Saturday, November 18, 2017

0 Megan Frazer Blakemore, author of GOOD AND GONE, on thinking about a project for years

We're thrilled to have Megan Frazer Blakemore stop by to chat about her latest novel, GOOD AND GONE.

Megan, how long did you work on GOOD AND GONE?

I worked intensely on GOOD AND GONE for at least a year, but I had been thinking about it for several years before then. I looked back at my computer files and one dates from 2009. There's a scene early in the novel in which Lexi is annoyed with her brother, Charlie, and goes out for a walk. That scene actually came from a notebook I found of writing I did in high school or college, so we're talking fifteen to twenty years ago. Clearly, Lexi has been in my head for a while, it just took a long time for her story to emerge.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Like SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson and WRECKED by Maria Padian, this is a book that deals with sexual assault and consent. Stylistically, I think people who enjoy writing by Jandy Nelson or the honesty of books like STORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr would enjoy GOOD AND GONE.

What was your inspiration for writing GOOD AND GONE?

I mentioned above that Lexi had been in my head for a long time. Something else I had been thinking about for a while was this idea of wanting to escape fame. In 1997 the singer Jeff Buckley disappeared from his tour bus. His body was not found for five days. Sadly, he died of accidental drowning. In the days before the discovery, though, there were a number of theories passed around about what had happened to him. Some people believed he had died by suicide, but others thought perhaps he had simply walked away from his life as a musician and celebrity. That story, and others like it, inspired the character of Adrian Wildes. In the book, Adrian is a singer that has gone missing and Lexi, Charlie, and their friend Zack go looking for him. The road trip they take provides structure to the story.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Good and Gone
by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 11/14/2017

When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a road trip to find Adrian Wildes, a famous musician who’s been reported missing, she’s beyond confused. Her brother hasn’t said a nice word to her or left the couch since his girlfriend dumped him months ago—but he’ll hop in a car to find some hipster? Concerned at how quickly he seems to be rebounding, Lexi decides to go along for the ride.

Besides, Lexi could use the distraction. The anger and bewilderment coursing through her after getting dumped by her pretentious boyfriend, Seth, has left her on edge. As Lexi, Charlie, and their neighbor Zack hit the road, Lexi recalls bits and pieces of her short-lived romance and sees, for the first time, what it truly was: a one-sided, coldhearted manipulation game. Not only did Seth completely isolate her, but he took something from her that she didn’t give him permission to.

The farther from home they get, the three uncover much more than empty clues about a reclusive rocker’s whereabouts. Instead, what starts off as a car ride turns into an exploration of self as each of them faces questions they have been avoiding for too long. Like the real reason Charlie has been so withdrawn lately. What Seth stole from Lexi in the pool house. And if shattered girls can ever put themselves back together.

Purchase Good and Gone at Amazon
Purchase Good and Gone at IndieBound
View Good and Gone on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Frazer Blakemore is an author for children and young adults. Her middle grade novel, THE WATER CASTLE (Walker Books for Young Readers, 2013) was named Kirkus Best Children's Book of  2013, a Bank Street College Best Book 2014, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and has been included on numerous state lists.

A school librarian, Megan has a B.A. from Columbia University, and an MLS from Simmons Graduate School of Library Science and Information Science and is currently pursuing a doctorate in library science. As a librarian, she focuses on raising reading achievement and giving voice to students through such programs as Coffee Houses, a Film Festival, maker spaces, and various reading programs.

She lives in Maine with her husband and two children as well as a cat and (sometimes) a hive of bees.

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Have you had a chance to read GOOD AND GONE yet?
How long do you like to think about a project before actually starting it?
What tips can you offer to others on moving the project from an idea to the page?
Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Charlotte, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Erin, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

Friday, November 17, 2017

0 Tamora Pierce, author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, on making a difference

We are delighted to have Tamora Pierce join us to share more about her latest novel, TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, which is a reference book applying to the Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, The Protector of the Small, and the Trickster books.

Tamora, what is your favorite thing about TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE?

The variety of voices and types of information about the realm, its people, and ongoing events; the way we tried to convey a vision of a living government and those who try to keep it going, from feast menus to dirty deeds!

What was your inspiration for writing TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE?

My chief editor's interest, and the many, many questions fans ask at appearances, online, and via correspondence about the inner workings of the realm and further information about beloved characters, particularly background material, and off-stage life and events in Tortall.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why?

The climactic scene of MASTIFF, the third Beka Cooper book. I can't say why because of spoilers. ::shrug::

Is that the one of which you are most proud?

No--it hurt too much. I'm deeply proud of Tris's welcome of the lightning on the roof in SHATTERGLASS, and the short story "Elder Brother," which has appeared here and there. The bad guys in MAGIC STEPS are also a point of pride for sheer crawliness.

Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I have plenty of those, mostly ones that make me laugh, like Arram waking with a strange bedfellow in TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER, or the fact that after years of being scolded for matching Alanna and Daine with older men, I presented them with Aly's love--who, technically, is two years old in his natural form and a few months old at his human introduction. (I behave myself mostly now.)

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

The fantasy novels of Barbara Hambly, Elizabeth Moon, Robin McKinley, Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Rachel Hartmann, Daniel Abraham, Brian McCullough, Guy Gavriel Kay, Philip Pullman--and there are many, many more listed on my webpage! (www.tamorapierce.com)

How long did you work on TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE?

