More Summer 2012 Debut Giveaway Winners!

It’s time to announce the rest of the winners for the Summer 2012 YA Debut Interview series! Maybe it’s YOU…

Did you win a Summer 2012 debut?

The TWO WINNERS of *signed and personalized* hardcovers of False Memory by debut author Dan Krokos, to be mailed when finished copies are available in August are… Christine (A Reader of Fictions) and Ashley Orellana!

The winner of a *signed and personalized* ARC of Grim by Anna Waggener is… Tandra S.!

The winner of a *signed and personalized* hardcover of Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock is… Doodle!

The winner of a pre-order of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is… Maggie at Young Adult Anonymous!

The winner of a *signed and personalized* hardcover of Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso, to be mailed when finished copies are available in August is… Alicia!

The winner of a *signed and personalized* hardcover of Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia, as well as a temporary tattoo!, to be mailed when finished copies are available in July is… Ames!

And… there’s one last winner to announce…

The winner of the finale INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY is Becky! And the book Becky chose out of all the debuts is… The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman! Yay, hope you love it!

Congratulations to all the winners! I will email everyone shortly for mailing addresses.

(All winners were chosen thanks to the random magic found at Random.org, with extra entries factored in. Thank you to everyone who entered!)

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Win the Summer 2012 Debut of Your Choice! (International!)

Thank you to everyone who read the Summer 2012 Debut Interview series! To say thanks, I have one last giveaway—and this one is international.

To enter, just fill out the form in this post and choose which Summer 2012 debut you’d most like to win. I will mail the book to the winner once it comes out this summer. This giveaway will close in one week, on Tuesday, May 8, at 8pm EST!

The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!


And if you missed any of the interviews in the series, here they all are!

Thank you so much to all the authors who took part in this series and generously donated their books for giveaways! Summer 2012 is going to be an incredible season.

2012 YA Debut Interview + Giveaway: FINGERPRINTS OF YOU by Kristen-Paige Madonia

(Image adapted from cover; cover art © 2012 Terry Ribera)

Why, hello there. Today I have the last Summer 2012 YA Debut Interview in the series! Yes, the very last interview of these summer debut YA authors who’ve written books I am absolutely dying to read!

The final Summer 2012 YA Debut is Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige MadoniaRead on to see how this author answered the Q&A… And be sure to enter to win a temporary tattoo and a signed and personalized finished copy of Fingerprints of You!


Cover Art © 2012 Terry Ribera

Kristen-Paige Madonia: Fingerprints of You is about that strange but brilliant time in life when you realize the world is much larger than you thought, and that you have the ability to decide what kind of person you want to become. It’s about a pregnant teenager and the cross-country road trip she takes in search of her father, a man she’s never met. It’s set on the road and amidst the inspiring music and art scene in San Francisco, and the book explores the challenges of growing up in a single-parent home and the various ways we can confront our pasts, our skeletons in the closet. But at the heart of it, Fingerprints of You is about hope. About the comfort we find in one another and the security of family; not blood-born family necessarily, but the families we create for ourselves from the people we love and the people that love us back. The book is about a seventeen-year-old named Lemon Williams and her discovery of hope and strength as she stands on the brink of adulthood.

In my experience, every book wants to be written differently—and each one behaves differently from the one before it. Some novels like it out of order, and some rigidly insist on being written from start to finish. Some novels come out fast; others are excruciatingly slow. Some novels torment you, and some sing you to sleep. What did your novel want? How did you appease it? Did it ever misbehave?

In general, the book came fairly fast, and the characters arrived in my imagination with great stubbornness and spirit. I was actually writing a different book when I first created the central characters in Fingerprints of You, but once they existed, I just couldn’t leave them alone. I began the book as a short story but quickly realized it was much larger than that, so I wrote a second story, and a third. Once I accepted that I was working on a new novel, the manuscript came quickly. I wrote the bulk of the first draft chronologically during a one-month writing residency in Key West in 2008, and then, as I always do, I took some time away from it to let it breathe. I rewrote the book during another 4-week residency in New York and felt fairly confident I had told the story I was supposed to tell. Of course there was a lot of revision and editing that followed, but the process was rather straightforward. And the book belonged to Lemon from the first day I started it—it was always driven by her voice, her restlessness, and her journey into adulthood as she tried to determine the kind of person she would become.

