I'd like to thank IFB for allowing me to participate in this tour. Today I have author Stephanie on my blog to answer some questions about her debut Charm & Strange and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end =)
You can see the complete tour list here.
Release date: June 11th 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .
Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.
He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.
He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.
Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.
Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.
1. How did the story come to you?
The story came to me while I was vacationing up in Lake Tahoe with my family during a spring snowstorm. I knew exactly what the story was and how I wanted to tell it, but I had no idea if I could tell a story that way. But I decided to try.
2. How did you come up with the title and the name of the characters?
The title I toyed with only very briefly before coming up with Charm & Strange. I knew from the start that I would break up the timelines as “matter” and “antimatter,” and I also knew I wanted the title to reference quarks. “Charm and Strange” felt like the best way to represent Win’s inner nature and I chose it early on.
As for the names of the characters, most came to me on their own. The name Winston, however, I deliberately chose because I wanted a name from an older generation (the reasons for this are clear in the book). Beyond that, Jordan was the only character whose name I really struggled with. A friend helped me come up with it, in the end, and I think it suits her well.
3. Was there a time when you was in writer's block? and what did you do to get over it?
There were definitely times that I became stuck while revising. I just wouldn’t know what to do, but I knew something wasn’t working. I always tried to back off then and engage in something active and trust that the answer would come to me. It’s counter intuitive, but for me, stepping back is almost always the way forward.
4. Your debut Charm&Strange is coming out in June. Do you have any plans on what to do for that special day?
I don’t have plans! And that day is fast approaching. I am having a launch party in the evening at Books, Inc. in San Francisco. That will be a nice celebration. But other than that, I’ll probably try and relax and not stress about anything!
5. Do you have a favorite spot to read/ write? where is it and why?
I love to read in my garden. It’s not huge or anything and I wish I were a better gardener, but I do love to be in the sun and hear the birds while I read. Writing, I tend to do best when I’m at my desk, in my bedroom. It’s a small space, but it’s familiar and I associate it with writing and being in a creative mindset.
6. You mentioned on your website that YA novels inspired you. Can you tell us some of your favorite when you were a teenager?
The Chocolate War was a definite favorite, along with anything by Robert Cormier. I also read a lot of Gordon Korman books: Don’t Care High, Son of Interflux, Who is Bugs Potter?
7. What are you currently reading right now? or what was the last book that you read?
I am about to start Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos. I am very excited to read it. I’ve heard amazing things about it and I am always drawn to books that speak authentically to the experience of dealing with mental health issues.
8. If you were a fiction character, who would you be and why?
Ooh, that’s a good question. I tend to like dark books, so the characters aren’t often ones I aspire to be. But I loved the Trixie Belden books when I was a kid. It would've been fun to be Trixie; she's smart and bold and rides horses and has cool adventures. Sign me up!
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
I have a second young adult novel coming out in 2014 called Complicit. I’m very excited about that.
10. Anything you would like to add
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. Your questions are wonderful and thoughtful, and I so appreciate your taking the time to be a part of the tour.
Stephanie Kuehn is a YA writer who grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with a ton of wonderful bookstores. Her very first job was working in one of those bookstores, and she's been a freakishly avid reader for as long as she can remember.
Stephanie's other passions include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. She's currently living in Northern California with her family and their wild menagerie of pets.
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