Saturday, July 8, 2017

0 Rowan Maness, author of BOMBSHELL, on how lies can reveal our true selves

We aren't sure what hit us, but we sure are glad to have Rowan Maness sit down to help us navigate her latest novel, BOMBSHELL.

Rowan, 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'm most proud of the scene at Papago Park, when Joss meets James, a man she has been chatting with online and fallen in some kind of love with. It was fun to write, and wound up kind of breaking my heart. The fallout of that scene and Joss' walk through a hallucinatory version of the desert is probably my favorite part of the book.

How long did you work on BOMBSHELL?

Bombshell took me a year to write, and Simon & Schuster bought it way back in 2014. I'm married to a screenwriter, and I thought Hollywood moved slowly, but the literary world is even slower.
What do you hope readers will take away from BOMBSHELL?

I hope that someone out there will feel warmly towards Joss, despite her many flaws, and maybe even see themselves in her. I'd love for readers to think about what lies they are telling themselves and other people, and what those lies reveal about their true selves.

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

I work at home, usually during my younger daughter's first nap of the day. Though frustrating, following a child's nap schedule winds up making me more productive in the end, since I know my time is limited and am therefore less likely to stare out the window for half an hour or scroll through Instagram until my brain hurts. I make play lists and vision boards for all my projects, and when I was writing Bombshell certain songs were really important for getting me in the zone. I'd listen to them, turn the music off, and start writing. Once I get started, silence and snacks are my two necessities.

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

Write every day for at least an hour. Stop after one hour if you're struggling -- the ritual is what is important. It's about teaching your mind and body that there's no escape from doing the work. Another writer suggested I do this, and it's possibly the only advice I've ever taken. Even if I don't always listen to it...

What are you working on now?

I am in the very beginning stages of a new, non-YA novel, and am working on developing Bombshell as a TV series.


by Rowan Maness
Simon Pulse
Released 7/4/2017

MTV’s Catfish meets We Were Liars in this compelling story about a teenage girl who isn’t quite what she seems.

In real life, Joss Wyatt is an ordinary teenage girl, with a tight-knit group of friends and a potential boyfriend. But online, she’s an art restorer in Washington, DC, a model jet-setting around Europe, a southern beauty queen trapped in a loveless marriage. Online, she’s anyone she wants to be.

For years, Joss has maintained a varied set of alternative lives, using them to escape the boredom that is her existence in a generic Arizona suburb. But when she starts receiving anonymous messages threatening to reveal her identity to everyone she knows—both in real life and online—Joss’s carefully constructed worlds begin to unravel. Can Joss catch her stalker before all of her worlds collapse?

Purchase Bombshell at Amazon
Purchase Bombshell at IndieBound
View Bombshell on Goodreads


Rowan Maness was born and raised in the desert, on the edges of the vast Phoenix, Arizona ‘burbs. She earned her first paycheck in high school, when she won a writing contest with an essay about the importance of honesty – at the same time she was busy creating multiple fake personalities online.
One of those fake personalities met the man who would eventually become Rowan’s husband, and she moved to Los Angeles to be with him and attend art school. In 2009, the day before she gave birth to her daughter, Rowan graduated from CalArts despite not being able to paint, act, dance, animate or schmooze. Valentine Bell: the golden Year is her first published work.


Have you had a chance to read BOMBSHELL yet? Did this novel allow you to reflect on the lies you hear and share? What is your trick for not getting distracted while writing? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

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

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