Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Posts Categorized: Interview

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review + Interview: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Contest, Interview, Review1 Comment

Review + Interview: Bittersweet by Sarina BowenBittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North,
Also in this series: Steadfast
Published by Self-Published on 14 June 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 293
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Tuxbury, Vermont // Boston, Massachusetts // Norwich, Vermont // Fairlee, Vermont

First Line(s): “Giffin?”

Regular readers to my blog will know that I am a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s work. I love her real and complex characters and the love stories that she tells. So I was very excited to be able to read BITTERSWEET which is the start of a new series and is set in Vermont. BITTERSWEET alternates POVs between Audrey, a flightly free spirit who is trying to find her place in the world, and Griff a gruff farmer who loves what he does and who doesn’t believe in happily ever afters. So its a good thing that he and Audrey collide because despite all that she’s been through she still finds rainbows on rainy days. Griff and Audrey’s relationship is a mix between opposites attract and a second chance at love because when Griff pulls Audrey’s car out of a ditch we learn its not the first time that they’ve met. Nor is it the first time that sparks have flown between them.

And boy do the sparks fly.

The chemistry between Griff and Audrey leaps off the page and I loved the tension and how well these two worked together. Their journey isn’t without its bumps in the road and both are wary about putting it all out on the line but I loved the entire thing. And best of all….there is no pointless break up!! Yes, there is drama and separation…this is a romance story after all. But the parting is a bittersweet one (see what I did there) as Audrey and Griff aren’t quite ready to admit that they are each others forever dream. Especially Audrey, who has worked so hard to find her place in a world that seems to always want to put her down. She comes from a privileged life but she isn’t quiet the personality that her mother was expecting. So, Audrey finds it especially hard to come to the conclusion that dreams can change and that the path you thought was solid may not be the right one for you.

.

Bittersweet Quote

.

Another thing that I loved about BITTERSWEET was the secondary cast. I almost loved them more than Griff and Audrey! Griff’s family is hilarious and fun and I loved what they brought to the page every time they made an appearance. Then there is Zara who is a little caustic but also who becomes a good friend to Audrey, which is something that they both really need. But one of my favorites was Zach. Oh sweet, adorable blushing Zach. He’s quiet and shy but he sees so much and what little we learn of his backstory in BITTERSWEET leaves me aching to know more. I desperately want him to find a happily ever after.

BITTERSWEET is a beautiful story with a good message and one that will make even the coldest readers heart ache. Its real and emotional and I was so glad that I brought this on a plane with me because it gave me hours of uninterrupted reading time. I was able to get lost in this world and I hated it when I hit the last page. I was even tempted to read the chapter sampler of STEADFAST and if you know me at all you know that I don’t read samplers!!  Thankfully though I won’t have long to wait as STEADFAST is expected to be released in July followed by KEEPSAKE in October. This is both good and bad. Good because I don’t have to wait three years to finish the series but bad because it means it won’t be long until I can’t experience this world for the first time again. *sighs* The reading life…its so hard.

But what isn’t hard is to fall in love with BITTERSWEET so go forth and buy your copy today!! If you like a good love story then this is one you won’t want to miss!! (Seriously….that orchard scene!! #swoon)

.

irishdarkblue

Read chapter one of BITTERSWEEET here!!

.

IR - Bittersweet

 

Add Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

Q&A

 

1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

I am a total goofball.

2. Can you describe your newest book, BITTERSWEET, in five words or less?

Hot grumpy farmer vs. chef.

3. What inspired you to write the TRUE NORTH series?

I always knew I’d write another book about Vermont, because it’s just such a cool place in the world. It’s rugged and sexy in a way that’s different from my hockey books.

4. Which character in the TRUE NORTH books was your favorite to write and why?

Audrey, because she never gives up, even when people try to convince her she’ll fail.

5. Which line do you find harder to write, the first or the last?

The last one. I hate last lines. Real life doesn’t have last lines, ergo they are tricky in fiction.

6. What’s the craziest/strangest thing you’ve googled (to date) in the name of research?

Oh boy. I’ve Googled some things that made me warn the family, “when the FBI comes to investigate, tell them it was for the novel.” How to buy a gun on the internet, etc.

7. What is your favorite Hard Cider to drink….and have you ever had one that tasted like the one that Griff and Audrey make together?

The ciders by Farnum Hill at Poverty Lane Orchard are awfully funky. 🙂 I like Champlain Orchards Cidery, too.

8. Without spoiling, what was your favorite scene to write in BITTERSWEET?

The cider tasting scene! I cracked myself right up there.

9. One thing I loved about BITTERSWEET was its celebration of local, farm fresh items and small businesses. What are some of your favorite products that you can only get when you are in Vermont?

There ARE a million awesome Vermont foods. Vermont Peanut Butter company makes a flavor called Good Karma that has dark chocolate in it. I love it desperately.

10. Any teases or hints you want to give about STEADFAST or KEEPSAKE? (AKA what I really want to know is will Zach get a story? Because I adored him!)

I will tell you that Zach is book #3 and that you haven’t met his heroine yet. But that’s all I’ll say!

Interesting

.

Contest

 Enter to win an kindle, kobo, or nook copy of Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
.
rippling

four-stars
Divider

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Blog Tour: Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan Q&A

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview0 Comments

Shadow Magic

ABOUT SHADOW MAGIC:

Thorn, an outlaw’s son, wasn’t supposed to be a slave. He’s been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they’re headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.

Lilith Shadow wasn’t supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?

Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.

 

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

 Q&A

What do you hope the readers will take away from SHADOW MAGIC?

Thrills, spills, and chills. A few tears and plenty of laughs. It’s pretty big for a mid-grade, but I hope to take the reader out of the day to day for a few hours, and send them to a land of undead with the sweetest princess of darkness they’ll ever hope to meet, an outlaw boy with a dark secret and, of course, one epically giant vampire bat!

If they close the covers and are still loving the tale the next day, that’s my job done.

What book(s) would you recommend to a reader who loved SHADOW MAGIC, and wants to read something similar?

Okay, this has an easy answer, and a hard one. For the easy answer I’d say Rick Riordan (go for his Kane chronicles, and his new Magnus Chase series, featuring Norse gods) and then (naturally) J.K Rowling. But, TBH, you’ve probably read them so often that the pages have fallen out. Both were very much in my mind as I worked on SM. Rick has a great ability to balance the action and frightening scenes with humour, and that’s important for mid-grade and the type of book I wanted to write. Mine was set in a land of undead, where you’ve got zombies working in the kitchens and ghosts minding the doors. Yet I wanted something younger kids could get into, so the scary concepts needed to be tempered with humour. Lily’s earliest memory if of old ‘One-eyed Ron’, the faithful servant who’d been in looking after the Shadow family for generations, Sure, he was a zombie, but at least he let her practice her sewing on him without fuss (his ears tended to fall off, especially near the end when he was being held together by spit, twine and a lot of nails).

What can be said about JK Rowling that hasn’t been said? But, for me, Hogwarts RULED. She built a brilliant fantasy world, and that was a huge inspiration.

Now, the hard answers. These are the guys and gals who’ve been around but may still be under the radar.

Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines series blew my mind when I read it. It’s steam-punk and full of pure wonder, heart-ache and total excitement. He should be a lot more famous than he is.

For older readers, I’ve recommend pretty much anything by Angela Carter and ‘The Book of Lost Things’ by John Connolly, and his Nocturnes. But you will end up sleeping with the lights on!

I’m a huge, HUGE comics fan. Sandman is a classic, and the tone, magical, ethereal and where the magical is day to day, was part of the thought process in SM (and no doubt on my mind when I was working on the sequel, DREAM MAGIC).

Then try out the British hero, JUDGE DREDD. I’ve been reading his adventures since I was a wee lad, and its loud, violent and edgy satire. Again, probably for older readers.

I cannot end this without mentioning The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (as if I needed to tell you that). It remains the greatest children’s book of all time, and anyone who loves fantasy should have it on their shelves.

What was your favourite part of writing SHADOW MAGIC?

Impossible to define, as you must love all bits of it, though in different ways. I loved writing Castle Gloom, its history and its surroundings. It’s huge, a city really, but one without windows. The lords of darkness built it, so why would they ever want any light to enter? It’s the ultimate haunted house, but our heroine, Lily, loves it. It’s her home. She loves the gargoyles, the bats, the vast empty halls and the echoes of her footsteps down its endless corridors. Each time I wrote about Gloom I wanted the reader to get a hint of why Lily would love it so much. A character tells her she smells of ‘Stones and Bones’, and that’s true. The stones of her castle, and the bones of her ancestors. They define her.