>>rolls eyes<< Oy! We started out 8 years ago with a big sloppy idea for a reference book for the realm, following similar books that were coming out at the time. Then our editor left after we turned our first draft in; the project got lost for a while. My guardian angel and senior editor (at the time) Mallory Loehr found us a new editor in Chelsea Eberly and asked us to narrow the concept down. A lot. We all batted it around (the original team: my assistant and fellow writer Julie Holderman; my spouse creature and technical writer Tim Liebe; stage dance and combat choreographer, writer, and med student Megan Messinger, and I) and decided, due to the amount of applicable material, we would do a kind of spy's guide based on the office of a working spy chief--i.e. George, who everyone loves. My job was to supply material that wasn't there. Julie took on the added position of traffic director, or primary herder of cats, making sure we met deadlines. A friend from conventions, Judy Gerjuoy, who recently moved on to the great tournament in the sky, volunteered to cover feastday menus for royalty and their guests, while the wonderful Lisa Konst-Evans, who has handled the timeline for the Tortall universe for well over a decade, agreed to brush it up for the book. Random House supplied the map based on those in the books.

All told, it took about eight years. Give or take.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Avoid group projects at all costs. ;-) Seriously, we hope to add material that was cut down the road, probably online. I learned how vital it is to have a showrunner for something that involves more than two people spread all over the country, and that showrunner has to be able to say "no" without being mean or hysterical. I learned that courtesy in the group means that things get done. And without deadlines, nothing gets done. Some of this I knew. Also, it really is like herding cats.

What do you hope readers will take away from TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE?


Bits and pieces of information that wasn't strictly needed in the current books, but are fun to know anyway; fuel for fantasies, party games, and fanfic; tips on how to create similar structures for books and stories of their own, and more than a little true information about the medieval period and spycraft.

How long or hard was your road to publication?

My personal road, if you count from my first novel, and not articles or stories, was--my gosh, was it only 7 years? it seemed like an eternity at the time! I didn't send my first book anywhere; it was there to assure me I could write a book-length ms., which I did. It took me 17 months to write and rewrite the single novel which became the Song of the Lioness quartet. I submitted that to three adult publishers, who turned it down. During that time I was a housemother in a group home for girls. They insisted that I tell them the story in my book; the director insisted that they couldn't read it for themselves because it had sex, drug and alcohol use, and swearing. I told the story to the girls because they wanted me to, editing along the way. When I moved to New York and went to work for a literary agency, I was urged to show my ms. to the agent who handled fantasy: she suggested that I turn it to four YA novels. Since I'd done so for the girls, I knew I could do it, and I would do just about anything to get published. Jean Karl at Atheneum took the series (after more rewrites), and my first book was published in Fall 1982. I ended up sticking with YA because the fan mail taught me I could make a difference there that I couldn't make anywhere else. (Former social worker with teenagers, remember.)
How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Only that one, that never saw the light of day. I did three chapters and an outline for a project after the Alanna books were done. That didn't sell (it was a historical by and large), but I returned to Tortall, and have been happy writing fantasy ever since. That would lead to over thirty novels at present, plus one book of short stories.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

Not really, apart from "apply butt to chair," "follow my schedule," "keep writing," and "apply for help when necessary." Perhaps I had one such moment when I read a critic's comment on The Woman Who Rides Like a Man: he said he wished I had set the books in medieval Europe, because my research was so good. I was startled, believing I had done no research at that time. Then I remembered that I had been in love with the Robin Hood TV show when I was five or six. That led me to look him up in the family encyclopedia when I learned to read. His entry led me to that for Richard the Lionhearted, which led me to the entry for the Crusades, which led me to "medieval life and times." From then until I was in fifth grade I read everything, fiction and nonfiction, about medieval life and times, and I continued to read fiction with medieval backgrounds. I thought that I had done no research for the Alanna books, when in fact I had done it all those years ago, starting with Robin Hood. I was working then on Lioness Rampant and needed a different culture for Saraine. Using this new idea, that my frequent obsessions could give me ideas, I considered mine and lit on the American War in Vietnam. I had a map of southeast Asia on my wall at the time: looking at it, I realized I could take names of less-known places (rivers, bays, islands, mountains, towns, peninsulas), change the spelling a little or break them up if I thought they were too recognizable, and have last names and place names for a nation. Going further, I would also have cuisine, clothes, first names (from my growing collection of baby name books), customs, architecture--anything I needed to flesh out my culture. That insight has been useful throughout my career!

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

Since the early 2000's I've had a home office (before that, my desk in our small office) where I keep my research books, the photos I use for characters and settings, various bits and pieces--stones, animal figurines, stuffies, and boxes with old manuscripts. Formerly I would also provide a temporary nest for any new cat or kitten rescue we were waiting to re-home or until they were ready to be introduced to the house cats, but since the summer before last I've had a permanent resident: a long-haired tortoiseshell rescue named Autumn, who has no interest in entering general population. She demands regular pets and observes the work in progress.

At first I couldn't have any music with words in a language I could understand even a little, so it was all instrumental or in languages I really, really didn't know, like Arabic or Mongolian. No pop, no jazz, etc.--classical, movie scores, classical Chinese or Japanese, African drums, Tuvan throat singing, Indonesian . . . I listened to that. Then I couldn't listen to any music at all for a while--I think that was shortly after we moved to upstate New York, and I wasn't used to it. Now I can listen to almost anything and work. It's strange.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

It's always the same: just keep writing. The more you do, the better you get, so the more you do. It's like exercise or learning an instrument: you have to build your muscles and your brain up to keep the habit of writing regularly, even if you hate it. (And you will.) But you get better as you practice. You won't finish things at first, either, but with practice you'll learn to build on ideas, until finally you start finishing things.

