Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson (Character Interview and Giveaway)

Today, I’m featuring a YA contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Author Kate Watson take her own spin of the classic story in her debut novel, Seeking Mansfield. Kate re-imagine Mansfield Park in a modern setting with a dash of humor and romance. So if you haven’t read the book yet, I suggest you pick a copy. And check the character interview below for a chance to meet and know a little bit about the main character Finley Price.

Following the character interview is Kate Watson’s author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Seeking Mansfield. And if you are in the US or Canada and would like the chance to win a copy of the book, Kate is giving away a finished copy. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post to be enter on the giveaway.

Character Interview with Finley Price of Seeking Mansfield

Hi Finley! How are you? Please introduce yourself so everyone know a little bit more about you. 

Hi, thanks for having me. I’m Finley Price. *shy wave* I love theater and movies, if you can’t tell from the state of my room. In Harry Potter speak, I guess I’d be a Hufflepuff. In Hamilton speak, I’d definitely be Eliza. Oh, do you see my Hamilton Playbill? Isn’t it gorgeous? I’ve seen Hamilton twice now, and I’m seriously considering selling off a kidney to see it again. It’s one of my favorite…what, sorry?

Why do I have so many posters of Gabriel Price?

Do we have to talk about that? I’d really rather talk about why I think so few plays translate into movies, and why some film stars struggle to connect on the stage. I’d even rather talk about what it’s like to be displaced, living with my godparents or the challenges of sorting through feelings of love versus feelings of duty and…and…

Yes, Gabriel Price was my dad. And I know he was a phenomenal actor, but he was an even better father. He was the best person who ever lived.

Lets say you have a chance to talk to your Dad right now, what are the things you want to tell him? 

Wow, you’re not making this easy on a girl, are you? I guess I’d tell him I love him and thank him for making me feel so wholly, unconditionally loved as I was growing up. I would want him to know that I’m trying to be my best every day, just like he did, and that, although I struggle with feelings of anger and self-worth and not quite knowing where I belong in this world, none of those things are his fault. If anything, I’d be completely lost without the influence he still has on me. And, you know, I’d tell him how much I miss him. Every second of every day.

Anything you want to tell to your Mom?

My mom? No. I don’t have anything to say to her. I prefer not to think about her, honestly. If anything, she should have some things to say to me. Mothers are supposed to be there for you and love you and grieve with you and let you grieve. They’re supposed to be the shoulder you cry on, not burn your shoulder with cigarettes on the morning of your dad’s funeral because you begged her to put down the bottle and… *sharp intake of breath*

No. I have nothing to say to her. Can you, I don’t know, is it possible for that to be off the record, maybe? I’d like to move on now.

To those who are not familiar with theater. What are the key responsibilities of a theatrical director?

Oh, good. I like this question. Directing is so much more than just auditions, casting, and leading rehearsals. It’s pacing and emotion and creating a memorable experience. A director works with all the different tech and design crews to make sure the production looks and sounds right. They also block the play—meaning they outline exactly how the actors stand to ensure things like appropriate audience sight lines and, well, dramatic effect. They have to be involved with pretty much every step of a production to make sure their vision can become a satisfying reality for the audience.

I’m sure you are familiar with Jane Austen. What do you think of her and her works? Any favourite book of her?

Actually—am I allowed to admit this?—I haven’t read any Jane Austen. I’m sure I will someday, but I read plays more than anything. Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde, all of the classics. When it comes to classic novels, though…oh, I love Charlotte Bronte! I think I’ve read Jane Eyre about 15 times. The way Jane fights for her freedom and wants to be her own person, the way she wants to be someone who acts instead of just being acted upon? And how she wants to live a life of passion and equality, all while holding true to her personal values? I love it. Her courage inspires me.

What play directed by someone else you wish you’d directed?

Hamilton. Next question?

What advice do you have for potential theatrical director who has big dreams like you?

