Celebrating Debutantes, FEATURES, Giveaways, Interviews

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander (Character Interview with Elsie + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

So, I got the chance to corner Elsie Main of The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander for a short interview today. Elsie is quite shy and prefer to be alone so I’m really surprised and thrilled that she agreed to answers few questions for me.

Following my interview with Elsie is some information about author Sarah Alexander along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book descriptions and where to pre-order copies.

You may also enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an ARC of from Sarah.

Interview with Elsie Main from The Art of Not Breathing

You’re Elsie Main, right? How are you today?

No, sorry. You must be mistaken. *shrugs, walks away*

Wait! Aren’t you the girl who can freedive? Can you please introduce yourself so everyone knows a little bit more about you? It’ll only take a minute.

*Smiles at the mention of diving, shakes water from hair* OK, because you asked nicely. I’ve just been on an incredible dive – the water was beautiful, it’s starting to warm up a bit now. You should try it. Anyway, I’m Elsie Main, and I’m sixteen. I live in Scotland with my parents and older brother Dillon, but they do their own thing. I have a twin brother too, but he died when we were eleven.

Sorry about your twin brother Eddie. Can you tell us more about him? Any precious memory of him you can share with us?

Thanks. I miss him, although he’s never far away. He had a brilliant sense of humour – he loved silly jokes and he loved to be buried in the sand. Dillon and I took it a bit too far once and got bits of beach up his nose. He broke free of the sand, spraying it everywhere, and chased us down with clumps of seaweed. Eventually he tripped and wailed to mum that it was my fault – she went nuts at me and wouldn’t let me have dessert that night. Eddie was always getting me in trouble, but it worked both ways. I did mean stuff too. I wish I hadn’t, of course.

What was it like the morning after Eddie’s accident?

Surreal. I hadn’t eaten or slept much so everything felt fuzzy. I kept shaking my head, hoping to wake up from the nightmare. Dillon went back down to the beach to look for Eddie, and I followed him into the water. Looking back it was so stupid, we both could have drowned. Later, we were hiding in a cupboard when the police came to say they were calling off the search. I thought they had come for me…
Can we talk about something else, please? I can tell you about diving, if you like.

Can you describe to us what it’s like when you are free diving? What are your thoughts when you are at the bottom of the ocean?

*Exhales loudly* It’s like nothing else in this world. I love the sensation of water passing over my face as I dive down, the way the light changes the deeper I go. And the moment of calm just before I come back up. When I’m down there I think of all sorts of things – sometimes I think about Eddie and the fun days we had, other times I’m planning what to write in my college application. But a lot of the time I just and consider how big the ocean is, how much we still don’t know about what’s down there.

Any tips for those who are considering trying free diving?

The most important tip is not to do it alone. Sign up for introductory program to get a taster first with a professional instructor. There are plenty of things you can do on dry land to prepare – practice some deep breathing and do lots of stretches and find a mask you like. When you get in the water, take it slowly and listen to your body. Let me know how it goes!

What would be your advice to teens who have experienced lost like yours?

Well, I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask. Don’t do what I did which was bottle it all up. Talk to someone. If you can’t talk to your family, perhaps there is a friend who’s a good listener. Or if you really don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, then go to a doctor and ask for counselling. I’m having counselling now and I don’t always talk in my sessions, but having a safe place to process stuff is helping. Losing someone close to you is the hardest thing life throws at you and you feel as though nothing will feel good ever again. But good days will come, and when they do, don’t feel guilty about it.

Lastly, can you share one of Eddie’s favourite jokes?

OK. What did one tidepool say to the other tidepool?
Show me your mussels!
Ha! He loved that one – he’d do that ridiculous thing where you push against the flesh on the inside of your arm to make your bicep look enormous. *demonstrates, shows enormous bicep*

Thank you so much Elsie for taking the time to answer all my questions above. And thank you also Sarah for allowing Elsie today. Looking forward to the released of The Art of Not Breathing this coming April 26th, 2016.

Sarah Alexander AuthorABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Alexander grew up in London with dreams of exploring the world and writing stories. After spending several years wandering the globe and getting into all sorts of scrapes, she returned to London to complete a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College in 2013. She works in publishing and lives with her husband and two chickens. THE ART OF NOT BREATHING is her first novel.

Find Sarah

Website | Facebook | TwitterPinterest | Goodreads


The Art of Not BreathingBook Details:

Title: The Art of Nor Breathing
Author: Sarah Alexander
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Reader
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover, eBooks, Audio

One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone.

Elsie can’t piece together what really happened the day her twin brother Eddie drowned in the North Sea; she can only remember the time that followed, enduring her parents wrecked marriage, bonding with her older brother, Dillon, and secretly talking to Eddie in her head.

Five years later, at sixteen, Elsie is a girl who sneaks cigarettes, steals candy bars, and daydreams during school…anything to distract herself from the sadness at home. Then she meets Tay, a boy who introduces her to free diving, a sport that allows Elsie to confront the rough waters that claimed Eddie’s life. There, underneath the surface of the sea, Elsie uncovers memories of the day Eddie disappeared…and truths about herself and her family.

Part mystery, part portrait of a girl, Sarah Alexander’s debut is an emotionally-electric read about love, loss, and the ties that bind.

Book Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books in A Million | Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads



What’s up for Grab?

  • ARC of The of Not Breathing

The Art of Not Breathing_ARCThe Rules:

  • Open to US/Canada addresses only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends April 8, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!

celebrating debutantes 2016 collage


7 thoughts on “Celebrating Debutantes 2016: The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander (Character Interview with Elsie + Giveaway)”

  1. Characters facing struggles like these immediately win my sympathy and their stories capture my imagination very often. I am psyched to engage with this story of adversity in youth. Cheers, Kara S


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