Tell us about the place—as in the physical location: a messy office, a comfy couch, a certain corner table at the café—where you spent most of your time writing this book. Now imagine the writing spot of your fantasies where you wish you’d been able to write this book… tell us all about it. 

It began in the coffee shops of San Francisco where I was living at the time, but I wrote the majority of the first draft in a wonderful studio in Key West with a Mango tree climbing through my deck and a sculpture garden in the back yard. The second draft was written in a large writers’ studio in a converted barn in upstate New York at the Millay Colony. I lived in Charlottesville by then, so I reworked the novel and edited it in various rooms of a small house my husband and I were renting at the time. And somewhere in between, we spent about three months living out of our car during a road trip we took to Alaska, so, like Lemon, I moved around a lot during the writing of this novel. There was no one place, per say, but a number of places that were as different in size as style, but they each contributed to the making of the book in some way. I feel fortunate because I was living in transit when I wrote the novel, just like Lemon was, and I think it worked well to help me understand her wanderlust and, at the same time, her craving for stability. In that way, we’re very much alike… And in hindsight, that was the ideal way to write this particular book.

Life on the road in Alaska during the writing of FINGERPRINTS OF YOU
Life on the road in Alaska during the writing of FINGERPRINTS OF YOU

Imagine you’re on the subway, or the bus, or sitting in a park somewhere minding your own business… and you look up and see the most perfect person you could picture devouring your book. This is your ideal reader. Set the scene and describe him or her (or them?) for us.

That’s an easy one: The ideal reader would be a person so absorbed in the book, so involved and engaged that they forget to get off the bus, they don’t notice their subway stop was an hour earlier, they don’t realize the park is now dark and the day has slipped away from them. Other than that, there is no perfect reader; I hope the book appeals to a broad range of people—men and women, teens and adults, people living in big cities and small towns alike.

Publishing a novel is full of high points, low points, absolutely surreal points, and shocking points you never thought you’d see in your lifetime. Tell us a high point, a low point, a surreal point, and something shocking or at least somewhat surprising about your experience so far.

I’m writing this about five months before the release date, so I still have a ways to go, but needless to say, getting the offer from Simon & Schuster was THE absolute high point because it marked the beginning of a long and wonderful path to the publication of my first novel. My agent phoned with the news, and it was nice because I was alone when I got the call. I had some time to myself before the champagne and celebrations and the calls to family and friends; the news was just mine, it was private, and that was really lovely. You work so hard for so long, and most of that work you’re alone, so it seemed fitting to be alone when I found out we’d sold the book. It was perfect, really, to have an hour or so when that news, that thing that I had been fighting for, for so long, was all mine.

And I guess, in contrast, as with anything, the process inevitably involves disappointing moments as well. For me, the one disappointment that has come with the novel is the realization that, in some venues, there is still a slight stigma attached to the YA label. For example, I have a friend, a highly educated published author in fact, whom I saw recently, and when the conversation turned to the release date of my novel, she made the comment, as she always does, that she couldn’t wait for her daughter to read the book. There’s certainly nothing wrong with her excitement at giving the novel to her sixteen-year-old, but to me her comment implies she doesn’t plan to read the novel herself. Of course I realize it’s a personal sensitivity for me as I continue to adjust to being labeled a YA writer, a sensitivity I hope I’ll shed as more time passes. Margo Rabb published a wonderful article in The New York Times a few years ago entitled, “I’m YA, and I’m O.K.”, which I recommend to anyone writing fiction that straddles the line between YA and adult; like myself, she wrote a book she imagined being labeled as adult literary fiction but was sold to a YA division. There are inevitably challenges that come with that process, and many adults still don’t realize the high caliber literature that can now be found on the YA shelves. It’s such a funny thing—these labels based on audience—and I find it fascinating that literature is the only art form that’s adopted the YA category; we don’t classify visual art, paintings or sculptures, for teens versus adults just as we don’t claim music to be one or the other. But it is what it is, and at the end of the day I couldn’t be happier with the home that Fingerprints of You found at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

In terms of surprising moments, I’d have to say my first visit to NYC to meet my editor was pretty astonishing. I was incredibly nervous and intimidated, but when I arrived everyone was unbelievably normal. Everyone was kind and gracious and welcoming, and as odd as it sounds, I was surprised by that. Publishers are in the business because they love books, and it’s easy to forget that sometimes when you’re collecting rejection letters and reading the heartbreaking stories about authors who get orphaned or novels that get lost in big houses. But the staff at S&S is one hundred percent amazing, and they work incredibly hard because they care about stories; that’s the bottom line, and writers need to remember that. S&S has done everything possible to make me feel like I’m part of the team, and when I realized that was going to be how our relationship worked, I was surprised, and so very thankful.