I loved writing the mystery. I needed to put in the clues to who was the villain, why they did what they did, and the consequences of their actions. By setting it in one place, Castle Gloom, you have a host of suspects, but Lily and Thorn race against the clock, as the villain has not finished their work…

Finally, it was fun letting the characters grow and watching what they’d get up to. I’d put Lily and Thorn in situations, then let them sort it out. They both have their own styles of dealing with danger. Lily is a proud, magical princess from a legendary family. She can trace her ancestors back to the beginning of history. Thorn’s a nobody from a village no-one has heard of and the most famous member of his family is grand-dad, because of his whistling pigs.

Sometimes you know where you’re going when you write. Sometimes you don’t and you count on your heroes to sort it out. When that happens, it’s brilliant.

What are the 5 must-have items when you sit down to write?

I work a lot in cafes, so the first is background noise. I like having activity around me. I can tune it out but writing’s a lonely business so it’s cool to see a few familiar faces, day to day. The cafe owner is a big fantasy fan too, so we have plenty of chats about the latest episode of Game of Thrones!

Second is ignorance. I try and forget about what else is happening. There are always distractions. Get the cleaning done. Make supper. Pick up this, drop off that. Checking up on Facebook. CUT IT OUT. Protect your writing time and enjoy it. I must admit, when I’m in the story, it is the best time ever. I still feel awe that this is my job.

Item three is music. I write with earphones. Not always, but more often than not. It helps carry you away into another mood, another world. Right now I’m listening to Florence and the Machine.

The fourth is what I call ‘Boots and a Compass’. Have the gear you need to explore, and some idea of where you’re going. A sense of direction’s important, to maintain focus, but with boots you’re ready to enjoy the scenery, rather that struggle through it because the soles of your sneakers are too thin and every step is a pain and you just want it over. Whenever I sit down to work, I make sure I’ve got what I need, equipment-wise, and a rough (only a rough) idea of what I want to get done that day, a scene, a chapter, an article.

Five is a deadline. You need to know when to stop. Writing is a bloody amazing job, but don’t let it rule your life. There are family, friends, duty all away from the screen. Remember that’s your life too. I used to let work spill over into evenings, weekends and even holidays. No more. Do the best you can in the time you have, then park it. It links with protecting your writing time. Commit to work, commit to family. That’s pretty much how I manage my life. When all is said and done, that’s what I want my legacy to be. To have raised good kids.

Though galaxy-spanning best-seller would be nice too…

 Joshua Khan (1)

ABOUT JOSHUA KHAN:

Born in Britain. Lives in London. Would rather live in a castle. Writes fantasy. Enjoys it. 

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

 Tour Stops

 Contest

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of SHADOW MAGIC (US Only)

 

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider

Monday, November 30, 2015

Blog Tour: Burning Bright Chanukah Anthology Author Q&A

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview0 Comments

Enter to Win a 
$25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller

 

Burning Bright
Four Chanukah Love Stories
Megan Hart, KK Hendin, 
Stacey Agdern and Jennifer Gracen
Releasing December 1st, 2015 
Avon Impulse
 
This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.
It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?
Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.
When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together, they just might discover a Home for Hannukah.
All Tamar Jacobs expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi Levinson, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed.
 
BUY NOW

Chanukah Fun with Megan Hart

Favorite Chanukah Memory or tradition

Definitely the latkes. I like mine with sour cream, although applesauce is more traditional.

Favorite Chanukah Dish/Dessert

Latkes, latkes latkes! However, I don’t have a recipe. I can list the ingredients and tell you what to do, but measurements vary from year to year!

Potatoes
Onions
Garlic
Oil
Salt

Shred the potatoes and onions. Mix with the garlic, to taste. (You can also add salt and pepper) Heat the oil. Fry small patties of potato/onion mix! Enjoy!

Do you have any real life experience with finding love during Chanukah?

I was married before I started celebrating Chanukah, so every year has been full of love!

What was your favorite scene to write for MIRACLE?

I think the first meeting scene is my favorite. It made me giggle. So awkward!

One line that describes your holiday romance.

You’ll never know where the road will take you if you don’t start walking it!

Chanukah Fun with KK Hendin

Favorite Chanukah Memory or tradition:

My favorite memory is from the first year I lived in Israel. I was in school there, and we had the afternoons off that week. A bunch of us wanted to do something fun before lighting the menorah in the evening, but we were all too poor to do anything that really cost money. So we split up into two groups and wrote a ridiculous list of things to do. The goal was to see which group could do more things on the list, with picture evidence to make sure nobody lied. By the end of the afternoon, we had done things like decorate a public bathroom, confuse the heck out of a bunch of soldiers, ask random strangers both silly questions and very serious questions, and hired ourselves to work at people’s restaurants. And all for the price of a bus ticket. 

My favorite tradition… hmm. Lighting the Chanukah candles every night is really nice, because we do it as a family. Everyone gets together in the living room, and we all light our menorahs together, and sing. And laugh when my dad reminds us not to go near the candles, because when it comes to menorahs, he seems to forget we’re all perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves near fire.

 

Favorite Chanukah Dish/Dessert:

It’s traditional to eat both dairy products and fried food on Chanukah, which is the greatest possible combination of foods to eat. One Chanukah night every year we ignore the concept of a balanced meal for dinner and have latkes, homemade french fries, and a bunch of different kinds of cheese. It is a ridiculous overindulgence, and the next day everyone just eats salad as a recovery food. (I eat my latkes with cottage cheese, not applesauce. I don’t understand the appeal of latkes and applesauce. I’m sorry.)

(When I called my mother to make sure I got the latke recipe correct, I mentioned eating latkes and cottage cheese. Her response was something along the lines of, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? WHO EATS LATKES AND COTTAGE CHEESE??”. When I reminded her that I have ALWAYS eaten latkes and cottage cheese together, she told me she probably blocked the memory.)

The recipe we use for potato latkes is our potato kugel recipe tweaked.

Potato Latkes (Or Potato Kugel)

 5 pounds potatoes

1 large white onion

(You can substitute a zucchini for a few of the potatoes if you want for the potato kugel.)

6 eggs

(1/2 cup oil-for kugel)

1 tablespoon Salt

Pepper

LATKES: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, salt and pepper. Use a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, then add to the mixing bowl. Form into patties, and fry them in oil. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or (to quote my family), if you’re irrevocably broken somehow like KK, cottage cheese. Makes a lot of latkes. 

POTATO KUGEL:  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, salt and pepper. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan in oil and place it an oven set at 450. Use a food processor to shred the potatoes and onions, then add to the mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients together, and the take the mixing bowl directly to the oven, and pour the mixture into the pan without taking the pan out of the oven. Cook for an hour and a half, or until the potato kugel is at the consistency and texture you’d like. Serve hot with anything at all, because potato kugel, and if you have extras somehow, potato kugel is delicious cold with a bit of mustard on top or dipped in humus. Makes one delicious pan of potato-y goodness.

(Alternative, if you’re feeling fancy: instead of baking the kugel in a 9 x 13, you can bake it in cupcake tins for fanciness and extra crispy bits. Adjust temperature and cooking time accordingly.)

Do you have any real life experience with finding love during Chanukah?

I think I really and truly fell in love with Israel on Chanukah- I finally was settled in, I knew how to get places without taking the bus, and there were an abundance of cheerful soldiers. It was finally sweater weather, and every person, regardless of religious observance, was excited about Chanukah, and about sufganiyot. 

Also, as a New Yorker, getting to go to the beach in December without freezing your face off is pretty cool. 

What was your favorite scene to write for ALL I GOT?

Besides the ending? Probably the rain. I’ve done my share of dance parties in the rain in Israel, and it was so much fun to write one for Avi. 

One line that describes your holiday romance.

Sometimes you can meet the love of your life at a bus stop. 

Chanukah Fun with Stacey Agdern

Favorite Chanukah Memory, or tradition:

My brother holds a pretty big Chanukah party every year (he calls it Laktepalooza). It’s filled with family and friends, gingerbread houses, music and it’s centerpiece : my brother at the stove frying latkes. I’m not always able to attend, but when I do, it fills my heart with joy, even when it ends up being in March 😉

Favorite Chanukah Dish/Dessert:

Latkes of course (My family recipe involves applesauce (as a dipping sauce)

-6 potatoes

-3 onions (or one big one )

-2 eggs

-breadcrumbs, matzah meal (or gf alternative) to bind.

-Olive oil

Wash, cut and grate the potatoes (you can use a food processor if you have one ). The goal is thin strips that will crisp up in the oil).

Use a paper towel and get as much water out of the potatoes as possible. Squeeze 😉 Then put in a bowl.

