{Author Interview} Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

February 23, 2017 Interview, Young Adult 1

Today I am really excited to have Author Robin Talley here as part of my 6 year Blogoversary, for an interview.

I will have a couple of interviews from authors today and tomorrow, and then tomorrow there is going to be a HUGE giveaway with so many awesome prizes! (and one of the prizes will be a hardcover copy of this book! hinthintwinkwink! So be sure to come back tomorrow and check it out!)

{Author Interview} Our Own Private Universe by Robin TalleyOur Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
Pages: 384
Published by Harlequin TEEN on January 31st 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Diverse Book

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex.
No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

Note: This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

Thank you so much Robin for being here on Book Briefs today! Next time you stop by, please bring your goofy hound dog! 😀

  1. Describe Our Own Private Universe in a tweet (140 characters or less)

    A 15-year-old bi girl goes on a church trip & sets out to have a fling with another girl. Both are caught off guard when they fall in love.

  1. Who was harder for your to write? Aki or Christa? Why?

They were both tricky, but since this book required me to be in Aki’s head the whole time (it’s the first book I’ve written from just one POV!), she was definitely the bigger challenge. But now she’s one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written.

  1. Where did you get the inspiration for Our Own Private Universe?

It all started with Judy Blume. Back in middle school, my friends and I all passed around a well-worn copy of her classic YA from the 1970s, Forever. It was the first book most of us had read that had frank depictions of love and sex between teenagers, and we all pored over it, reading passages out loud at the lunch table and giggling hysterically. It was about straight people, though. I always wished I’d had a book like Forever as a teenager that was about queer girls. Then, a few years ago, it occurred to me ― well, I could always try writing that book myself. So I sat down and wrote the first draft of the book that became Our Own Private Universe.

  1. What was your favorite genre to read in 2016?

I read (and loved!) a ton of historicals last year. A lot of contemporary YA, too.

  1. What were some of your favorite books in 2016?

This is a tough question! Here are just a few: And I Darken by Kiersten White, The Darkest Hour by Caroline Richmond, A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, Exit Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston, The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry, and Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood.

  1. What is something we would be surprised to learn about Aki?

Aki is very, very into music, which is only really surprising if you know me, because I am not at all. I like music, but I don’t know that much about it. Aki, on the other hand, could give you the full recording history of pretty much any popular musician you named, and she listens to just about everything, too. As opposed to me, since lately I mostly just listen to the Moana soundtrack. J

  1. If we had an author talent show, what would your talent be? 

I actually had to do a talent show at a book festival last year! For my talent, I made embarrassing faces and made the audience do them back to me, which was a lot of fun. I have a baby at home, and I spend a ridiculous amount of time making faces in an attempt to make her laugh.

Praise for Our Own Private Universe!

“An important and heartfelt contribution to contemporary teen lit about queer women: hopeful, realistic, and romantic.”

  • Kirkus starred review, Our Own Private Universe

 “Talley realistically explores first love and first sexual experiences against a backdrop of faith, family, prejudice, and social justice… a valuable portrait of teenage girls learning to be honest with themselves and others.”

  • Publishers Weekly, Our Own Private Universe

 “A sweet love story about discovering who you want to be with and, more important, who you want to be.”

  • Booklist, Our Own Private Universe

 “Particularly important is the novel’s information, so commonly ignored, on safe sex between two women, which is effortlessly worked into the narrative. VERDICT This pitch-perfect romance is all heart, touching on serious issues but never becoming too heavy, and will be a strong addition to any teen collection.”

  • School Library Journal, Our Own Private Universe

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

It's @BookBriefs 6th #Blogoversary & @robin_talley is joining in w/ an interview & giveaway @HarlequinTEEN #OurOwnPrivateUniverse Click To Tweet

Doesn’t Our Own Private Universe sound awesome? Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter to win a copy for yourself!

Be sure to check out the other authors that have joined in on my Blogoversary fun and see their giveaways!

Robin Talley- (Our Own Private Universe)
Jane Alvey Harris- (Riven)
Heather Hildenbrand- (Dirty Blood Series)

And check out my instagram giveaways
Click on the picture to enter (easy entry)


A post shared by BookBriefs (@bookbriefs) on



To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win

This giveaway is sponsored by Book Briefs and all of the authors listed.

No purchase necessary to enter. void where prohibited by law.

My contest policy applies

Here is the the prize drawings will work. I will be drawing first the winner for the $25 worth of books. They will be emailed separately and first. (if that person passes on the $25 worth of books and wants a different prize, they can pick whatever they want, and I will draw again.)

Then I will be drawing 18 general winners (and yes, you can win more than once) The 18 general winners will all be BCC-ed emailed at the same time. When you are emailed please respond back to me with your top 2-4 prize choices and your mailing information. I will be taking prizes in a first come first serve fashion. This way people can hopefully choose which books they are most interested in winning. I will respond with what prize(s) you have gotten. It may take a few times if your top choices are already claimed. If you choose the box of books as one of your top prizes, please also send me your top 7 book choices from the stacks of books.

**Please read each of the prizes carefully in the main blogoversary post for details. I have included who the giveaway is open to, what the prize is (and if there are choices) and what age group the book(s) is/are.**

Thank you to all of the authors that donated prizes! Please follow them and check out their books!

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies. All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Robin Talley

Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves (September 2014), What We Left Behind (October 2015), As I Descended (September 2016), and Our Own Private Universe (January 2017), grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. A Lambda Literary Fellow, Robin now lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife, plus an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. When Robin’s not writing, she’s often planning communication strategies at organizations fighting for equal rights and social justice. You can find her on the web at www.robintalley.com or on Twitter at @robin_talley.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

One Response to “{Author Interview} Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley”

  1. Michelle

    The discovery of sexuality during adolescence is a very intriguing topic that I wish more authors would cultivate. Can’t wait to read the book!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.