Author Interview & Giveaway: Margaret Lesh

We are excited to welcome author, Margaret Lesh, to the nest today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Where did you get the idea for this novel? 

Margaret: Normalish is Stacy York’s story. Besides trying to figure out life in general, one of the things she thinks about is the idea of normal—what exactly it means. I’d been kicking that idea around in my head, thinking that so many times the people who seem so “normal” on the outside end up having these deep, dark secrets or weird obsessions. That’s what got me started writing this book. I thought: I can’t be the only one who wonders about this, can I? 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What are your top 3 favorite YA books? 

Margaret: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is beautiful and poignant. I’ve read it—I can’t even tell you how many times. S.E. Hinton really hit a nerve with her novel. And she was only fifteen when she wrote it! 

The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I love the characters in this character-driven story. It’s heartbreaking but funny and hopeful too. 

 Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. It’s ridiculous and silly. To me, it’s like a junior version of Bridget Jones’s Diary, which is a favorite of mine. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite quotation from your novel? 

Margaret: Tough question. That’s like asking a writer which child is their favorite. Here’s one I like: 

 “When we got to Brookside, I saw Arm Tattoo Guy dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow. He was talking to a giant penguin and a scarecrow, which sounds like a joke, but it isn’t.” 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How did you decide on your main character's name? 

Margaret: I wanted a name that sounded contemporary but not something that would stop the reader in their tracks or be distracting. I also didn't want a name that would be too tied to a specific time period. Names are pretty important to me. I wanted the name to flow well with the story and fit the character, and I think it does. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Are you a plotter? If so, what is your plotting process? 

Margaret: No, I’m mostly a pantser. I know how the story starts and how it ends. It’s the middle I’m not so sure of. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird? (This one is a Reading Lark tradition) 

Margaret: I’m partial to cockatiels. They have the cutest personalities and love to sing, although they can be a little on the loud side. 

 This or That: 
 - Fantasy or Reality? Reality 
 - Comedy or Horror? Comedy 
 - Hamburgers or Hot Dogs? Hamburgers (Boca burgers, even better) 
 - Salt or Pepper? Pepper 
 - TV Shows or Movies? Movies 

 Normalish Tagline
 Fifteen-year-old Stacy questions the strange world of high school, family, friends, love, and her role in a harsh universe. 

 People tell you high school’s so great and wonderful, but they’re lying. It’s mostly horrible and full of disappointment. It sucks. Your best friend abandons you. The jerk you’re in love with pretends to be into you, and then the big dump. The boy you’ve really clicked with as a friend decides to go all crushy over you, so you break his heart just like yours was—smashed into little pieces. Your sister goes mental , and you get involved with an older guy who’s even crazier than she is (who you know is a very bad idea, but you do it anyway). Math only adds another stink of failure to the whole thing. 

 High school blows. Just ask freshman Stacy. She’d want you to know. 

 Normalish Buy Links
 Barnes & Noble
Musa Publishing


 California girl Margaret Lesh lives with her husband Steve and son Andrew in a quiet suburb near Los Angeles. Co-creator of, she writes middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about baked goods, especially donuts, far too often. She believes tacos are magic. 


We have ONE eBook copy of Normalish up for grabs. The winner will be able to choose their preferred eBook reader format. Thank you, Margaret, for providing the book for the giveaway. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY! In order to win you must:

* Be 13+ years old
* Fill out the Rafflecopter below

The giveaway runs from January 16-23. The winner will be contacted via email on January 24. 


  1. Andrea, thank you for hosting me! This was a fun interview and really made me think. I had a very hard time choosing between salt and pepper. Also the hot dog versus hamburger was a tough call. (It's surprising how those little ones get you.) :)

  2. I didn't sign up for the giveaway because I already purchased and read Normalish. Just want to wish Margaret the best with this one because it's a great read. Her characters will stay with me for quite some time.


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