Thursday, September 16, 2010

Author Interview with Kody Keplinger!

I had the fortune of being asked to be on a mini-blog tour for debut author Kody Keplinger, the 19-year-old wunderkind who wrote The DUFF, a sexy contemporary novel that I loved. Kody has graciously agreed to answer a few questions, which is SO SUPER COOL. Read on, fellow or soon-to-be adoring fans, to learn a bit more about Kody and The DUFF!

1. Some people have expressed concerns that the cover model is too pretty to be Bianca. However, I like the fact that being a Duff is very subjective, so that Bianca could actually be pretty in her own way. Who might play Bianca in a movie version of your book? Who would play Wesley?

When I started writing the book, I deliberately left many facts about Bianca’s appearance out because I wanted every girl to have their own image of how “fat” or “ugly” – or, like you said, perhaps even pretty – Bianca really is. I wanted every girl to imagine themselves as Bianca.

That said, I do definitely have images of how Bianca might be cast. My instinct is automatically Ellen Page. She really captures the look I imagined, especially in Juno. But I also think that Mae Whitman would be a good choice.

As for Wesley . . . that’s much harder. I’d say a combo between Steven Strait and Ed Westwick. But I also think Jeremy Sumpter (Friday Night Lights) has the look down.

2. What's the most memorable thing that someone has said to you after reading THE DUFF?

Haha. OH, there have been a few memorable comments. However, an online friend of mine, Dan Krokos (yeah, I’m dropping his name because he’s said this PUBLICLY too) told me that Wesley made him question his sexuality because he was so in love with him. To me, having a male say that, was a HUGE compliment. I kind of wanted it as a blurb on the back of the book!

3. You are now a college student at Ithaca. Do your college friends know that you're a published author? What are some reactions that classmates (or professors) have when they find out you've published a book?

Most of my friends and teachers do know about THE DUFF being published. Most are pretty excited but don’t make a huge deal out of it because they don’t want to embarrass me. But they’ve all be so supportive and helpful. One of my professors this semester has already talked to the bookstore on campus about setting up a display since I’m still a student. So most people are really cool about it.

4. What are three things you can't live without?

My laptop, my collection of converse tennis shoes, and my books.

5. THE DUFF contains a lot of sex, something that conservative readers might have a problem with. The last week of September also happens to be Banned Books Week. What would you say to readers who wish to challenge the sexual explicitness in your novel?

As a young reader, I was very much inspired by Judy Blume because she told the truth. She talked about things that I was going through and made me realize that I wasn’t so abnormal. I didn’t know then that she was considered controversial, and I think that she is the biggest reason I write the way I do.

I set out to write an honest book. The honest truth is, some teenagers have sex. Not all of them do – believe me, I know, because I didn’t in high school – but some teenagers do. Bianca happens to be one of those teenagers, and her sexual experience plays a big part of her journey to accepting her body image. I did not write the sex scenes just to be “edgy” and I don’t think that they are that explicit. I just wanted to write the truth.


HOORAY for telling the truth in YA lit! Thanks so much, Kody, for stopping by my blog today! If you haven't yet checked out THE DUFF yet... uh, what are you waiting for? It was one of the boldest and sexiest books I've read this year.


  1. Go Kody!!!! Love this interview and LOVE The Duff!!!!!

  2. Go Kody!!!! Love this interview and LOVE The Duff!!!!!

  3. Wonderful Interview! I had no idea Kody Keplinger was still in college! Awesome. Can't wait to read this one.

  4. Great interview! I'm excited to read The DUFF!

  5. Wow I can't believe Kody is only a year older than me! What an amazing accomplishment. I can't wait to read this.

  6. I didn't realize that Kody was so young! Awesome. I really can't wait to read this one now.

  7. Loved this interview! The DUFF is definitely on my to read list!

  8. Awesome interview, Steph! I honestly wasn't really interested in this book even though it has been all over the blogosphere. After this interview, however, I'm very much interested in it!

  9. Really great interview, as always, and I'm very excited to get my hands on The Duff!

  10. Oooh. I like bold and sexy! Haha. But anyways, wonderful interview. I can't believe I haven't read The DUFF yet. Everyone seems to love it!

  11. I lie awake at night, knowing the only man for me resides in Kody's imagination.

    Get this book!

  12. omg JD McCoy WOULD be Wesley. How did I not make this connection before?

  13. I am the Duff and I love that someone wrote a book about us. Must read this!

  14. Another great interview with Kody- I've seen a few of these around the blogosphere. Kody seems awesome! I can't wait to get my hands on this.


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