Tag Archives: Elizabeth Eulberg

Special Guest Author Interview – Elizabeth Eulberg
Author Interviews
May 14, 2010 posted by Katie

Special Guest Author Interview – Elizabeth Eulberg

Recently we brought you the review of Elizabeth Eulberg’s debut novel The Lonely Hearts Club and the story of Penny Lane’s determination to swear of dating guys for her high school life. We are now very excited to bring you an interview with Penny’s Creator herself – Elizabeth. So sit back and enjoy. Just a warning, there are a few spoilers throughout.

How much Beatles music did you listen to while writing The Lonely Hearts Club?

EE: I only listened to the Beatles while writing The Lonely Hearts Club. They are such a huge part of the story and if I needed to evoke a certain feeling, I’d put on a specific song (like “Yesterday” if I needed to feel sad).

What influenced the decision of writing about a novel based on a ‘no dating’ club? Was it an idea that had been with you a while or a result of a recent personal experience?EE: I’ve certainly sworn off guys more than once!  However, the idea for the book came when I was out with a friend one night.  She’s one of those friends who only calls when her boyfriend isn’t around (we all know the type!).  We were out and she was ignoring me to talk to some guys.  I started throwing a pity party for myself and realized, “this is silly, you have so many amazing single girl friends, you should go out every Saturday with them – like a single girls’ club?”  I had the basic idea for the book and the title by the end of the evening.

From the beginning, Penny Lane thought she was alone in her thoughts about swearing off boys, but then discovered that many of her classmates felt the same way, yet weren’t strong enough to say so for themselves. It highlights many of the issues with peer pressure and teen dating. Was this an influence from the start of the novel or developed during the writing process?

EE: From the beginning of the writing process, I knew I wanted anybody to read this book to realize that it is okay to be single and not date. But over the course of rewriting the book, the strength of the Club and how much certain members got out of the Club really grew.

*SPOILER WARNING*

Ryan tried hard to please Penny Lane during the course of the novel, yet both Ryan and Penny Lane made mistakes before they eventually forgave each other. How important were it for them to learn from these mistakes?

EE: Everybody makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. I feel it is important to grow from every situation. A lot of Penny’s problems through the book were learning how to trust herself and others again after being badly burned by a guy. She was more than happy to open herself to the members of the Club, but shut herself from trusting guys. She really grew the most as a person over the story, and a lot of that was learning from the mistakes she made.

If you wanted readers to take one thing from Penny Lane’s story, what would it be?

EE: Besides being entertained, I want readers to realize that they should never compromise themselves to be with someone and always put yourself and your friends before a guy.

Worse/most embarrassing relationship as a teenager and what you learnt from it?

EE: I didn’t have many bad relationships as a teenager (but I made up for it later in life!). I did go a little boy crazy at the beginning of high school. I had glasses, braces (the metal kind!) and a really bad haircut growing up. Then the summer before freshman year, I got contacts, my braces taken off and a better hair style. I got a lot of attention from guys at the start of school (I NEVER got any looks before). I was sort of overwhelmed by the interest and just started dating different guys. I was more excited about the attention than the guy. Dating at fourteen can be pretty silly (movie then pizza EVERY Friday night). I sort of burned out on dating early. I was more interested in my friends. I didn’t really date my last couple years of school.

The destination that you would choose to go on a romantic getaway to?

EE: Paris seems like such a cliché, so the Greek Islands – gorgeous!

Any quirky writing rituals or habits?

EE: I have to listen to music while writing and I need to know what I’m going to write before I sit down. So during the week I’ll figure out certain plot points and then when I sit down on the weekends, I know what I need to write.

What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?

EE: A LOT! At the top of the pile is Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, Somthing, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott, Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti – and that’s just what is on my nightstand. I’ve got an entire bookshelf of books I want to read!

Authors that influenced you growing up?

EE: Louisa May Alcott (I’m named after Beth in Little Women), Maud Hart Lovelace (the Betsy-Tacy books were the first series I ever became addicted to). E.L. Konigsburg (was obsessed with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler) and Cynthia Voigt (my mum introduced me to her after I ran out of Sweet Valley High books to read).

Check out www.elizabetheulberg.com for more information on Elizabeth and upcoming works!

