Interview With Author Allison Saft

Author Interview

Meet Allison Saft.

Social media links:

Hi Allison!

Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, Rae! Thank you so much for having me! I’m the author of Down Comes the Night, which is out in early 2021 with Wednesday Books. It’s a blend of YA fantasy and Gothic romance about two sworn enemies who must work together when a snowstorm traps them in a mysterious, crumbling estate. I’m inspired by real-world history and politics, vivid settings, and, honestly, anime. I was born in Philadelphia, but I’ve lived in Austin, New Orleans, and most recently, the California Bay Area. When I’m not writing, I’m usually hiking the redwoods, experimenting with new recipes, or practicing aerial silks.

The Interview.

Do you think your background in English Literature enhances or weakens your writing? Perhaps both?

When working within the conventions of a historical literary movement like the Gothic, I think a background in English Literature can be a huge boon! Gothic literature is more than just a flickering-candlelight aesthetic; understanding the economic and cultural factors that led to its popularity in the 19th century has been instrumental in telling a story that stays true to its roots while appealing to 21st-century readers.

I could see potential drawbacks to a literature background, too! When we treat novels as objects of study—as literary contraptions, as one professor of mine used to say—it can suck the joy out of them. Writing fiction, at least in the drafting stage, is a very emotional, intuitive, sometimes even spiritual practice for me; too much analysis can kill a project in its early stages. For what it’s worth, though, I think you can get roped into believing that all your academic friends will judge you if you write genre fic—or worse, young adult genre fic! But if you don’t respect what you’re working on, it won’t be any good. Besides, any friends who consider genre fic lesser aren’t worth listening to (and are missing out, honestly).

What kickstarted your writing journey and resulted in your debut, Down Comes the Night?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid in some form or another (mostly fanfiction…), but what really kickstarted my writing journey was a mentorship program called Author Mentor Match. Deadlines always motivate me, so I planned to rewrite a trunked project during NaNoWriMo 2017 and submit it to AMM in March 2018. By late November, I finished my rewrite. I printed it out, read it through, and immediately threw it in the garbage. It was entirely soulless—the book I thought I was supposed to write rather than a book I really cared about.

I didn’t have any other ideas, so I moped for about a week. Then I thought, well, what do I have to lose? Why not write something fun? Something that would capture the magic writing once had when I was a teenager with no ambitions for my work beyond entertaining my friends. Something romantic and dramatic and full of all the tropes I loved. I finished a draft of Down Comes the Night in about six weeks. I ended up getting into AMM with it, and the guidance, support, and feedback from my mentor and peers were invaluable as I revised and queried the book. I wouldn’t be where I am without them, and I still count on them today!   

Name two things about Gothic literature that fascinate you.

Its relationship to the past—how it, by turns, expresses a longing to return to an unrecoverable time and stages hauntings from that which refuses to be left behind.

Its (sometimes hilariously) intense fixation on the emotional experience of the protagonist.  

As a writer, what has been your biggest struggle when drafting, revising, and editing?

Drafting: I’m a fast drafter—meaning I like to hurtle through a skeletal “draft zero” before I double back and fill in the details. Finishing that draft zero means I’m usually pretty sure a plot works in execution, but it also means the book reads almost like a screenplay. In those really early drafts, it’s sometimes hard for me to imagine how a project will come together thematically and emotionally.

Revising: Since I draft the way I do, my first revision pass is basically… actually writing the book! That’s the hardest part, although it’s the most rewarding. From there, it’s all about ironing out the details, large and small. Revising Down Comes the Night nearly killed me a few times. It has an element of mystery, and it was hard to get right. Planning out the reveals, streamlining the investigation, cutting unnecessary red herring characters, making sure everyone’s motives were clear… Tears were shed!   

Editing: The hardest thing about editing is learning to let go. I struggled with this during line edits for Down Comes the Night, and I’m struggling again during copyedits. I could tinker forever with line-level prose, but there comes a point when you have to cut yourself off and accept that you’ve done the best you can. That the book will just be different, not better, and you may do more harm than good if you start messing with things that don’t need messing with.