Peel and cut the onions, put them in the food processor (or grater). You want them finely chopped. Add them to the potatoes.

Break the eggs into the bowl with the potatoes and the onions. Mix.

Add the breadcrumbs or your substitute into the bowl, just enough to sop up the water that’s being released from the potatoes and the onions.

Oil in the pan; make sure the oil is on the hotter side. Test the oil with a small piece of the potato. When it sizzles, you know it’s ready.

A tablespoon of batter is usually enough. Lower when the oil sizzles through the latke, it’s time to turn it over.

NB: as long as the latkes are crispy on both sides, you’re good (Recipe Transcribed from Jane Agdern)

Do you have any real life experience with finding love during Chanukah?

The love I find during Chanukah is the love of family and friends; the family who I love, the friends both near and far. All of them make me smile and cry with thoughtful gifts, of memories and of their presence.  

What was your favorite scene to write for ‘A Home for Chanukah’?

There’s a scene in ‘A Home for Hanukkah’ that takes places in a big box store. The store has huge displays for each December holiday (and there’s even a nod to one that doesn’t take place in December!). There’s also a big bold wonderful(fictional) Chanukah song playing in the background as my hero and heroine gather the items they came to the store for. I think I cried writing that scene, because it’s symbolic of a world I’d like to see. Where ‘holiday’ means more than one, and at least for a little while, the world is a little brighter and filled with understanding.

One line that describes your holiday romance

3 boroughs, two mensches and one Chanukah romance complete with menorahs, latkes, chocolate and love.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Megan Hart is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been published in almost every genre, including contemporary women’s fiction, historical romance, paranormal and erotica. Learn more at www.meganhart.com

Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.

 

Stacey Agdern is an award winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She also a romance writer. You can find her on twitter at @nystacey. She’s a proud member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.

 
KK Hendin writes books where people flirt awkwardly, make out, dish out a whole lot of sass and ridiculousness, and live happily ever after. She’s the author of many books, including the TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR series and the upcoming UNDERCOVER series. She also writes books as K. Hendin, where people aren’t as nice and Happily Ever After isn’t a guarantee. KK is currently writing way too many books, and is still waiting for the subway to run on a regular schedule. When she’s not playing book Tetris in an attempt to fit everything onto the bookshelves in her tiny NYC apartment, she’s probably wandering her neighborhood with her camera or drinking yet another cup of coffee.
 
 
Divider

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blog Tour + Contest: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview4 Comments

Blog Tour + Contest: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Greeting and Salutations Everyone!!

Today I am happy to take part in the blog tour for Leila Sales’s newest book TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS. I always enjoy a Leila Sales book and I’m really excited about diving into this one and I hope that you are too. This tour is a fun one because not only do I get to interview Leila BUT she also came up with interview questions for the participants of the tour. Its not often that bloggers get interviewed so please pardon my awkwardness. For me part, I’ve interviewed Leila before as part of her tour for THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE (my review) and you can check that out HERE. This time around I decided to do something different and I used a random question generator to come up with my questions and you can see the results below.

Irish: Describe yourself in one sentence.

Leila: I prefer most things in anticipation, in retrospect, or in fiction.

Irish: What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?

Leila: I once organized 100 people to play Tetris using the windows of a building.

Irish: What are your three must-have smartphone apps?

Leila: I am a boring smartphone user. I use it for email, texting, taking photos, maps, and reading. So unfortunately I don’t know many life-changing apps. My friends just introduced me to this app called “Ham Horn” that allows you to blast an air horn sound off your phone as though you’re a terrible rap DJ. I don’t know that I’d describe the ability to make an air horn sound a “must-have,” but it’s definitely delightful. Also I’ve just joined this new music-sharing app called Cymbal. You should also join it and be friends with me (my username is prettytothink) since right now I think I have like two followers on it.

Irish: What celebrity do you like to follow?

Leila: I enjoy following Anna Kendrick on Twitter because I think she’s hilarious. Of course there are all sorts of people who are not technically celebrities but reading their posts makes me laugh. Like Mallory Ortberg—is she a celeb? She’s definitely famous to me.

Irish: Do you like to sing aloud when no one else is around?

Leila: Oh, I’ll sing aloud whether or not other people are around. I especially delight in singing at my cats. I’m sure they enjoy that every bit as much as I do. And I like to dance all over the house when no one else is home.

 

 

 

Leila: For how long have you been a blogger, and what inspired you to start blogging?

Irish: I have been blogging here at TICKET TO ANYWHERE for 8 years now but this isn’t my first blog. Years ago I kept a livejournal of sorts on a site that was before livejournal, this is going back to the early 2000s, where I kept my thoughts on books I read. But it was early days of the internet and no one read it and I got busy and I stopped. Then in 2006 sometime I stumbled on some book blogs that were informative and made me laugh. Sadly those blogs have closed up shop but they did inspire me to pick up the mantle again and this time with better results. Although I am still amazed that I’ve kept it up so long and that people read me!

Leila: What’s your favorite post you’ve ever written?

Irish: I don’t know if I have a favorite but I did have fun writing up my AnnaARC visits Paris post last fall. This was the first time I ever actively sought out locations mentioned in a book and I had a lot of fun discovering Anna’s Paris and taking snap shots with the book. I did get some off looks from people but I also got my travel buddy interested in the book and AndiABCs enjoyed watching her future ARC travel across the city of her favorite book.

AnnaARC Banner

Leila: Who’s your favorite blogger to read, and why?

Irish: There are so many blogs that I like to read that its hard to mention them all! There is Andi’s blog mentioned above and Beth Fish Reads. Jenn’s Bookshelves is another good one and I like when her kids stop by to review and if you are interested in horror or books for reluctant readers then she is your go to. I also regularly read Romance Novel News but her twitter is absolutely fantastic and you should follow her immediately, her live commentary on cracktastic reads is not to be missed!

Leila: TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS is about a girl tracking down her favorite blogger in person. Have you ever met your readers in real life? If so, what happened?

Irish: Yes I have several times! There is the annual gathering of bloggers at BEA and that is always a fun time seeing old friends and meeting up with new ones. But I’ve also randomly met up with my readers during my travels. A couple of years ago I was sent to Frankfurt, Germany for work and tweeted a picture when I was in the airport waiting to make the journey across the pond. A twitter follower and blog reader made a comment on it saying she was in Frankfurt and I can’t recall if it was her or me but we decided to meet up when I had some free time. I’ve done this with other travels I’ve made and its always a good time putting a face to a name of someone who normally just exists behind a keyboard.

Leila: In TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS, Peter gets a really amazing opportunity thanks to his blog–but his blog also gets him in a lot of trouble. What are the most positive and most negative experiences you’ve had as a result of your blog?

Irish: I think the most positive thing that’s come from blogging is the friendships that I’ve made. Some of me best friends in real life I met first via the blog that they wrote, or twitter/goodreads/libraything, if they were more active there before starting a blog. The negative would have to be the drama. When I first started blogging there weren’t a lot of book bloggers out there and it was a real community that supported each other as well as promoted books. Over the years the book community has grown by leaps and bounds (which is a good thing!) but its also brought with it lots and lots of drama. Seems like a week doesn’t go by when someone is caught plagerizing or stirring up some sort of stink over something someone said in context or out of. It makes it exhausting sometimes and puts people more on their guard. I’ve noticed that authors interact less and less with their readers/bloggers as anything they say can be used against them at any time. The community is still there but its just not the same as it used to be and that makes me sad and its the weariness from all the drama that sometimes has me considering closing up shop as many of my blogger contemporaries have done.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours

Tonight the Streets Are Ours - Leila Sales

From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven’t met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

Add it on Goodreads! Preorder it at Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository, or Books of Wonder.

Join in on social media with #Joyride.

Find Leila on her website or Twitter!

Challenge Time!

On Saturday, September 19, starting at sundown and going as late as you want, do something fun, make a record of it, and share it with the world. Using the hashtag #TonightTheStreetsAreOurs, instagram or tweet whatever happens in your night. If you’re going to a party, aimlessly driving around with friends, or watching a movie alone in your PJs, we want to hear about it.

Here’s why: We’re celebrating the launch of Leila Sales’s novel TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS, the story of a 17-year-old girl who goes on an epic all-night road trip to NYC with her best friend in pursuit of her favorite blogger. It’s the sort of night where anything can happen, and almost everything does.

Now it’s your turn. Whatever you’re doing with your night, wherever you live, however old you are: you’re invited. Leila will be livestreaming her own nighttime adventures so you can join her remotely HERE. Or just do your own thing and post it online. We are all in this together.