The other piece of advice I give is that as long as you're growing as a writer, you'll hate what you do. The better you get, the less you'll hate it, but if you're any good, you'll always see something you know you could do better. That's normal; worse, it's good. It means you're still learning; you're still growing. It's when you look at something you just finished and you think it's perfect in every way that you're in trouble, particularly if that continues. It means you've gone stagnant. You've stopped growing. Either you'll continue to write the same kind of thing over and over until you're gone, or you'll receive such a massive shakeup in your life that you become a completely different person. Nobody wants that because those things are painful. Better to keep learning and trying new things.

What are you working on now?

The second volume of Arram's adventures as a magic student in Carthak. The first book, Tempests and Slaughter, comes out in February.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tortall: A Spy's Guide
by Tamora Pierce
Hardcover
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 10/31/2017

The secrets of Tortall are revealed. . . .

As Tortall’s spymaster, George Cooper has sensitive documents from all corners of the realm. When Alanna sends him a surprising letter, he cleans out his office and discovers letters from when King Jonathan and Queen Thayet first ascended the throne, notes on creating the Shadow Service of spies, threat-level profiles on favorite characters, Daine’s notes on immortals, as well as family papers, such as Aly’s first report as a young spy and Neal’s lessons with the Lioness.

This rich guide also includes the first official timeline of Tortallan events from when it became a sovereign nation to the year Aly gives birth to triplets. Part history, part spy training manual, and entirely fascinating, this beautiful guide makes a perfect gift and is ideal for anyone who loves Alanna, King Jonathan, Queen Thayet, Kel, Neal, Aly, Thom, Daine, Numair, and the unforgettable world of Tortall!

Purchase Tortall: A Spy's Guide at Amazon
Purchase Tortall: A Spy's Guide at IndieBound
View Tortall: A Spy's Guide on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 I was born in South Connellsville, PA. My mother wanted to name me "Tamara" but the nurse who filled out my birth certificate misspelled it as "Tamora". When I was 8 my family moved to California, where we lived for 6 years on both sides of the San Francisco peninsula.

I started writing stories in 6th grade. My interest in fantasy and science fiction began when I was introduced to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J. R. R. Tolkien and so I started to write the kind of books that I was reading. After my parents divorced, my mother took my sisters and me back to Pennsylvania in 1969. There I went to Albert Gallatin Senior High for 2 years and Uniontown Area Senior High School for my senior year.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, I wrote the book that became The Song of the Lioness fantasy quartet. I sold some articles and 2 short stories and wrote reviews for a martial arts movie magazine. At last the first book of the quartet, Alanna: The First Adventure was published by Atheneum Books in 1983.

Tim Liebe, who became my Spouse-Creature, and I lived in New York City with assorted cats and two parakeets from 1982 - 2006. In 2006 we moved to Syracuse, New York, where we live now with assorted cats, a number of squirrels, birds, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and woodchucks visiting our very small yard. As of 2011, I have 27 novels in print, one short story collection, one comic book arc ("White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion") co-written with Tim, and a short story anthology co-editing credit. There's more to come, including a companion book to the Tortall `verse. So stay tuned!

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Have you had a chance to read TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE yet? Do you shape worlds based on what you loved learning about as a kid? Do you continue to build your writing muscles? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Anisaa, Erin, Martina, Charlotte, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

0 WoW: World Building On and Off the Map by Kristina Pérez

I'm always sort of amazed by fantasy writers, who build complete, often epic, worlds for their readers to explore. I especially love the gorgeous maps sometimes included in YA fantasy novels and have often wondered how these maps go from the imagination of the author to the page.

So I am particularly excited to have Kristina Pérez, author of the much-anticipated SWEET BLACK WAVES (6/5/18, Imprint), with me today for Writers on Writing. Her post below includes a bit of the history of cartography along with how she developed her maps as she created the the fantasy aisles of Iveriu and Kernyv. Stay tuned to the end of the post for more on SWEET BLACK WAVES.

Without further ado, here's Kristina.

World Building On and Off the Map
by Kristina Pérez

Whenever I buy a new fantasy novel, the first thing I do is eagerly flip open the cover in search of the map, impatient for a glimpse of the world into which I’m about to plunge. Are there empires? Kingdoms? What is the topography: is it flat or mountainous? Is it landlocked or are there seas on which mighty armadas will wage war?

We use the phrase “putting something on the map” almost without thinking. Being on the map is seen as a decidedly good thing, and being off the map, well…there be dragons. If a shop or restaurant doesn’t appear on your Google map, it might as well not exist.

Our English word “map” itself derives from the Medieval Latin mappa mundi, or “map of the world.” The Latin mappa refers to a piece of cloth on which maps were drawn at the time. Likewise, an entire universe can be contained on the flyleaf of a book. The initial hints of what challenges the protagonists of the story might face are discernible from the map of their world.

I remember falling in love with maps when I was around seven or eight years old. My dad, a historian by training, could spend hours pouring over antique maps at bookshops and galleries––especially those of his native Argentina––and I adored imagining the people who inhabited those distant times and places.

In particular, I was fascinated by the way the lines and names on the maps changed from decade to decade, century to century. When you’re a kid, the place where you grow up seems permanent, unmovable; as if it’s always been and always will be. Scouring the way borders moved across brightly colored continents, it suddenly became clear to me that wasn’t the case. I was raised in New York City, which had, after all, once been called New Amsterdam.

The world as I knew it wasn’t constant––it was constantly in flux.

This realization ignited my desire to understand how and why boundaries shifted and places were renamed. My dad used maps of Argentina from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for instance, to bring its colonial history to life. I came to see that maps don’t always reflect reality; they aren’t only reactive. Maps can also be predictive: a declaration that creates a new world. With the stroke of a pen, a cartographer can draw a line and declare that this or that land now belongs to someone else, wiping away thousands of years of culture and civilization.

