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Denebola » Article » Tough isn’t Enough (An interview with author Liz Ligelaar)
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Tough isn’t Enough (An interview with author Liz Ligelaar)

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
By Anonymous
In Liz Tigelaar’s novel, Pretty Tough, two sisters, Charlie and Krista, are forced to get along when placed on the same high school soccer team.
The girls compete with each other for playing time and recognition from coaches, and eventually learn to put their differences aside for the good of the team.
Denebola Staff: What gave you the idea to write Pretty Tough?
Tigelaar: Pretty Tough is a well-known company geared toward teen female athletes with a focus on being feminine while still being strong and tough. Jane Schonberger, the founder of the company, approached me about making the concept into a young adult book and I loved the idea. Because her daughters play soccer and because it’s so popular, we chose that sport and then I came up with the idea to make it about two sisters, Krista and Charlie who have a troubled relationship and are able to become sisters through being teammates.
DS: Are any of the characters or experiences explained in the book based on real people or events from your life?
T: I think if you were a teenage girl, it’s likely you’ve experienced being both on the outside and being popular and on the inside of a group. Certain things are universal and I definitely have experienced both. I think being very different from my sister also inspired me­€”to show that you can be different people but still admire each other and cheer each other on. All the soccer players in the book are my soccer friends and roommates from college.
DS: What is the message that you would like your book to portray to its readers?
T: I think that you don’t have to be either/or. You can be both. That’s the spirit of the series. It’s not pretty or tough. It’s pretty and tough. And with this book in particular, I think sometimes the idea of the person you think you need the least is the one you need the most. And that victory is sweeter when shared with the people you love.
DS: Which group of readers would you most like to see reading your book?
T: Definitely teenage female athletes!
DS: Are you working on any other books right now, or do you plan on publishing others in the future?
T: Yes, I wrote the next book of the Pretty Tough series, Playing With The Boys, which is about a female kicker, Lucy, who joins the football team. That one will come out next April.

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