Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Relationship Advice from Holly Cupala

I think I'll always remember Holly's smile at the summer SCBWI conference when she found out that she'd sold her first novel--and I won't forget the gorgeous roses her husband sent her either. So today I'm especially happy to welcome Holly Cupala whose debut novel Tell Me A Secret just hit the shelves. My teen snatched up my copy and read it in one sitting, and I loved it too. If you'd like to win your own copy of this addictive read, please leave a comment. Here's Holly's relationship advice:

1. What is the dumbest or smartest thing you've done after a breakup?

One of the smartest things I ever did was to break up with someone—period. There was this guy I met through work, and we had great chemistry right off the bat. But something about him reminded me of not one but two bad relationships I’d had in the past. Somehow I missed the red flags right there and kept dating him. He got increasingly paranoid and possessive. He tried to catch me in lies (we’d known each other two weeks!), accused me of flirting with people (sorry, I’m a one-guy girl), and was even talking about when we would get married. In a way, it was flattering that he was so into me, but then the unthinkable happened. I told him about a traumatic experience I’d had, and he said, “Well, maybe it was your own fault.” I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but suddenly I realized how destructive he was. We were out to lunch, and I left him right there. He followed me, but I ducked into a store so that there were people around. He was the kind of person who could become violent, and I was saving myself a lifetime of pain by dumping him now. I’m very glad I did!

2. It's your turn to play Miss Swoon--give us your best relationship advice.

I think we tend to seek out people who mirror our opinions of ourselves. If a boyfriend treats us badly, we may believe on some level (though probably not consciously) that we deserve it—otherwise why would we stay with someone like that? This goes for friendships, too. So my advice would be to have a great relationship with yourself before getting into a relationship with someone else. You’ll be much more likely to attract a person who respects you and cares about you for something that will last.

3. If you could go on a date with any fictional character, who would it be?

Hmm. Should I admit this? I have to say…Kartik from Libba Bray’s Great and Terrible Beauty series. And I will admit at this point that when I read about Kartik, I picture my devastatingly handsome husband (who is also Indian). So there you have it…art imitating life, at least in my mind! Now perhaps said husband will whisk me off into otherworldy adventures? Anything is possible…

More about Tell Me A Secret:

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.

Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her future.

More about Holly:

Holly Cupala wrote teen romance novels before she ever actually experienced teen romance. When she did, it became all about tragic poetry and slightly less tragic novels. When she isn't writing and contributing to readergirlz, she spends time with her husband and daughter in Seattle, Washington. These days, her writing is less about tragedy and more about hope. Tell Me A Secret is her first novel. Ten percent of the author's proceeds go toward World Vision's Hope for Sexually Exploited Girls. Find out more at:

To win a copy, please leave a comment & your contact info by midnight, Tuesday, June 29, 2010.


  1. I am dying to read this one, it looks awesome, and after reading Holly's blog I am already aware that she is awesome as well! :)


  2. Aw, Dani, you are a sweetheart!

    Sydney, thanks for having me to My Big Nose! I have a Big Nose too! Except one of my really good friends that I have known since high school has exactly the same nose, and both of us decided it looks pretty good on the other person, so we're ok with them. It doesn't stop me from wanting to Photoshop my nose in every photo, though.

    I think that counts as a Secret, lol. ;)

  3. Kartik is a great choice! Great interview


  4. I love Miss Swoon and loved the advice :). I need to read A Great and Terrible Beauty really soon lol I have the entire set for months now.

    Dying to read Holly's book!

  5. Question number 1...same thing happened to a close relative of mine. She almost fell for him and married him after two weeks, but guys like that you have to get away from FAST! Nice interview! I really look forward to reading this book.

  6. You sound like such a sweet person, Holly Cupala! I've never been in a situation like that before, but good for you for getting out of that relationship while you still could. The book looks great, as I've mentioned before.


  7. It's so true that you have to think you deserve something/someone good, before you can actually have that relationship. Boys are great, but you have to be okay with yourself first and foremost.


  8. I want this book so much! I read the excerpt on harper and couldn't stop and I literally drove my bookseller up the wall so that he gets it (no avail yet). Please, please, please let me win!

  9. I like the questions you chose! Very creative. I'd love to win!

    sithereandread (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Oh ya it's never good when you have a paranoid and possessive boyfriend. At first is a little flattering but then it's just way to horrible to put up with every time you just want to pee at a club.LOL!

    Trini @ A Book-Lovers Review

  11. I'd love to read this one! This interview has got me hooked. :)


  12. I'm dying to read this book! And after reading the interview, I really have to go read A Great and Terrible Beauty..

    kayla3194 at gmail dot com

  13. This book sounds so good!! I can't wait to get my hands on it. Great interview!

    ekta.p7 [at] gmail [dot] com

  14. I'm really excited to get my hands on a copy of Tell Me a Secret! It sounds really good and the cover is great.


  15. great interview! I'm excited to read this one (:

    dark_illuzion (at)

  16. Awesome giveaway! I've been wanting this one!

  17. Oh wow Holly! You go girl! I know that had to have been a tough situation to be in and I'm glad you were able to get out of it so soon.

    Excellent post and thanks so much for the giveaway. I'd love to win this book.


  18. Ooh, Tell Me a Secret sounds exciting. Can't wait to read it! (Count me in the contest, by the way!) And wow, Holly's advice sure may come in handy one day... :D


  19. I want this book so bad ! You don't even understand! I've been DYING to read it since I say it was even going to be published. Read this book would mean the WOLRD to me, ask Holly, her and I have talked :) Holly is AMAZING! I will meet her someday, I will!

  20. I love the Miss Swoon advice :) I love Kartik too! Tell Me a Secret looks so great.

    :) Erica

  21. thanks for the great interview. I WANT THIS BOOK! It sounds soo good:)

    angela z

  22. Count me in!

  23. Can't wait to read this one!
    I think we have all been in one of those possessive relationships...I know I have.

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

  24. nothing like a last minute entry! well 5 minutes anyway :)

    jlhsperry624 at hotmail dot com