Debut Author Spotlight: Lindsey Rosin

Lindsey RosinWe love learning about debut authors, it's true. But Lindsey Rosin — whose debut Cherry earned a Top Pick! rating — is so much more. She's a screenwriter, part of a Hollywood family — and she used to be an extra on Beverly Hills 90210. WE BASICALLY CANNOT CONTAIN OURSELVES. Let's learn more!

Name: Lindsey Rosin

Book: Cherry

Genre: Young Adult

Cherry elevator pitch: Cherry is the story of four female best friends who make a pact to lose their virginity before high school graduation — and end up finding friendship, love and self-discovery along the way. It's a coming-of-age, laugh-out-loud tale of first times, last chances and the enduring friendships that make it all worthwhile.

Current Home: Los Angeles

Author Icon: Judy Blume

How did you start writing? I've been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. My parents are some of the very best writers I know, and I've had a front row seat in their school of writing my whole life. I have half-written scripts in my drawers dating all the way back to elementary school. Once I got to high school I starting writing plays for the one-act festival at my high school. I had the most wonderful drama teachers — hi Ms. Benton! Hi Mr. Moore! Hi Mr. Walch! — and that's really where my love of writing turned into something serious, something I knew I wanted to do professionally. 

You played "Girl #1" on 90210. PLEASE TELL US EVERYTHING. 

Haha, true story. I did play Girl #1. Basically anytime you see a girl running around throughout the first fiveCherry by Lindsey Rosin seasons it's me! Going to the kids summer camp at the Beach Club where Brandon and Andrea work. Talking to Dylan outside a public bathroom in the episode when his little sister gets her period for the first time. At the 3rd promenade asking Kelly if that's her face on the Seventeen Magazine. (My little sister played the other little girl in that one.) My cameos were the biggest perk stemming from the fact that my dad, Charles Rosin, was the showrunner and executive for the first five seasons. (Super fans will recognize the name from the first title card after the show ends.) It's safe to say that he and my mom, Karen Rosin, wrote most of your favorite episodes. My dad has an incredible memory and has lots of great stories from behind the scenes. My memories mostly involve running around the set and attempting to pin clothes pins that'd I'd steal from the gaffers onto the actors' backs without getting caught. My dad grew up in Los Angeles and went to Beverly Hills High School, which is fictionalized in 90210 as West Beverly High. He had an incredibly positive and formative high school experience, and I know he channeled a lot of that into the show. Like my dad, I also grew up in LA and had an incredibly positive and formative high school experience (at Harvard-Westlake High School) which I hope I've been able to channel into Cherry as well. I'm incredibly proud of the writing my parents did on 90210 and the stories they were able to tell that I know impacted a whole generation of teenagers (and TV fans in general). Glad to be following in those footsteps. 

Tell us about your day job — and your work on the Cruel Intentions TV show!

My day job involves spending a lot of time at Coffee Bean, drinking vanilla lattes and staring at my computer screen or notebook. (Fun slash nerdy fact: I wrote the first rough draft of Cherry by hand in a green notebook before typing it into my computer.) More seriously, I spend most of my time writing and developing projects for television. Last year, I wrote TV pilots for MTV, CBS and NBC. Cruel Intentions is the NBC project, which I co-wrote along with Roger Kumble (who wrote and directed the original film, and also directed our pilot) and Jordan Ross (my Sucker Love Productions partner). My entire Cruel Intentions ride has been a personal and professional dream come true. Last year, Jordan and I created "Cruel Intentions: The Musical" which ran for four sold-out months in Los Angeles. The musical tells the story of the film set against a jukebox soundtrack of all your favorite '90s songs. We met Roger through our work on the musical and also had the privilege of having some of the original cast members come see the show, including Sarah Michelle Gellar. Sarah is now also the star of the Cruel TV pilot where she brilliantly and pitch-perfectly reprises her iconic role as Kathryn Merteuil as we pick up the story 17 years later. The series is set in motion when 17-year-old Bash Casey (played by Taylor John Smith) discovers that he is the son of the late Sebastian Valmont (played by Ryan Phillippe in the film), a secret that his mother, Annette Hargrove (played by Reese Witherspoon in the film and Kate Levering in the pilot) had kept from him his whole life. Bash finds Sebastian's infamous journal and makes his way to find Kathryn in San Francisco where she now lives with her husband (played by Coby Bell) and step-daughter (played by Samantha Logan). The rest of Valmont family, including patriarch Edward Valmont (played by Peter Gallagher) quickly realizes that Bash is now the potential heir to a billion dollar fortune. The Cruel pilot is a lot of fun — it's soapy and sexy and everything I think fans of the movie (or TV fans!) will want to see. We shot the pilot this past spring in Los Angeles and are currently waiting to hear if we'll get a series order at NBC. There are lot of fans of the project, so hopefully we'll get to bring Kathryn and the rest of these cruel characters to your TV screen in 2017. Stay tuned!

Our reviewer in particular loved how Cherry was very sex positive. Was this an intentional message on your part?

Thank you! Yes! It was intentional. I think it's always better to be positive, no matter what you're doing, so approaching this book and these girl characters and this world in a positive way was the only way I wanted to go. It's a positive story because the characters are being authentic and true and honest with themselves. I don't think there's enough honest and open discourse about teenage sexuality. Teenagers are having sex — and are going to continue to have sex — so, to quote an episode of 90210 that my mom wrote in 1992 called 'Everybody's Talking About It": "It's like if you have a swimming pool in your backyard. You can tell your children not to go in it. You can even build a fence around it. But if you know that they're going to find a way into that water, don't you think you ought to teach those kids how to swim?" It's been almost 25 years since that line was written, and I think it's still as true as ever. When it comes to sexuality, I think it's important to "teach kids to swim" so to speak, or at least provide some safe, positive spaces to talk about it. Hopefully in addition to be a fun, entertaining read Cherry can positively contribute to the sexual conversation that's already going on in our society today — and all the conversations we're not having yet but certainly should be. 

Even though this is a book about sex and sexuality, it's also a book about female friendship.There is nothing better than female friendship. Even though the girls set out to lose their virginity I think what they really end up doing is finding themselves. And in order to do that they learn from each and love each other. Romantic relationships and sexual relationships are incredibly important and special - but best friendship, especially female best friendship, orbits in an entire different universe. I am so lucky to have so many incredible female friends in my life. I wouldn't be who I am today without them. 

Cherry will be available in stores and online August 16. Digital copies start at $10.99 and you can grab yours here: Amazon, BN.com, Kobo, iTunes, GooglePlay. For more debut authors you'll want to discover, click here.