Beyond The Bio: Lurlene McDaniel


Another Sunday, another awesome chat between an author and a teen reader!

Today’s guest author is Lurlene McDaniel, whose new book The Girl With The Broken Heart came out in December and is sure to give you all the feels. She loves country music, pasta, and traveling.

Today’s guest interviewer is Ebenie. Ebenie’s a high school student who loves dogs and softball. Her all-time favorite book is John Green's The Fault In Our Stars.

Let’s get to it!

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Ebenie: Hi, Lurlene! Can you tell our readers a little bit about The Girl with The Broken Heart?

Lurlene: This story centers around the plight of abused and neglected Tennessee Walking horses and a girl who longs to be a Vet and takes a summer job rehabbing 3 such horse on a ranch. She also has a heart condition and a great family tragedy she’s carrying inside her heart. A young man hired to help her, is warm and friendly, but also mysterious and carries secrets inside him. Despite their attempts to separate their feelings, their attraction for each other can’t be denied.

Ebenie: I really connected with Caroline. We’re both very shy and want to make everyone else happy. Which character are you the most like?

Lurlene: I think I’m most like Kenzie with a soft heart for abused animals and determined to fulfill her dream.

Ebenie: I love Lani! She was so sweet and so caring, especially with what she did for Jamey! What inspired you to create such a wonderful character?

Lurlene: I’ve followed Lani (and Dawson) through two other books. She’s a kind caring person perfect for nursing and makes a good friend for Kenzie.

Ebenie: I think it’s horrible what happened to Caroline. No one should go through that. As a freshman myself, I know that we’re so vulnerable. All we want is to fit in and to find people who like us. What would you tell Caroline if you had the chance to talk to her?

Lurlene: My heart breaks when a young person takes their own life. I would remind her that circumstances in your life can change in the blink of an eye. Ignore hateful people and stay off social media where bullying is rampant and anonymous. Also, to talk to her parents or a school counselor. I also hoped to show the devastating aftermath of suicide on loved ones.

Ebenie: Was Kenzie ever heartbroken? You never really mentioned much about her past love life. Did she even have one?

Lurlene: Kenzie was “horse crazy” and focused totally on her life goals. She really didn’t have time or energy for dating and “liking” someone.

Ebenie: Kenzie and Austin really struggled to confess their feelings to each other. I’ve gone through something like that. There was this guy I liked, and even though he liked me, we only talked once. We never talked because we were both too shy. Have you ever had a similar experience?

Lurlene: I had a crush on a senior guy in high school ---I was a sophomore. He had a girlfriend. But he slow-danced with me at a sock hop once. It was such a thrill.

Ebenie: I love this book! It’s honestly my new favorite! Are you planning on writing any other books in the future?

Lurlene: Right now, I’m taking a long break to travel and hang with family and friends. I’ve been writing for many years and it’s time to take a break.

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That’s it for today’s interview with Lurlene. If you're a book-loving teen like Ebenie, click here to learn how to become a guest host for an upcoming #BeyondTheBio interview. It's an easy and fun chance to interview any YA author you choose!

And don't forget to enter this week's giveaway! We’re teaming up with our friends at Delacorte to give one lucky winner a copy of The Girl With The Broken Heart. You can enter the giveaway by clicking on the image below. Good luck!

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