Author Spotlight: 'Going Bovine' By Libba Bray

Today’s Author Spotlight is on Libba Bray who joins us  on the blog tour for her latest novel Going Bovine. A world away from the Gemma Doyle trilogy, Libba introduces us to Cameron, a 16-year-old boy diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, aka Mad Cow Disease, and facing certain death. Or is he? A cure and a chance to save the world (long story) may just lie with a punk rock angel named Dulcie if he chooses to accept her mission and set out with his dwarf friend Gonzo. Then again. it all might just be a hallucination conjured up by his disease-riddled mind. Either way (no spoilers here) it’s a crazy, thoroughly enjoyable ride.

Going Bovine is out in book stores now, but we’re giving away a free copy to the first three commenters who share a memory from their teen years where humor helped you get through a difficult time.

going+bovineYpulse: How in the world did the idea for Going Bovine come to you?

Libba Bray: I know! Nutty, right? (pause)
Oh.
You want an answer. Crap. Well, it starts as most books do, with a random assortment of ideas, memories, questions, and too much coffee. Years ago, my mother told me about a man in our hometown who had contracted the human variant of mad cow disease. He saw hallucinations, one of which was a wall of flames that would pop up into his field of vision. I was horrified by that, horrified by the idea of going crazy, of never really knowing what was real or not. And then I thought, “Well, how do we ever really know what’s real or not?” As my son asked, “How do we know if we’re really living our lives or if this is somebody’s dream?” Great question. We don’t know. And that got me to thinking about the nature of existence and all the big questions: Why are we here? Where do we go next? What really matters? How do we assign meaning to our…

 
 
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“I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because I prefer using my creativity to come up with an uncommon or personalized costume to wearing a mass-produced costume that won't be unique to me.” –Male, 24, CA

One entrepreneur has a big idea to change charity fundraising as we know it—and she’s only 10-years-old. Vivienne Harr started a lemonade stand for charity in 2012 that has turned into Make A Stand lemonade, a family company that donates 5% of each sale. Now, the Harrs are launching StandApp, a mobile platform for donating to and starting crowdfunded social good projects. Twitter’s founders have invested in the app, which tells users they can “make a stand and change the world in 3 steps and 30 seconds.” (Fast Company)

Vice media has established themselves as creators of online content that speaks to young consumers, and now they will launch a global, 24 hour TV network for their Millennial audience. The brand’s Vice News has gotten a reputation for tackling some of the biggest international stories before much more established news organizations, and CEO Shane Smith warned traditional media outlets that as the generation ages up, they will become obsolete, and sites like Vice and BuzzFeed are “the changing of the guard.” (The IndependentThe Drum)

Posting calories counts on menus isn’t necessarily making consumers choose healthier options, but a new study has found that if told what they would have to do to burn off those calories, teens are less likely to buy higher calorie or sugary drinks. When signs were posted in stores telling buyers things like, “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 5 miles of walking,” 40% of 12-18-year-olds who saw them said they changed their drink choice as a result. Even after the signs were removed these teens continued to make healthier choices. (Washington Post)

Italian clothing label Brandy Melville has reportedly become “one of the fastest growing popular brands among American teens,” but the company is not interested in selling to everyone: they sell most items only in size small. Abercrombie & Fitch has famously lost ground with young consumers thanks to their similarly exclusionary practices, and some teens are expressing their dissatisfaction on Melville’s Instagram, where they are asking for sizes that “fit all.” (Tech Times)

Many Millennials don’t trust banks (or any other large institutions) but it could be that financial organizations are missing a big opportunity with the generation. Adweek’s recent study found that 18-24-year-olds are more likely than other consumers to say they would trust a financial institution more if they provided helpful, unbiased content. But only 20% of respondents felt that these institutions are currently posting interesting articles. (Adweek)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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