Saturday, August 5, 2017

0 Patty Blount, author of THE WAY IT HURTS, on hitting a wall while writing

We're pleased to have Patty Blount join us to give us the scoop about her latest novel, THE WAY IT HURTS.

Patty, what was your inspiration for writing THE WAY IT HURTS?

I have –or should say had – an active social media presence but over the last couple of years, I’ve taken a big step back because of all the battles waged there. One in particular has de-evolved. It’s called call-out culture. It began as a positive movement to shed spotlights on oppressive or ignorant statements. But it’s since become a socially acceptable form of bullying. The idea for THE WAY IT HURTS was sparked by a Twitter attack on several people I follow.

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?

In my outline, I’d planned for grandma Etta to die from her stroke, but I just couldn’t do it when it came time to write that scene. I recently lost my mom and writing a character’s death hit too close to home. Like my mom, Etta’s too big a part of Kristen’s world and killing her was, ultimately, not essential to furthering the plot. I reconceived the entire novel with the idea of her surviving her stroke and am so glad I did. I think Etta’s continued presence throughout the story shapes Kristen’s decision at the end of the novel.

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

My road to publication was a long one. I have about half a dozen books that were never published – some written before this one and some after! That was a hard lesson for me. I figured once I got published, all of my books would be on shelves one day, but that’s not always true. Published authors still have to pitch and endure rejection. I’m still crossing my fingers that my teen race car driver story will find a home one day. I really love it.

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?

“The Key” actually changes from project to project, at least for me. But I can tell you this… with every book I write, I always hit this wall when suddenly, I hate the characters, hate the premise, hate writing, and figure I’m better off just working a cash register somewhere. I have to regroup, rediscover what makes writing fun again. I do this by reading books. The sheer pleasure of losing myself in the world that lives between the covers of a book reminds me of why I wanted to become an author in the first place. I return to my own work, often reading it without editing, and look for the first place it begins to go off the rails. As soon as I find it, I start making notes about what I’m feeling while reading…and what I’m not. I can usually revise the work into what I envisioned for it, finish the project, and bask in my own little celebration of accomplishment.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on another rape culture story. It’s not a Some Boys sequel, but more of a companion story. While Some Boys was inspired by the Stuebenville rape case, this new book was inspired by the Brock Turner injustice. It will also feature cameos from Ian and Grace, my Some Boys main characters. It’s been enormously fun to hang out with them again.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Way It Hurts
by Patty Blount
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 8/1/2017

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there's only one way to set things right...

Music is Elijah's life. His band plays loud and hard, and he'll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he'd rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town...until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother's. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program―and being the star in her high school musical isn't going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can't take his eyes off of Kristen's performance, and his swooning face is captured on camera and posted with an out-of-context comment. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don't stay online...they follow them into real life.

Purchase The Way It Hurts at Amazon
Purchase The Way It Hurts at IndieBound
View The Way It Hurts on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patty Blount grew up quiet and a bit invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice in books. Today, she writes smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. She’s the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching contemporary and young adult romance. Still a bit introverted, she gets lost often, eats way too much chocolate, and tends to develop mad, passionate crushes on fictional characters. Let’s be real; Patty’s not nearly as cool as her characters, but she is a solid supporter of women’s rights and loves delivering school presentations.

Patty is best known for her internet issues novels, including SOME BOYS, a 2015 CLMP Firecracker winner and SEND, a 2012 Junior Library Guild Fall Pick. Visit her website at pattyblount.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter. She blogs at YA Outside the Lines and is also active online. She loves hearing from readers, especially when they tell her she’s cool (even though she knows it’s not true), and is easily bribed with chocolate. Never underestimate the power of chocolate.

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Have you had a chance to read THE WAY IT HURTS yet? What helps you proceed after hitting a writing wall? Have you changed a story point because it hits too close to home? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

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

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