Friday, September 7, 2012

Blog Tour: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris - Author Interview

Hi guys!! I am excited to be part of the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century Blog Tour!! I absolutely loved the book. You can see my review of it here. Today I have an interview with Rachel Harris. She is super awesome and I am glad to have her here on my blog!! Entangled Publishing is also doing a super sweet (hehe, see what I did there?)  tour wide giveaway too. Enter on the rafflecopter at the end of this post!!


Hi Rachel! Thanks for being here today!

Thanks so much for having me, Amy! It’s an honor.

What made you choose the sixteenth century as a time period for this book?

I have loved the Renaissance ever since freshman year of high school when I got really into Shakespeare and leaning about European history. It’s always held a bit of magic for me. And when I went to Europe myself, and got to see so many of the things I read about in books, and experienced a Renaissance themed reenactment in Florence, well I was hooked.

But it became the setting for my book when I knew I wanted to tell a story about a modern day girl going to the past—I love learning about the past myself, but love imagining myself back then knowing things I know now—and had to decide what period to send her to. There’s no doubt that the Regency period is popular (one of my favorites to read about!), but I wanted to do a different time to make it stand out. It didn’t take too long for me to think about my personal favorite time, imagine a few crazy scenarios with a twenty-first century teen there, and a story was made.

What type of research did you do for the setting of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century? Have you been to Florence, Italy?

I have been to Florence, but that was before I knew I would be writing this. As for research, I am a research junkie. I love learning about oddities and differences, and seeing how despite the hundreds of years separating one people from another, that there will always be similarities. So this was fun for me. I checked out about a bazillion books and videos from the library (tons of great texts but the videos done to educate kids about the time were my favorites), and my number one resource that I loved flipping through was a book written as a tour guide for Renaissance Florence just as a tour guide would be written today. I compiled a huge binder of facts and interesting tidbits and then went to work putting them in throughout the novel to give an authentic feel and make the reader feel like she’s there. I hope it works!

What gave you the idea to have Cat travel back in time with items from the future with her? It's such a neat and fun idea!!

Again, I’ve always found it fun to imagine myself going to the past knowing what I know now, and I thought it would be a fun way to take it that much further to have things from home with her at all times, a way to keep her grounded and also provide a bit of humor. The things she keeps in her backpack also tell a lot about her character, so it was another way to get to know Cat better. And yeah, it’s just fun lol.

I saw on Goodreads that there is a book two listed for this series. Yay!! How many books are planned for it?

Well, right now only two are expected….but I have two books plotted and ready to go if these go well! I just finished the second book, A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, and it is told from Cat’s Renaissance cousin Alessandra’s POV. It was so fun writing a historical girl in the twenty-first century and flip-flopping that whole experience!!! The third book, if readers seem interested in one, would go back to Cat’s POV (I have more story to tell there along with an interesting romantic angle), and the fourth book would be a prequel told from the gypsy Reyna’s POV. Out of all the characters, I have to say she is my favorite.

I am so excited to hear this!! I love Alessandra so I am super happy to get a book from her POV. I also really love Reyna so a prequel in her POV would be awesome!!!

How about a fun question? If you could travel back to any time period and location, where would you want to go? What future items would you want with you?

Such a good question! It really is a toss-up between exactly where Cat went, 1500s Florence, and 1800s London. I’m a sucker for both time periods and locations…but the future items I want? Definitely air-conditioning, though that is a bit difficult to transport. Maybe a battery operated fan with a ton of batteries (ha!), deodorant, toothpaste (boring stuff but so essential), and an encyclopedia filled with facts so I can seem brilliant.

I would most definitely want deodorant and toothpaste too. Good hygiene is a necessity.


Coffee or tea?

Uh…can I go with a soft drink?? Diet Mt. Dew is my drug of choice

Mountains or ocean?

Mountains….though nothing beats the sound of waves crashing at night, too.

Spring or Fall?


Cookies or chips?

COOKIES!!!! (Sorry, I’m on a diet, haven’t had any in forever, and got a little excited….)

Heels or Sneakers?

Wow, out of all the questions, this is the hardest LOL. I like no shoes at all actually, but I guess it depends on the occasion. I like the way heels make a girl look, but dude, if I’m gonna be standing for a while, nothing is worth that pain. Sneakers are comfortable and that’s kind of my MO, so yeah, I’ll go with sneakers. (See how I made a totally easy question complicated? I must need more Dt. Mt. Dew)

Hmmm if we are making this question difficult, my answer would be flip flops. I practically live in the things!!

Thank you so much Rachel!!

No, thank YOU!!!!

Want to know a little about the book? Here you go!!

Add to Goodreads
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 304
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


 On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

About the author:

As a teen, I threw raging parties that shook my parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.

As an adult, I read and write obsessively, rehash said embarrassing fodder, and dream up characters who become my imaginary friends.

When I'm not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find me homeschooling my two beautiful princesses, hanging out with my amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.

MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is my first novel. I did have my own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn’t televised. 

Now onto the awesome giveaway from Entangled Publishing!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Awesome interview, Amy! And I love the random questions—those are always so much fun. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. xx

    1. This book was really excellent!!

  2. Ooh I'm excited to read this one I heard the setting was awesome and that's usually something I love in a book, especially from another era and country! I also love that the series follows different characters' POVs. Great interview, lady faces!!

    1. I really think you will enjoy this!! The setting is so fabulous. She captures it so well that I could really envision Cat in 16th Century Italy.

  3. Awesome questions Chica! The *cookies* part was too funny!! Haha. If I could go back in time I'd pick either the Renaissance or Medieval Times. Those are both two of my favorite time periods.

    1. I think you would really like this book Lauren. This interview was fun. Rachel is really awesome!!

  4. Great questions! I SO wished I live in the US though! Grrr! ;@ x

    1. Thanks!! It's too bad you don't live in the US.

  5. What a great, fun interview! Rachel is such a sweetie and I'm happy to get to know her better through interviews like this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Rachel is awesome!! She is one of the sweetest people ever. I was so excited to get to be a part of this tour!

  6. Great questions! I really enjoy following Rachel on Twitter so I'm sure she was fun to interview. I'm very excited to read this book -- love historical fiction, time travel books and Italy, so this sounds perfect for me!

  7. While I am not a big fan of reading historical fiction I agree with Rachel that it is so fun to imaging yourself going back in time knowing what you know. But I would only want to go back to like... maybe the 70's late 60's HIPPIES! Great interview Amy!

  8. Diet Mt Dew???'s really green! How do you drink that stuff?

    I'm a diet pepsi girl myself.


  9. 16th century? How awesome! It's not often that you see books go that far back. The research for this book must have been so much fun. I'm surprised you didn't justify a second trip to Florence (you know, as a business expense)! :P
    Great interview.. :)
    - Lauren

  10. I freakinh loved this book! And I'm dying for A Tale of Two Centuries! Great interview! :D

  11. Great interview! This sounds like a really interesting book. I'll have to add it to my list. I would love to bring air conditioning with me wherever I go too and that heels or sneakers question is super difficult! Thanks for the interview :)

  12. Great Interview!
    Rachel is so awesome. I love all her interviews. :D


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