When you look at a map, you must therefore ask yourself who drew it and why? What was his or her perspective? What objective was he or she trying to achieve?



These are the same questions that I ask myself as a fantasy author when I start working on a new project. My debut YA novel, SWEET BLACK WAVES, is inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Iseult and, for various reasons, I decided to make it a second world fantasy based loosely on fifth and sixth century Britain and Ireland. The early stages of my world building research therefore included spending a lot of time looking at maps of Europe over this period to see how the fragmentation of the Roman Empire resulted in numerous invasions and the rise and fall of new kingdoms.

Once I had a firm grip on the changing historical landscape, I was equipped to decide how I wanted to deviate from the real world in creating my own universe. I asked myself who drew the lines on my fictional world? (Besides me, of course!) Who had the power to give places their names? Are there natural borders that dictate the shapes of the kingdoms in my world? How do the two go hand in hand?



In the medieval legends, Tristan hails from Cornwall, the southwest peninsula of modern-day Britain, whereas Iseult is the Princess of Ireland. In my world, Ireland becomes Iveriu, and Cornwall becomes Kernyv, which is located on the Island of Albion. For the sake of the plot, it made sense for both of them to remain islands and to be separated by a small sea. Because a ship voyage is an important part of the story, I had to determine how long I wanted the voyage to take and then make sure the scale of the map reflected this more or less accurately.

Besides the sea separating Iveriu from Kernyv, I next considered the topography of both kingdoms. Were there rivers? Forests? What is the resulting climate? What kind of game is there to hunt? Basically, the topography of your fantasy world mandates what people need to do to survive, and whatever that is––farming or seafaring––lays the foundation for their cultural identity.



Most people want to do more than survive, however. They want to thrive. And that’s where the economy comes into play.

If the soil of your fantasy land is rich in clay, for example, then it stands to reason that your people might be expert potters and their ceramics highly prized. So, to whom would they sell them? And, if they do sell their wares, do they have to pay tax? To a king, or a guild?

Figuring out the type of economy (agrarian, shipping etc.) gives rise to the question, who controls the economy? The answer is usually the ruling political class. And this leads directly to the next questions you as the author need to ask yourself: Who is in power? How did they get into power? How do they maintain their power?

In tandem, you need to think about how the topography influences religion. If your characters live in the desert, they might be more inclined to pray to a god of rain. If they live on the coast, gods and superstitions about the sea are more likely.

Once you have the religious and political structures clear in your head, you should also consider whether they work in harmony or stand in opposition. Who has more power, and why? Will this present an important conflict in your book?

In my drafting process for SWEET BLACK WAVES, I drew a detailed map of Iveriu where the majority of the action takes place, as well as of Kernyv, which will be the setting for the sequel. Since Iveriu and Kernyv aren’t the only kingdoms referenced in the novel, however, I had to think about all of the other kingdoms and empires with whom they might trade or have diplomatic relationships. I therefore created a third map of my entire universe, including kingdoms and empires that aren’t even mentioned in the book. Because SWEET BLACK WAVES is the first in a trilogy, I have tried to account in my mapmaking for all possible territories and peoples whom I might want to mention later in the series.

As the creator of your fantasy universe, you are also its master cartographer. My advice is to build your world first, and the story will follow. The pen, in this case, is definitely mightier than the sword. Wield it wisely!

Maps from SWEET BLACK WAVES by Jack Mozley.


About the Author
Kristina Pérez is a half-Argentine/half-Norwegian native New Yorker. She has spent the past two decades working as a journalist and academic in Europe and Asia. She is the author of The Myth of Morgan la Fey (Palgrave Macmillan) and holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge. Sweet Black Waves is her debut novel and will be released by Imprint/Macmillan on June 5th, 2018.




About SWEET BLACK WAVES (6/5/18, Imprint)
Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she's ever loved.

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.

Pre-Order SWEET BLACK WAVES:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

0 Tina Connolly, author of SERIOUSLY HEXED, on putting all the personal things you love into your book

SERIOUSLY HEXED is the final book in the Seriously Series, and we're thrilled to have Tina Connolly stop by to tell us more about it.

Tina, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I feel like most of the scenes I’m really excited about with this book are full of spoilers! But some of my favorite moments are getting to pay off things I set up in books 1 and 2. Since Seriously Hexed is the final book in the trilogy, there were a number of incidents and references that I wanted to resolve before we turned the final page. I really enjoyed getting the chance to show things the previous books had touched on but not delved into.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I find first drafts to be the most challenging part of my process—I would literally rather do anything else than stare at the blank page. Even laundry. So I will leave my house and go to a coffee shop where I am forced to sit and do the work, with nothing to distract me. Later on, in revisions, I find it much easier to focus. I sit down at my desktop and lose myself in rearranging pieces for hours. I still turn off facebook, though.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Usually the advice I like to share involves things like productivity tips (just keep doing the work, slow and steady if necessary, you can do it) or my favorite creative tip (put all the things you personally love into your book, because then you will write something only *you* can write.) Lately, here in 2017, I feel like I want to offer the advice that it’s okay to feel in need of a break. Take that break, drink some hot chocolate, think about what you really want to say. The writing will be there.

What are you working on now?

I’ve been working on a variety of different things this summer, which has been a nice break. My short story collection, On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, was nominated for a World Fantasy award, so I’m looking forward to going to that ceremony in San Antonio. I wrote a couple short plays for a Portland theatre company called the Pulp Stage, and they are collecting them, and some other pieces, into a new book called Storytelling Karaoke – which is exactly as fun as it sounds! I also wrote a novelette about pastries and revenge, and sold that to my editor at Tor. So look for that in early 2018 at Tor.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Seriously Hexed
by Tina Connolly
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 11/14/2017

Tina Connolly continues the hilarious adventures of teen witch Camellia and her mother, wicked witch Sarmine, in this latest installment to the Andre Norton Award-nominated "Seriously Wicked" series.

