Interview With 2019 Debut Katy Loutzenhiser + GIVEAWAY!!!

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!

Over the summer of 2018 we had Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books and Katy Loutzenhiser responded with her novel IF YOU'RE OUT THERE and we have been interested in it since. We are so excited to have Katy on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Katy! 

Katy grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, dabbling in many art forms and watching age-inappropriate movies. After college, she found an unlikely home in the Chicago comedy scene and regularly sang improvised musicals in public. Now she writes YA books in Brooklyn.

Keep up with Katy: Website / Twitter / Goodreads


The Book Bratz: First off, how does it feel to be a debut author?
Katy:Hello! Thanks so much for having me! And it feels… a lot? (That’s an emotion, right?) I sort of vacillate between holy crap I’m actually living my dream right now yayyy and oh my god people are going to read this what have I done? Most of the time I try to focus on being grateful and excited, but I’m a pretty private person, so stepping out into this public space still feels weird. It’s an adjustment!

The Book Bratz: What inspired you to write IF YOU'RE OUT THERE?
Katy: The idea for IF YOU’RE OUT THERE popped into my head after a friend really did ghost me. It was incredibly strange, and sad, and it took me a long time to process. But in the end, I had to accept it as one of my life’s little mysteries. Still, this one thought kept bugging me. What if this had happened to a friendship I’d been more secure in? A soul mate friend? A rock? I got sort of obsessed with this question. I think this book was my attempt at answering it. 
The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Why? 
Katy: Oh man! I feel like I could respond to this question differently every time, depending on my mood. I love my characters. Characters are my favorite thing! Sometimes I feel like I fawn over my MC less than the people around her, probably because as much as I tried to make Zan completely distinct from me, she kept turning out a whole lot like me anyway. I have a real soft spot for Logan, the new kid at school who sort of follows Zan down the rabbit hole in figuring out what’s going on with Priya. He has all these fun contradictions. Like he comes off as confident—even cocky—but in reality he’s almost completely devoid of ego. He’s all quips and clever comebacks, but there’s a lot going on under the surface. Also, he’s the kind of guy who knows how to have a girl’s back, in a steady, not-showy way that I always appreciate in the men in my life.  
The Book Bratz: Where is your favorite spot to write?
Katy: My apartment, often donning very large men’s sweatpants while wrapped up in a big fuzzy blanket (at least in the winter). When it’s warmer, if it’s not too bright out, I can sometimes get away with writing on my building’s roof. Public places don’t work as well for me. I’m too easily distracted. 

The Book Bratz: what was the biggest challenge you faced while writing IF YOU'RE OUT THERE?
Katy: One of the hardest things for me was capturing Zan’s vulnerability in a way that felt authentic to her character. In my mind, her impulse would always be to self-protect when it came to her emotions. It felt like she shouldn’t just spill it all out onto the page—even as the narrator. So there was this constant push-pull between withholding and letting it all out, not just with the other characters around her, but with the reader, too.
The Book Bratz: Any fun quotes or secrets you'd like to share with future readers?
Katy: Before Priya ghosted, Zan had been keeping a notebook with a numbered list of life tenants her best friend had rattled off over the years. Some of Priya’s “principles” could be heartfelt. (Hug a lot. Even it’s weird.) While others were more… specific. (We must band together to end egg salad on airplanes!) At the moment, I’m actually hosting a library request raffle where I’ll be giving away tote bags inscribed with this Priya gem: Ladies before mateys! In this instance, Priya preached in ye old pirate English because she preferred not to call women “hoes” (before bros). Interested readers can check out the swag tab on my website, 


Title: If You're Out There
Author: Katy Loutzenhiser
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019 

After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is baffled and crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts. Worse, Priya’s social media has turned into a stream of ungrammatical posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all. Everyone tells Zan not to be an idiot: Let Priya do her reinvention thing and move on. But until Zan hears Priya say it, she won’t be able to admit that their friendship is finished. It’s only when she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, that Zan begins to open up about her sadness, her insecurity, her sense of total betrayal. And he’s just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy. Then a clue hidden in Priya’s latest selfie introduces a new, deeply disturbing possibility: Maybe Priya isn’t just not answering Zan’s emails. Maybe she can’t.

Thank you so much to Katy for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about IF YOU'RE OUT THERE and can't wait for it to be out in the world on March 5th

And now...without further's time for our giveaway! Enter to win a signed ARC of IF YOU'RE OUT THERE, plus an exclusive swag bundle! (Ends 3/11!)

                                                happy jennifer aniston GIF


  1. I am looking to read Four Dead Queens ASAP.

  2. Looking forward to The Next to Last Mistake by Amalie Jahn


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