writing before I did anything. In order to be productive, I shut myself away with snacks, and turned off the internet. My cats tend to follow me into any room I’m in, so I’d usually settle down at my desk and then they’d appear two minutes later and fall asleep at my feet. They kept me company all day every day, and also kept me sane! There’s something very calming about having a sleeping cat in your lap as you’re writing.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Their opinion is none of your business. And for goodness sake, stop cutting your own hair.
We would love to know a little bit more about you! Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Lucy Sutcliffe?
– I have a phobia of velvet. Don’t ask.
Oh I get this! *shudders*
– More often than not, I sleep with my head under the pillow, not on top of it.
– I cry a lot. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. Sometimes I just cry for funsies.
– I’m an introvert who constantly craves social interaction. I know, it’s weird.
– I am constantly eating something.
Can you tell us a little about Kaelyn?
Kaelyn is the most hard-working person I’ve ever met. She’s fierce and proud and she eats guacamole by the bucketload. What a keeper.
What is the most romantic thing the two of you have done?
I’ll always remember the night we rented the top floor of a hotel room in downtown Chicago and just sat on the balcony with our feet swinging over the edge, watching the sunset, drinking cheap champagne and making up stories about the people walking around below us.
How did you feel when your video montage of your first week meeting Kaelyn and subsequent films gained such a huge following?
It was insane, and so unexpected. It was scary and most certainly intimidating, but it was also extremely liberating to have gone from a very reserved, shy, closeted girl to an out-and-proud woman with 28 million views on YouTube. I still can’t really believe it, to be honest. I’m just so happy that I’m able to help people out just by being myself.
Can you tell us a little about Arizona where you now live? How different is it to the Oxfordshire village you grew up in?
It’s breathtaking. I live right by South Mountain, which is basically this vast heap of orange rock, smack bang in the middle of Phoenix. When my family came out to visit me a few months ago, my Dad said it reminded him of Mars. It’s worlds away from the golden cornfields of Oxfordshire, and it’s so beautiful in its own, unique way.
Are there any Authors / books /people that inspired you?
I’m so easily inspired. Anytime I see anyone doing what they love, it inspires me. Even if it’s the cheerful barista at Starbucks, determined to put a smile on everybody’s faces as they serve up coffee.
JK Rowling will always be my favourite and most inspirational author. I’m especially inspired by the way she managed to write Harry Potter while battling depression. That’s not an easy thing to do.
What has been your favourite moment of being published so far?
The amazing feedback. More specifically, the messages I’m getting from people telling me my book helped them come out. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that my story has helped other people. It’s insane – in the best possible way.
Are there any exciting plans for the rest 2016 or 2017?
Hands up who wants a Girl Hearts Girl 2?!
*puts hand in the air!*
What would you like your reader to take away from Girl Hearts Girl?
Embrace every single aspect of who you are, and shout about it from the rooftops.
Thank you so much for answering all my questions Lucy! Loved all your answers so much!
You can but a copy of Girl Hearts Girl here or at your local bookshop
Or why not add it to Goodreads here
About Lucy Sutcliffe
Co-star of the popular YouTube channel Kaelyn and Lucy which documented the long distance relationship she had with Kaelyn Petras. She and Kaelyn finally came together in August of 2014, ending the long distance element of their relationship.
She graduated from Plymouth College of Art and Design in 2014 with a degree in Film Arts
She works as a freelance film editor and author. She and Kaelyn’s channel mainly focuses on advice videos for LGBT youth.
She was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire to parents Sharon and Roger Sutcliffe.
You can find out more about Lucy on her website – kaeandlucy.tumblr.com
Or why not follow her on twitter – @lucyliz
Or Instagram – lucylizz
And also You Tube – www.youtube.com/c/kaelynandlucy
There is a tour-wide giveaway!
3 copies of Girl Hearts Girl for 3 lucky winners!
Participants must live in UK or IRL.
Catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the below stops!
Monday 18th July
Tuesday 19th July
Wednesday 20th July
Thursday 21st July
Friday 22nd July
Saturday 23rd July
Sunday 24th July
Monday 25th July
Tuesday 26th July
Wednesday 27th July
Thursday 28th July
A huge huge thank you to Lucy for answering all my questions and to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for organising!
Have you read any of the Girl Hearts Girl? What did you think? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!