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Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills Blog Tour Stop

I'm so excited to take part in the blog tour for Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills! The novel sounds amazing and is one that I'm planning to read this month. For my stop, I had the opportunity to do a Q & A with the author. Here's more info about the novel and the  Q & A: 

Positively Beautiful
16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?
As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.
Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair - but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

Do you know how to fly yourself? How did that aspect come to be part of the novel?
I grew up taking trips in my step-dad’s small plane, so flying has been part of my life for a long time. Having Erin’s father be a pilot was clearly my subconscious at work, because I never really thought about “Wendy has pilot step-dad” = “Erin has pilot dad.” Too funny. But once I made her dad a pilot, it was a natural step to have Erin think about flying. Her memories of her dad (who died when she was young) are all tied up in flying, but Erin was also a different person back then, fearless and brave, and that’s something she hasn’t been for a long time as the story opens.    

How long did it take you to write Positively Beautiful? 
I write pretty quick. Once I came up with the idea for Positively Beautiful, I wrote it in a few months and submitted it to my agent. (Who wasn’t my agent at the time.) As far as how long it took from there… my first editorial note from my agent was something like sixteen pages long. It may have been shorter, but in my head, it was VERY LONG. My agent is so amazing and I’m beyond thankful she took a chance on what must have been a very rough manuscript. Both my editors also had very insightful editorial notes for me, so hands down, the editing of this book took faaarrr longer than the actual writing itself.

What advice would you give to teenagers/young adults dealing with similar things that Erin goes through (cancer of a loved one, a genetic mutation, other similar struggles)? 
This is a tough subject, as every person has their own story, their own journey. There is no one-size-fits-all advice. But what I would say is that life is strange and wonderful and surprising and that nobody on this earth knows what is going to happen tomorrow. 

Are you currently working on writing anything? 
Yes! My next book, Reflecting Absence, comes out in 2016. It’s also a contemporary young adult, but that is about all it shares in common with Positively Beautiful. It’s set simultaneously in the present and in 2001, during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write. And Positively Beautiful was no walk in the park! 
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? What/who inspired you to become one?
I suppose if I was going to credit someone for my love of writing, I would have to say all the authors of the wonderful books I read when I was a kid. Even now, reading books that I love inspires me to write.  
Wendy Mills
WENDY MILLS was born in Virginia and spent several years in North Carolina, but now lives with her family on the tropical island of Bokeelia, off the south-west coast of Florida where she spends her time writing and dodging hurricanes. She has published adult mysteries with Poisoned Pen Press, and Positively Beautiful is her first young adult novel.  Visit her online at or on Twitter @WendyMillsBooks.

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Blog Tour Schedule
March 2nd Jenuine Cupcakes
March 3rd YA Bibliophile
March 4th Book Revels
March 5th   The Hardcover Lover
March 6th Bookiemoji
March 9th Dana Square
March 10th Lovin Los Libros
March 11th The Book Belles
March 12th Adventures in Reading 
March 13th Who Ru Blog


  1. This was a fabulous interview, so insightful! I love how she said that editing took longer than actually writing!

  2. Thanks Kindlemom! Thankfully I love both writing and editing, or I would get depressed by how much time I spend editing. But for me, my first draft is basically a glorified outline, so I always know that I have a LOT of work left to do. I like the whole idea of a diamond in the rough: you just have to keep working on it until the beauty of the idea shines through. :)

  3. I don't know. This is a new author to me and this is awesome. I just love the excerpt.


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