Monday, July 15, 2013

Author Interview with TL Costa of Playing Tyler

Playing Tyler
Playing Tyler by TL Costa
Available Now
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Received finished copy from publicist for review
Paperback 304 pages
To Buy Links-
When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

I had the great pleasure of reading PLAYING TYLER earlier this month and was able to get an interview with the author, TL Costa. I think you'll enjoy it and hopefully, you'll enjoy the novel as well. I thought it was fantastic! I'm reviewing it tomorrow. It's a contemporary, thriller with some romance thrown in. The characters again are GREAT! 

Here's a little about TL Costa-
T. L. Costa is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Masters of Teaching from Quinnipiac University who taught high school for five years before becoming a full-time mom and writer.
She has lived in Texas, New York, New Jersey and Spain. Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
T. L. can be found online at her Facebook page and @TLCosta1 on Twitter

My Interview:
1)    Playing Tyler has a lot of gaming involved in it. If you were to create your own video game, what would you call it and what would the characters be? 
I would like to say that I would make some sort of uber-intellectual puzzle game, but really, I would make a sort of comedy-adventure game, starring Chuck Norris and Elvis Presley who would have to fight aliens while riding unicorns.  Something just off-the-wall crazy. 
2)    Say you are as gifted with code as one of your main characters is, what would you do with your skills? 
So many possibilities! I would probably try and create an interactive reading experience site.  Taking books and uploading the setting, characters, etc and having the reader take clues from the book to advance to the next level of a game based on the book.   When I was little, I used to love the books where you could choose what happened next, so basically merge that kind of text into an almost videogame like experience.
3)    What would your gamer name be if you had an online gamer name?
I have had many gamer names, very few I feel comfortable fessing up to in public.  Let me see, a good gamer handle has always been sort of analogous in my mind to a good roller-derby name.  Shepolocalyse?  Slaughterella?
4)    I loved the dual narratives! How hard was it to write from Tyler's point of view?
Writing Tyler’s point of view was very natural, as his voice is such a large part of his character, so it wasn’t all that difficult. What was a bit sticky was trying to write both Tyler’s scenes and Ani’s scenes the same day.  When I first started writing the book, I had to compose Tyler’s sections one day, and then Ani’s the next.  After a while, creating them both became so natural that I could write both whenever I wanted.
5)    Tyler's biggest desire is to fly planes. Ani's to go to Yale. What was yours when you were their age?
To become a doctor.  My aunt was a doctor in New York City and I’ve always thought that saving lives must be the most amazing experience.  By the time I got into college, though, I fell in love with subjects other than just biology, and so I chose a different path.  I still have a great amount of respect for doctors and other medical professionals, and when I am at my aunt’s house, I often pick up her medical journals and read them for fun. (Yes, I am a major nerd.)
6)    Playing Tyler feels pretty finished, but I loved these characters. Any chance of a sequel?
I wrote it as a stand-alone.  However, I really loved writing the book.  So I have 14 different outlines for a potential sequel, and I hate all of them, so we’ll see.
7)    What's up for you next?
I have two completed drafts of other books, and we’ll see if I can polish them up into something grand!  If not, I have lots and lots of ideas…


  1. Tyler and Ani sound like great characters, and I love a dual narrative

    1. Me too, especially when it's a guy and a girl. I love to see the same scene from two different points of view.

  2. Oooh, this is the book you recommended to me and I saw it at the bookstore yesterday. It is one that I will definitely want to read. Stories told in alternating POV's are among my favorites.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, this is one of the ones I told you about.It's a great contemporary!! I really think you'd like the characters in this one.

  3. This book sounds great and I LOVE the cover--super intense! And you come up with some seriously good questions for your interviews!

    1. Thank you! I try with the questions so I'm glad you liked them! It helps that the author has a good personality!! This is a really great novel. I didn't know what to expect, but I LOVED the characters.

  4. I think it worked well as a standalone.

    1. Yes, I did too. But in the publishing world you never know. Right?

  5. Oh just with the interview, I think I know who would love this book. I will have to suggest it. Plus, I may have to read it myself as well. :) Brilly interview.

    1. Thank you so much! My 13 yr old son LOVED it. My 16 yr old is finishing his summer reading and is going to read it then. It's not just a boy book though. I totally loved it and am not, obviously, a boy.

  6. Love the answer about the interactive reading. I think that's a brilliant idea, especially for kids who are more of a visual learner. As a side note, I hated the Choose Your Own Adventure books, because no matter what path I tried, I ended up dying or being lost. Lol!

    1. I never read the choose your own ending books but I have a feeling I'd cheat and read all the options then choose the ending that gave me an HEA and ignore the fact that there was any other choice lol! I do think that would be a lot of fun for the interactive reading game. The possibilities would be endless.

  7. Aww I adored this book! So good and a really wonderful interview, thank you for sharing :).


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