Sunday, October 19, 2014

0 Chelsey Philpot, author of EVEN IN PARADISE, on the benefits of early morning ocean breezes and jumping out of airplanes.

What is your favorite thing about EVEN IN PARADISE?

That it’s a real book…kidding…but kind of not.
Truthfully, I am so grateful that I had a story to tell and that that story is now a beautifully designed book that readers can read—that readers want to read.
It has been so rewarding and fascinating to learn what individuals take away from Even in Paradise—what motifs and themes one person might latch onto versus another. For example, YA author Leila Sales found the story to be about “tragedy and destructiveness of wealth,” while author Elizabeth LaBan latched on to “that startling concept that one mistake can change the course of your life forever.”

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

When my three siblings and I were growing up, our father used to say, “the day is half over by ten o’clock.” We grew up on a farm and even as adults, we all still cling to the habit of waking up wicked early. I wrote Even in Paradise in the dark hours of the morning at an old wooden desk in my shoebox-size Brooklyn apartment. I drank cups and cups of coffee so strong it seemed like I should be able to chew it. In warmer months, I wore faded T-shirts and too large shorts. In colder months, I pulled on a ratty cashmere sweater or one of the many well-worn flannel shirts I’ve stolen from my father.
For my second book, I’ve kept to this ritual, save for the facts that my desk is now in New England instead of Brooklyn and the morning breezes that come through my window smell of the nearby ocean instead of the donuts baking in the bodega on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Union Street.

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

This question has been answered eloquently and thoughtfully by many talented writers, and I second their advice. It is so true that in order to be a writer you have to read, work at it every day, and accept setbacks as challenges.
To this wisdom, I would only add this in: To be a writer, you have to choose a brave life. Not just because writing is difficult and requires tenacity, but also because I’ve found that the larger you live, the more you have to write about.
Jump out of airplanes. Travel. Say “yes” instead of no. Live out of a suitcase. Start conversations with strangers. To poorly paraphrase Henry David Thoreau: you cannot sit down to write if you have not stood up to live.

What are you working on now?

I am working on my second young adult novel. I’m not ready to say much about it, but I will share that part of my research involved skydiving.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Even in Paradise
by Chelsey Philpot
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 10/14/2014

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

Purchase Even in Paradise at Amazon
Purchase Even in Paradise at IndieBound
View Even in Paradise on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Chelsey Philpot is a  bibliophile, museum haunter, and library devotee.

She writes about books, culture, travel, and the arts for the Boston Globe, New York TimesBuzzFeed, and many other publications. When she's not actuallywriting, she teaches writing at Boston University. Before moving to New England, she was a book reviews editor at School Library Journal in New York City.

HarperCollins will publish her first young adult novel, Even in Paradise, in October 2014.

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