Meet the Author of THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME, Olivia Hinebaugh!Swoon Reads Staff
Meet the second of three fantastic authors joining the Swoon Reads family, Olivia Hinebaugh! We absolutely adored her smart and sweet contemporary novel about a girl who becomes her abstinence-only school's resident "sexpert" to her peers. Learn more about The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me!
Where did the idea for The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me come from?
It came very naturally from the the things I'm passionate about: feminism, music, and women's health and childbirth. The original pitch when I was first tooling around with it was about an underground high school midwife that helps girls deliver babies in bathrooms at proms. But pretty soon, I began to realize that Lacey wouldn't just want to deliver babies, she'd want to help her friends with their sexual health and empowerment. And, well, maybe this is a little silly to admit, but a lot of this story is pretty autobiographical, especially the "never been kissed" aspect. Like Lacey, when I was in high school, I felt like dating and sex were just things that other people did. It never occurred to me that anyone would ever have a crush on me, so I just had an endless string of unattainable crushes. (Ahem. Ewan McGregor.)
Music is a strong element in The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me. What are some of the songs on your playlist for the book?
I was hoping someone would ask this! Music is a huge part of the book because it was my obsession during high school and beyond. The quartet piece my friends and I loved in high school was Beethoven's Op. 18 No 4 in C Minor. As for the music Lacey's best friend, Evita makes: Grimes is a huge influence, her song "Go" is one of my absolute faves. Also Agnes Obel (who is just a killer musician and composer and amazing live performer). The way she uses minimal instrumentation and looping is so great. I highly recommend either her NPR Tiny Desk Concert series or any of her Berlin Live Sessions. Here is a favorite video I could watch over and over.
Who would play your characters in a movie?
I think I am strange among writers for never thinking about this. Evita's style and eccentricity was inspired a lot by Grimes. The closest to Theo that I can think of is maybe Sam Palladio from Nashville. Lacey, I'd say maybe Georgie Henley. I think she's the kind of beautiful people would notice, but isn't just run-of-the-mill pretty.
What makes you swoon?
Aside from Ewan McGregor (that's a lifelong crush, guys.) I'm gonna say consent and respect are the things that I find sexiest. Other swoonworthy (not necessarily sexy) things: cello, breve lattes, beautiful words (think: Anna-Marie McLemore and Lauren Groff), people who are unapologetically who they are, a good game of Pandemic, itty bitty new babies and joyous children, and quiet moments in front of beautiful works of art.