Wednesday 19 February 2014


Title: Just Like a Musical
Author: by Milena Veen
Release Date: 15th December 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Ruby Fields has always lived by the rules set up by her foolishly overprotective mother. As a result, she doesn't go to school, she's never been kissed, and almost everything she knows about life is what she has learned from old movies.

But there's this Joshua guy. He's quirky, and he's tall, and he uses “romantic” and “old-fashioned” in the same sentence.

And there's Mrs. Wheeler, an eccentric retired Hollywood costume designer and Ruby's new best friend.

When Mrs. Wheeler ends up in hospital, just after telling Ruby her long-kept secret, Ruby decides to break her mother's rules and embark on a journey that will change her life forever.


Milena Veen was born in Belgrade, Serbia. Her first piece of writing, a poem about a walking cherry, saw the light of the day when she was seven. She's been writing ever since.

Milena graduated from University of Belgrade with a degree in psychology. She lives in a little European town with her husband and a mute cat. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading, riding her bicycle, and listening to music. She prefers clouds to sunshine and coffee to tea. 



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hi there! My name is Milena.  I was born and raised in Serbia, Europe, where I still live.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have a degree in psychology, but I’ve been writing, in one way or another, since I was little. The idea of publishing my work occurred to me about a year ago. I guess that’s when I realized that I actually want to be a writer.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest (and first) book is a contemporary YA novel ‘Just Like a Musical’. It’s a story about and offbeat teenage girl and her journey of growing up.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m starting my second novel these days. It’s the same genre as ‘Just Like a Musical’ – contemporary YA. I don’t exclude the possibility of writing in another genre one day, but for now I’ll stick to contemporary.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
This may sound funny, but I find it hard to write if I don’t have a cup of coffee, tea, orange juice, or just anything else by my side. It doesn’t really matter what’s inside the cup as long as it’s drinkable. Other than that, I would say I’m pretty uninteresting while I write.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I do, and I’m thankful to all the readers who were so kind to take time to read my book and write a review. As a debut self-published novelist, I know how hard is to get the word out about your book, and I really appreciate their help.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I think it happens simultaneously. Somehow my characters have the ability to name themselves. I don’t really try to come up with names; they just pop up out of nowhere when I start writing.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I scribbled down a very vague outline before I started writing ‘Just Like a Musical’. I changed so many things along the way, however, that I would say it was more something like a general sentiment written down than an actual outline.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I haven’t experienced writer’s block so far. This is my first novel and it’s the result of inspiration accumulated over the years. I suppose that most first novels are. So I guess the writer’s block is yet to come for me. 

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Like most writers, I enjoy reading. I also like taking long walks and bike rides. And I listen to music. I can’t imagine my life without music.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I went through many different reading phases as a child, but if I had to choose my favorite one from that period, it would be Louisa May Alcott. I reread all her books several times.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them? 
I read “The Language of Sparrows” by Rachel Phifer a couple of weeks ago. Rachel’s writing is quiet, yet effective and very emotional. I definitely recommend her debut novel to anyone who loves realistic fiction, and I look forward to her future publications.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
I’m not an experienced writer, but I think that the most important thing when it comes to writing is to stay true to yourself. Writers should never write what people expect them to just to please them. Also, it’s important to hire a professional proofreader or even and editor if you feel that you need one. No matter how good you are at grammar or punctuation, you need a professional to look over your writing.

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