And as for surreal, it was the same day, during my first visit to S&S. My editor spent the morning showing me around and introducing me to people in the office, and when we met someone from the art department in the hallway, and he introduced us, she told me she was in the middle of reading Fingerprints of You. I remember thinking, “Really? Why? I don’t even know you!” Besides my agent and my editor, my family were the only people that had read the book, and it was the strangest thing to listen to her talk about the different sections she liked and the characters she connected with. It’s obvious, of course, but it was surreal, and I think that was the moment, that girl in that hallway, that was when I realized it was actually happening. Other people were going to read the book, and as wonderful as that is, it also means that, in a way, the book isn’t really mine anymore. That’s what I love most about writing, one of the fundamental reasons I do it, but it’s also what I struggle with: it’s yours for so long, and then, it just isn’t. Once it’s out there, it becomes the readers’, and they’ll bring their own experiences and emotions and viewpoints into the novel. It’s really not mine at all anymore.

Dream question: If you could go on book tour anywhere in the world, with any two authors (living or dead), and serve any item of food at your book signing… where would you go, who with, and what delicious treat would you serve your fans?

I would love to go on book tour in Europe, to take the train for weeks at a time and immerse myself in unfamiliar cultures. I’d give intimate readings on houseboats in Amsterdam, drink thick dark beer with book clubs at pubs in Ireland, and lead literary discussions in Paris while sipping small cups of espresso at sidewalk cafes. And I’d bring Flannery O’Connor to keep things honest and Hunter S. Thompson to keep things a little bit Rock and Roll. For food I’d serve red wine, dark chocolate, and extravagant cheeses and baguettes.

If you had to pick one sentence, and one sentence only, to entice someone to read your book, what would it be? (I almost hate myself for asking you this question and making you choose! Almost.)

For me the first sentence is still the sentence that tells you exactly what the book is about: a mother and daughter relationship on the brink of that moment when the child becomes an adult…

My mother got her third tattoo on my seventeenth birthday, a small navy hummingbird she had inked above her left shoulder blade, and though she said she picked it to mark my flight from childhood, it mostly had to do with her wanting to sleep with Johnny Drinko, the tattoo artist who worked in the shop outside town.

Fingerprints of You will be published by Simon & Schuster on August 7, 2012. Read on for a chance to win a signed and personalized finished copy of the hardcover—as well as a temporary tattoo!


Photo by Christopher Gordon

Kristen-Paige Madonia is the author of Fingerprints of You, a young adult literary novel, and recent stories can be found in the New Orleans Review, upstreet, and American Fiction: Best Unpublished Stories by Emerging Writers. She has received scholarships or residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Hedgebrook, the Millay Colony, the Studios of Key West, and the Key West Literary Seminar. She holds an MFA from CSU, Long Beach and teaches fiction in Charlottesville, VA.

Visit her at kristenpaigemadonia.com to find out more!

Follow @KPMadonia on Twitter.


The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!


Want an *international* chance to win any one of the Summer 2012 debut novels featured in this interview series? Come back tomorrow to enter!

Week 1 Summer 2012 Debut Giveaway Winners!

I’m here to announce some giveaway winners from the first week of the Summer 2012 Debut Interview series! (And to remind you that quite a few giveaways are still open and taking entries.)

Want to know if you won a Summer 2012 debut?

The winner of a *signed and personalized* hardcover of Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone by debut author Kat Rosenfield to be mailed when finished copies are available in July is… Cosette LeMay!

The winner of a Struck lightning-bolt necklace from debut author Jennifer Bosworth is… Lisseth Torres!

The winner of a *signed and personalized* ARC of All These Lives by debut author Sarah Wylie is… Melissa Montovani!

The winner of a *signed and personalized* ARC of Zoe Letting Go by debut author Nora Price is… Justine!