I don’t know if I’m in a place to deliver anyone advice, but I’ll tell you what I do. I’ve read every book on stage directing and the biographies of famous directors and playwrights. I love learning about the craft and the people who push boundaries to make it great. Beyond that, I try to make sure that, in whatever I’m watching—especially plays, but also TV and movies—I act as a student of the craft. I allow myself to watch something for pleasure only once, and then the second or third time is with a critical eye while taking copious notes. Repeat viewings of a play, for example, allow me to look past the performances and spectacle and see the mechanics that make everything come to life. And I find watching poorly executed plays to be as helpful as well executed ones, because then I can compare and contrast the experiences.

And lastly, what’s the worse movie you’ve seen?

Define worst. Because a lot of different categories own a “worst movie.” The worst horror movie will give you a completely different experience than the worst dance movie or the worst disaster movie (which is almost redundant, really, because disaster movies tend to be so deliciously awful, don’t they?). That said, my favorite types of movies to hate watch are probably horror or sci-fi/disaster. But then, you have to ask yourself, what did the creators intend with this movie? Like Troll 2 can’t really be compared to Sharknado, because the former is totally unintentional, and delivers a special, delightful type of pain, while the latter is brilliantly deliberate, which dramatically reduces the cringe-factor.

So…um, I’m sorry. Can you repeat the question?

Thanks so much Finley for answering all my questions above. And thank you also to Kate for allowing Finley to do this interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy. Seeking Mansfield is her first novel, with the companion, Shoot the Moon, to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s Welcome Home adoption anthology coming fall of 2017 from Flux. She lives and writes in Arizona.

Kate is represented by Dawn Frederick with Red Sofa Literary.

Find Kate

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: Seeking Mansfield
Author: Kate Watson
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Pages: 300
Format: Paperback, eBook

Sixteen year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend and godparents’ son, Oliver Bertram. If she could just take Oliver’s constant encouragement to heart, she’d finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move across the street from the Bertram’s, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his vapid sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver’s stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her.

But Finley doesn’t want to be won, and she doesn’t want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver’s heart—and keep her own—she’ll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

SEEKING MANSFIELD is a charming YA contemporary reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic Mansfield Park, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Book Depository | Goodreads | IndieBound

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Finished copy of Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson

The Rules:

  • Open to US or Canda residents only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends August 25th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Castaways by Jessika Fleck (Playlist + Giveaway)

Today I’m thrilled to welcome new author Jessika Fleck to the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 event. Jessika will be sharing a playlist that she made for her debut fantasy novel The Castaways.

Following the playlist are some information about the author, Jessika Fleck along with places where to find her online, as well as the book‘s description and where to get copies of The Castaways. And if you are in the US and would like the chance to win a copy of the book, Jessika is giving away a signed copy of The Castaways and swags. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post to be enter on the giveaway. But before that here’s The Castaways playlist from Jessika.

Happy listening!

The Castaways Playlist

For The Castaways I focused on a mix of music that reminded me of the beach and a sort of surfer vibe with Family of the Year, Jack Johnson, and Vance Joy, along with a folksy feel for Olive’s Texas side from artists like Noah Gundersen and Mumford and Sons, and then to more youthful sounds from Alessia Cara to Ed Sheeran to Birdy. All in all, this playlist pairs with the story beautifully.

In an earlier version of The Castaways, I broke the story into acts inspired by the lyrics of It’s Only Life by The Shins. This song very quickly became the story’s battle cry during the drafting stage. It’s haunting and beautiful and so raw and even mentions a lion: It’s Only Life by The Shins.

