Emily Popp
October 18, 2016 10:19 am
Simon & Schuster

YouTube lifestyle vlogger and Internet sensation Sierra Furtado is now adding published novelist to her growing list of credits. Her new book Life Uploaded is available for download and in hardcover starting today on Amazon, and it’s at the top of our “gotta read it right now” list.

The novel tells the tale of Harper Ambrose, a quirky and fun 16-year-old who finds her voice through her YouTube channel.  It’s uplifting, funny and a perfect read for aspiring vloggers—or anybody who likes to curl up with a good book.

Zara Lisbon, Sierra’s co-writer on Life Uploaded, sat down with Sierra to discuss the inspiration behind the novel, how much of the book is autobiographical, how she feels about the term “YouTube famous”—and more! Read the entire interview below:

Simon & Schuster

What inspired you to write this book?
I love the idea of showing my subscribers a little piece of the world I live in. I took parts of my own life and combined them with ideas I had to create a fresh, fun story that I hope my fans and readers will connect to. The novel is a little bit my story, but mostly it’s the story of every young girl who’s ever tried to discover who she really is, and to define herself on her own terms.

What was it like working with another writer?
I loved the experience of working with Zara, because I always had the story in my mind and I just needed to articulate it. Because she got me, she was able to put my thoughts down on paper and make my ideas come to life in book form. It was such an exciting, cool process—difficult at times, because I had to dig deep but it taught me not to shy away from a challenge!

What did the collaboration process entail? What was your favorite and least favorite part about co-writing?
Lots of meetings—and working lunches, yum—and opening up about myself, which can be a really hard thing to so. I loved the fact that Zara got me and understood what I was trying to achieve. She had a similar thought process which made our relationship super easygoing and fun.

How much of Life Uploaded is autobiographical? How are you like, or unlike, the main character, Harper?
It’s definitely based on a lot on my own life experiences. Harper, the main character in the novel, is a YouTuber who does a lot of cool things like makeup and hair tutorials (which are written out in the book, so fans can get some helpful tips while they read!), but also has normal everyday experiences that all young girls do, like SAT prep, facing down bullies, crushes, things like that. Oh yeah, and we are both bad at math!

In a world where social media stardom wasn’t an option, what do you imagine your character, Harper, would do with her life instead?
It would definitely be something that is not considered mainstream. Something unique. Harper marches to the beat of her own drum, no question, and I like to think she would continue to do so no matter what path her life took. She loves style and fashion so maybe an interior designer of some sort? Or a makeup artist? Or maybe both!

What is the TRUE story of how you got YouTube famous?
Working hard at something I love, doing it consistently every day, and most of all believing in myself at the most trying of times.

Let’s talk about that term, “YouTube Famous.” Or, “Internet Famous.” How do you feel about it and what does it mean to you?
I don’t like the term famous. I have always just been me and try to stay true to that. It can be hard at times, and it takes real inner strength to not get caught up in all of it, but it’s such a rewarding feeling to produce content that strikes a chord with my viewers. It means everything to me to be able to positively influence or affect even one person out there.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a public personality?
I love being able to connect with all my subscribers around the world. It’s unbelievable that people like you just for being who you are. I would say probably the most challenging part is the way that your whole life is just out there and up for public opinion all the time, but it’s the path I chose and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

When we wrote this book, you did not have a boyfriend. Now you do. Has he read the book yet? If so, what does he think?
No, he says he is waiting for the movie!

Can we look forward to another book from you? What else do you have in store for the fans?
Well, this story is not over, that is for sure…and that’s all I can say about that right now!

Sierra kicks off her official book tour this Wednesday, October 19th. Take a look at the dates below to see if she’s coming to your town!

10/20 University Bookstore—Seattle, WA

10/21 Copperfield’s Books—Petaluma, CA

10/22 Barnes & Noble at The Grove—Los Angeles, CA

10/24  Barnes & Noble at Boston University—Boston, MA

10/25 Doylestown Bookshop—Doylestown, PA

10/26  Bookends—Ridgewood, NJ

10/27  Anderson’s Bookshop—Downers Grove, IL

10/28  Books-A-Million—Beverly Hills, MI

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