Teen witch Cam has resigned herself to being a witch. Sort of. She's willing to do small things, like magically help her boyfriend Devon get over his ongoing stage fright. But tangling with other witches is not on her wishlist. Joining her mother's wicked witch coven is right out.

New acquaintance Poppy Jones is a Type A, A+ Student of True Witchery. She's got all the answers, and she's delighted to tangle with a bunch of wicked witches. She doesn't need any reluctant witch getting in her way, especially one who knows less than a dozen spells, and has zero plans for witch college.

Then a coven meeting goes drastically awry. A hex is taking down all thirteen members of the coven, one by one putting both girls' mothers in jeopardy. Now the two teens are going to have to learn to work together, while simultaneously juggling werewolf puppies, celebrity demons, thirteen nasty hexes, and even nastier witches. They may have to go through hell and high water to save their mothers but they also might find a new friendship along the way.

Purchase Seriously Hexed at Amazon
Purchase Seriously Hexed at IndieBound
View Seriously Hexed on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Her books have been finalists for the Nebula, Norton, and World Fantasy awards. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more, and are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories from Fairwood Press. She is one of the co-hosts of Escape Pod and runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. She likes re-reading books and eating pie for breakfast (preferably at the same time.)

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Have you had a chance to read SERIOUSLY HEXED yet? Procrastinating on the 1st draft is my nemesis, too. What hateful chore will you find yourself diving into instead of writing? On the flip side, what favorite things do you love to add to your WIP?

Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Charlotte, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Erin, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

Monday, November 13, 2017

5 New Releases this week 11/13-11/19 plus Giveaway of GOOD AND GONE

Happy Monday! It's another week and another giveaway up for grabs. Make sure to enter to win below, and check out all the other awesome books being released this week!

Happy Reading,

Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Kelly, Laura, Emily, Anisaa, and Lori Ann


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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Good and Gone
by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

HarperTeen
Released 11/14/2017

When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a road trip to find Adrian Wildes, a famous musician who’s been reported missing, she’s beyond confused. Her brother hasn’t said a nice word to her or left the couch since his girlfriend dumped him months ago—but he’ll hop in a car to find some hipster? Concerned at how quickly he seems to be rebounding, Lexi decides to go along for the ride.

Besides, Lexi could use the distraction. The anger and bewilderment coursing through her after getting dumped by her pretentious boyfriend, Seth, has left her on edge. As Lexi, Charlie, and their neighbor Zack hit the road, Lexi recalls bits and pieces of her short-lived romance and sees, for the first time, what it truly was: a one-sided, coldhearted manipulation game. Not only did Seth completely isolate her, but he took something from her that she didn’t give him permission to.

The farther from home they get, the three uncover much more than empty clues about a reclusive rocker’s whereabouts. Instead, what starts off as a car ride turns into an exploration of self as each of them faces questions they have been avoiding for too long. Like the real reason Charlie has been so withdrawn lately. What Seth stole from Lexi in the pool house. And if shattered girls can ever put themselves back together.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Good and Gone?

My favorite thing about GOOD AND GONE is the structure. It is written as a back and forth between the present and the past. The present proceeds in chronological order, but the past scenes do not. Part of the reader's job is to put the pieces together to create the full story. The main character, Lexi, is coming to terms with her past, and the way events are revealed is tied to how much of her past she is ready to confront. I wrote the book all out of order, something unusual for me, and then I had to put the scenes together like a puzzle. It was a very difficult process, but worthwhile in the end.

Purchase Good and Gone at Amazon
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


Hide from Me by Mary Lindsey: Ellie M.
The November Girl by Lydia Kang: D S.
The Speaker by Traci Chee: Angie Y.
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada: Susan L.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Seriously Hexed
by Tina Connolly
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 11/14/2017

Tina Connolly continues the hilarious adventures of teen witch Camellia and her mother, wicked witch Sarmine, in this latest installment to the Andre Norton Award-nominated "Seriously Wicked" series.

Teen witch Cam has resigned herself to being a witch. Sort of. She's willing to do small things, like magically help her boyfriend Devon get over his ongoing stage fright. But tangling with other witches is not on her wishlist. Joining her mother's wicked witch coven is right out.

New acquaintance Poppy Jones is a Type A, A+ Student of True Witchery. She's got all the answers, and she's delighted to tangle with a bunch of wicked witches. She doesn't need any reluctant witch getting in her way, especially one who knows less than a dozen spells, and has zero plans for witch college.

Then a coven meeting goes drastically awry. A hex is taking down all thirteen members of the coven, one by one putting both girls' mothers in jeopardy. Now the two teens are going to have to learn to work together, while simultaneously juggling werewolf puppies, celebrity demons, thirteen nasty hexes, and even nastier witches. They may have to go through hell and high water to save their mothers but they also might find a new friendship along the way.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Seriously Hexed?

Cam has always been a reluctant teen witch. She tries to use her powers for good, but she’s not really sure if she wants to use them at all. But when her mother disappears in the middle of a coven meeting full of wicked witches, everything falls onto Cam’s shoulders, and she’s going to have to come to terms with herself in order to set things right. The ethical dilemmas around the proper use of magic have been a struggle for Cam throughout this trilogy, and that struggle is something I really enjoy exploring.