At one point, my critique partner emailed me the link to the video for Atlas Hands by Benjamin Francis Leftwich. The subject line read something like “OMG! This IS your book!!!” And, per usual, she was right on. It’s almost creepy (in all the right ways) how close this music video and song portrays my story–a few of my characters even make ‘appearances’! Atlas Hands by Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

Leading up to release day, I did a blog series called Countdown to THE CASTAWAYS. Each post listed, among others details, that particular character’s song–so fun to find the perfect music and lyrics to fit their individual personalities and backstories: Countdown to THE CASTAWAYS

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessika Fleck is a writer, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. She’s never been known to pass up a good cup of coffee or a great pair of boots. Her work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, The Kidliterati. Her YA fantasy, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled Teen) debuts April 3, 2017. THE OFFERING (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases in the fall of 2018. Jessika is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Find Jessika

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: The Castaways
Author: Jessika Fleck
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Publication Date: April 03, 2017
Pages: 302
Format: Paperback, eBook

The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous.

Renowned for its infamous corn maze… and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing.

Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home.

Book Links:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo | Publisher

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed copy of THE CASTAWAYS by Jessika Fleck
  • Book Swag

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents only
  • There will be one (1) lucky winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends August 3rd, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the banner above or go to the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook via #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: How To Stage A Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly (Character Interview and Giveaway)

 

Today I am absolutely thrilled to share to all of you my interview with the main character of How to Stage A Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly. If you haven’t read the book yet today is your chance to meet the main character, Sidney Camazzola.

And If you’d like to know a bit more about the book, How to Stage A Catastrophe the descriptions and places to find copies online are below. Also, if you’d like to know more about the author, Rebecca Donnelly’s bio and links to find her online are just after my interview with Sid. And if you’d like the to win a copy of the How to Stage A Catastrophe just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win one. Open to everyone where book depository ships.

Have fun reading the interview!

Interview with Sidney Camazzola of How To Stage A Catastrophe

To start things off, can you please introduce yourself so everyone will know more about you?
I’m Sidney Cammazola–Sidney Horatio Cammazola, if you want my full name. I live Hatahatchee, Florida, the best town on Earth, and I help out with all the props at the best theater on Earth, the Juicebox. One day I’m going to be the director there, when I’m old enough, but I guess twelve isn’t old enough yet. I have one big sister, May, one little sister, Pen, a mom, a dad, and a karaoke-singing grandma, and that’s about as good as life can get.

The Juicebox Theater is about to close, what makes you think you can save it?
It’s only going to close if we can’t earn enough money to keep it going, and like my best friend Folly says, There’s money out there if you know where to find it. We just have to figure out where the money is. Maybe we’ll earn enough money selling Useful Household Goods, like Folly suggested. The Juicebox is a children’s theater, and it’s not big or fancy, but it means a lot to all the kids who go there. We can’t let it close down. We’re going to figure something out, don’t worry.

You aspire to be a theatre director, can you tell us what your dream project is? Any particular actors you want to work with in project?
My sister May would probably kill me if I didn’t pick a musical so she could sing in it, but I’m sorry, May, I’m not picking Phantom of the Opera. I’m going to pick A Year with Frog and Toad, because I know my little sister would like that, and because I think it would look really good with some puppets made by my friend Jelly Baby. Plus, there are songs, so May can sing if she really wants to. She could be Frog and Neil Patrick Harris could be Toad.

If you could write yourself into any one play, which one would you most like to be part of and what role would you play?
Didn’t you see me freeze up on stage during our Variety Show? I’m pretty sure I’m made to be behind the curtain, not in front of it, but if I had to pick something, I’d pick one where I get to hide. (No, May, wearing the Phantom’s mask doesn’t count as hiding.) Did they make a play out of Where’s Waldo? He’s really hard to find.

You and Folly are pretty close, is there anything you want to tell Folly after all the crazy adventures you’ve both gone through?
Mostly I want to tell him thanks for being my best friend. Thanks for teaching me how to have a winning smile. Thanks for helping me figure out this whole mysterious mess and always being the good guy. You deserve the Golden Bowtie, Folly!

Anything you want to say to interested parties, curious stander by’s, friends and foes?
Yep. I’d say, don’t miss the next season at the Juicebox. If you don’t live in Hatahatchee, go catch a show somewhere near you! And make sure you buy something from the concession stand. Just watch out for meringues, sneaky orange dogs, greedy guys with crowbars, and very shallow trap doors.

