‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays with Kelly deVos

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of this year’s participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Kelly deVos

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 in 2018 by Harlequin Teen and her work has been featured in Normal Noise and 202 Magazine.

Author links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookTumblrGoodreads

The Privilege of Traditions

I’m one of these people that is about to explode with Christmas cheer. When September rolls around, I’m busy making notes in my planner about the perfect day to get a Christmas tree. Every year, I have a unique theme for my wrapping paper (last year was Goth Christmas!). I can’t wait for the Starbuck’s holiday cup and for our local radio station to begin playing round-the-clock Christmas music.

Next weekend, my family is all set for one of my favorite traditions. Every year, we head out for Organ Stop Pizza, an eatery with piping hot pizza and a massive, 6000-pipe, depression-era Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. We have a slice and sing along with our favorite Christmas Carols. After that, we grab hot cocoa and make our way over to ZooLights, where we walk through a brightly lit, winter wonderland. This is what the holidays mean to me. Food, music and the magic of spending time with my family.

Recently, my daughter asked me about what kind of family traditions I had growing up. I thought about this for a while and the truth of the matter is that we didn’t have that many. I was raised by a single mother who worked hard to make sure we had things under the tree and a nice meal on Christmas day but that there was usually nothing extra for evenings of expensive pizza, hot chocolate and attraction tickets. And then it hit me.

Traditions can be a privilege, especially as observing them can take spare time and extra money. Leaving cookies for Santa means that you have to be able to afford cookies. Stocking must be bought and filled. Looking at festive lights requires evenings off work. I started to wonder what childhood me would think of adult me. For the first time since I became an adult, I really started to think about why the holiday season might be so difficult for many people. I remembered myself as a child, feeling like I was on the outside looking in, watching people who had more, celebrate more. I think I have so many holiday traditions because I didn’t have many growing up. But for other people, maybe this time of year has stayed difficult for any number of reasons.

This year, I’m starting a new tradition – a tradition of taking note of my privilege and giving thanks all the things I’m able to celebrate. I’m trying to press pause on all the Christmas cheer when I can and to be more sensitive to people who feel like they don’t have much to celebrate.

If you’re like me and you this this really is the most wonderful time of the year, then I’m sending you a virtual cup of cocoa. But hugs to you, if this is a difficult season. I hope you stay nice and cozy this winter and have a happy new year!

Title Fat Girl On A Plane
Author Kelly deVos
Pages 304 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary
To Be Published June 5th, 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

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 postgraduation 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 to 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?

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Jen is a thirty-something Canadian book blogger and bibliophile currently residing in the wilds of suburbia. Aside from a penchant for older men, particularly those with the surnames Firth, Elba and Norton, Jen is also passionately interested in running, Mad Men, and Marilyn Monroe. In addition to being a voracious reader and self-proclaimed television addict, Jen is also an aspiring children and youth services librarian who would like to pursue a MLIS and better help readers find the perfect book for them.