The winner of a pre-order of The Little Woods by debut author McCormick Templeman is… Jen Chan!

Congratulations to all the winners! I will email all the winners shortly for their mailing addresses.

(All winners were chosen thanks to the random magic found at Random.org, with extra entries factored in. Thank you to everyone who entered!)

But wait. Do you want to win something? Enter these open giveaways!

Enter to win a *signed and personalized* hardcover of False Memory by Dan Krokos—to be mailed to the winner when finished copies are available in August. TWO WINNERS WILL BE CHOSEN! Enter here.

Enter to win a *signed and personalized* ARC of Grim by Anna Waggener. Enter here.

Enter to win a *signed and personalized* hardcover of Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. Enter here.

Enter to win a pre-order of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. Enter here.

Enter to win a *signed and personalized* hardcover of Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso—to be mailed to the winner when finished copies are available in August. Enter here.

Thanks for reading the debut interview series! There will be one more debut interview on Monday… and then an international chance to win the debut of your choice. So stay tuned.

2012 YA Debut Interview + Giveaway: COUNTING BACKWARDS by Laura Lascarso

Time for more in the Summer 2012 YA Debut Interview Series, featuring debut YA authors who’ve written books I am absolutely dying to read! I’ve chosen eleven (yes, 11 this time!) debuts to feature, and I hope by the end of this series you’ll be as excited about these books as I am.

Today’s Summer 2012 YA Debut is Counting Backwards by Laura LascarsoRead on to see how this author answered the Q&A… And be sure to enter to win a signed and personalized finished copy of Counting Backwards!


Nova Ren Suma: I’ll start with the dreaded question you may be hearing already from strangers on elevators, long-lost family members, and your doctor while you’re sitting on the examination table in the paper gown during your next checkup: “So what’s your book about?” (Feel free to use the jacket copy, or describe in your own words. Up to you.)

Laura Lascarso: Counting Backwards is about a girl who wants to escape—her home, her family, and even at times, herself.

In my experience, every book wants to be written differently—and each one behaves differently from the one before it. Some novels like it out of order, and some rigidly insist on being written from start to finish. Some novels come out fast; others are excruciatingly slow. Some novels torment you, and some sing you to sleep. What did your novel want? How did you appease it? Did it ever misbehave?

This novel wanted to be written again and again. The first draft of CB I wrote in 2007, which I submitted to agents, then rewrote it with the advice of one of those agents who ultimately passed. I then submitted that revised manuscript (CB 2.0) to Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary. She took me on (squee!) and we then went to work on it again. We took CB 3.0 to editors in 2009, and it was picked up by Namrata Tripathi at S&S. Two years and three rewrites later, we have CB 6.0, which is by leaps and bounds better than my original story. My one word for new writers out there: Perseverance.

Then I took a nap.

Tell us about the place—as in the physical location: a messy office, a comfy couch, a certain corner table at the café—where you spent most of your time writing this book. Now imagine the writing spot of your fantasies where you wish you’d been able to write this book… tell us all about it. 

I have three writing locales. One is my desk at home. I will not lie, I decluttered my desk before taking this photo to bring you the shining vision of order you see here.

My second spot is my critique partner’s house which is blessedly quiet with a full fridge and small library of fabulous YA and middle grade books.

The third is a coffee shop where they make the best café con leches around. Coffee + sugar = word magic.

My fantasy writing locale is this beach in Florida, though I won’t say which because I don’t want to play favorites.

Imagine you’re on the subway, or the bus, or sitting in a park somewhere minding your own business… and you look up and see the most perfect person you could picture devouring your book. This is your ideal reader. Set the scene and describe him or her (or them?) for us.

My ideal reader would be found in a high school gymnasium. There is a pep rally going on and everyone is screaming and chanting, but then, somewhere in the stands is that one teenager who is so engrossed in my book, that they’ve totally tuned out everything around them. They’re so into it, in fact, that they’re gnawing on their cuticles or chewing their hair in concentration. That’s my ideal reader.

Publishing a novel is full of high points, low points, absolutely surreal points, and shocking points you never thought you’d see in your lifetime. Tell us a high point, a low point, a surreal point, and something shocking or at least somewhat surprising about your experience so far.