What makes the ideal monster?

I think a lot about “monster romances” and what makes them work. What does it mean for a character to be monstrous? What does it mean for a (physically) non-monstrous character to identify with the monster? To me, it’s notable that some of the most successful (in my opinion) monster romances are between human women who are marginalized in some way and monsters who are similarly, often wrongly, reviled. In Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, it’s significant that Miryem is Jewish—as significant as it is that her monstrous love interest, the Staryk King, rules over a fae-like people who are hated because they supposedly strike ruthless bargains and impoverish the kingdom in their endless quest for gold. It’s significant that the heroine of Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is a mute woman named Elisa Esposito in love with a creature stolen from a river in Brazil.

However, I also think there are monsters who are purely reprehensible. Those that embody the ugliness in society or are clearly some cultural fear made flesh. I like them, too.

  • In terms of crumbly mansions, is there a real life mansion that you’ve visited or wanted to visit?

I’ve only ever been to the Newport mansions, which are stunning and ridiculous and the very opposite of crumbly. I’ve always wanted to see the real Allerdale Hall from Crimson Peak—but it turns out they built the entire set in the studio, which is wild to me!

What is the root of romance for you?

To me, a good romance has sizzling tension and also answers the question “why are these characters good for each other?” in a way that’s thematically satisfying.When I’m writing romance, I consider what the characters want and need individually—and how each character’s wants and needs both complement and complicate the other’s. I always try to write parallel character arcs for my romantic leads. Oftentimes, they both need the same thing; they’ve just developed different ways of coping with that lack and told themselves different stories about what exactly will make them happy.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?

While Down Comes the Night doesn’t come out until next year, there are some really exciting books coming out in 2020! I can tell you from experience that Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald and The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman are absolutely fantastic. Some of my most-anticipated reads are Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Barshardoust, The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska, The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson, and A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe.

Blog Tour: For Better or Cursed

Blog Tour

For Better or Cursed 

(The Babysitters Coven #2)

by Kate Williams

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: September 15th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Magic Realism, Fiction

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | iTunes | Google Books

Synopsis:
Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed sequel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Esme Pearl’s life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. Sure, it wasn’t glamorous, but it was predictable. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. You know, the typical teenage stuff.

But just as Esme is starting to adjust to–and maybe even like–her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod–the Sitterhood’s governing circle–has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers.

Esme should be excited–a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants–but she can’t shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra’s not acting like herself; Esme’s dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there’s a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there’s no one watching the kids. It’s obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Instagram

I’m the author of the YA novel The Babysitters Coven.
I also write for magazines, including Cosmopolitan, NYLON, Elle, Women’s Health, Shape, Time Out New York, Monster Children, Russh, Oyster, The Fader, NME, H&M, Smith Journal, Gather Journal, KnitWit, Popular, Style.com and more.


I have ghostwritten New York Times bestsellers, celebrity tell-alls, memoirs, how-tos, and beauty bibles (Shh…. I was never here, and you haven’t seen me.)


And, just ‘cause we’re still talking about me, I’ve also written windows, billboards, emails and captions, captions, captions for brands such as Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, Vans, Calvin Klein, Nike, Lively, BAGGU and more.
I love to write about witches, teenagers, girls behaving badly, palm trees, and other forms of magic. Teenage girl witches behaving badly under the palm trees is my penultimate subject.

Guest Post.

Movies NOT to watch if you’re a babysitter

I got the idea for The Babysitters Coven when I started to think about how many horror movies feature a babysitter as a main character. Taking care of children is never an easy job, but here are five flicks that will make any babysitter reconsider her career path!

  1. Halloween (1978): This classic film is so much about torturing a teenage babysitter that it was originally titled “The Babysitter Murders.” Fortunately, that babysitter is badass Laurie Strode, who survives and goes on to star in many, many sequels.
  2. When A Stranger Calls (1979): An eerie prank caller keeps urging the babysitter to “check the children,” and…spoiler alert…the call is coming from inside the house!!!
  3. Child’s Play (1988): Sometimes it’s not the kids or the parents who are evil. Sometimes it’s the toys.
  4. The House of the Devil (2009): Pro-babysitting tip: when hired to babysit for a new family and you arrive to find out they have no children, just call it a night and head home.
  5. Better Watch Out (2016): A little Christmas movie about the horrors of white male privilege.

