Save the Enemy: Author Interview & Giveaway

December 23, 2013 giveaway, interview 11

Hey guys! Since reading SAVE THE ENEMY, I’ve been in contact with its wonderful author, Arin Greenwood. We got together for a virtual interview a couple of weeks ago and I’m so thrilled that you get to hear her answers to some of my questions! Besides being willing to “sit down” with me for the interview, Arin has also signed a hardcover copy of SAVE THE ENEMY that one lucky winner is going to receive! Not only did she sign it, she also included a super cute drawing of a cat and dog. 🙂

Before we get to the interview and giveaway, here is some information about the book. If you haven’t read my review yet, you can read it here. I gave it 4.5 stars!

Save the Enemy by Arin Greenwood

Save the Enemy by Arin Greenwood

Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: 245
Format: finished copy
Source: publisher

Everything has been downhill since Zoey Trask’s mother was murdered in a random mugging. Her younger brother, Ben, is on the autistic spectrum and needs constant supervision. It’s senior year, and she’s the new girl at a weird private school in Old Town Alexandria, VA, full of kids who seem too nice to be true—including a very cute boy named Pete. Aside from half-forgotten martial arts and survivalist skills that her widowed father insisted on teaching her (because that is excellent for her social life), Zoey has nothing to offer Pete or anyone else.

Then Dad is kidnapped. Zoey suddenly finds herself sole caretaker of a younger brother she barely understands. Worse, Ben seems to hold the key to their father’s disappearance in his Dream Diary, a bizarre journal of names and places Ben claims that their mother shares from beyond the grave. And as if Zoey doesn’t have enough on her plate, there’s Pete, who stubbornly refuses to leave her side.

Relying on the skills she never wanted to learn—Dad might have had his reasons after all—Zoey is plunged into a lethal battle to rescue her father, protect her brother, and determine the identity of her family’s true enemy.

Author Interview

1. SAVE THE ENEMY is about a teenager whose father is held hostage over a mysterious file. What was your inspiration for writing this?

Thankfully not real life! My publisher wanted a book about a libertarian father who’s kidnapped in Washington, D.C., and his slightly spacey daughter who has to go find him. I live in D.C., and have worked with libertarians – in addition to being married to one! – and am a slightly spacey person myself. So I felt like this was a starting premise I could really run with. 

The part where the dad is kidnapped over a mysterious file and his slightly spacey daughter has to figure out what the file is and then use it to rescue her dad – that part, I’m pleased to say, is entirely made up. 

2. What made you make the switch from attorney to author? Are any aspects of SAVE THE ENEMY based on experiences you’ve seen working in law?

I’d always wanted to be a writer, but at the time I was going to grad school I didn’t realize that this was something that a person could actually do for a living. Over time, as I met more people who wrote for their jobs, and learned what was involved, I eased my way out of law and into more and more writing. 

There’s one way I suppose Save the Enemy is related to my time as a lawyer: my law degree helped get me a freelance gig writing papers for a libertarian think tank, when I was still pretty new in D.C. And it’s through that I met my libertarian husband and met a lot of other people who also helped shape my understanding of that world (some of whom also became good friends). 

My first book, Tropical Depression, is more directly linked to being a lawyer, since it’s about a young lawyer who goes to work at a court on a small tropical island.

3. What are your personal pros and cons of being an author?

The pros are easy: I really love being an author. It still feels pretty incredible to be paid to write fiction. I still sort of can’t believe that I get to do this for work. 

The cons: I have a thin skin and am very sensitive to criticism. Let’s just say that tears have been shed on occasion. Sometimes over criticism that I have conjured up in my very own head. 

4. One of my favorite things about SAVE THE ENEMY was Zoey’s voice. What do you think makes a great voice in YA or just in general?

Thank you! As a reader, I’m always interested in writers who have distinctive voices. Where you know from the writing that it’s that particular author. Some writers I’ve been loving like that lately are Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and George Pelecanos (he writes a lot of gritty crime novels set in D.C.). 

With both of them, I’ve been enjoying their particular styles of writing, the characters they come up with, their stories, the worlds they create, so much that as soon as I finish one book of theirs I’m off buying the next one. 

Message to Gillian Flynn: Please publish your next book already.

5. Zoey’s dad named their dog off a literary character in one of his favorite books, Atlas Shrugged. Do you have any pets that are named after your favorite book or movie/show?

It’s funny you ask. I have two pets, both named by my aforementioned libertarian husband: Murray Rothbark is the dog. He’s named after the economist Murray Rothbard. Murray Rothbard (the economist) was a one-time member of Ayn Rand’s inner circle – though the two came to be a lot less fond of each other  – and is something of a libertarian hero. Murray Rothbark (the dog) is not a libertarian hero, and never knew Ayn Rand personally, but he is very very cute. 

Our cat is named Derrick Coleman. He’s named after a basketball player who once said “whoop-de-damn-do” when asked why a teammate had skipped an important practice. I think that’s the context for him saying “whoop-de-damn-do” – all I really know about basketball is that it’s the one with the really tall guys. Incidentally, the cat is also not very open to questions about his teammates’ professional failures. 

6. You had hinted that there may be a sequel to STE (!!!), can you tell us what it may be about?

Yes! I am working on the sequel now. (At least theoretically, I am working on it. If my editor asks, I’ve been working on it, ok?) I can’t say much without giving away the mysteries, but I can tell you that the questions raised but not answered in Save the Enemy will get answered. There will be more milkshakes, dogs, and things that might or might not be ghosts. And a love triangle.

7. Fun question time! If you had to pick one food to live off of for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Does that mean I could eat anything and that one thing would satisfy all my nutritional needs? Or if I choose the wrong thing – say, chocolate cake – then I’d get scurvy really quickly, but be unable to do anything about it? 

Well, in any case, I’m going to go with what I am hungry for right this moment. Which, luckily, is vegetarian massaman curry with tofu and broccoli added in. Take that, scurvy.

8.   What is your favorite quote of all time?

I really do enjoy the Nietzsche quote “No meals between means, no coffee. Coffee spreads darkness.” 

It’s just so strange to me to think about Nietzsche giving dietary advice. Right?

9. Since it is getting close to Christmastime, what is on your Christmas list?

A pony! But I’ve already been told I’m not getting one. Sadness. 

10. Given the chance to go back and talk to your teenage self, what is one piece of advice you would give her?

Be nicer to your mom. She’s a good mom. And don’t shave the side of your head with a disposable razor. It’s really not going to turn out well. So especially don’t do it repeatedly, kiddo.

Thank you so much for answering all my questions, Arin! I’m so excited for you next book! I’ve been asking for a horse for every holiday since I was 6. Still haven’t gotten one either 🙁

The Author

Arin Greenwood is a writer and former lawyer living just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, Ray, their dog, Murray, and their cat, Derrick. Arin is an editor for The Huffington Post, covering things both nerdy and weird, like Virginia cats running for U.S. Senate, in and around the nation’s capital. Her stories have appeared in Slate, the Washington City Paper, the American Bar Association Journal, and dozens of other publications. Her first novel—Tropical Depression, published in 2011—was loosely based on the five-odd, sometimes very odd, years Arin spent lawyering on a small island near Guam. Save the Enemy is her first young adult novel.

One winner will receive a signed and doodled copy of SAVE THE ENEMY by Arin Greenwood. A big thank you to Arin for offering up one of her own copies and signing it for a lucky winner!


  • One (1) winner
  • US only
  • Ends January 12 at midnight
  • No cheating, I check!
  • Winner will receive an email and must respond within 48 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


11 Responses to “Save the Enemy: Author Interview & Giveaway”

  1. sarah corbin

    this book sounds good!!!!!! I cant wait to read it and find out what all is going on–sounds like great suspense and mystery..Great interview too!!! thanks for the giveaway!!!

  2. Cait

    Aw, why is everyone so against gifting ponies for christmas?! It’s ridiculous. They’re very practical. (They could mow the grass.) This sounds like such an awesome book! I’m definitely marking it to-read on Goodreads. 🙂

  3. Hillary Reyna

    This was a really fun interview! I always like learning more personal and funny things about the authors who write our favorite books. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! Both of you! 😀

  4. Jaime Lester

    The cover is so pretty. And the book sounds really intriguing. Mysterious. I love that the MC’s brother has autism. It is not something that you see a lot in YA books, and I think it should be brought more into the eye’s of teens and everyone else. I really can’t wait to read this one. Thank you for the chance to win. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

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