Contest

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Macmillan, I have a giveaway copy of TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS to give away to one of you! The giveaway is open to US/CAN readers only (Sorry international folks!) and you can enter using the widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule

 

September 1- Reader of Fictions

September 2- Forever Young Adult

September 3- Ticket to Anywhere

September 4- Alexa Loves Books

September 5- The Book Cellar

September 6- The Irish Banana

September 7- Adventures of a Book Junkie

September 8-Supernatural Snark

September 9- The Compulsive Reader

September 10- Miss Print

September 11- Book Rock Betty

September 12-Reading Teen

September 13- Ageless Pages Reviews

September 14-Perpetual Page Turner

September 15- Books and Whimsy

September 16- Fierce Reads (formerly known as Mac Teen Books!)

Divider

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview7 Comments

Blog Tour: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Hello Internet!

Today I am happy to take part in the blog tour for Marcus Sedgwick’s newest book, The Ghosts of Heaven. This is one book that I am really excited to read I was even more excited to be able to ask Sedwick some questions as well.

 

The Ghosts of Heaven cover

 

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

Info/Links-Follow Marcus Sedgwick on Twitter!
-Check out the author website!
-Become a fan on Facebook!
-Read an excerpt of The Ghosts of Heaven!

The Ghosts of Heaven goes on sale Tuesday, January 6, 2015, published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of MCPG.

 

Q & A with Marcus Sedgwick

1. What was the catalyst that sparked the idea for The Ghosts of Heaven?

I can’t remember exactly when it started, but ever since I was a teenager I have been intrigued by the form of the spiral – I always figured it had a meaning, as well as being a beautiful shape, and I’ve spent a long time developing such ideas into the themes found in the book.

2. Where there any particular songs that you listened to most while writing Heaven?

That’s an interesting question – I usually choose specific music to write to, different with every book, but something that helps set the tone in my mind so I can create a similar atmosphere on paper. But I couldn’t really decide what to listen to this time, so I took a pretty drastic step, I wrote some (rather odd) music of my own. I wrote and recorded about forty minutes of it and then played it on endless loop. There’re a couple of minutes of it to be heard on the trailer for the book. And if you think listening to that for weeks on end might make you feel a bit weird, you can judge for yourself if you read the book.

3. During the course of writing Heaven, what was your biggest way to procrastinate?

That’s another great question. I have come to procrastinate less over the years. When I was starting out as a writer, I had the cleanest kitchen you can imagine. In fact, I had the cleanest house. I’d think; oh, just a quick cup of tea, and while the kettle was boiling I’d see something that needed cleaning up. Cut to four hours later when I’d be found on hands and knees with an old tooth brush scrubbing the ingrained dirt off the back of a pipe in the bathroom. It took me a little while to realize I was procrastinating. The interesting things though is that this wasn’t because I didn’t know what to do, but I think because I was scared to do it, and then find out whether it was any good or not. There are many forms of writer’s block and one of them is actually akin to stage fright – the actor knows what to do but is scared to go and do it. Over the years, I find that I procrastinate less and less, because I get myself to a position as I develop a new book that I am almost desperate to start writing it all down. Then there’s no desire or need to procrastinate any more when you achieve that position.

4. Heaven spans across different time periods, which one was your favorite to research?

I enjoyed them all – some took more research than others. Because I’ve written stuff about witches before, that part just needed me to refresh my memory. The most interesting may well have been the stuff to do with the old insane asylums of North America that influenced the section called The Easiest Room in Hell, but I also read about lots of very cool stuff to do with the acquisition of language and writing in early the early days of our species, not to mention the myriad ways that the spiral appears through the natural world, as well as in the art and mathematics and literature of mankind.

5. What was the oddest thing that you’ve researched/stumbled across for Heaven? Or for another of your books if there is anything that stands out more.

That’s another good one – thanks for all these great questions. Well, there were a few things, such as the fact that Edgar Allan Poe’s best selling book was a book about conchology – the study of shells. Plus the fact that he didn’t actually write it, but just edited it and put his name to it because it was thought his reputation as a newspaper man would help it sell. But to be honest The Ghosts of Heaven is largely composed of all the weird and wonderful things I came across in the planning stages.

6. Which character from Heaven would you most like to be friends with in real life?

That’s a tough one. I think it would have to be Charles Dexter, onetime poet, now inmate of the Orient Point Asylum. He’s a deep thinker and I like the way he thinks. But then I would, because that’s the way I wrote him.

7. Have you ever traveled to do book research? If so, what’s been your favorite place and do you have any fun anecdotes that made it into a book?

Yes, there’s usually some travel involved. For this book, the main thing was some time touring round the derelict insane asylums of North America, from Long Island to Massachusetts to Oregon. They were amazing places to visit, and I was pleased to discover in a little moment of serendipity, many of them for some reason had spiral staircases in them. We were exploring one in New York one summer and had gone some way into the building when we heard a thump on the floor above us. Unlike in the world of horror films where the heroes would have gone to find out what the noise was, probably splitting up to search in the process, we ran from the place as fast as we could.

8. Which do you find harder to write, the first line or the last?

That’s tough because it’s the ones in the middle that are the hardest! But of that choice, I would have to say the last one. Beginnings are relatively easy to do well, endings much harder – that’s why so many books start well and end disappointingly. That being said, once you get to the end, and have done the hard work, the last line is usually pretty easy to come by – by that point, if you can’t think of a nice line to finish with, you probably haven’t been paying attention.

 

Tour Schedule

Monday January 5
The Midnight Garden

Tuesday January 6
ExLibris

Wednesday January 7
Teen Lit Rocks

Thursday January 8
Fat Girl Reading

Friday January 9
Step Into Fiction

Monday January 12
The Book Wars

Tuesday January 13
Miss Print

Thursday January 15
Ticket to Anywhere

Friday January 16
Alice Marvels

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Interview, Playlist + Contest: LAST SECOND CHANCE by Caisey Quinn

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview, Playlist0 Comments

Interview, Playlist + Contest: LAST SECOND CHANCE by Caisey Quinn

LastSecondChance

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Stella Jo Chandler gets an offer to work at the Second Chance Ranch celebrity rehab facility right after graduating from Texas A&M, she’s tempted to turn it down. She wants to help real people with real problems, not spoiled celebrities going on vacation for publicity. But growing up on her family’s ranch left her with a love of horses that draws her to the opportunity. How bad can babysitting a bunch of strung out celebrities be?

What she didn’t count on was being roped into a tangled mess with infamous rocker and three-time rehab drop out Van Ransom on her first day. And she sure didn’t expect to feel the overwhelming attraction that pulls her to the man who has more issues than she can count on both hands. Like the hotel rooms and tour buses he’s famous for trashing, the havoc he could wreak on Stella’s heart would be irreparable.

Van isn’t at Second Chance for publicity or because he’s suffering from “exhaustion”. He’s on the brink of destruction, and he needs the kind of help Stella isn’t sure she can give. But without her, he’ll lose everything. Because he’s on his last second chance.

 

LSCRanchTeaser

 

VAN RANSOM: Mad Man or Just Misunderstood?

ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW WITH VAN RANSOM

RS: Hello, Mr. Ransom. It’s nice to meet you.

Van: Is it? *leans back in chair and folds heavily inked arms* What would you say is particularly nice about it?

RS: Um, well…your band, Hostage for Ransom, has had an amazing year. That must be pretty exciting to be a part of. How has the past year been for you?

Van: *snorts* Honestly I can’t remember most of it.

RS: *checks notecards* When you say you can’t remember, you mean…

Van: I mean I was dropped on my head a lot as a kid and I have short-term memory deficit.

RS: Okay. Perhaps you should see a doctor.

Van: Perhaps I should. I’ll look right into that.

RS: Mr. Ransom, surely your aware of the rumors circulating.

Van: Can’t say I am. Don’t have a habit of paying attention to rumors.

RS: Ah well, of course not. I just meant that, with all the media speculation, surely you’re aware that there have been mumblings about the possibility of your label, Red Devil Records, dropping you due to the incident last year in Vegas.

Van: I was in Vegas last year? Well, damn. Kind of wish I did remember that.

RS: Let’s take this opportunity to lay the rumors to rest then. Did you or did you not wreck a ten thousand dollar a night hotel room?

Van: *raises and eyebrow* That’s what they tell me.

RS: Any idea why you might’ve done something like that? Did you have a fight with someone? Another member of your band perhaps?

Van: *huffs out a harsh laugh* The only person I fight with is the voice in my head. So yeah, maybe he pissed me off.

RS: And the bus?

Van: *narrows eyes* What about it?

RS: Want to tell your fans why you trashed your tour bus last week and canceled two shows in New York?

Van: There was…New York is… You know what? On top of all the shit I can’t remember, I have no recollection of agreeing to this interview. I think we’re done here.
*stands abruptly, knocking over chair and is followed out by his manager and a publicist*

Van Ransom, ladies and gentlemen. Mad man or just misunderstood? We can’t be sure. Guess you’ll just have to decide for yourself.

 

LSC_Playlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Divider

Friday, April 11, 2014

Author Interview: Julie Kagawa, The Forever Song

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview32 Comments

Author Interview: Julie Kagawa, The Forever Song

Internet!!

Today I am beyond excited to host Julie Kagawa here on Ticket to Anywhere as part of her blog tour for The Forever Song which is the third (and final) book in her Blood of Eden series. The Forever Song will be available everywhere on 15 April 2014 from Harlequin Teen and its a book not to be missed.

 

Author Interview with Julie Kagawa

 

GFY: We all love Allison, your feisty katana wielding heroine, but a character that really sticks out at me is Jackal. What was your inspiration for this evil (yet lovable) character?

Julie Kagawa (JK): I won’t lie.  Jackal is totally inspired by Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Different people (er, vampires), but they have the same love of violence, the same snark, the same irreverent attitude in serious situations.  Both Jackal and Spike know what they are, and never apologize for it.  But while Spike eventually gains a soul and earns his redemption, Jackal is perfectly fine being a complete evil bastard.  He is what he is, and has no intention of ever changing, for anyone.

 

GFY: And we do so love that quality about Jackal. What you see is what you get though you do always keep hoping that he’ll somehow redeem himself.

You have three main series out (or soon to be out) and they all deal with very different sorts of characters – The Fey, vampires, & dragons. Has it been hard creating all these different worlds and rules for them? How do you keep them all so distinct?

JK: I love worldbuilding, it’s one of my favorite parts of writing a new book.  I find it’s not difficult to keep the worlds separate, because they’re so different.  The fey lands are dreamlike and surreal, while the world of Blood of Eden is dark, dangerous, and bleak.  As for the dragons, well, Talon is set in the present day, so the world is our own.  The different societies, not to mention the dragons themselves, are what make it interesting.

 

GFY: How hard is it to say goodbye to Allison and the other Blood of Eden characters? As a reader I’ve had a hard time picking up the book, not because I don’t want to know what happens…I do…dying to know actually…but once I read it then it’s over and I am not ready for that yet. (edit: I’ve since read the book and as expected I’m sad that its over and that I can never again read it for the first time.)

JK: It’s always a little sad to write the final book of a series.  You’ve been through so much with these characters, so saying goodbye is satisfying and bittersweet at the same time.  Satisfying because you’ve actually written the final book, you’ve completed the series.  You get to write The End.  Bittersweet because, as you said, it’s hard to let them go.  I’ll miss Allie and the gang, but I know I left them at the best place I could.  I have no regrets with how the series ends, and that’s all you can hope for.

 

GFY: No regrets?!? Even with what happened? What you did?!? OK…so it fit adn kinda worked…but still! Evil Julie…evil!! 

Even though The Forever Song is the end of the Blood of Eden series do you think you’ll ever revisit this world? Maybe with more prequel stories or a spin off series?

 JK: Maybe.  Apparently, some are calling for a Jackal spin-off, lol.  That would be interesting.  We’ll have to see.

 

GFY: I would *LOVE* a Jackal spin-off…though I am not sure that the world is ready for his…um…awesomeness? 

Without spoiling, what was your favorite scene to write in The Forever Song – if your favorite does spoil then just let readers know the chapter and your thoughts. And do you have a favorite scene from the series as a whole?

 JK: My favorite scene to write, and my favorite out of the whole series, is the one that will make everyone cry in The Forever Song.  That’s all I can say, but you’ll know it when you get there.  It’s probably one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever written, and one that even made me cry.  (Not to scare you or anything but, as you know, your tears feed my Muse. 😉 )

 

 GFY: I think I know the one you mean…and I repeat what I said above. Evil! 

You are so amazingly creative…you have a crazy publication schedule, make all these cute figurines, raise chickens, do all the fighty-fighty things, married to an amazing guy and do all those life things, spend time with your xbox, read, and that probably doesn’t even scratch the surface of all you do. How do you find the time to do it all? What is your secret? (seriously I need to know…I don’t do ½ the things you do and never seem to have enough time…you’re really a vampire, aren’t you? Or an alien…or something inhuman…you can tell me.)

 

JK:  Lol, if I told you, I’d have to kill you.  Kidding, kidding.  Really, I think it’s just taking everything one day at a time.  It’s helpful that I’m a full time writer and can stay at home, but sometimes I do get overwhelmed with all the stuff I have to do.  So then I just have to focus on one thing until I’m done with it, then go to the next, and so on.  If I look at everything I still need to do, it’s paralyzing.  So that’s my way of dealing with life stuff, until I can invent a machine that will pause time, anyway.

 

GFY: If the Blood Eden series were ever to be made into a tv show or movie who would your ideal cast be for Allison, Kanin, Jackal, Sarren, and Zeke.

JK: Oh, I am soooooooooo bad at this.  Really, if James Marsters (Spike) could play Jackal, that’d be awesome, but I have no idea for anyone else.  I’m open to suggestions.

 

GFY: Ooohh…Spike would make a great Jackal! I totally approve! As for the rest…I’m bad at that game too…

Was there anything that surprised you about the Blood of Eden world that you didn’t expect when you first started to imagine/write The Immortal Rules?

 Jackal, actually, came out of left field.  I knew going into The Eternity Cure that he would play a big role in the story, but he kinda took over the spotlight and has been hogging it ever since.  Another shock was how much people seemed to love him.  I mean, he’s an evil, murdering vampire!  And he’s not sorry for it.  I figured I had to make him funny so that he’d be a little likable, but when readers started saying he was their favorite character, I was pretty surprised.

 

GFY: I think that people like that there is no deception with Jackal. What you see is what you get. He’s comfortable in his own skin which is something that not many people are so while he is evil there are things about him that people can look up to. Plus, everyone has a soft spot for the bad boy and always hope that he’ll be redeemed. 

I adore when authors geek out over other authors…who is an author that you’d like to meet but haven’t done so yet?

That’s an easy one. Neil Gaiman. He’s been on my bucket list for years.  I almost got to meet him last BEA, but sadly life got in the way and I missed him by minutes.

 

GFY: Come to Boston…he hangs out here sometimes. =)

You say that tears feed your muse, how many tears can readers expect to shed in The Forever Song?

Um. See question five.  😉  #EvilAuthorIsEvil

 

Thanks so much for stopping Julie and answering my questions! I hope that readers find your answers as interesting as I did!

Forever Song

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the path is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal.

The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost— the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

 

About Julie Kagawa:

 

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to julieher there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon puppy.

 

Tour Schedule:

 

 

 

For more info about The Forever Song Tour please visit the Kismet Tour Page

Contest:

Each tour stop is offering up the winner’s choice of either THE IMMORTAL RULES, THE ETERNITY CURE or THE FOREVER SONG – whichever book of the series you might be missing!

There are also 2 grand prizes:

• 1 winner will get a complete set of Julie Kagawa’s books, including The Iron Fey Saga and The Blood of Eden Saga!

• 1 winner will get a $100 gift card from either iTunes, Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada and ends May 2nd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Forever Song Contest Prize
irishdarkblue

Divider

Friday, October 25, 2013

Author Interview: Erin McCarthy

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Interview3 Comments

Hello internet!!

Erin McCarthyToday I am excited to host author Erin McCarthy who is best known for her contemporary adult romances that feature hot race car drivers and the women who love them. Most recently she has branched out into write new adult, featuring college aged characters as they struggle with life after high school. I recently reviewed her two new adult books True and Sweet and loved them and can’t wait for the third and fourth ones to be released. I love how real and entertaining her stories are and I just love to recommend them to friends and watching them fall in love as well. Not sure if they are for you then check out my favorite quotes from True and Sweet by clicking here and here.

One thing that I love about your books, both adult and new adult, is that all of your characters are very real. What is your inspiration for bringing your characters to life?

I think the way to draw characters as real is to be an observer of human nature.  I can spend five minutes in a room and be aware of every person, all their tics, the sound of their voice, and give you a reasonably accurate assessment of their background and/or life.  I think all writers who nail characterization have this ability.  It might make me creepy to hang out with, but I do think writing characters that seem real is my greatest strength as an author. So by the way, thanks for noticing. 😉

For your books, which comes first, the plot or the characters?

Definitely the characters because of answer number one.  I’m just a character driven writer, I always have been.

