Wendy Toliver is Pretty... In the Dark

MissMatch_LR%5B1%5D.jpg Today I have three questions for Wendy Toliver, author of the just-released Miss Match! The story is about Sasha Finnegan, who has a knack for setting people up. At 16, she turns her talent into a business, molding high school crushes into true love--until it turns out her crush wants to be set up with her sister!I love romantic comedy novels, and Miss Match sounds like a lot of fun. I also noticed way back when that Little Willow pointed out that the cover showed a girl in a normal size (albeit a cartoon girl) and that struck me too! So I asked Wendy some questions about image, and she told me that she's very pretty... in the dark. Read on. author%20002.jpgYou chose to make a not-stick-thin narrator (and that shows on the cover, which is really cool), and you say she's not drop-dead gorgeous either. Why that conscious choice? "I was a teenager once (hold the laughter) and I know how important image is at that age. I wanted to tell a story where the heroine is not model-thin-and-beautiful, but has so many other things about her that are admirable and lovable. I wanted to create a character who doesn't get by on looks alone, but learns to find her inner beauty." How did you feel about your appearance and weight when you were a teenager? Did your perception change as you got older? "My weight has always been pretty low, for my 5'9" height, but I had issues with other things, like my color (VERY white) and my skin (acne-prone). In fact, one of my most painful memories was sitting in a friend's basement watching movies with a group of kids, and a guy said, 'You're pretty in the dark.' Of course, now that I'm an adult, my husband loves to say that just to be funny. But at the time, it really hurt. (And by the way, back then, Oxy and Clearasil were the only acne meds, and I had a bad reaction to Benzol Peroxide.) Now, I'm 35 and I started working out 4 days a week (in addition to chasing my 3 sons around the house) and though I weigh 5-10 pounds more than I did before I had kids, I like the way I feel and I am lucky to have a husband and family that makes me feel good about myself. I try to pass that on to my kids, so they have a healthy self-image." If you had to cast an actress today as your narrator, could you? miranda-cosgrove.jpg "I think Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) has the perfect face for Sasha Finnegan, but she'd have to gain some weight because she's so thin. America Ferrera comes to mind as a 'real girl,' and though she's too old to portray Sasha, here's a cute story. My father-in-law was watching the Golden Globes or some sort of awards ceremony where America was on the red carpet looking amazing. 'Is that Ugly Betty' he asked. We said yes. 'Hmm. She's pretty!' :)" America%20Ferrara.jpg Yes! I love this photo of America and Betty that shows how much Hollywood makeup and hair and styling can do--and also how much America (and every girl who stays true to who she is) shines from within. Thanks, Wendy!