Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Welcome to Author Meredith Zeitlin

Meredith Zeitlin is a writer and voiceover artist who lives in Brooklyn with two adorable feline roommates. She also writes a column for Ladygunn Magazine, changes her hair color every few months, and has many fancy pairs of spectacles. In case you’re wondering whether any of Kelsey’s experiences are based on Meredith’s own, the answer is NO WAY. When she was fourteen, Meredith looked and behaved perfectly at all times, was never in a single embarrassing situation, and always rode to school on her very own unicorn.


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Impossible question to answer, as I am an ice cream addict. Top favorites include: Belgian Chocolate Chocolate (Haagen Dazs), Burgundy Cherry (Baskin Robbins), Mint Chip (Breyers), Brownie Batter (Ben & Jerry’s), Fudge Ripple (any amusement park). Favorite childhood memory flavor: Chocolate Cherry. I got it at this random diner on the way to my grandmother’s house every time and I’ve never been able to find it since.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
My dad. I miss him every day.
Runners up? Bea Arthur and Patrick Denis. What a party THAT would be…

Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl, definitely.

One food you would never eat?
OLIVES. Blech.

Pet Peeves?
Chronic lateness. Nothing annoys me more. Also, misuse of the word “nonplussed.”

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I wrote a children’s picture book that I’m hoping will find a home soon, and I’m working on another YA novel. It’s not a sequel to Freshman Year…, but it takes place in the same world, so you’ll see some of the characters again.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
The real problem with this idea is that so many of my favorite stories take place in a time when there was no indoor plumbing. Therefore I’d have to say… Harry Potter.

What is your favorite Quote?
I have two: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich AND “The question isn’t ‘Who is going to let me?;’ it’s ‘Who is going to stop me?’” – Ayn Rand

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
When I was in college, my friend John told me that you should never apologize for your feelings, because they’re all valid. I think it was the first piece of advice I ever actually listened to… now that I think of it, it still is.

What was your favorite children’s book?
New Blue Shoes by Eva Rice. It’s about a little girl who insists on getting blue shoes instead of brown ones for the new school year. My favorite part is when she makes the salesman take down every single box in the store til she finds a pair she likes. (People who know me are rarely surprised by this information.) The book has actually been out of print for years, but my mother surprised me with a vintage copy for Chanukah about seven years ago. It’s still one of the best and most meaningful presents I’ve ever gotten.

How do you react to a bad review?
Hm. Well, this is a question I haven’t had to answer yet, and while I hope I never will, it’s probably part of the experience, right? I imagine I will probably have very hurt feelings for a while, eat a bunch of delicious candy, and let some of my marvelous friends rip the reviewer to shreds in a bid to cheer me up. And then I’ll have to move on. I’d like to say I’d carefully read the review for constructive criticism, but come on… I’m not nearly that mature. Is anyone?

Beach or Pool?
Pool, definitely. I hate the feeling of sand on my feet, and because I’m extremely near-sighted I get very nervous about jellyfish when I’m in the ocean.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
A ballerina. This plan was severely compromised by the fact that I have no dancing ability whatsoever.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
There is, actually! It’s called “Upside Down,” by Paloma Faith. I wanted to use it for the book trailer ( but her people wouldn’t get back to me and I didn’t want to get sued. Sigh. I still love the song, though.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Let’s say you’re fourteen and live in New York City. You’d think your life would be like a glamorous TV show, right? And yet . . . You don’t have a checking account, much less a personal Black American Express card. You’ve never been to a club, and the only couture in your closet is a Halloween costume your mom made from an old laundry bag.

In other words? You’re Kelsey Finkelstein – fourteen and frustrated. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled. Kelsey wants to rebrand herself for high school to make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. But just because Kelsey has a plan for greatness . . . it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary and sardonic narration of her freshman year will have readers laughing out loud – while being thankful that they’re not in her shoes, of course.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
Print copy to US & Canada or ebook available Internationally
Ends 4/1/12

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