Tour Schedule Here.

Giveaway Info:

Prize: Win a physical copy of FOR BETTER OR CURSED by Kate Williams (US Only)

Starts: 23rd November 2020

Ends: 14th December 2020

To enter, click here.

Tour Organized By:

Blog Tour: Nemesis and the Swan

Blog Tour

Nemesis and the Swan

by Lindsay K. Bandy

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: October 27th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fiction, France

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Kobo | Google Books


Synopsis:


From her prison cell in revolutionary Paris, nineteen-year-old aristocrat Hélène d’Aubign recalls the events that led her to choose between following in her parents’ unforgivable footsteps or abandoning the man she loves.


Despite her world of privilege, Hélène is inspired early on by the radical ideas of her progressive governess. Though her family tries to intervene, the seeds of revolution have already been planted in Hélène’s heart, as are the seeds of love from an unlikely friendship with a young jeweler’s apprentice. Hélène’s determination to find true love is as revolutionary as her attempt to unravel the truth behind a chilling set of eye-shaped brooches and the concealed murder that tore her family apart.


As violence erupts in Paris, Hélène is forced into hiding with her estranged family, where the tangled secrets of their past become entwined with her own. When she finally returns to the blood-stained streets of Paris, she finds everything-and everyone-very much changed. In a city where alliances shift overnight, no one knows who to trust.


Faced with looming war, the mystery of her family’s past, and the man she loves near death, Hélène will soon will find out if doing one wrong thing will make everything right, or if it will simply push her closer to the guillotine.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Lindsay Bandy writes historical and contemporary young adult fiction as well as poetry. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with her husband, two daughters, and two cats, and currently serves as the co–regional advisor of the Eastern Pennsylvania region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Guest Post:

On Cake and Privilege

You know the whole “Let them eat cake” thing that Marie Antoinette supposedly said? Well, historians agree: There’s no evidence that those words actually escaped her lips. So how did it become her most famous “quote?” Because the reality of privilege is nothing new!

Image credit: Public domain

As John M. Cunningham explains on Britannica online,

As it happens, folklore scholars have found similar tales in other parts of the world, although the details differ from one version to another. In a tale collected in 16th-century Germany, for instance, a noblewoman wonders why the hungry poor don’t simply eat Krosem (a sweet bread). Essentially, stories of rulers or aristocrats oblivious to their privileges are popular and widespread legends.  

So let’s set the scene for Marie Antoinette: It’s the 1780s. France is in crisis. There isn’t enough grain. Starving Parisians wait in bakery lines for HOURS hoping to bring home a precious loaf for their families, only to be turned away. Prices skyrocket. Taxes increase—but not for the nobility. Children starve and freeze to death in the streets while the occupants of Versailles toss leftovers on the floor for the maids and dogs to clean up. Before the Revolution forced her to pay attention, Marie Antoinette seems to have been oblivious to the plight of her people because she was too busy playing dress-up in her life-sized dollhouse. She was comfortable enough that she didn’t have to pay attention to the suffering of others. So, whether or not she ever said those words, she was, in effect, living them.

Privilege is nothing new, but it’s nothing old, either. We may not have literal entitlement in the form of ducs, marquis, or princesses in modern-day America, but there is no shortage of privilege here. Jamie Beth Cohen, the author of Wasted Pretty and a Jewish friend of mine, recently wrote,

“If you hadn’t heard of the Proud Boys until last night (the first presidential debate), maybe consider how privilege works…it’s not your FAULT you haven’t heard of them, but it MAY be your privilege that you haven’t felt the need to track all groups that may want you dead.”

Acknowledging privilege can come with a certain amount of defensiveness, and the desire to shout: It’s not my fault! But being born into privilege doesn’t automatically equal guilt. The truth is, France’s broken system wasn’t Marie Antoinette’s fault. If we take a step back from the drama of her later years, we see a fourteen-year-old Austrian girl married off to an awkward, gluttonous, and clumsy teenaged French prince. On the journey from Austria to France, she was stripped of her Austrian clothes in a tent and handed over to the French naked and crying. As the fifteenth child of the Empress Maria-Theresa, her education had been neglected. No one asked her if she wanted to leave her homeland to become the future queen of a country already brewing with troubles.  None of those things were her fault, BUT as she came of age and into the role of queen, she had a choice to focus inward or outward. The choice to selfishly ignore her people’s suffering was, indeed, her fault!

When there is a call to change—whether it’s the tocsin of Revolution or the strained last words of George Floyd, the privileged have a decision to make: Are we going to selfishly fight to keep our privileges and delude ourselves that we somehow deserve more than other humans? The monarchy and nobility of the late 1700s refused to acknowledge systemic problems or step out of their literal comfort zones to change them, and it was their ruin.

Today, we’re faced with the same choice, but we have the benefit of learning from the past. In “Story,” screenwriter Robert McKee says authors of historical fiction must “…use the past as a clear glass through which you show us the present,” and I hope that Nemesis and the Swan will do just that. The future has yet to be written. It’s up to us to write it well!

Resources:
The Days of the French Revolution, by Christopher Hibbert. Perennial/HarperCollins. 1980
Britannica online: Did Marie Antoinette Really Say Let Them Eat Cake? By John M. Cunningham
Author Jamie Beth Cohen, http://www.jamiebethcohen.com
Smithsonian Magazine: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/marie-antoinette-134629573/
McKee, Robert. STORY: SUBSTANCE, STRUCTURE, STYLE, AND THE PRINCIPLES OF SCREENWRITING. Regan Books, 1997
Image credit: Public domain

Tour Schedule Here.

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Blog Tour: GOD STORM

Blog Tour

God Storm 

(Shadow Frost #2)

by Coco Ma

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: October 20th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

Synopsis:

Everything has a price.


In the kingdom of Axaria, a darkness has fallen. After defeating the evil mother who summoned an immortal demon to kill her, newly coronated Queen Asterin Faelenhart should have every reason to celebrate. Her kingdom is safe, forbidden magic eradicated, and her friends are alive. Except Asterin’s triumph has come at a devastating cost – forced to choose between a lifelong friend and true love, she’s lost both. But the shadows in Axaria have begun to stir once again, and no one is more starved for vengeance than Asterin….


Yet it soon becomes clear that the shadows plaguing her kingdom are just the beginning. Another realm coexists with the mortal world – the beautiful, nightmarish Immortal Realm ruled by the wicked God of Shadow, King Eoin. When their paths entwine, Asterin realizes that Eoin possesses exactly what – and who – she seeks most. And the fates of all those that she holds dear – Orion, her missing Guardian; Luna, the friend she could not save; Harry, the demon who saved them all; and Quinlan, her beloved broken prince – ultimately rest in the god’s hands.


But in a world of magic, not everyone is always as they seem. When shocking discoveries threaten everything and everyone Asterin has sworn her life to protect, she won’t be the only person forced to make a choice…a choice that will change the mortal world forever.
And maybe even destroy it.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

Coco Ma is a Canadian author and pianist. At the age of fifteen, she wrote the first book of the Shadow Frost Trilogy and hasn’t looked back since. After learning the piano during her childhood, she has performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a precollege diploma in piano performance from the Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University.


At this point, she wishes she could mention having a dog or a small dragon, except pets (and happiness, apparently) are tragically prohibited at her dormitories. When she isn’t writing, practicing piano, or wreaking havoc, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Blog Tour Schedule Here.

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Blog Tour: Kingdom of Ice

Blog Tour

Kingdom of Ice and Bone 

(Frozen Sun Saga #2

ByJill Criswell

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: September 22nd 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction


Synopsis:


Lira and Reyker have lost everything. Including each other.


Lira of Stone watched her home burn and her clan fall beneath the sword of the warlord known as the Dragon. She believes the man she loves, a warrior who defected from the Dragon s army, is dead. Alongside her exiled brother and his band of refugees, she will fight the forces that conquered her island. But the greatest danger may come from Lira herself with the blood of banished gods running through her veins, she s become a weapon, and no one is safe from the power of her wrath.

Reyker Lagorsson thought he was done being a Dragonman. That was before he saw Lira leap from a cliff and vanish into the sea. Determined to honor her memory by protecting her people, Reyker must feign loyalty to the warlord, undermine him at every turn, and seek alliances with renegade soldiers without succumbing to the battle-madness that threatens to possess him once more.


When the Fallen Ones offer Lira a chance to defeat the Dragon, her quest leads her to a place she never expected Iseneld, the warlord s homeland. Her journey into the heart of the Frozen Sun will put her on a collision course with Reyker, costing both of them more than they ever imagined, and leaving her with a terrible choice: to save their countries, she must forsake everything she loves.

Guest Post

Agony and Ecstasy: An Insider Look at Sequel Writing

All authors have fond stories to share about “the call”—that magical moment when they first heard they were getting a book deal and their lives were forever changed. But here’s a story we don’t often hear: the moment of panic when you realize, “Oh, crap, I have to write another one.”

While there is a thrill in knowing your characters’ stories will continue past whatever condition they were frozen in at the end of your first book (especially if it ends on a cliffhanger, as mine does), there is also a lot of self-doubt that goes along with writing a sequel. What if you only had one book in you, and all your talent has been expended? What if you blew your most interesting storylines on book one and now all you have left to work with are duds? What if by giving your first book that crazy, fiery, dramatic ending, you’ve written yourself into a corner, because—like most writers—you were so focused on book one you couldn’t spare a thought for what might have to come after?

Personally, I had to shove all those doubts to the back of my head and just move forward. The first thing I did was re-read my first book, Beasts of the Frozen Sun, and make a list of ideas and things that needed to be addressed/resolved. I have two main characters—Lira and Reyker—who were separated at the end of book one. I started thinking in terms of ripple effects: Lira and Reyker have their own paths, so I need them to move forward on their own, but I also want their actions to cause ripples that effect each other, even though they’re unaware of these impacts. This was tricky, but also a lot of fun.

Here’s what wasn’t so fun: tying up loose ends. The whole first book takes place in Lira’s home country of Glasnith. I knew for the sequel, Kingdom of Ice & Bone, I wanted Lira and Reyker to travel to Reyker’s home country of Iseneld. I was dying to get them there. If I could have had my first sentence be “Lira and Reyker are now in Iseneld” and go from there, I would have. But there were so many loose threads from the first book that had to be resolved before that journey could happen. I was quite annoyed with first-book-me who left that giant mess for sequel-me to clean up. I’m not going to lie—writing Part One of the sequel was sometimes a slog for me. But with each new chapter I wrote, a clear path emerged. It felt like playing a game sometimes: move Lira here in this chapter, move Reyker there in that chapter, with each move edging them closer to stepping on those ships that would carry them to Iseneld.     

Another issue I had was correcting mistakes from book one. Some readers complained that the first book meandered: there was no clear goal. Giving your characters a goal to move the plot forward is like Novel Writing 101, but it’s something I’ve never been great at. I’m an ambler, and so are my characters, but this time I knew I had to do better. This time I had to give my characters clear motivation. For Lira, it’s saving the young women who are imprisoned by the warlord, Draki, and achieving her revenge against him for the destruction of her homeland. For Reyker, it’s seeking redemption by protecting Lira’s island and her people, and saving his own island from Draki’s reign. Once I found that motivation, it gave me focus as my characters stumbled through the obstacles I’d set before them.

Finally, I knew better this time around that I wasn’t just writing a self-contained book. This is a trilogy, so I had to know where I was headed in the third book in order to set up those threads in the sequel—not every detail, but at least the basics. This was another tactic that helped with writing the sequel, illuminating a path for me to follow.

In the end, I’d say that writing the sequel wasn’t easy, but it proved easier than writing the first book. Now, writing a finale—yeah, that’s another story. Cue the cliffhanger…

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida.

Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).

Blog Tour Schedule Here.

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Blog Tour: The Summer I Drowned

Blog Tour

Wattpad Books’ summer thriller:

THE SUMMER I DROWNED

 

WattpadBooks_The_Summer_I_Drowned_Round_FINAL sales

Author: Taylor Hale

Publisher: Wattpad Books

Release Date: May 26, 2020

Genre: Teens & YA

ISBN: 9781989365182

Price: $10.99 (USD)

 

Description:

Five years after almost drowning, Olivia Cathart returns home to Caldwell Beach determined to face her fears and take some risks—not just by swimming, but by opening her heart. Hoping to rekindle her friendships, she’s excited about a carefree summer with her best friends Keely and Miles. But life in the sleepy town has changed, and no one and nothing is as it seems.

 

When a series of startling crimes threaten Olivia’s fragile state, she is plunged into a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Her only solace from the chaos is West, Miles’s disowned and ruggedly handsome brother, but even he can’t answer the question on everyone’s minds—is Olivia really in danger or is it simply all in her head?

 

Author Bio:

Taylor Hale was born in Southwestern Ontario, and started writing on Wattpad in 2015. When she isn’t writing, she can be found bartending at a live music venue, and thinking up her next idea. The Summer I Drowned is her first novel.

Q&A Session:

MENTAL HEALTH AND WRITING A MULTI-GENRE STORY

 

Question: What inspired you to write The Summer I Drowned?

Taylor Hale: Oddly enough, it was the name of a candle – “Sea Glass.” I thought it would make a pretty title for a story set in a beach town, maybe a romance. However, the title of the story evolved as the story itself did!

 

Q: What struggles did you face when writing this book? How did you go about using details from Olivia’s past to inform her present narrative?

TH: Getting into Olivia’s mental state was definitely a challenge, and a bit of a dark place to be writing from. I wanted to write her as someone who is constantly reminded of her past due to not only her trauma, but her emotional attachments to the people and places in the story. I think both her traumatic memories and her positive memories from Caldwell Beach shape who she is and how she sees the world throughout the story.

 

Q: In the book, Olivia struggles with trauma and PTSD. What do you hope young readers will take away from the ways Olivia copes with her mental health?  

TH: I hope they will feel less alone. I also hope they will see it’s okay to ask for help, or to accept help when it’s offered—it isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.

 

Q: How does The Summer I Drowned stand out from other books of the same genre? What do you hope to bring to young adult fiction?

TH: I think THE SUMMER I DROWNED stands out in the sense that it has an element of thriller to it, but is very much a YA Contemporary story that focuses on friendships, relationships, and growing up. I hope to bring fresh and unique stories that someone, somewhere can relate to, even in a small way. More than anything, I hope my stories provide solace to those who need it.

 

Q: When you started using Wattpad, did you ever anticipate becoming a published author?

TH: Not really, no! I knew nothing about the industry or how people even get published. However, after being on the platform for a while, I quickly realized that writing was my calling.

 

Q: What advice would you give to young writers who are inspired by your writing?

TH: Writing is a craft that takes time and practice. Allow yourself room to “suck” — everyone starts somewhere. Give it time and patience and be kind to yourself when you feel your writing isn’t quite up to par; you’ll have time to fix things later. Getting words on the page is the most important first step.

 

About Wattpad Books:

Wattpad Books, a division of Wattpad, is the leader in data-backed publishing. Leveraging billions of daily insights from Wattpad’s global community of 70 million book lovers, Wattpad Books combines the best of art and science, using human expertise and Story DNA Machine Learning technology to identify the trends, voices, and stories that are the future of publishing. By elevating the stories of diverse communities around the world, Wattpad Books is creating new space for writers and fans of every genre.

Visit books.wattpad.com for more information.

 

PUBLICITY CONTACTS: Michela DellaMonica / 917-685-4412 / Michela.dellamonica@smithpublicity.com

smith publicity

Tour Dates: July 6-13, 2020

REVIEW COPIES & INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST