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Rideout, Sandy

Rideout, Sandy

PERSONAL:

Education: University of Toronto, B.A. (English). Hobbies and other interests: Running.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

CAREER:

Writer and corporate communications officer.

WRITINGS:

YOUNG-ADULT NOVELS

(With Yvonne Collins) Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid: Daughter of the Diva, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Yvonne Collins) Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

(With Yvonne Collins) The New and Improved Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Control, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.

(With Yvonne Collins) The Black Sheep, Hyperion Press (New York, NY), 2007.

(With Yvonne Collins) Girl v. Boy, Hyperion Press (New York, NY), 2008.

NONFICTION

(With Yvonne Collins) Totally Me: The Teenage Girl's Survival Guide, Adams Media Corporation (Holbrook, MA), 2000.

ADULT NOVELS

(With Yvonne Collins) Speechless, Red Dress Ink Press (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

(With Yvonne Collins) What I Really Want to Do Is Direct, Red Dress Ink Press (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Sandy Rideout and Yvonne Collins work as a team on writing projects, most of which are novels for young adults. The two women met during their teen years while working at a public library, and they became fast friends. Their best-known joint project, the "Vivien Leigh Reid" novel series, introduces an aspiring teen diva who works in the entertainment industry. Another novel, The Black Sheep, revolves around a reality television program, and both these projects draw upon Collins's experiences as a television and film-camera operator. Rideout, an English major, contributes her talents to the collaboration in the form of "fresh energy and interesting characters," to quote Cindy Welch in a Booklist review of series opener Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid: Daughter of the Diva.

Vivien Leigh Reid is the daughter of a B-list actress who is struggling to stay in the limelight, and in Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid the girl reluctantly joins her mother on location in rural Ireland. Once there, Vivien also lands a role in the film in which her mother is starring. This mother-daughter bonding opportunity does not proceed smoothly, however, when both compete for the attention of the film's handsome leading man. In Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training, Vivien's ego runs amok when she spends the summer in Los Angeles and earns a role on a soap opera. Her outsized behavior deflates in The New andImproved Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Control when the role she lands in a science-fiction television series is an ugly, half-human warthog. Vivian "is a likeable, funny, and realistic heroine," wrote Amanda MacGregor in her Kliatt review of The New and Improved Vivien Leigh Reid. According to Tracy Karbel in her School Library Journal review of Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid, Rideout and Collins's novel is "pop-culture fun with a moral," and Vivien's "extreme diva behavior … makes for a juicy read." Reviewing Introducing Vivian Leigh Reed, MacGregor described the collaborative novel as "witty, unpredictable, and well written," adding that the coauthors' "unique setting and likeable characters will keep readers interested."

Rideout and Collins revisit the world of television in The Black Sheep. Here fifteen-year-old Kendra is dissatisfied with her privileged but stressful life living with overachieving Manhattan banker parents. When the teen enters a contest and finds herself on a reality T.V. show, she has the chance to trade places with the daughter of easygoing hippie parents in California. Once on the West Coast, Kendra joins this large family and promptly becomes attracted to one of the siblings, a budding wildlife biologist trying to save endangered sea otters. However, the young woman's attempts to embrace otter rescue—and otherwise truly experience an alternate lifestyle—are stymied again and again by a pushy television crew that documents her every move and twists her words to their own ends. As Ilene Cooper wrote in Booklist, Rideout and Collins "have the reality-show shenanigans down pat," and Cooper dubbed The Black Sheep "au courant" fiction. A Publishers Weekly reviewer also viewed the novel positively, describing The Black Sheep as a "cheery fish-out-of-water romance" that contains "heartfelt reflections on family and fame."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2005, Cindy Welch, review of Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid: Daughter of the Diva, p. 1781; May 15, 2007, Ilene Cooper, review of The Black Sheep, p. 39.

Kliatt, July, 2005, Amanda MacGregor, review of Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid, p. 19; May, 2007, Amanda MacGregor, review of The New and Improved Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Control, p. 22.

Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2007, review of The Black Sheep, p. 64.

School Library Journal, September, 2005, Suzanne Gordon, review of Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid, p. 202; January, 2006, Tracy Karbel, review of Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training, p. 129; March, 2007, Laurie Slagenwhite, review of The New and Improved Vivien Leigh Reid, p. 206; September, 2007, Jeffrey Hastings, review of The Black Sheep, p. 194.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2006, Lucy Schall, review of Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid, p. 40; August, 2007, Beth Karpas, review of The Black Sheep, p. 237.

ONLINE

Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout Home Page,http://www.collinsrideout.com (November 4, 2008).

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