Additionally, we’ve seen over the course of the three books that, since Cam feels uncomfortable about her witchy home life, she is slow to trust people and make friends. She really only has one close friend, Jenah. But in this book, she meets a fellow teen witch who is also trying to help save the day. I really loved watching Cam wrestle with trying to trust a new person and let them into her life. And of course, at the same time dealing with magic phones, demonic teleportation, and a bunch of rambunctious werewolf puppies!


Purchase Seriously Hexed at Amazon
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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Flashtide
by Jenny Moyer
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co
Released 11/14/2017

Orion has survived the tunnels of Outpost Five, filled with mutant creatures and dangers around every bend. She has traversed the cordons, exposed to the radiation of the flash curtain and hunted by forces that want her stopped, dead or alive. Now, with Dram by her side, she has made it to the safety of the mountain provinces, where free Conjurors live and practice their craft of manipulating matter.

But Orion's story is far from over.

With the effects of the flashfall spreading and the might of the protected city of Alara looming, Orion must travel into the hands of her enemies once again. Heart-pounding action and adventure await in this sequel to Flashfall.

Purchase Flashtide at Amazon
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View Flashtide on Goodreads

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Fragments of the Lost
by Megan Miranda
Hardcover
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 11/14/2017

Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere—in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket…the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.

His mother asked her to pack up his things—even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.

But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.

Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?

Purchase Fragments of the Lost at Amazon
Purchase Fragments of the Lost at IndieBound
View Fragments of the Lost on Goodreads

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Kids Like Us
by Hilary Reyl
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 11/14/2017

Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic.

Purchase Kids Like Us at Amazon
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View Kids Like Us on Goodreads



Saturday, November 11, 2017

0 Anna Priemaza, author of KAT AND MEG CONQUER THE WORLD, on being awesome

We're delighted to have Anna Priemaz stop by and talk to us about her debut novel, KAT AND MEG CONQUER THE WORLD.

Anna, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

In their lovely review, Booklist described KAT AND MEG CONQUER THE WORLD as appealing to "Gamer gals, devotees of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (2013), and members of John and Hank Green’s nerdfighters," which I think is a fairly accurate (and flattering) summary. It's for readers who love nerdy, humorous, heart-warming stories.

If you like KAT AND MEG CONQUER THE WORLD, I strongly recommend Lianne Oelke's NICE TRY, JANE SINNER, which comes out in January 2018, and which is one of the funniest, most delightful books I have ever read.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

0 Alexander Gordon Smith, author of THE DEVIL'S ENGINE: HELLWALKERS, on finding your own courage

THE DEVIL'S ENGINE: HELLWALKERS is the final book in the Devils Engine trilogy, and we're excited to have Alexander Gordon Smith join us to share more about it.

Alexander, what's your favorite thing about THE DEVIL'S ENGINE: HELLWALKERS?

The last book in a series is always the hardest one to write. You’ve been through so much with your characters, you’re literally about to walk through hell with them. These people are your friends, your family, and you know you’re about to go on one final adventure with them, and that not all of you are going to make it out alive, with your soul intact. Stepping into Hellwalkers felt just like this. Before I started writing, I felt like I was standing with Pan and Marlow and Charlie and Truck and Night and Herc looking toward the horizon and knowing that we’re about to do something amazing, something terrifying, something that will change us forever. I felt like we hugged each other tight, then just started running. And we don’t stop, we just don’t stop running, through fire and brimstone, through the smoke and the stench and the screams. This book is a non-stop roller coaster ride through the horrors of hell, but at its heart it’s about these amazing characters standing shoulder to shoulder with each other to try to save the world. In the depths of hell, we find our humanity. It’s a blast!!

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The ending of Hellwalkers was so difficult to write, and I ended up actually rewriting the whole last act. The first ending was a real tear-jerker, the second was much more action packed and true to the spirit of the series. But in a way, both endings are right. This is a series that messes with time, with space, with dimensions and universes and even with the worlds I created in my other books. In a series where there are an infinite number of parallel realities, it makes sense that there is more than one ending. I’ll probably post the alternative ending on my Wattpad one of these days so readers can make their own minds up!

How long did you work on THE DEVIL'S ENGINE: HELLWALKERS?

I think it took about three months to write Hellwalkers. The truth is I can’t remember! That’s the weird thing about writing, you end up living on book time. I don’t remember much about my life when I was writing this book, but I remember everything that happened in the story as if I was living it: the sights, the smells, the emotions. I couldn’t tell you a single meal I ate during those three months, but I can tell you exactly what a demon’s exploded guts smell like… And in a way, I’ve been working on this book my whole life, ever since I started telling stories. Our books are a cumulation of all the experiences we have ever had, and I think this one has been brewing inside my head since I was a kid.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

It taught me that your characters are very real, very powerful parts of yourself, and that if you want your writing to succeed then you have to trust them. They share so much of your mind, but they also carry their own lives with them, their own loves and needs and fears and failures. We carry an infinite number of characters inside us when we write, sometimes it can be overwhelming when they all start acting like they want to do their own thing. But it’s only when we let them do their own thing that suddenly the story feels real. Give them the reins, see what happens, trust them.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE DEVIL'S ENGINE: HELLWALKERS?

I want readers to take away hope. I’ve said it a million times, and I still believe it with all my heart: hope is the most important thing in the universe, in any of the universes, and especially in hell. This book deals with a particular kind of hell, but I think we all experience our own personal hells throughout our lives—losses, deaths, illnesses, demons of all shapes and sizes. Hell is something different for everyone. I would love for readers to get to the end of this series along with the characters, and then understand that they too have the strength to make it through hell, and to come out the other side. That’s what horror is, for me. It’s a way of finding your own courage, it’s a way of understanding that you can be a hero too, even if your heroism is just facing up to your own life. We are all Hellwalkers, but we all have what it takes to break out.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

When I was 18 I wrote my first full-length novel. It was called Asylum, and it was set in a prison called the Furnace Penitentiary (which may sound familiar to some readers!!). It was a horrible, gratuitously violent horror novel for adults, where angels would travel through to our plane of existence and eat people. I sent it to three publishers when I’d finished it, and all three rejected it. And I did the stupidest thing I could do, I gave up. I stopped writing for seven years. Luckily I realised how stupid I’d been. It suddenly clicked one day, that nothing you do as a writer, nothing you write, is a waste of time. All those stories you start and don’t finish when you’re a teenager, all those rejections, they’re just part of the process, they’re the foundations of your future career. They’re the building blocks of the books you write when you’re older. It might not seem like it when you’re young, or just starting out, or reading over that rejection slip, but the story you’ve just written is essential because you learned something when you wrote it, you’re now a better writer than you were before. Treasure these moments, even though they’re frustrating, because these are what make you a writer. Just keep writing. That was my ah-ha moment, seven years after my biggest failure. I started writing a new novel, for kids, and that was the one that got published.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Hellwalkers taught me so much about characters, about where they come from and how vital it is to make them feel real—to your readers, yes, but to you most of all. I never plan my books, but I try to learn everything I can about my characters. Their favourite foods, the way they dance when nobody is watching, their relationship with their pet hamster, their biggest regret, the way they eat their breakfast cereal. Everything! Take some time before you start writing and interrogate your characters. Google Proust’s questionnaire and ask them all the questions there. Their answers, and the way they answer, will tell you everything you need to know about how they would behave in the story. And that’s key, because you want them to act according to their background, not yours. Finding out who these people are is the best way of making your stories comes to life.

And look for something in your own life to share with your characters. An experience, maybe, or an emotion. When I was eleven I tried to spend a night inside a haunted house so that I could write the most terrifying story ever told. I lasted seven minutes before exploding out of the door throwing up all over myself. True story! I almost gave up writing then, too, because I didn’t think I was brave enough to be a horror writer. But I just kept getting drawn back to those seven minutes, and writing stories about them, and it suddenly clicked: writing is about finding that emotional connection between you and your characters, it’s about drawing threads of experience from your life and feeding it into theirs. It’s a powerful way of giving them life. You don’t have to, obviously, because the first rule of writing is that there are no rules!! But try it, it might work for you too!

What are you working on now?

A million things, and that’s only a slight exaggeration! It’s one of my downfalls as a writer, I think, I just keep starting new things. But top of the list are a new middle grade horror series, a stand-alone middle grade horror, a choose-your-own-adventure spin-off for my series Escape From Furnace, and a brand new fantasy horror I started last week for Nanowrimo. Whether any of them see the light of day is another question, but I just love to write!

If you’re on Instagram, drop by and say hi! alexandergordonsmith

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Devil's Engine: Hellwalkers
by Alexander Gordon Smith
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 11/7/2017

In the third and final book of Alexander Gordon Smith's Devil's Engine series, Marlow and Pan are in hell. Literally in hell. Faced with the awful truth of being trapped in the underworld for an eternity―of Pan being trapped―Marlow makes a final deal with the Devil, a deal to go home. But when Marlow and Pan return to Earth, they cannot close the door behind them. And all hell breaks loose. It is a war to end all wars―demonic creatures spill into the streets of New York, monsters haunt the shadows. Only the Hellraisers stand in their way, and they're not sure this is a battle they can win. They have no powers, they have no weapons. But they have each other, and they have hope, and they know how to kick ass.

Only one thing's for sure: One way or another, it all ends here.

Purchase The Devil's Engine: Hellwalkers at Amazon
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View The Devil's Engine: Hellwalkers on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexander Gordon Smith is the author of the Escape from Furnace series of young adult novels, including Lockdown and Solitary. Born in 1979 in Norwich, England, he always wanted to be a writer. After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years, Smith decided to go to University. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, and it was here that he first explored his love of publishing. Along with poet Luke Wright, he founded Egg Box Publishing, a groundbreaking magazine and press that promotes talented new authors. He also started writing literally hundreds of articles, short stories and books ranging from Scooby Doo comic strips to world atlases, Midsomer Murders to X-Files. The endless research for these projects led to countless book ideas germinating in his head. His first book, The Inventors, written with his nine-year-old brother Jamie, was published in the U.K. in 2007. He lives in England.


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Have you had a chance to read THE DEVIL'S ENGINE: HELLWALKERS yet?

I love that Alexander believes ALL of our stories are essential. What have you learned from your current project?

What emotion have you tried to convey in a project that never seems right? What experience can you base it on?

Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Charlotte, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Erin, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1 Livia Blackburne, author of ROSEMARKED, on performing eclectic research

We're thrilled to have Livia Blackburne stop by with a special giveaway for her latest novel, ROSEMARKED. Take it away, Livia! 

I'm thrilled to share ROSEMARKED with you at long last. There are a lot of elements to this book, including a love story, a spy story, reflections on trauma and mortality, medical ethics, and political intrigue. Perhaps because of this, my research for the book was equally eclectic, from archery and stick fighting lessons, to chats with memory researchers and soldiers, and lots and lots of reading, including books about leper colonies, hospice care, and PTSD. Hopefully, I wove it all into an entertaining and thought-provoking story!

This story centers on Zivah, a talented healer with an incurable illness, and Dineas, a traumatized soldier. The two couldn't be more different, and I had a lot of fun writing their unlikely love story. In order to work together, they both have to let go of their own prejudices and preconceptions. It's a painful process, with fights and misunderstandings, anger, laughter and tears, but in the end, they both come out as stronger people.

