Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blog Tour/Interview/Giveaway: The Obvious Game by Rita Arens

Title: The Obvious Game
Author: Rita Arens
Series: N/A
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Release Date: February 7, 2013
ISBN13: 9780985656287
Format: Paperback, 312 pages
Genre: YA, contemporary
Source: Blog Tour
“Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.”

"Your shirt is yellow."

"Your eyes are blue."

"You have to stop running away from your problems."

"You're too skinny."

Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost.

Rita Arens
Rita Arens is the author of The Obvious Game and the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep Is for the Weak. She writes the popular blog Surrender, Dorothy ( and lives in Kansas City with her husband and daughter. The Obvious Game is her first young adult novel. She is at work on a second.

Rita has been a featured speaker at BlogHer 2012, BEA Bloggers Conference 2012, BlogHer Writers 2011, BlogHer 2011, Blissdom 2011, Alt Summit 2010, BlogHer 2010, BlogHer 2008 and BlogHer 2009, the 2008 Kansas City Literary Festival and 2009 Chicks Who Click and appeared on the Walt Bodine Show in 2008.

She’s been quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek, The Associated Press, Forbes Woman, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek and Businessweek Online and featured in Breathe magazine, Get Your Biz Savvy, The Kansas City Star (archived material available on request), Today Moms (Today Show blog) and Ink KC.

Find Rita Arens: Website | Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | Amazon | BlogHer

Praise for The Obvious Game:

“I couldn’t put down The Obvious Game. Arens perfectly captures the hunger, pain and uncertainty of adolescence.” -- Ann Napolitano, author of A Good Hard Look and Within Arm's Reach

"The Obvious Game is a fearless, honest, and intense look into the psychology of anorexia. The characters—especially Diana--are so natural and emotionally authentic that you’ll find yourself yelling at the page even as you’re compelled to turn it." -- Coert Voorhees, author of Lucky Fools and The Brothers Torres

"Let’s be clear about one thing: there’s nothing obvious about The Obvious Game. Arens has written a moving, sometimes heart-breaking story about one girl’s attempt to control the uncontrollable. You can’t help but relate to Diana and her struggles as you delve into this gem of a novel." -- Risa Green, author of The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball


1) What inspired you to begin writing?
I got an idea.
2) Are you a planner or a pantser?
3) What was the inspiration for The Obvious Game?
You know they say everyone's first novel is partially autobiographical.
4) What was the most difficult thing about writing The Obvious Game?
Getting the pacing and structure right. It's a heavy story, but I wanted it to still be an enjoyable read. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to lighten it up.
5) Was there a particular message from The Obvious Game you wanted to give readers?
I wanted to help readers understand the mental component of anorexia. It's easy to see how the physical plays out, but the mental part is very confusing to anyone who hasn't suffered from it. I also wanted to help anyone in the grips of anorexia see there is a way out. I myself was anorexic when I was a young adult and have made a full recovery. Finally, I wanted to tell a story about a mother and a daughter who both have big problems and how they find their way.
6) Can you tell us a bit about your next project?
It's tentatively entitled The Birthright of Parker Cleaves, and it's a contemporary YA novel that is not related to The Obvious Game. It's about power.
7) What are you reading right now?
I manage the BlogHer Book Club for my day job, so I read all of those selections. I've also been reading a ton of YA for the past few years. I'm reading a novel about every three days at this point, so by the time I write this it will be something different! I keep my Goodreads fairly updated, though.
8) What are some books you think most influenced your life?
A Prayer for Owen Meany, Catch-22, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Stranger, Where the Red Fern Grows ... and a lot more.
9) What are three things that one may not necessarily know about you? (Could be as mundane or crazy as possible.)
I was a vegetarian for 11 years and a vegan for seven. I owned a horse that we kept in a hog shed when I was in my early teens. I can dog paddle faster than anyone I know because I didn't really learn to swim for quite a long time.
10) What's some advice you'd give to a budding writer?
Be your severest critic. Writing is a skill that can only be perfected through exercise, and if you believe that your first draft is ready for publication, you are not giving yourself a chance.
11) Quick! Write a haiku about The Obvious Game!
Three years of my life -
The story wouldn't let go.
I hope you like it.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have fun following the rest of the tour!

Thank you so much for wanting to leave a comment! I read every single one of them, and respond to most of them!

I'm honoured that anyone would want to nominate me for an award, but I just don't have time for that anymore. This blog is award and tag free.