THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME by Olivia Hinebaugh ***Interview with the Author: Find out what inspired her to write her first book. -- Giveaway***


The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me
Olivia Hinebaugh 




Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult


Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke is the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she’s been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita.

But then everything changes.

When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls’ restroom. But things with Theo become complicated quickly, and Lacey is soon not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but hers as well.



An Interview with the Author
Olivia Hinebaugh


Tell us a little bit about why you write in your chosen genre, and if you have books in other genres as well.
I write contemporary YA because there are a lot of real world things I’m interested in and want to talk about. This is my debut, so I don’t have any other books, but if you’re wondering if I’ve dipped my toes in other genres then YES! I love reading across genres and age categories. If I can root for characters and really get into their experience, then I’m there. Genre doesn’t matter as much.


What is the title of your first book, and what was/is it about?
The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me is my debut and it’s about high school senior Lacey who sees a need for better sex-ed and does what she can to make sure her classmates get it. That’s the main gist, but it’s also about friendship and consent and music and finding your passions.


The first book seems to be the most difficult to get off the ground. What inspired you to write it?
This book has so much of me in it. I took things I care about (friendship, sex-ed, music, birth) and just threaded them through with characters I have grown to really care about. That’s kind of where my story ideas come from, just taking things I love and sticking them in a blender.


New books are so exciting. Do you have more stories planned or that you’ve been working on for the future?
I’m always working on something! I definitely want to dabble in other categories and genres, but I do have a contemporary YA story that has my whole heart right now and is deeply personal. But that’s all I’ll say. ;)


Can you share a little bit about your main characters, and what drives them?
Lacey, the main character is a devoted friend and a talented musician and she’s super feminist and health conscious. She’s really driven by the care she has for other people. She genuinely wants to help people out. Theo is one of her best friends. He plays cello, wears eyeliner, and is super affectionate. Evita is Lacey’s fiercely loyal and outspoken best friend. She’s maybe my favorite character. She’s biromantic and asexual and she is Lacey’s biggest cheerleader as they try to make the sex-ed at their school inclusive as well as informative. She’s also, like, an actual rock star. She’s the frontman of their band, the Sparrows.


Some stories have strong themes. How important are themes in your writing? Is your theme based on the story, or are your stories birthed from a theme/or themes?
Themes are important, but I love when the reveal themselves to me as I uncover the plot and the characters. There are some themes in my book that are obvious right away, like the importance of sex ed. But there are other ones, like what enthusiastic consent looks like or how important friendships are. Like the romantic relationships in the story are important, but they aren’t the only growing relationships.


Is the theme personal for you, or simply an important issue?
The themes in this book are super personal. But I also think that feminism, consent, and inclusive sex education are just important things in general. I think everyone relates to sex in some way. Like everyone is constantly learning about their preferences or limits or identity. Of course I reflected on my own sex-ed experiences and what I wished I had learned in high school. More than just safer sex practices. I wish there was more of an emphasis on healthy relationships and what consent actually looks like and that it was inclusive of all sexual identities.


What other stories have you written?
Oh goodness. I have written a lot of stories. I always hesitate to talk about them, because so many of them, I still hope will be published or reworked and revised someday. I will say that some things I’ve written about recently include: Shakespeare, rock stars, panic disorder, art, and selkies.


I love to bounce around websites because I’ve found I can learn so much about an Author there. Do you have a website, blog, or other place where you showcase your work?
My personal website is www.oliviahinebaugh.com and from there you can check out my freelance work also! I’ve carved this little niche for myself where I get to write about parenting and about kidlit and it’s absolutely wonderful. I get to read incredible books with my kids and share them with the world.


So many Authors are artists by nature. Do you have any other artwork or hobbies you do on a consistent basis?
Yes! I feel like I’m my best self when I have creative things in the works. But I hop around between painting and drawing and playing piano and singing and writing music. In college, I was a screenwriting and playwriting major and I double minored in fine art and theater. And that was after I switched from a music program. I dream of one day really devoting myself to these other crafts, but right now, where I’m at in my life (with three young kids) writing has been the easiest one to work on. I hope I’m always learning and always growing.


What were your passions growing up?
Horses. Like, I was a total horse nut. I took riding lessons and had dozens of imaginary horses. But also music. I think music was the first thing that I really fell in love with. I wanted to learned how to play multiple instruments and took music theory and composed music. Basically, I was my happiest when I was just fiddling around on the piano, or singing along to music loudly in my friend’s car with the windows rolled down.


What are your passions now?
Writing, of course. And kids’ books in general. Picture books are just one of my favorite media. Like how they combine visual storytelling and rich and fun and rhythmic language. I love picture books. I also have kids, and I’m pretty passionate about raising them to be good humans and good citizens of the world. I also have a lot of interests in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and all that. In fact, I’ve been working on a social project to help new moms for a while now. The idea even won an award and I was given mentorship and professional development along with other innovators. I see a lot of ways to help a lot of people in storytelling and in supporting new families, and I’m really interested in the place where those two things overlap.



Author Bio:


Olivia Hinebaugh loves all stripes of literature for children. When she isn’t writing fiction, she can be found writing freelance, making art, discovering new songs on spotify, texting her writing buddies, or folding laundry. She lives near Washington, D.C. with her spouse, three kids, a dog that looks like a coyote, and a one-eyed cat. The Birds, The Bees, And You And Me is her debut novel.



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