2K18 Member Spotlight: Kelly deVos
BOOK TITLE: Fat Girl on a Plane
RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2018
About FAT GIRL ON A PLANE
From debut author Kelly deVos comes an unforgettable novel, told in dual Fat and Skinny perspectives, about smart fashion, pursuing your dreams, and loving yourself.
High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.
Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat too fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.
Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.
Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?
A third generation native Arizonan, Kelly deVos can tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cactus, cattle and climate. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Her debut novel, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, will be published on 6/5/18 by Harlequin Teen and her work has been featured in Normal Noise and 202 Magazine. Kelly is also a passionate advocate for body positivity and fat acceptance.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR BOOK?
FAT GIRL ON A PLANE was initially inspired by a couple of real experiences. First, like my main character, I was forced to purchase two seats on an airplane. I also worked as a graphic designer for an Italian-based eyewear company that dealt with many luxury fashion brands. I noticed, over time, that some of these brands were fairly hostile to plus-size girls and women and I wanted to discuss that issue.
BEST ADVICE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Two things. First, be patient. Every stage of publishing can involve delays and long waits. Second, keep your eyes on your own paper. It can be really tempting to compare yourself to other writers, but everyone’s path to publication is different and keeping that fact in mind is an important aspect of self-care.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FURRY WRITING SIDEKICK.
It’s my dog Cocoa! She says, “Fat Girl on a Plane is PAWSOME!”
WHAT DOES FEARLESS MEAN TO YOU?
For me, being fearless means living life in a way such that the possible adverse consequences of a certain decision don’t hold you back. The people I admire most are the ones who are living their lives to the fullest and manage to be unafraid of trying new things, going new places or meeting new people. I love the idea of people becoming brave enough to do what really makes them happy.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEEN?
Well, I was a writer for my school’s yearbook and newspaper and I was extremely serious about it. I edited our school’s opinion page and pretty much acted like I was working for the New York Times. I would generally say that I was pretty adverse to following rules that I felt were nonsensical and I thought I knew everything. I spent a lot of time recovering from that delusion!
On the left is a picture of me as a teenager. I’m decorating my now husband’s car with cookies as a way of asking him to a dance. I dug this out long after I’d written my book and thought the COOKIE MANIA headline was kind of funny given that I went on to name my main character Cookie.
On the right are a few of my high school press clippings, including my analysis on how we all got our first names and my riveting review of a rap concert!
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
I am seriously afraid of insects, particularly spiders. I also have a major fear of scorpions, which I am sad to report that we see a lot in our neighborhood.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH FEAR IN THE WRITING PROCESS?
I do tons of preparation before I start a project. I often start by doing a very detailed outline, doing a bunch or research, creating profiles or worksheets for each major character, etc. For me, this helps me manage the fear of the blank page, which is what I would be dealing with in the absence of an outline.