I think the most surreal/amazing moment was when I got my first look at the cover proofs. The Atheneum team was very gracious in letting me give my input as to how I envisioned the cover. They even let me choose the cover model, which was kind of incredible in itself—that they would set up a photo shoot with an actual model. The cover was important to me because I wanted it to represent the book well, and also because I’m a very visual person. The double image on this cover is both intriguing and revealing of Taylor’s character where denial is a big theme. The lighting also has an institutional feel, which is both subtle and relevant. With this cover I feel they carefully considered my input, and their delivery far exceeded my expectations.

Dream question: If you could go on book tour anywhere in the world, with any two authors (living or dead), and serve any item of food at your book signing… where would you go, who with, and what delicious treat would you serve your fans?

I’d take Kurt Vonnegut and Dr. Seuss on a road trip from Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington. We’d decorate our tour van to represent their life’s work. One side would be a mural with the Lorax, Sneetches, Thing One and Thing Two… The other side would be aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. I’d record their discourse and post it on my blog so that the whole world could glean from it their brilliance. For sustenance, we’d eat peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. And we’d sign some books too.

If you had to pick one sentence, and one sentence only, to entice someone to read your book, what would it be? (I almost hate myself for asking you this question and making you choose! Almost.)

It’s a beautiful day for escaping.

Counting Backwards will be published by Atheneum / Simon & Schuster on August 14, 2012. Read on for a chance to win a signed and personalized finished copy of the hardcover!


Laura Lascarso is a writer of young adult fiction and companion to Lucy, a dog who not only gives great cuddles, but also knows the difference between how to lie and how to lay. 

Visit her at lauralascarso.com to find out more!

Follow @lauralascarso on Twitter.


The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!


What is the last Summer 2012 debut novel I’m looking forward to? Come back on Monday to find out.

2012 YA Debut Interview + Giveaway: SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller

Time for more in the Summer 2012 YA Debut Interview Series, featuring debut YA authors who’ve written books I am absolutely dying to read! I’ve chosen eleven (yes, 11 this time!) debuts to feature, and I hope by the end of this series you’ll be as excited about these books as I am.

Today’s Summer 2012 YA Debut is Something Like Normal by Trish DollerRead on to see how this author answered the Q&A… And be sure to enter to win a pre-order of Something Like Normal (giveaway open internationally)!


Nova Ren Suma: I’ll start with the dreaded question you may be hearing already from strangers on elevators, long-lost family members, and your doctor while you’re sitting on the examination table in the paper gown during your next checkup: “So what’s your book about?” (Feel free to use the jacket copy, or describe in your own words. Up to you.)

Trish Doller: From the flap copy:

I just came home from Afghanistan.

My parents are splitting up.

My brother has stolen my girlfriend.

(He also stole my car.)

And I’m haunted by the ghost of my best friend.

Then I run into Harper.

(Technically, her fist runs into my face.)

She’s beautiful, smart, funny…

…and she wants nothing to do with

the messed-up Marine who ruined her life.

Sometimes the best you can hope for is something like normal.

Sometimes what you get might be even better.

In my experience, every book wants to be written differently—and each one behaves differently from the one before it. Some novels like it out of order, and some rigidly insist on being written from start to finish. Some novels come out fast; others are excruciatingly slow. Some novels torment you, and some sing you to sleep. What did your novel want? How did you appease it? Did it ever misbehave?

When I first started writing this book, I thought it belonged to a girl whose reputation had never recovered from being labeled a “slut” in middle school. Travis was meant to be the golden boy who trashed her reputation, now home from Afghanistan, broken both in body and spirit. Except when I tuned into what he had to say about his character, I discovered that his voice was loud and clear and demanding to be heard. When I made him the main character, he took up residence in my head and guided me to a very different story. While I’ve never been a fast writer, the story came out much quicker than I expected.

Tell us about the place—as in the physical location: a messy office, a comfy couch, a certain corner table at the café—where you spent most of your time writing this book. Now imagine the writing spot of your fantasies where you wish you’d been able to write this book… tell us all about it. 

I wrote Something Like Normal on my living room couch. Not a very romantic or writerly location, but I do have a very comfortable couch and I find that public places are much too distracting for me.

The writing studio of my dreams—and one I’m really hoping to make a reality one day—is a VW Westie/Vanagon that I can drive wherever the mood strikes, yet still maintain some semblance of privacy. And with a built-in fridge, I can bring my own snacks.

Imagine you’re on the subway, or the bus, or sitting in a park somewhere minding your own business… and you look up and see the most perfect person you could picture devouring your book. This is your ideal reader. Set the scene and describe him or her (or them?) for us.

Actually, I kind of imagine a guy dressed in camouflage, maybe sitting on the ground, back propped against the wall. Maybe he’s deployed to somewhere hot and dusty. Maybe not. Either way, he’s reading, with an occasional smile, or laugh, or nod of the head when he gets to something he’s done, or said, or felt. That’s not to say I don’t want girls to read the book. I definitely, totally, and absolutely do. In fact, I want them to fall wildly in love with Travis. But for a guy in the military to love the book, too? That would be the best compliment.

Publishing a novel is full of high points, low points, absolutely surreal points, and shocking points you never thought you’d see in your lifetime. Tell us a high point, a low point, a surreal point, and something shocking or at least somewhat surprising about your experience so far.

The low point for me actually came before Something Like Normal was conceived—when the first book I sold was canceled by my publisher and failed to sell on our second attempt at getting it published. While we were still out on submission with that first book, I started working on Travis’s story, which actually leads to the high point. My first book was inspired by another writer’s style and I secretly hoped that perhaps I’d become the next her. But with Something Like Normal, I discovered my authentic voice, my own style. And I realized that instead of wanting to be the next her, I’d much rather be the first me. The high and the low combined gave me what I think is a much stronger debut in Something Like Normal—and takes most of the sting out of that first deal gone bad.

There have been a lot of surreal moments—like opening the box of ARCs or seeing readers tweet that they can’t wait to read my book—but the most surreal was when I entered the ISBN in the computer at work (my day job is at B&N) and Something Like Normal was there.

Dream question: If you could go on book tour anywhere in the world, with any two authors (living or dead), and serve any item of food at your book signing… where would you go, who with, and what delicious treat would you serve your fans?

Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, and I would pile into Steinbeck’s Rocinante and hit the U.S. highways, especially the small, old ones like Route 20 and Route 66. We’d stop at greasy spoons. We’d drink a lot. Kerouac would say stuff I wouldn’t always understand, but I’d laugh anyway. And when we signed, we’d serve pie—pumpkin, pecan, apple, banana cream, and lemon merengue.

 

If you had to pick one sentence, and one sentence only, to entice someone to read your book, what would it be? (I almost hate myself for asking you this question and making you choose! Almost.)

I’m not sure how enticing it is, but this line is my favorite (and never fails to make me laugh):

My mom—the only parent on the planet to try and talk her kid into doing drugs to keep him out of the Marines.

Something Like Normal will be published by Bloomsbury on June 19, 2012. Read on for a chance to win a pre-order!


Trish Doller: I’ve been a writer as long as I’ve been able to write, but I didn’t make a conscious decision to “be” a writer until fairly recently. For that you should probably be thankful.

I was born in Germany, grew up in Ohio, went to college at Ohio State University, got married to someone really great, bounced from Maine to Michigan and back to Ohio for a while. Now I live in Florida with my two mostly grown kids, two dogs, and a pirate. For real.

I’ve worked as a morning radio personality, a newspaper reporter, and spent all my summers in college working at an amusement park. There I gained valuable life skills, including counting money really fast, directing traffic, jumping off a moving train, and making cheese-on-a-stick. Also, I can still welcome you to Frontier Town. Ask me sometime.

These days I work as a bookseller at a Very Big Bookstore. And I write.

Visit her at www.trishdoller.com to find out more!

Read her blog at trishisthinkingagain.tumblr.com.

Follow @trishdoller on Twitter.


The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!


What is the next Summer 2012 debut novel I’m looking forward to? Come back tomorrow to find out.

2012 YA Debut Interview + Giveaway: HEMLOCK by Kathleen Peacock

Time for more in the Summer 2012 YA Debut Interview Series, featuring debut YA authors who’ve written books I am absolutely dying to read! I’ve chosen eleven (yes, 11 this time!) debuts to feature, and I hope by the end of this series you’ll be as excited about these books as I am.

Today’s Summer 2012 YA Debut is Hemlock by Kathleen PeacockRead on to see how this author answered the Q&A… And be sure to enter to win a signed and personalized finished copy of Hemlock!


Nova Ren Suma: I’ll start with the dreaded question you may be hearing already from strangers on elevators, long-lost family members, and your doctor while you’re sitting on the examination table in the paper gown during your next checkup: “So what’s your book about?” (Feel free to use the jacket copy, or describe in your own words. Up to you.)

Kathleen Peacock: Hemlock is about friendship and secrets and what happens when the people you love turn out to be so much less—or more—than you need them to be. It also happens to be about werewolves.

And (since I always turn into a tongue-tied fool at this particular question) here’s the jacket copy:

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

In my experience, every book wants to be written differently—and each one behaves differently from the one before it. Some novels like it out of order, and some rigidly insist on being written from start to finish. Some novels come out fast; others are excruciatingly slow. Some novels torment you, and some sing you to sleep. What did your novel want? How did you appease it? Did it ever misbehave?

I’d like to say Hemlock misbehaved, but I think it would be more accurate to say that I would occasionally wander away from what was important and the manuscript would (justifiably) throttle me until I was dazed and senseless.

Ideas for projects often come to me in flashes of scenes. With Hemlock, I got a flash of three friends in a hospital room with secrets stretching between them until something snapped. The important thing was always the friendship and the way their feelings—and their secrets—pulled them apart and bound them together. Sometimes I’d lose sight of that when writing. When I did, the results were always scenes that didn’t work and which needed to be rewritten.

Tell us about the place—as in the physical location: a messy office, a comfy couch, a certain corner table at the café—where you spent most of your time writing this book. Now imagine the writing spot of your fantasies where you wish you’d been able to write this book… tell us all about it. 

Most of Hemlock was written in my messy home office on a computer that does not have internet access.

My fantasy writing spot would probably be a small room overlooking the ocean (or at least a bay that leads to the ocean). Large bodies of water always seem so infinite; they make me feel endless.

Imagine you’re on the subway, or the bus, or sitting in a park somewhere minding your own business… and you look up and see the most perfect person you could picture devouring your book. This is your ideal reader. Set the scene and describe him or her (or them?) for us.

They’re sitting on the subway, hips and knees just brushing. She’s reading Hemlock and he’s listening to music. They’re opposites. He looks a little scruffy and his hair sticks up at crazy angles. She looks neat and tidy—although her jacket is a little threadbare and the glasses she’s wearing were in style a year or two ago.

Her mouth quirks up in a shadow grin and she tugs on his sleeve. He fumbles with his iPod as she shows him a page and points to a paragraph. He sees the name of an artist or band he likes and smiles.

Publishing a novel is full of high points, low points, absolutely surreal points, and shocking points you never thought you’d see in your lifetime. Tell us a high point, a low point, a surreal point, and something shocking or at least somewhat surprising about your experience so far.

High: Telling my family and friends about the book deal.

Low: Crying at my desk because I was stressed about book one. Not my desk at home. My very visible day job desk.

Surreal: Writing a blurb request to an author I’ve had a crush on since I was twenty-one.

Surprising: How very “It’s a Small World After All” publishing is. One of my best friends (who has a completely different agent) ended up with the same editor at the same imprint.

Dream question: If you could go on book tour anywhere in the world, with any two authors (living or dead), and serve any item of food at your book signing… where would you go, who with, and what delicious treat would you serve your fans?

DOUGLAS ADAMS! NEIL GAIMAN! CUPCAKES!

If you had to pick one sentence, and one sentence only, to entice someone to read your book, what would it be? (I almost hate myself for asking you this question and making you choose! Almost.)

Oh, you are evil. No wonder Ruby came out of your brain…

Hmmmm…

Death had made her a bad liar.

Short and sweet and Amy-centric.

Hemlock will be published by Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins on May 8, 2012. Read on for a chance to win a signed and personalized finished copy of the hardcover!


Kathleen Peacock spent most of her teen years writing short stories. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college but rediscovered them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles.

Visit her at kathleenpeacock.com to find out more!

Read her blog at kathleenpeacock.blogspot.com.

Follow @kathleenpeacock on Twitter.


The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner!


What is the next Summer 2012 debut novel I’m looking forward to? Come back tomorrow to find out.