New Kids On The Block 2018 with Lianne Oelke

New Kids On The Block is a year-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader meant to welcome and celebrate new voices and debut authors in the literary community.

Hi everyone! Today is a very exciting day here on Pop! Goes The Reader as I’m thrilled to announce a brand new, year-long series that will be running throughout 2018 on the blog: New Kids On The Block! New Kids On The Block is a project I’ve been working on behind the scenes since October 2017 and I’m so pleased I’m finally able to share a little more about it and introduce the first post in what I hope will be a fun and informative series for readers and authors alike!

Thousands of new books are released every year, and as a reader I know how challenging it can be to remain informed about what’s being published each month, particularly in the case of new authors whose work you don’t yet know to watch for. Similarly, as a debut author I’m sure it can feel overwhelming and intimidating to find your place in the online literary community and have an opportunity to talk about the unique and special story you’ve worked so hard on and are preparing to share with the world. My hope is that New Kids On The Block can address both of these issues in a positive and enjoyable way. More than 50 debut authors will be stopping by Pop! Goes The Reader over the course of the next twelve months to share a little about themselves, their debut, and their experience with the publishing process. I sincerely hope you’ll join me in helping to welcome these new and exciting voices!

Want even more opportunities to learn about the authors and debut novels being published in 2018? Several other bloggers run debut author events which might be of interest, including Nori’s “Epic and Enchanting Eighteeners” @ ReadWriteLove28, Jana’s “The Debut Dish” @ That Artsy Reader Girl and Rachel’s “Meet The Newbies” @ A Perfection Called Books.

Are you a debut author whose book is being published in 2018? It’s not too late to sign-up! If you want to participate in New Kids On The Block this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can send a tweet or DM on Twitter to @Pop_Reader or email me at Jen@PopGoesTheReader.com. I would love to collaborate with you!


About Lianne Oelke

Lianne Oelke has a degree in philosophy and works in the film industry — which may explain a lot about her debut novel, Nice Try, Jane Sinner. Or not. She lives, camps, and thinks about cats in Vancouver.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads




If you ask me what my proudest moments are, I’ll probably have a hard time answering (unless it has to do with cats, but that’s a whole ‘nother post). I could, however, tell you about that time in first grade I went to my BFF’s house for dinner and complained about the food the whole evening. I still feel bad about it. Or the time in high school I was supposed to play tennis with the guy I liked, but stood him up because I got nervous. Or the time in university I bailed on a group event (that I was supposed to be co-leading) without telling anyone because I didn’t know how to handle being depressed around a bunch of people way happier than I could ever be.

These are the moments that tend to replay over and over in my head, and I hate it.

In university, journalling kept me sane. I found it hard to talk to other people about my depression, but when I wrote for myself, I didn’t need to know the right words to say. I just needed to put them on paper. Months or years later, when I re-read what I wrote, it was like no time had passed. Like I was still the same person trapped by mental illness and faith and loneliness and boredom, not brave enough to change my life or admit to the fact that I was flailing. I was utterly uncomfortable with myself. No amount of wishful thinking could change who I was.

But words could.

I’ve always loved reading, especially YA. Books like Alice, I Think by Susan Juby proved that weird Canadian girls could be hilarious. That their stories were necessary, their strange inner thoughts valid. I wanted that to be me, too. Instead of throwing my journal away, I started typing it up. I made a lot of changes– mostly deleting endless pages of existential angst– but I left the funny parts in, and continued to add anything that made me laugh. Humour became a way of battling my constant insecurities and crippling self-doubt. I was writing purely for my own cathartic enjoyment; I never grew up with any serious ambition to become an author. I went for it anyway. And didn’t tell anyone about it. After all, if nothing ever came of the whole book thing, I thought being a depressed young adult who had failed in secret was better than being a depressed young adult who had failed in front of everyone. So I wrote, and revised, and queried. It took five years, more or less, to finish the manuscript and (finally!) sign with an agent. I thought about giving up every single day. Somehow I didn’t.

Jane Sinner is my alter ego. Certain things that happen to her are lifted right out of my own experience (I lived in a house full of college roommates in a basement bedroom with only a curtain for a door, and some guy punched my (now ex) boyfriend in the face and it was super weird). Jane is also someone new. Someone bold enough to say (or at least think) everything I wish I could. She would rather make the wrong decision than not make any decisions for herself at all. Sure, Jane is deeply flawed – she’s selfish, foul-mouthed, and can come across as uncaring – but dammit, she tries. I’m trying, too.

And my original journal? I threw it away years ago.

Title Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Author Lianne Oelke
Pages 432 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
To Be Published January 9th 2018 by Clarion Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school…what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world — or at least viewers of substandard TV — that she has what it takes to win.

One response to “New Kids On The Block 2018 with Lianne Oelke”

  1. Eileen says:

    Love love this!! Thank you for sharing Jane Sinner (and yourself) with us <3
    Eileen recently posted…Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne OelkeMy Profile

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