All of the Mann brothers are very unique and I love how they all interact with each other. Which brother was your favorite to write and why?

Writing Jayden was always entertaining.  He’s so honest and tactless. Lol. Otherwise, I enjoyed Tyler and Riley for different reasons.  Tyler is so sincere and that’s hot, but Riley is entertaining and quick with the wit.

In True, Rory shows herself to be a very good cook. What is one of her favorite things to make? And what to the Mann brothers always ask her to make for them?

I haven’t thought about this, but I would say something like lasagna.  Something hearty and hard to screw up.

In Sweet, Jessica and Riley have a bit of a volatile relationship as first which leads to lots of chemistry and some humorous scenes. What is one of your favorite moments that they shared?

I like when she crawls over him on the waterbed when she’s scared and he just gives that long-suffering sigh but goes and checks the house for a non-existent serial killer.  Those little moments are the real moments in life that show tenderness.  If a dude won’t check the house for killers, he probably won’t get up at two am with a baby a few years down the road either.  Just sayin. 😉

LOL I loved that scene and for the exact reason you described. 🙂
In the sneak peek of Believe, out next year, we meet a cousin of the Mann’s, Phoenix, what would you say his dominating trait is? Was he more difficult to write than Riley or Tyler since his life seems to be a little more difficult than theirs was?

Phoenix is intense.  He fixates.  He has an ability to have a very narrow focus, to sit completely still, to control himself.  He doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke.  He wasn’t harder to write.  I enjoyed the raw emotion, the fact that he doesn’t joke or use sarcasm.  He’s quieter than his cousins, because he didn’t have siblings to share his youth with, so I actually go into his point of view in BELIEVE, so the reader can get a greater sense of what he is feeling.

Ooohh…I’m even more excited for this one now. I just love books with multiple POVs!
In the untitled fourth book, will we see any new members of the Man family? Or at the very least appearances of the ones we already know and love? Will there be more than four books?

There are no new Mann family members.  The hero in book four is a character we don’t meet until his book.  There are definitely appearances by all the other characters, even more so than in Sweet.  It will be the fourth and final book and in the last scene there is a wedding, with everyone present.

Boo…why can’t the books just go on forever? *le sigh*
Do you think there will ever be any cross over between the characters in the True Believers series and your Fast Track series?

Absolutely not.  Totally different tones, different cities, different age brackets.

*mutters* Killjoy *fake pouts*
Do you think that you will continue to write in the NA/YA genre?

Yes!  I really enjoy the raw emotion of this genre.

So glad to hear that there will be more NA books from you! And as I said before I can’t wait to read the rest of the True Believers series!

Want to know more about Erin? Then look for her at this locations on the web:

Visit her website
Connect with her on Twitter
Like Erin on Facebook
Add Erin on Goodreads

Divider

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blog Tour + Contest: Interview with Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Interview10 Comments

Blog Tour + Contest: Interview with Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life

Hello internet!

Today I am happy to have the wonderfully, amazing and talented Leila Sales on my blog as part of the This Song Will Save Your Life blog tour. TSWSYL will be available in stores everyone on 17 September but you can pre-order your copy now by clicking here. I read and reviewed this book back in August and loved it (see my review here), Elise is just such a real and genuine character and I think that she’ll touch many hearts. Now….on to the interview!

GFY: Can you tell us two truths and a lie?

Leila Sales:
I got my first white hair when I was still in high school.
I am an only child.
I submitted my first children’s book manuscript to publishers when I was 14.

GFY: What’s a book that you are a book bully for? One that you just want to force everyone you know to read?

LS: Curly Girl. It’s a book about the care and keeping of your curly hair. Whenever I see women straightening the life out of their hair, it makes me really sad. I want to give them a copy of Curly Girl so they will love their hair just the way it is. Seriously, this book changed my life.

GFY: It makes me sad when those with curly hair straighten it too, I really wanted curls when I was younger…and even made my mom take me to get a perm when I was in the eighth grade. This turned out to be one of the worst decisions I ever made as it was this horrible old lady perm!

Which line do you find more difficult to write, the first line or the last?

LS: Depends on the book, I suppose. For Past Perfect I had a very clear sense of how I wanted it to end. I used to chant the last line to myself as I biked around town; I knew it cold. For This Song Will Save Your Life, the first line came to me right away, whereas I re-wrote the final paragraph probably ONE MILLION times.

GFY: All of your characters come across as very real, be they the quirky-fun-loving Chelsea types or the more serious-loner Elise types. What’s your inspiration for getting into the teenage mindset and bringing these believable characters to life?

LS: Thanks! I’m glad they feel believable to you. I don’t know that I have a specific inspiration. I just think of them as real people, and then I ask myself, “How would this real person react if she was actually in this situation?” This is a trick I learned from doing improv comedy: if you just walk onstage with a well-formed character, it’s not nerve-wracking to try to invent on the spot how she’s going to react to unanticipated events. She’ll react like that person really would.

GFY: Can you describe This Song Will Save Your Life in five words or less?

LS: Probably not. Even the title is more than five words!

GFY: Touche!

What was your inspiration for writing TSWSYL?

LS: Ever since I was 18, I’ve loved nightlife, I’ve loved going out and dancing and seeing what the night brings. And for as long as I can remember, I have loved music. Most of my books come from particular cultures or settings that I have direct experience with (e.g. all-girls schools, living history museums, etc). I wanted to do a book set in the culture of nightlife.

GFY: What was your favorite scene to write in TSWSYL? (Just give a chapter or page number if you think it will be too spoilery)

LS: Either the suicide attempt or the scene where Emily shows up at Start. (That is a sentence that means nothing if you have not read the book, but I swear it makes sense if you have.) Many scenes changed or developed in the process of writing and revising, but those were both the way I wanted them from very early on. They were obvious to me, if that makes sense.

GFY: Those are both really good and powerful scenes.

GFY: TSWSYL is more serious than your other books, did this make it easier to write or more difficult?

LS: I guess I don’t think of TSWSYL as being more serious than Mostly Good Girls or Past Perfect. I’m not saying I’m correct about that; obviously TSWSYL includes a suicide attempt, and nothing in my first two novels comes close to that. But as far as I’m concerned, all of them deal with serious issues and themes that are kind of cruxes of our lives (or at least that have been cruxes of my life so far). I love to write humor, I love to laugh, but I’m not interested in writing a book that doesn’t explore issues that I consider to be legitimately significant.

GFY: One thing that I love about reading is how nobody reads the same book.

Music plays a big role in Elise’s life, does it do the same for you? If so what are a couple of songs that hold a lot of meaning for you.

LS: Ohhhh this is a hard question. A lot of songs hold a lot of meaning for me! I’ll give you like the first five that come into my head, and then I will stop because I could literally do this for hours, and at some point I need to go eat dinner.

See, look what you made me do! That’s more than five!

GFY: There are some great songs on that list! If readers are unfamiliar with them clicking the link should open up a new window to the youtube video.

If Elise were to play the two truths and a lie game, what would she say?

LS: I won’t tell you that. But if anyone wants to make up their own Two Truths and a Lie for Elise after reading the book, I’d love to see them in the comments. Let’s see if I can figure out what the lies are!

Leila Sales is the author of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE (September 17, 2013, Farrar Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers), as well as PAST PERFECT and MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS. Visit her at leilasales.com, or follow her @LeilaSalesBooks.

Now for something fun! I am able to give away a hardcover copy of This Song Will Save Your Life along with a copy of the playlist on CD to one lucky resident of US/Canada. To enter just use the rafflecopter below! And to make things a little more interesting, if the winner of the contest guesses Leila’s Two Truth and a Lie correctly I’ll toss in something fun. Just what, I am not sure yet…but could be a book, could be a gift card its anyone’s guess.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the book:

Elise Dembowski is not afraid of a little hard work. In fact, she embraces it. All her life, she’s taken on big, all-encompassing projects. When she was eight years old, she built her own dollhouse. When she was thirteen, she taught herself stop-motion animation. And when she’s fifteen, she embarks on the biggest, and most important, project of them all: becoming cool. Except she fails. Miserably. And everything falls to pieces.

Now, if possible, Elise’s social life is even worse than it was before. Until she stumbles into an underground dance club, and opens the door to a world she never knew existed. An inside-out world where, seemingly overnight, a previously uncool high school sophomore can become the hottest new DJ sensation. Elise finally has what she always wanted: acceptance, friendship, maybe even love. Until the real world threatens to steal it all away.

