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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The Newsfeed

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

Fast fashion is only getting faster as Asos & Boohoo outpace industry front-runners, Zara and H&M, moving clothes from concept to sales floor in less than four weeks. These up and comers’ fast paced supply chains, coupled with millennial-minded tactics and strong social media presences, are driving a 30-35% expected sales growth for Asos and 50% for Boohoo. A major contributor to Boohoo’s profit margin is its army of celebrities, bloggers, and other influencers who promote its clothing across Instagram. Zara and H&M, meanwhile, saw slowing YOY sales growth; H&M has admitted its need to speed up and announced plans to change its supply chain accordingly. (QuartzThe Guardian)

A new Doritos bag will be loaded with the entire Guardians of the Galaxy 2 soundtrack, via a built-in cassette player. A limited number of the “Awesome Mix” soundtrack bags will be available on Amazon tomorrow, and influencers will be activated to take the bag to surprising locales and sing a song of their choice. Fans will also be invited to go to custom pop-up recording booths, record their track, and upload it to social media for a chance to win prizes. Thanks to social media posts and unboxing trends, packaging has the potential to become a spotlight stealer, and brands are thinking outside the box to make packaging as interesting as the product. (Creativity)

Apple wants to be Gen Z’s Starbucks. The brand is reimagining stores to encourage teen hang out sessions, rebranding the Genius Bar as the Genius Grove, and aptly adding some foliage to the space. The start of a series of educational sessions next month will also bring in photographers, artists, and musicians to teach lessons and in some cases, perform concerts. Apple’s head of retail says of the effort: “I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, ‘Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?’” Ypulse’s Experiencification trend explored the fact that more retailers are looking to turn stores into social spaces to attract young shoppers. (QuartzApple)

Coachella has become a profit powerhouse, with earnings of $94 million last year, and nearly half of all attendees are 18-34-years-old. Brands have been looking for any way to activate their spending power through the event—including influencer marketing, which reportedly earns an estimated $6.50 for every $1 spent. This year, American Express became the first official credit card of the prodigious festival, using influencers to spread their message on-site instead of signage and “overt product messaging.” One AMEX executive emphasizes, “You can’t deny the power and reach of influencers today.”(Forbes)

Mars’ new ad has gone viral with Gen Z, thanks to the power of online celebrities. The video, promoting popular U.K. candy bar Maltesers as it launches in the U.S, features social media and YouTube stars Caspar Lee, Andrew Huang, and Dytto and has earned almost 2.8 million views in the last few weeks. The campaign encourages positivity in the face of typical “teen crises” as the influencers are shown turning #FML moments into “Fun Maltesers Life” moments. The spot is part of a larger effort, which will include distribution across social media channels, custom content creation with BuzzFeed, and a tour featuring an experiential photo-op, game play zone, and 10 million free samples. (MediaPost)

Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

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