The Lonely Hearts Club – Elizabeth Eulberg
Book Reviews
April 27, 2010 posted by Katie

The Lonely Hearts Club – Elizabeth Eulberg

Love is all you need…or is it?

Penny Lane is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she swears off it all and starts The Lonely Heats Club. What penny doesn’t realise is just how many of her friends feel the same way and want to join her club. Even some girls she’d never have thought would care, want to sign up. Then the unthinkable happens…

So what do you do when you’re the founding member of an anti-dating club and you start to have feelings for a guy who obviously likes you back?

Penny is your average, normal everyday girl. She passes school, has her best friends who are there for her and a family who is normal. Well, normal if you discount the intense love her parents have for the Beatles. So intense, that they named their daughters after their favourite songs, went vegetarian because that’s what Paul McCartney did and refuse to listen to anyone else singing a Beatles song, except the Beatles themselves. And it’s the summer where Penny starts to think that she might get what she wanted. Nate Taylor.

Penny has known Nate since they were five; the Taylor’s are her parent’s longest friends after all. Nate was the only person Penny looked forward to seeing on her summer, her mind fixed on what they could do. This year, there is something more underneath the flirting. There is promise of what might be. Penny is thinking that all her dreams are going to come true. She has finally decided that Nate is the one, that he will be her first. That is until she finds him in the basement with another girl. A girl that is missing quite a few clothes. Suddenly, Penny knows what it is like to have a broken heart. Nate was all she ever wanted, and he lied to her and betrayed her, the one thing he said he would never do. Penny does the only thing she knows how to – turn’s to the Beatles for comfort, and inspiration.

For hanging on her wall is a poster of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Lonely. Hearts. Club. It’s an idea that changes the rest of Penny’s school year. Penny decides that she has had enough. Enough of guys that cheat and lie, enough of getting her heart broken and enough of the jerks that go to McKinley High. She starts a club that has her swearing off guys for the rest of her high school life. No dating, ever. It’s a decision that has her friends thinking she is crazy that is until they decided that they too, want to join.

Before she knows it, Penny’s club is the hottest thing at McKinley. Girls from all grades are want to join, and not always for the right reasons. And as the club gains more popularity, Penny is dancing closer to the edge of the line that could see her lose her best chance at a guy that could actually be right for her. For her decision to stick by the club rules, could not only affect her own life, but those of the people around her.

The Lonely Hearts Club is debut novel from Elizabeth Eulberg, who just like Penny, was sick of having to change herself to get a guy. It was this idea and an experience with a past friend that inspired Eulberg to create the story of The Lonely Hearts Club. It is something different, a romance where the rules have changed. One where friends try to understand who they are, and exactly what they want, not always with the best outcomes. The plot is easily relatable too – who hasn’t thought they found the perfect guy, only to discover that he defiantly wasn’t the perfect boyfriend. Who has lost a best friend to their new boyfriend, someone they haven’t known for long but is suddenly much more important than the friend they have had since year four. It’s a story of a group of friends brought together through the common trait of being single. Yet it is a celebration of finding yourself, of staying true to your friends and discovering that there are the good guys out there, but it might take a while for you to find them.

The characters that Eulberg constructed are instantly likeable, albeit at times a little frustrating. Penny as the founding member makes the most discovery and growth. From someone who doesn’t know who she is or what she wants, she turns into someone that decides exactly what she is going to do. Yet, getting there wasn’t easy, and Penny made her own fair share of mistakes along the way. Tracey provided the comic relief in a way that made you wish you knew her in real life. Tracey was always there, being supportive and knowing the right thing to do, even Penny didn’t know it herself. Diane is the friend that we have all seen, the popular cheerleader whose life all revolves around her boyfriend. That is, until she breaks up with her boyfriend. Diane becomes the second member of The Lonely Hearts Club, and comes to discover exactly what she was missing out on.

The Lonely Hearts Club is one of those easy, enjoyable reads that leaves you feeling good at the end of. A great debut from a promising writer.

Publication date: 2010

Pages: 290

Rating:: ★★★½☆

Teaser quote: “And, Nate? You kiss like a sobering dog, you have bad breath, and you wouldn’t know how to push the right buttons on a girl if we came with manuals. Happy Thanksgiving, Jackass.”

All right, I am going to be a bigger person starting right now.