Wednesday, April 1, 2015

South Carolina Stop: The Wrong Side of Right Campaign Trail (Author Interview & Giveaway)

From Goodreads: 
"Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to diswho you are even as everyone tells you who you should be."

Welcome to South Carolina! Home of Myrtle Beach and the Clemson Tigers! I am so happy to host Jenn Marie Thorne for an interview and giveaway on her tour stop for The Wrong Side of Right. Since South Carolina is Thorne's choice of setting for her novel, I'm even more excited, though she could have had Kate's uncle wear a Tigers shirt instead of a Gamecocks :). Hit the jump for the interview, trailer, and giveaway!


Did you write as a teenager?
I went to a rigorous high school where five hours of homework was considered an acceptable workload, so most of my writing was for class. We had a literary journal and I wrote a few short stories for that, but I really started writing for fun and journaling while I was in college.  

Any must read books that influenced you as a writer that you would recommend?
The book that made me want to be a writer was The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Well…first, it made me want to be a Druid priestess and then it made me want to be a writer! I read it when I was fourteen and it was so vivid and compelling, it made my real life seem dim and dull by comparison—an amazing lesson in the power that books hold. I love all of Jane Austen, but Emma in particular influenced me, because she’s written such a flawed protagonist who still manages to pull your heartstrings. And in writing contemporary YA, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was my bellwether. At the risk of exposing my exact age, that book was my era, and so honest and tuned in that reading it felt like expanding my own group of friends. I hope to do the same in my own books!

Did you always want to write YA fiction?
I always thought I’d write genre fiction. The YA shelves were pretty sparse when I was a teen. But by the time I started writing in earnest, I was mostly reading YA, drawn to the protagonists and the bold storytelling. So that’s where I found my home as an author. 

What is your advice to young writers? Any tips you'd like to share to help young people become better writers?
Don’t expect perfection right away. Being a serious writer means that you’re committing to growing and learning by putting lots of work in, not that every word you write is instantly brilliant. Treat it like a job. Write something very day, even if it’s in a journal. And have faith—you’ll get closer to being the writer you want to be every day. (This is what I tell myself too!)

Does your style change much because you write for teenagers rather than adults or is good writing always the same?
I think my writing has become better and cleaner by writing for teenagers. There are a lot of writerly tics and “literary” affectations that wind up edited out of my drafts because they don’t ring true and they don’t serve the story, no matter how in love I am with the phrasing of them. Remembering my audience helps me get my ego off the page.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Rough drafts are pretty brutal! The first stage, coming up with ideas and outlining, is so fun and fulfilling, but doing the actual writing is work, plain and simple. It takes a lot of willpower to keep going while you’re staring down the terrifying gulf between what you want the book to be and what you’ve actually written. You have to forge ahead, believing that you’ll get there eventually.

What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?
These were excellent questions, actually! I read this in a magazine once: “What three pop cultural elements make up your personality?” The answer in the profile was fairly pretentious, something like “Kafka, Kubrick and {some artist I’d never heard of}.” My own answer: the Muppets, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle), and Jane Austen. 

Book Trailer:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops:

3/17 - Candace's Book Blog – WA
3/19 - The Reading Nook Reviews – Sacramento, CA
3/23 - The Reading Date – LA, CA
3/25 - Mostly YA Book Obsessed – AZ
3/27 - Gone With the Words – Houston, TX
3/30 – YA Bibliophile (WI)
4/1 - Coming at YA – SC
4/3 - The Reader Bee – TN
4/6 – Into The Hall of Books (NC)
4/8 - Ticket to Anywhere – MA
4/10 - Lost in Literature – CT
4/13 - Effortlessly Reading – NYC
4/15 - No BS Book Reviews – Annapolis, MD
4/17 - Book Revels – DC

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