Stuff you might want to know:

This Song Will Save Your Life Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday 9/2: Wastepaper Prose
Tuesday 9/3: Alexa Loves Books
Wednesday 9/4: Good Books and Good Wine
Thursday 9/5: Once Upon a Prologue
Friday 9/6: Cuddlebuggery
Monday 9/9: Ticket to Anywhere
Tuesday 9/10: The Book Cellar
Wednesday 9/11: Hobbitsies
Thursday 9/12: The Irish Banana Review
Friday 9/13: I Swim for Oceans

Divider

Friday, June 7, 2013

Event Recap (& Contest): Sarah Dessen Book Signing

Posted by Irish in Book Event, Contest, Interview17 Comments

Hello Internet! 

Wednesday night I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Sarah Dessen’s book signing in Natick, MA. This event was held at the Morse Institute Library (which had a really nice event space) along with Wellesely Books (love this store!) Which is one of the first stops on her tour for her ELVENTH book, The Moon and More. Prior to the start of the event I had the opportunity to sit down with Sarah for a private interview and I have got to say Sarah is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. And I’m not just saying that because we bonded over the cuteness of my shoes. 

But seriously…aren’t they just the cutest?!?
Enough about me though….on to the interview. I would post the sound recording here but as I hate the sound of my voice I transcribed it instead. (Apologies for any mistakes I make or if I slip from first person to third in transcribing.)

GFY: How do you prepare to go on tour?

SD: I have this agenda folder that has all of my itinerary on one side and the babysitter and my daughter’s schedule on the other. Its mostly about setting things up so my husband isn’t doing everything while she’s away and tries to line up a lot of help. Its hard for her to leave and my daughter was really upset yesterday so it was traumatic all around, but I heard that today was better so I’m feeling better. I also try to bank sleep even though there is really no such thing as being able to do that.

GFY: You’re a big fan of Good Morning America (GMA) so how do you handle your viewing while one tour? 

SD: Normally when I watch GMA at home I’m watching in the living room and my daughter is in the playroom watching Phineas and Ferb or Max and Ruby or any one of her shows…so I only get to watch bits and pieces as I dip in and out from playing with her or getting her ready for school. But this morning I ordered room service breakfast and got to watch the whole 8 o’clock hour and it was fabulous. 

GFY: Has your writing process changed at all since becoming a parent?

SD: I’ve become more focused. I was already pretty disciplined which was a good thing and I wrote at the same time every day but she worried a lot more all day long about my writing before my daughter was born. But now when I’m with my daughter I’m distracted from all that and I’m able to get out of my own way. As the more I think about my writing the harder it is. I’ve also had to be more flexible as some days the babysitter doesn’t show or my husband’s working or something happens so I just don’t write that day. So I’ve had to learn that the world won’t end if I skip a day here or there.

GFY: You return to Colby in The Moon and More so will there be any cameos of previous characters?

SD: Definitely. I’ve been keeping up on twitter since it went on sale and I hope that people won’t spoil. But there are definitely some cameos. There is one character from Along for the Ride that is a more central character but for the most part they are all secondary and using familiar places.

GFY: How do you write such real characters?

SD: I don’t know. High school was not fun for me and I had a really hard time and I struggled a lot. I think its really easy to put myself back in that place as I still live in my home town and I married a guy that I met in high school, even though we broke up in high school and didn’t date for a long time, we have a history together and grew up together. So its not that hard to put myself back in that time frame. I drive past my high school when I drop my kid off at pre-school everyday. So its never too far. But as I writer I think you figure out what your strengths are and what your place is. For me, even when I didn’t want to be writing about high school those are the stories that kept coming to me.

GFY: How long does it take you to write a first draft?

SD: Ideally its about nine months to a year for a first draft but its often broken up by another book release. Like this book I had started but then my previous book, What Happened to Goodbye, came out so I had to put it aside while I went on tour and did everything until I came back and finished it. And I just started a book in January as I’d just finished this book. And you have a choice where you can sit around your house, bite your nails and stress and freak out about your book coming out or you can start something else. So, I start something else. Every book is different, Along for the Ride and This Lullaby were both shorter books and took 3-4 months but the average is nine months.

GFY: Do you create your characters or your plot first?

SD: The characters definitely first. The narrator its always the narrator. The name comes first as I usually come across a name I like or see something that I like and connect with it. That’s always first and then sort of narrator/her situation comes first and I’m always looking for something that I haven’t written about already. I’m looking for something a little bit different. Or if I’m going to do something about a family that’s going through a divorce or a daughter that’s having trouble with her mother I want it to be different than what I’ve done from the last time I did that. But its always the character that comes first, then I sort of sketch it out. But I don’t outline my whole book I just sort of have peak points that I follow but I like to leave it open in case something interest happens that I want to incorporate. 

GFY: Can you describe The Moon and More in five words or less?

SD: Oh my gosh! Um…I’m very bad at summarizing my books which is why my editor writes the copy on the back. But to me, the book is about a girl who thinks her whole life is set. She’s 18, she’s going to college, she knows exactly where her life is going, and then suddenly everything changes all at once. That’s sort of what its about. A lot of people think you’ve got to have everything figured out at 18 but often if you do think you have everything figured out at 18 you’re wrong and life will throw you a curve.

GFY: Which character, from any of your books, would you most likely be friends with in real life?

SD: I think that I would be friends with Emaline from The Moon and More. I think that Emaline in this book and Remy in This Lullaby are the two that are the least like me but that they are the person that I would have been friends with and wanted to be in high school or even now. Someone who is confident where they live, they know where things go. They don’t are confident in certain situations, they don’t know everything and there are situations where they know nothing. But for the most part they are more confident and headstrong and that’s the way my good friends where in high school and I was always drawn to girls who I felt always had it all together. ‘Cuz I felt like I had nothing together. 

GFY: Do you have a favorite among your novels?

SD: That’s not a fair question, its like asking me to pick my favorite dog or child…well, I only have one child so she’s always going to be my favorite. But they all represent who I was at one point in my life or another. I will say that I favor one writing experience over another as some were more fun to write than others. This Lullaby was the most fun to write and Along for the Ride was also fun. 

GFY: Which was the least fun to write?

SD: Um…Just Listen was really hard to write. That’s the one book that I finished and read through and just thought that it wasn’t good enough. I was just so close to it and I had no perspective left anymore. And thank goodness my dad told me to send it to my agent anyway otherwise I would have just stuck it under my bed and nobody would have ever seen it. Sometimes they are really really hard and sometimes they are not so hard. The sad truth is that I never know which one its going to be. Its brutal because she wants to have control and she has none. 

GFY: If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

SD: I couldn’t co-author with anyone as I am such a control freak and I would be scared to subject anyone else to my writing process. Because I can barely write a book with myself. The only thing that appeals to me about writing with someone else is that there might be those moments when its really hard and I can be like you…you take this as I don’t want to do it anymore. I have a lot of friends who have co-written and they seem to have a great experiences with it but I’m just too much of a control freak. I don’t even let anyone read anything when I’m writing until its finished. I’m incredibly secretive so it would be really hard to let someone else in there and get their sticky little fingers on it. It would drive me crazy. *laughs*

GFY: What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?

SD: The internet. Of course. Its right there and its so easy. I love Tumblr and Pinterst. Though I’ve sort of broken my Pinterest habit lately because I pick Tumblr over it. Tumblr I can just catch up easily on new posts and be done with it but Pinterest is just this black hole that goes on forever. So if I open up Pinterest I’m just done and I fall down and I pin things that I’ll never ever do. Like these highly organized pantries and stuff. Or these incredibly complicated birthday cakes for my daughter. Oh I’m going to do that (no I won’t). The internet is my number one for sure, and my phone. It used to be television but now its technology. 

GFY: What’s a book that you’ve been a book bully for?

SD: The book that I’ve been pushing onto everyone I know is not YA, its Where Did You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple. Its one of those books that’s incredibly hard to explain but its essentially about this eccentric artist and her daughter. And the mother is trying to deal with being a suburban mom and all these things happen. Its written in texts and emails and its sort of all these found stuff that’s all just put together. I’m doing a terrible job describing it but its so good. I have it in my house and anybody that comes over I say read this book and they come back and say I want another book that’s this good and I’m like I don’t have another one. Its one of those books that you finish it and you just feel sorry for the next book because it just can’t ever live up. 

GFY: Is there any book that you’ve lied about reading?

SD: Oh…too many to count. But recently…oh I don’t know…you’re trying to get me in trouble! I think some books I get sent to look over and I’ll read some of them but not all and when asked I just say “Oh I really liked it.”. But honestly I don’t read a lot of YA, though I get sent a lot of YA, because I don’t want to know what everyone else is doing. I think it might just make me go out of my head a little bit. I didn’t read YA before I started to write YA. I just wrote a book with a 15 year old narrator and then next thing I knew I was a young adult writer. So I haven’t messed with my system of not really doing a lot of research in what else is out there. I do read some authors and books but I tend to stick to contemporary. 

GFY: Is there any question that you want people to ask you but don’t? Or just anything you want to tell people?

SD: I make a really good bean salad. I make really good deviled eggs. And I can make balloon animals. I just learned balloon twisting and I was going to bring it along on tour but my husband talked me out of it. I just think I would embarrass myself. But I can do ray guns, flowers, and giraffes. I can do a tulip twist, which is like a pig nose, and is really hard. 

There you have it internet…if you see Sarah Dessen be sure to ask her about her balloon making skills and hopefully on her next tour she’ll demonstrate for us all. =)

After my interview Sarah went to sign and personalize some stock and I went into the room where the talk would be to meet up with my friend Dani from Overflowing Bookshelf. We had a great chat about books we’ve read and enjoyed, including many road trip books. And we both agreed that one day a cross country road trip needs to happen and hopefully its as fun and amazing as in some of the books we’ve read. 
Then the signing started and Allison from Wellesely Books gave a lovely intro to Sarah

Dessen. You can tell Allison just loves what she does and she doesn’t a fabulous job too. (And I’m not just saying that to suck up…if you’ve met her then you know the truth of this.) Sarah then read from Chapter One of The Moon and More (link takes you to an excerpt.) She says its a great trick she’s learned as then she never has to explain anything as she has a tough time explaining things.


She started to think about the idea of The Moon and More on a trip she took to Emerald Isle, which is her Colby, and one day she’s sitting by the pool and this guy walks in with a bunch of hoses and buckets. And they just started talking, as that’s what you do in the south, you just talk to people as if you’ve known them for a hundred years. So they talked about how he grew up in Emerald Isle and he worked in this place but wanted to do this and before she knew it they’d talked for twenty minutes and when he left she went, well, there’s my next book. She loved the idea of a person being permanent in a place that was temporary to a lot of people. She mentioned how she vacations in the Cape every summer but how one time she visited in the winter and it was a very different place. In her mind Cape Cod is always summer so it was just such a weird experience. And she wondered what it would be like to be in a small town with not a lot of people and then to have things just change drastically around memorial day or so when the town is flooded with tourists. She wondered what it would be like to have to be a part of someone else’s summer vacation constantly.

She then mentioned how she got the idea of having Emaline stand on this fake beach in the parking lot of the hospitably center where she works from the place where she rents a house in Emerald Isle.  They have this tiki hut in the high season and these poor girls have to stand there in the heat of the summer where its like a million degrees and try to be cheerful as people drive up to get their keys. That’s pretty much how all of her books start, she sees something and thinks, I wonder what that would be like. She never wants to write about herself as she thinks her own life is boring and so if she bumps into someone who seems to have a more interesting life she just immediately wants to write about them. 

Sarah then mentioned how this book takes place the summer after Emaline graduates high school and she’ll be going off to a state school in the fall. Her boyfriend, since 9th grade, is going to the same school and everything is very organized and set. But, as usually happens in her books, everything changes all at once. Another reason she wanted to write this book is when she started to write it was right around the time when everyone was graduating and she started to think about when she was graduating from high school and all the excitement/pressure…like you have all these people telling you that you have your whole life ahead of you. Which one one hand is filled with such promise that you can go anywhere but on the other its terrifying as its the first time there isn’t a set step that comes next. 
For many people its college but I went to a real rural school so the next step was you are going to go into the military or the next step was to go to junior college and then you’ll come back and work the family business. You typically have 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, etc…everyone going in the same direction then all of a sudden after 12th grade people start to go in different directions. You have your whole life ahead of you but its kind of a scary thing to think about. So that’s why she’s written two books set just after high school as its the last threshold to being a teenager and moving into an adult. Which intrigues her. Also, she had a very unorthodox college experience and she lived to tell…so she likes to tell people that its ok if you sprint at the start and then stumble because we don’t all get it right the first time. She sure didn’t.

This I think is wonderful advice…as there is always so much pressure to be perfect and to not make mistakes. Then the floor was opened up for some questions. And its like the audience was peaking at my questions list as they asked some similar ones. Great minds think alike, yes?
Q: What was your favorite book to write?

SD: This Lullaby. What happened there was right before I wrote it I’d finished this book and then sent it to my agent, who liked it, and then to my editor, who also liked it, and drew up a contract to publish it. Then at the last moment I was like I don’t want to sell this book and I pulled it and everyone thought I was crazy. But she had a bad feeling, so she pulled it, stuck it in a closet and said she wanted to be left alone for awhile. So she took some time off and took it easy and then she wrote This Lullaby. It just bubbled up from no where and it was so easy as there was no pressure. She tends to do her best writing when no one knows she’s writing. It was the same for Along for the Ride and for most of her lighter books. Just Listen and The Truth About Forever where the hardest but ones she’s very proud of. She once thought that The Truth About Forever was going to be the book the killed her. But she loves them all and she thinks of all the girls as real people. They are her girls and in her mind all the couples are still together and everyone is happy.

Q: Do you ever see people on the street and think that looks like x from that book. 

SD: I’ll definitely see characteristics but I know what all the girls look like. But she has gotten into some minor arguments with people about differences in how they think a character looks. People have very definite opinions on how a character looks. And that’s part of why she likes, and has been very adamant with her publisher, about putting faces on the covers. But she wants to put herself in the book or to imagine for herself what a character looks like and that a face on the cover just sort of ruins it for her. 

Q: What YA book do you wish had been published when you were a teen?

SD: I wish that a book like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson had been written. I didn’t read that book until after I finished Just Listen as she knew she was writing a book about sexual assault and that was THE book on the subject and she didn’t want to know anything about it until after her book was handed in and done editing. And she then she read and and though, this book is amazing and that this is a book that saves lives. She’s done events with Anderson and has seen the connection that people have with that book and with her and thinks that its a really incredible thing. YA has come so far since she was a teen. There was Judy Blume, which was fantastic, some Lois Lowry, the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High. But there weren’t many realistic contemporary books with teens. Things happened like going off to camp and falling in love or had her heart broken. but things weren’t real real. Not like with books like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars which just wrecked her…life and gave her the ugly cry so she was glad she didn’t read it in public. There’s just so much better stuff out there, not that Judy Blume wasn’t great, there’s just more and its tailored to teens as readers.

Q: Would you ever write a book with John Green?

SD: I don’t think I could write a book with anyone. I can barely write a book with myself much of the time. I don’t think I could risk showing that side of me to anyone. I’m such a control freak, which is why I made up this town Colby. As I wrote this story in college and set it in Chapel Hill, where I went to school, and my class just tore it apart, nitpicking on little details. Saying things like oh that bush wouldn’t bloom this time of year or you can’t turn right on that street. And I just wanted complete control of the universe where no one could tell me how things work or where things go. So it would be really hard to have to check with someone about where a book should go. It made her anxious just thinking about it. 

Q: Does having a child inspire you to write children’s books?

Sarah Dessen and I

SD: I think that everyone who is a writer who has children thinks that they come up with this great idea for a story. I once approached my editor with an idea and she basically just shot me down as it wasn’t original. But I will say that my daughter has crept into my writing in other ways. My husband and I tell her stories, and according to her, his stories are better than hers…which is very offensive to her on many levels…and she tells her daughter how people pay to read her stories but she’s just not interested and thinks there should be more pictures in them *much laughter here.* But there have been more children creeping into her books. When she wrote Along for the Ride, her daughter was a newborn and her character had a newborn and she was able to put so much of what she was going through into that book. She also has a lot more sympathy for mothers than she used to. Used to be that the mom, was the mom and she was controlling and now she’s all but she’s just trying to do what’s best. Sarah does hope that her daughter will want to read her books when she grows up though.


Sarah then turned things around on the audience and asked two trivia questions and gave away Colby Realty t-shirts. The questions she asked where

Q: In Someone Like You, Haley’s dad has an unusual job, what is it? 
A: He works on the radio. 

Q: In Locke & Key, what subject does Ruby struggle with?

A: Calculus 

Sarah then met with everyone and signed all of their books and took pictures with those who wanted one and was just so sweet and fun. The words in this post really don’t do justice to how entertaining Sarah is so if you ever get the chance to go to one of her signings you have to do so. I’m also sorry that I didn’t take a ton of pictures, I just got so absorbed in what she was saying that I forgot. 
Now…to those of you have read this whole thing…a reward! I am giving away a signed copy of Sarah’s new book The Moon and More and a Colby sticker (see picture below). Contest is open to US/Canada address and will be open until midnight EST on 20 June. Just use the rafflecopter below to enter!

Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider