‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa-la-la-la-laaaa! Introducing Sissy Lu’s first festive Character Interview, featuring IVY HIGGINS from Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser. Grab a cup of eggnog or some wassail, but beware the mistletoe!
Ivy, give us some small deets below!
Full name: Ivy Marie Higgins
Favorite Season: The first snow of winter
Favorite Cookie: snickerdoodle (because it’s my dad’s favorite)
Favorite Hot Beverage: hot chocolate
1. Why don’t you introduce yourself! Tell us who you are and what you do.
Hey guys. I’m Ivy Higgins. I’m a junior at Carmel Heights High School in Indiana. It’s an okay place. My chemistry teacher is pretty funny. I mostly hang out with my friend Matt. We both love music. And probably my favorite part of the day is when Matt and I walk to class and try to have an entire conversation in band lyrics. Usually it’s our favorite band, Chasing Eveline—an 80s rock band out of Ireland.
2. What is your favorite thing to eat around the holidays?
Our neighbor Mrs. Carothers always brings by a cheesecake at Christmas. Every year she puts something different in it. Last year it was toffee bits.
3. What is on the top of your Wishlist this year?
I want to get Chasing Eveline to reunite. If they do, I think I might be able to find my mom.
4. If you’re expected at a party are you usually on time or fashionably late?
Is “no-show” an option? Haha. I’m not a big party fan. I prefer to hang out with Matt or my dog Jackson or write fan letters to Chasing Eveline. Probably what would happen if I were invited to a party is I would get all involved in watching an old 80s movie and forget to finish getting ready.
5. What is your fondest memory surrounding the holiday season?
On Christmas morning, my mom always came outside with me to make snow angels. One year we didn’t have a white Christmas, and I was so sad. She took me outside, we plopped down on our backs, and made snow angels in the grass.
6. Are you a fan of eggnog or no?
Yuck. No. My mom made me try it once, and I spit it out.
7. There is mistletoe hanging in the doorway… are you going to kiss the person beside you or not?
No mistletoe at my house.
8. It’s snowing outside, are you out there playing in it or refusing to step foot outside until the season turns?
Outside! Right away at the first hint of snow. Snow is magical.
9. If you could ask for ANYTHING for Christmas, what would it be and why?
I want to find my mom. Even though I’m sort of mad at her, I miss her. And I just don’t understand why she left.
10. What kind of shopper are you? Do you plan ahead of time or do you rush in a last-minute effort?
I don’t have to buy many gifts, but I like to plan and have presents ready ahead of time. I think I get that from my dad. He and I always went Christmas shopping in early December. My mom would wait until Christmas Eve to shop.
11. Did you ever believe in Santa? If so, how old were you when you stopped believing?
I believed in Santa, but I used to be scared of him. When he came to our house once for a visit, I hid and cried. I think I was 8 or 9 when I found out my dad ate the cookies we left out for Santa.
12. Tell us one of your favorite stories that revolves around this season.
My mom took me to the record store during Christmas vacation when I was in 6th grade. She said I could buy any record, and I think she was hoping I would pick one of the new bands she’d shared with me. But I chose the Charlie Brown Christmas album. I thought she was disappointed, but when we got home, she sat with me and listened to the whole thing. And she even put it on during Christmas dinner. She told me she loved how happy that music made me.
13. Who in your immediate circle is most likely to go caroling?
Matt. But only if I made him go.
14. If you could cast your acquaintances [including yourself,] in Scrooge, who would play what roles?
I really don’t remember this story. I saw the movie once with my dad, I think. I have a much better knowledge of 80s movies like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles.
15. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
If you haven’t listened to Chasing Eveline yet, you have to! Darkness Falls is probably my favorite album. “City Lights” is my favorite song on that album. But their eponymous album is also good. “Once and Never” is an awesome song on that one.
Ho Ho Ho, did you know all of that about Ivy? Bet you didn’t. Be sure to check out the author’s page as well as social media to ensure you are up to date on Ivy and the rest of the crew!
Fantastic answers! Thanks so much, Leslie, where can readers find more about you and your books?
About the Author: Leslie Hauser teaches middle school English and history. She is a Midwesterner at heart—born in Cincinnati, Ohio—but currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy. She loves cupcakes, coffee, and most of all—music. Her debut YA novel CHASING EVELINE released July 11, 2017.
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.