Thanks so much Sid for answering all my questions and thank you also to Rebecca for allowing Sid to the interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Donnelly was born in England and has lived in California, Florida, and New Mexico. These days she writes and runs a small rural library in upstate New York. Her debut middle-grade novel, HOW TO STAGE A CATASTROPHE, will be published by Capstone Young Readers in April 2017.

Find Rebecca

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: How to Stage a Catastrophe
Author: Rebecca Donnelly
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House
Publication Date: April 1, 2017
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover, Paperback

Sidney plans to be the director of the Juicebox Theater when he grows up. For now, he handles the props, his best friend Folly works the concession stand, and his sister May hangs out in the spotlight. But the theater is in danger of closing, and the kids know they need a plan to save it and fast. When they join a local commerce club to earn money, Sid and Folly uncover some immoral business practices, and it gives them a great idea for saving the theater. That is, if you can call extortion a great idea. Hilarious and heartwarming, the mission to save a failing community theater unites a riotous cast of characters in this offbeat middle-grade novel.

Book Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | IndieBound

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  •  How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly

The Rules:

  • Open to international where book depository ships
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends August 1st, 2017
  • Prize will be sent via book depository

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Doreen by Ilana Manaster (Character Interview + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 Second Wave

Hey Everyone!

The second wave of CelebratingDebutantes2016 blog event is still on going! Today I am absolutely thrilled to share to all of you my interview with the main character of Doreen by Ilana Manaster. This newly released novel is a retelling of a classic story, Dorian Gray with a gender-swapped role. Isn’t that interesting? Dorian Gray as a girl in modern day setting?

If you haven’t read the book yet or for some reason aren’t familiar, today is your chance to meet the main character, Doreen Gray.

And if you’d like to know a bit more about the book, the descriptions and places to find copies online are below. Also, if you’d like to know more about the author, Ilana Manaster’s bio and links to find her online are just after mt interview with Doreen.

Don’t forget to check the giveaways below for a chance to win a copy of the Doreen.

Have fun reading the interview!

Character Interview with Doreen Gray

To start things off, can you please introduce yourself so everyone will know more about you?

My name is Doreen Gray. I was born at Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. My father, Roland Gibbons IV, comes from an old East Coast family, but he and my mother divorced when I was little, so my Mom went back to the Midwest to raise me. It wasn’t great there. I was a victim of vicious bullies at my school so, even though they hadn’t spoken for ages, my Mom demanded that my father pay for me to go to his fancy alma mater, Chandler Academy, in New Hampshire. My cousin, Biz Gibbons-Brown is a star student there. And she happens to be roommates with the prettiest, most popular girl in school, Heidi Whelan. Amazingly, we become friends. Even more amazingly, after Biz takes my picture, a miraculous transformation comes over me. I become beautiful!

Let’s say you meet Dorian Gray today, what are the things you want to tell or ask him?

First of all, I would suggest that we go shopping. That guy has amazing taste! Then I would ask if he had advice for coping with jealous people. Lastly, I would ask him: was it all worth it? I have a feeling I know what he would say about that.

How about your Dad, is there anything you want to tell or ask him?

My Dad? Why do you bring him up? Uh, I don’t know. I guess, I mean, he took care of himself when I was growing up, and at the time I was mad about it, but now I kind of understand. Or, I don’t understand? But I forgive him. Or, I don’t forgive him, but I’m careful about bringing that stuff up. I really don’t want to blow it with him. So I would ask him something benign, maybe about art. He’s really into art. Not making it, like Biz, but buying and selling it.

If you could change one thing about yourself aside from your physical appearance, what would it be and why?

I sometimes wish I could just be comfortable. Like, that I wasn’t so paranoid that people are making fun of me, or that they are after something of mine.

If money won’t be an issue and you have a few days free of responsibilities, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d love to do it up in London. Everyone says I look like a young Elizabeth Taylor, and she’s from there. And Kate Middleton is my obsession.

Lastly, share to us your top five (5) favorite things you own.

Here you go:

I own a certain picture, a gift from my cousin Biz. It is my prized possession and my secret.
A single dirty green glove that was given to me by my first love, Simon Vale, as a way to talk to me.
A pair of electric blue Roger Vivier heels that I “borrowed” from a store during my first shopping trip to New York with Heidi.
A pair of killer diamond earrings that had belonged to a distant relative.
A perfect white Balenciaga City bag. The very first thing my father bought me for my new, um, look.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Ilana ManasterIlana Manaster has an MFA in fiction and translation from Columbia University. She volunteered as a mentor to young writers through Girls Write Now and has performed her own writing in a one-woman show in the Fringe Festival as a stand-up comedian. Doreen is her debut novel.

Find Ilana

WebsiteTwitterGoodreads | Tumblr


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Doreen

Title: Doreen
Author: Ilana Manaster
Publisher: Running Press
Publication Date: June 07, 2016
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover

When Doreen Gray walks in the vaulted doorway of elite Chandler Academy, she is a sad, disastrous mess of acne, frizzy hair, and low self-esteem. Heidi Whelan, social-climber turned queen bee, takes one look and knows she has found her new protégé…and the key to making her ultimate vengeful move. Heidi gets her old-monied bookworm roommate Biz Gibbons-Brown to stage a photo shoot and work her Photoshop magic to give Doreen a true society debut.The result? A stunning profile pic that looks nothing like the real Doreen.

What none of the girls expect is to see Doreen wake up the next morning the embodiment of the glossy, digital makeover. Now, in order to maintain her sleek façade, Doreen has to hide her real self and the only hardcopy of the original photo, which begins to rapidly and disturbingly deteriorate. What will the secret do to her soul? As Heidi loses control of her grand creation, the rest of her master plan must morph into a different shape.

Out with nineteenth century London and in with twenty-first century New England. Featuring a triangle of teen girls instead of a trio of gentlemen, Doreen is a sleek and scandal-filled YA retelling of Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Book Links:

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • copies of Doreen by Ilana Manaster

The Rules:

  • Open to US/CA and PH
  • There will be two (2) winners. One for US/CA and 1 for PH readers
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 10th, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the publicist for US/CA while PH will be from me

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 second wave feature post!

CD2016 Second Wave Collage

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Life Before by Michele Bacon (Author & Character Interview + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

Last June 07, 2016, Michelle Bacon released her YA contemporary debut novel Life Before, which I got the chance of reading before it hit the shelves of local and international book stores. The book which I reviewed here on the blog is a powerful novel told from a raw and honest voice of the main protagonist Alexander Fife.

Today on the blog, I am trilled to be able to share an interview not only with the author of Life Before but also with the main character, Xander. So if you’d like to know what Michele had to say about her debut novel and her writings or just want to meet and know more about Xander here’s your chance.

Follows after the interviews below are Michele Bacon’s bio and Life Before‘s description and other important details.

Also, don’t forget to check the fabulous giveaway at the bottom of this feature for a chance to win a signed copy of the book, plus tons of fabulous prizes.

Enjoy reading!

Interview with Michele Bacon

Can you tell us a bit about your journey with your debut novel, Life Before? When did you first come up with the idea and what were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?

This novel had a long journey. I first drafted the story—with an adult female protagonist— more than a decade ago. Life got in the way, and I stuck it in a drawer for years. When I decided to return to the story, it felt too autobiographical and the adult perspective was too far removed from the story. It really resonated with me as a novel for teens, so I rewrote it while I was on an 18-month sabbatical in New Zealand. When I returned to the States, I queried and sold it. It was very different and much stronger than the original story.

The biggest change between selling and publishing it was chapter 35, which—hoo boy—changed a lot.

As a writer, do you feel like you are writing yourself or pieces of yourself in Life Before? Why?

Absolutely. I won’t get into details, but Xander and I shared many parts of our childhoods. I gave him my history, my fears, and my early relationship with my father. Writing this book, and talking about my childhood, has been very cathartic for me.

What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in creating Xander and his story?

I’m surprised at how much I’ve started talking about abuse. I thought this story would resonate with teens. I thought it was a story about secrets and about hiding yourself from the world. I’ve spent far more time talking about *my* specific secret, and talking to others who share it.

How was the writing experience from Xander’s perspective? Did you encounter any challenges in writing from a male point of view? How did you deal with it?

I think we all are more alike than we are different, and by putting certain thoughts and behaviors into boxes labeled “male” and “female” only pushes us further apart. I didn’t have trouble with his point of view, but I did consult friends about their first romantic and sexual experiences in high school. Xander likes legs a LOT, so I asked (too many. Far too many) questions of one of my friends who also loves legs. In the end, we cut most of those details anyway!

Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?

I am editing two novels right now: a YA novel about ambition and an adult novel about grief.

Character Interview with Xander Fife

To start things off, can you please introduce yourself so everyone will know more about you?

I’m Xander Fife. I’m 17, er, 18. I turned 18 yesterday. I play soccer and euchre and love Buckeye Barbecue wings. I love science. I’ll be a freshman at Tulane later this month. I totally missed new student orientation, but they’re still letting me in. I think. Friday August 26. Until then, I’m just chilling with my friends in Laurel. My mom died earlier this summer, but I guess you know that. That’s why we’re talking today.

Belated Happy Birthday Xander!!! Sorry I’m too excited about this interview that I totally forgot about your birthday! Sorry no gifts from me. I’ll just give you a big hug 🙂

Now, next question. If you could pull out a bad memory from your past and fix it and make it into a good memory, which memory would it be and how would you make it a good one?

If you’re asking whether I’d change the past, I for sure would want to save my mom’s life. But I don’t think you’re asking that. Honestly, I think I’d rather just erase the bad ones. I’d like to erase my father completely. Gretchen made me read this book, More Happy Than Not, have you read it? There’s a memory-alteration technique in that book that just erases whole swathes of your life or personality. I’d totally excise every memory of my father—even the rare good ones—from my life completely.

I haven’t read More Happy Than Not but now that you mentioned it and with those interesting details, I’m pushing it to the top of my tbr pile.

Let’s say you are traveling for leisure and not to get away from your Dad and also have enough cash with you, where will you go and what will you do? What kind of adventure do you think you will have?

Wow. My answer is so different now than it would have been three months ago. I really wanted to see everything and do everything. San Diego and the Outer Banks and Ocean City, Maryland and Hawaii—not that Hawaii is an actual option if we’re talking road trop. But, I don’t know. I’ll get to those places someday, but I’d kind of like to go back to Burlington. I’m assuming I’m still restricted in other ways, and will have to con Jill, Gretchen, or Tucker to drive. I’d kind of like to road trip with all of them, actually. Imagine how amazing it would be to have all my favorite people in one place. Two halves of my life sewn up together.

That probably wouldn’t fly with Tucker. But I could probably convince the girls to go. Hold on.
[Xander texts a message to Jill.]
Thanks for the idea, man!

If you can have one more day with your mom, what are the things that you’ll do together? Any thing you want to say to her?

[Xander smiles broadly as tears spring to his eyes.] I mean. I want to talk to her more than anything. I want to hear her voice. I have so many questions for her, all this stuff we never got to. I’d settle for sitting on the sofa listening to all her stories. With lots of hugs.

Lots of hugs. Yeah. Can we take a break?

Yes, of course. Take your time. I won’t go anywhere…

Now, on the lighter side. Let’s talk about your best friend Jill. I like the friendship you share with Jill, that in-spite of her being a girl you two are good friends and almost like siblings. Are there things you want to say to Jill for always being there for you?

Oh, man. She would be so pissed at you for saying “in-spite of her being a girl.”

Jill is my best friend, truly. And now that I’m living with her family now, we might as well be siblings. I love her like a sister. Here’s the thing: Jill is a true friend. She knew everything about me—everything—and still stood by me. She’s loyal to a fault. We bicker like siblings, too. She’s constantly stealing my crispy bacon. She eats Oreos like a toddler. But she’s awesome. I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

Aw! I think I’ll be probably Jill’s competition with crispy bacon. I’ll steal yours and hers too. Just don’t tell Jill.

Share to us one thing you learned from running away that you think you will carry for life.

I learned to trust myself, trust my instincts.

Lastly, share to us five of your favorite books.

Jack Kerouac’s On The Road
Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything
Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not (Gretchen made me read this, and I’m so glad I did.)
Kurt Dinan’s Don’t Get Caught (Jill recommended this one.)
Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm

Thank you so much Michelle for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above, as well as for allowing Xander for an interview too. I had so much fun talking to both you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Michele BaconFrom a young age, Michele Bacon was drawn to people’s stories, and she remains eager to learn how you met your best friend or fell in love. In pursuit of anecdotes and adventure, Michele travels widely, always with pen in hand, creating extensive plot outlines and character idiosyncrasies in her mostly-illegible scrawl. She works privately with other writers to hone their craft and finds particular joy in workshops with teens. Outside of writing, Michele is a tabletop game enthusiast, passionate skier, avid baker, and lover of prime numbers. Michele lives in Seattle with her husband and three adventurous daughters.

Find Michele

WebsiteTwitter | InstagramGoodreads


 ABOUT THE BOOK

Life Before

 

Book Details:

Title: Life Before
Author: Michele Bacon
Publisher:  Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Seventeen years is a long time to keep secrets, so Xander Fife is very good at it: everyone believes he has a normal family. If he can just get through this summer, he’ll start his real life in college with a clean slate–no risk, no drama, no fear.

Xander’s summer plans include pick-up soccer, regular hijinks with friends, an epic road trip, and—quite possibly— the company of his ideal girlfriend, the amazing Gretchen Taylor.

Instead of kicking off what had promised to be an amazing summer, however, graduation day brings terror. His family’s secrets are thrust out into the open, forcing Xander to confront his greatest fear. Or run from it.

Armed with a fake ID, cash, and a knife, Xander skips town and assumes a new identity. In danger hundreds of miles from home, one thing is clear: Xander’s real life is already in progress and just getting through it isn’t enough.

Amazon | Book Depository | B&N | Goodreads | iBooks

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • a signed finished copy of LIFE BEFORE by Michele Bacon,
  • deck of playing cards, Gretchen’s favorite lip balm, signed bookmarks, and a snack

The Rules:

  • Open to International
  • 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 August 31st, 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 second wave feature post!

CD2016 Second Wave Collage

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods (Character Interview with Wil + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

This is it! Finally I will be able to share to all of you this upcoming YA contemporary debut novel Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods. Ever since I read the book last February, I’m excited to feature it here on the blog so everyone will know about this fun and beautiful story that kept me smiling and laughing in the best way possible. Today we have the main character, Wil for a short interview which I hope will convinced you to read more of her story when the book hit the shelves in May 2016.

To know more about this upcoming release and Darcy Woods, check the author’s bio and book’s description that follows after the interview, as well as links where to find Darcy and where to pre-order copies of Summer of Supernovas.

And don’t forget to check the giveaway as well at the bottom for a chance to win a signed advance readers’ copy and swoony swags pack. Also, watch out for my review near the publication date.

Interview with Wil of Summer of Supernovas

To start things off, can you please introduce yourself so everyone will know more about you?

I’m Wilamena Carlisle, but please, call me Wil! The only people who call me Wilamena are random strangers or my gram when she’s madder than a shaken up nest of hornets. So, other things about me? Let’s see . . . I’m seventeen. I adore astrology and all things celestial, but you probably already guessed that. Someone recently called me quirky? I don’t know, maybe it’s the cateye glasses or the fact that my head is literally stuck in the clouds. But I really am a practical dreamer at heart. Oh! I also have this deep and abiding love of vintage, particularly 40s era—hair, clothes, accessories—everything! Here’s a couple fave pieces from my retro collection:

ring earrings

What’s fascinates you about astrology? And can you share some interesting things/facts about it to us?

Um . . . how much time do we have? Because I could seriously natter on till next Tuesday. 🙂 One of the things I find so insanely fascinating, is that some of the oldest known references to astrology date back to 1700 BC. That’s right, BC! Mind-blowing, right?! And I think it’s interesting how many cultures looked to astrology for guidance—Indians, Chinese, Mayans, Greeks, Romans, Arabs—it’s like a global unifier. A metaphysical group hug, if you will. Sometimes when I lie in the grass, staring up to the stars in search of answers, I imagine someone in another pocket of the planet doing the same thing. Somehow that makes the world feel both bigger and smaller. I think we all just want to understand our purpose and why we’re here.

So, Seth and Grant huh?! Looks like the stars aligned themselves for you. And because I’m feeling jealousy right now, let me just ask, how does it feel to have two gorgeous, talented and swoon worthy guys vying for your attention?

It feels a little like standing at the edge of a high dive platform, toes curled, and preparing to leap into the earth’s bubbly, molten core. I know. Probably not the answer you’re expecting, but it’s true. Because I would give Seth and Grant the sun, moon, and stars if I could. But someone is going to get hurt. And it’s going to burn me to ashes when the inevitable happens.

Let’s say you meet your Dad today, what are the things you want to tell or ask him?

Gosh. There are so many questions! Painful ones. And happy ones. But I think there are two that eclipse all of them:
What is your favorite memory of my mom?
Do I make you proud to be my father?

If you can have one more day with your mom, what are the things that you’ll do together beside star gazing?

I think . . . I would want that pancake breakfast we never got to have. Me, my mom, Gram—all of us together. But Gram would be in charge of the pancakes. Mama’s always ended up like lop-sided, burnt stars. We’d listen to Dean Martin (because it would make Gram happy), I’d sing into a spatula (because it would make me happy), and my mom would laugh, because Gram and I are the epitome of our sun signs. Then we’d go to the beach, revel in the wind and water, and say the things people say when there are only precious hours left between them.

How is Darcy as a “boss?” Considering that she wrote the book, she must have asked you some pretty personal and inappropriate questions.

Oh, she did! She asked me things I didn’t even want to ask myself! And sometimes I’d refuse to answer. But I’d always come around, usually between the hours of two and three in the morning. We occasionally argued—Darcy’s an accomplished swearer—but we always made up. She let me wear her favorite shoes (check out that pic below!), and then I baked her Gram’s special cinnamon rolls.

cherry shoes

One last thing, what’s the coolest astronomy event in your opinion?

Easy. A supernova. Seeing the face of a star as it dies? It’s the kind of image that imprints on your soul. There is truly nothing like it.

Thank you so much Wil for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above. Thanks so much also to Darcy for allowing Wil. Looking forward to the released of Summer of Supernovas in May.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Darcy WoodsYoung adult author Darcy Woods had three big loves in grade school: reading, writing, and pizza day. Some things never change. She lives in Michigan with her madly supportive husband, two tuxedo cats (who overdress for everything) and a closet full of neatly organized shoes. Once upon a time, she served in a US Army aviation unit and threw live grenades. Now she throws words. SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS is her Golden Heart®-winning debut novel and will be translated in over five languages.

Find Darcy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Summer of SupernovasBook Details:

Title: Summer of Supernovas
Author: Darcy Woods
Publisher: Random House / CrownBFYR
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.

When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.

But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Book Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound| Powell’s | Goodreads

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • signed Summer of Supernovas ARC and full swoony swag pack

Summer of Supernovas Giveaway

The 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 10, 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