To celebrate the ROSEMARKED release, I’m offering 3 lucky winners a ROSEMARKED swag pack, which includes a copy of ROSEMARKED and a signed bookplate! Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate. Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The first in a duology, ROSEMARKED (Hyperion | On Sale November 7, 2017) by New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne follows a healer and a solider on a high-stakes mission to spy on the Empire to uncover a deadly secret. With sizzling chemistry and a heartrending ethical dilemma, this thrilling fantasy with nuanced characters will capture fans of An Ember in the Ashes and The Lumatere Chronicles.

New York Times best-selling author LIVIA BLACKBURNE has a PhD in neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science, and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Livia is also the author of Midnight Thief, an Indies Introduce New Voices selection, and its sequel, Daughter of Dusk




ROSEMARKED by Livia Blackburne 
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Wattpad | Add it on Goodreads
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0 Shivaun Plozza, author of FRANKIE, on being prepared to scrap anything and everything

We're delighted to have Shivaun Plozza join us to talk about her debut novel, FRANKIE.

Shivaun, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

So this is a bit of a strange answer but … I am a bit of a prude when it comes to writing romance. I’m not at all prudish when it comes to real life or even when I’m reading but when it comes to writing I have to work hard not to die of embarrassment. I sort of shut my eyes and grimace and squeal and try to get it done as quickly as possible. I don’t know why that is but it made writing the romantic storyline of Frankie a bit tricky. I worked hard on it and I love the banter between Frankie and Nate – those are some of my favourite scenes – but the kissing scene was a nightmare for me! I’m getting better though – I’m actually really proud of the romance in my next book Tin Heart, which comes out in Australia early next year. Hopefully it keeps getting easier for me and I don’t have to shut my eyes while I type the kissing stuff in the future!

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I got lost when I went to university to study creative writing. The problem was that I was at a prestigious university that had a very narrow definition of ‘good’ writing and that did not include writing for teens. My teachers did not respond kindly to my work because I was submitting YA. But instead of staying true to myself I changed my writing style so that I could get good grades but I lost who I was along the way. It took me a long time after university to realise why I wasn’t enjoying writing anymore. My AHA! moment was when I was working as a teacher and was in the library one day with a class of Year Eights quietly reading. I picked up a book to read too – it was On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, one of the best examples of contemporary YA you will ever come across. I completely fell for the story and it reminded me why I wanted to be a writer and how I wanted to write. I suddenly felt free to write the way I wanted without worrying about whether or not it was ‘literary’ enough – because I could see that ‘YA’ and ‘literary’ were not mutually exclusive terms at all. Good writing is good writing, no matter who the audience is. The only reason people look down their noses at YA is because they don’t value and respect teens – which is monumentally silly attitude to have.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I have office space at home and that’s mostly where I write though I do also like to go on writing retreats for a few weeks at a time, as I find I get more done when I’m away from the home environment (and all the distractions therein).

Before I start writing a book I tend to think about the idea for a good year or so. Once I feel like the idea is settled, I start jotting down notes about the structure – I like to have my key plot points figured out before I start writing (though I often end up changing them as I write). I also create a playlist for each book so I can listen to it while I write and I sometimes create ‘mood boards’. I do a lot of preparation before I start writing in terms of the working out the intricacies of the plot and the characters but I am always prepared to scrap anything and everything as I’m writing the first draft because you only get a true feel for the story once you start writing. Going into the project with so much planning under my belt is more about providing a safety net for me – I never feel like it’s something I have to stick to.

How long did you work on FRANKIE?

It took me around four years to complete Frankie. She actually started out as a character in a different story. And she wasn’t half as awesomely bold, sassy and kickarse as she is now. But I worked hard to make her the kind of character I wanted her to be and eventually she outgrew the original story. So I started again and wrote the story that she deserved.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I decided I wanted to be a writer after reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams when I was fourteen. I’d always been an avid reader but this was the first time I’d completely fangirled over a book. I knew that I wanted to be someone who could create stories and characters that people would fall in love with the way I’d fallen for that book. I studied creative writing at uni but my writing wasn’t initially well-received – in fact, I got some seriously negative feedback that made me doubt my abilities as a writer. I lost my way, trying to emulate the style of writing the university wanted rather than being true to who I was. It took me ages to come back from that – I wrote about three or four books in this time that weren’t very good. But that’s okay because to learn how to write you need to actually do it. This means that you pretty much have to write a couple of bad books first so you can learn how to do it right. I also think you never stop learning.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Frankie
by Shivaun Plozza
Hardcover
Flatiron Books
Released 11/7/2017

A genre-hopping, darkly funny novel about searching for the truth, finding yourself, and falling in love.

Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend, or her aunt who's tired of giving second chances.

When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie's half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn't want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes, a criminal record, and secrets of his own.

Frankie's search for the truth could change her life, or cost her everything.

Purchase Frankie at Amazon
Purchase Frankie at IndieBound
View Frankie on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shivaun Plozza is the author of Frankie (Penguin, 2016), a darkly funny novel about searching for the truth, finding yourself and falling in love. She has published short fiction, flash fiction, poetry and essays.  When she's not writing, she's beavering away as an editor and a manuscript assessor.

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Have you had a chance to read FRANKIE yet?

Shivaun likes to think about the story for a year or so before diving in. How do you like to prepare for a new project?

She also likes to have key plot points down before starting even if she's prepared to scrap them. Do you plot your stories or pants them?

Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Charlotte, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Erin, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann