Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Conversation with Sarah Guillory, author of RECLAIMED.

SARAH GUILLORY, AUTHOR OF RECLAIMED


Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. It seems like we should
know each other in person! Anyway, I loved your debut novel, RECLAIMED,
the plot point with the brothers for sure, but mostly your really beautiful
writing. Writing a book is hard to begin with, but you, like me, work
full time as an educator. How'd you make that work?

Goodreads Link


When I decided to write seriously, I knew that meant budgeting my time. (Hoarding it, really.) I write every day when I get home from work, usually from 4:30 - 6:00 PM. If I'm on deadline, I also usually work after dinner as well, for at least another hour. My weekends are for writing, as are holidays (Mardi Gras, Spring Break) and the summer. I wrote RECLAIMED during the school year by writing at least 1,000 words every day after school. I finished in the spring, then let it sit for a few weeks before spending most of my summer revising.

I try not to bring my school work home. My mother and grandmother, also teachers, gave me that advice early on, and even before I was a writer, I followed it. There are times when I do have to grade at home (usually research papers), but I only do so after I've met my writing goals for the day. I'm cranky if I don't get to write, so having that time is an integral part of who I am, and I believe it makes me a better teacher.

Now that RECLAIMED is out in the world and presumably your students have
been reading it, what's it been like to straddle that line between published
author and teacher. Are there things that are different? Things you wish
were different? (I won't ask about the same, because I'm sure you still have
your type A's and your slackers and that doesn't change a whole lot!)

It's not that different, actually. Many of my students have read the book, but they are good at separating me as author and me as teacher. (Maybe because author Guillory is much cooler than teacher Guillory.) Tons of them attended my launch party (seriously, it was mindblowing),had me sign their books, and made me pose with them for pictures. That made me laugh, since they could take a picture with me any day of the week. Those who didn't get to come have had me sign their books at school, but they don't ask during class. They come before school or during my break, and they seem shy, the way they would if asking someone they don't know instead of someone they talk to every single day. A few of them finished the book while at school and chased me down to yell at me a bit. I loved that. I actually get to chat with readers every day, and I feel incredibly lucky for it. (A few have handed me "fan" letters when passing me in the halls. They are the sweetest.) They do get small inside scoops, since many have asked about my next book. I hope the one thing my students do learn from me is that hard work pays 
off and dreams can be reached, even the biggest ones.

And to always do their homework. ;)

Nice! And I love that bit of shyness, it's so sweet.

So, RECLAIMED is published with Spencer Hill Contemporary, a newer branch of a small press that still is relatively new. Have you enjoyed working directly with an editor versus going the agented route? And what have been the advantages of being with a newer imprint?

I love working with Spencer Hill. I'd always envisioned my publishing path the traditional route - agent, then editor. I was participating in Writeoncon and trying to polish my query when my editor read it and asked for the full. When she called to offer a week later, I was ecstatic! I took some time to think about it, but I decided to go ahead and sell it to Spencer Hill because I thought it was a good fit for the book. My editor was so enthusiastic about RECLAIMED, and she completely got the story. She loved the characters as much as I did, and I knew they would be in good hands. It's been a great experience, and the personal attention and close working relationship has been the best part. My editor was always just a phone call away if I needed her. I actually emailed her on a Friday night in the middle of my revisions because I had a little freak-out moment. She called me immediately to talk me through the problem I was having (which was nothing), then ordered me to take the night off, even if it meant I missed my deadline by a couple of days. She always wanted what was best for the book, and that meant the world to me. Everyone at Spencer Hill, editors, interns, publicists, have been absolutely amazing. That was one of the benefits of a new imprint - there were only a few (three I think) releases in 2013, so I always felt I had the support I needed and that they believed in my book.

I know so many authors that I love as people have signed with Spencer Hill so I can't help but think they must be awesome as well! Glad to hear what a positive experience it's been.

So what's next? Are your writing new things? Sticking with contemporary or venturing out? Can you tease us a little?

I am writing lots of new things! I'm currently revising a book I dreamed up back before I sold RECLAIMED. I had an idea for a trilogy back in the spring of 2012, but it was very involved and scared me. I told myself I wasn't going to write it, but the idea just wouldn't let me go. I wrote it over the summer of 2012, then set it aside to work with my editor on RECLAIMED revisions. I revised it a bit in Janurary, 2013, but an awesome writing friend suggested I start in a different place, so the book I originally wrote will become parts of book two and three, and I wrote an entirely brand new book one in March of 2013. I revised this summer, and am now revising again based on feedback. It is both historical and contemporary. It's very different from anything I've ever done, which is both exciting and terrifying. It's set in Louisiana, and there is kissing.

Oh that gives me hope! I have a couple of former projects that won't die for me. Weirdly enough one upper MG I wrote, I'm toying with writing as an adult novel now! Strange.

Anyway, I can't wait to find out more about the new one in the future as I love anything that has a Southern setting! And I do hope it has a bloodhound in it. (Cue, gratuitous photo of author pet here, please :0))

Sarah's handsome Bloodhound!


Before we end our chat, I have one final question, or rather a series of small questions. Tell my readers, what are the next 3 books on your TBR pile? The liquid in your cup? And the song you've got playing on repeat!


 And thanks so much for stopping by!!

That's so funny that you mentioned the bloodhound, because he was one
of the first characters! Right now I'm planning on having him make his
appearance in book two.

My next TBR books are: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr, Not a Drop to
Drink by Mindy McGinnnis, and Let Me Play by Karen Blumenthal.

In my cup: Community Coffee

Song on Repeat: "Too Late" by Wes Kirkpatrick

Thanks so much for having me!

Next week, be sure to stop in when I'll be chatting with Joy Hensley, author of RITES OF PASSAGE!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

All the exciting things.

Whew. Life is a whirlwind when you finally reach your dream of publication. Interrupted by quite a few eyes of the storms. It's fast, wait, fast, wait, fast wait.

This past week, with the release of my cover, I've seen NO PLACE TO FALL jump from something like 250 adds on to-be-read shelves to over 600. I'm in that fun place where it's all people clicking and adding but no reviews yet, so Goodreads is not yet my nemesis.

My book has shown up for pre-order on both Book Depository and Amazon (both with an error or two - BD has a description that isn't accurate and Amazon says it's a $16 paperback instead of the hardbound book it will be, but I've no worries that will get fixed) over the past couple of days, which is WILD! I'm now one real pregnancy away from my book releasing into the wild. Approx. nine months from now Harper will release it from their warehouses.

In the meantime, I'm still working through first pass pages. This is the last time I get to dabble in the stew of words I've created and it's a weird blend of torture (it's so hard to read it yet again. Serious book fatigue) and excitement to see my book in chapter and print form.

I'm reading tons of ARCs from other 2014 debuts and though I love the chance to support my debut class, I am looking forward to reading the mass of other things on my own TBR pile, like Megan Shepherd's Her Dark Curiosity and Megan Miranda's Vengeance. Also Charm and Strange, Just One Day, September Girls, and Wanderlove. Reading is such an inspiration for my writing.

Besides that, this weekend has been beautiful! I worked with my two youngsters (horses) yesterday for the first time in months and I hope to do it again today! Hope all is well in your worlds!

Jro


Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Conversation with Mary Crockett, Co-Author of DREAM BOY

Mary Crockett, Co-Author of DREAM BOY

Hi Mary! I'm so glad to have you stop by the blog to talk about Dream Boy. I have incredibly vivid dreams so your premise of dream boy walking into life (or is it alternate reality) is kind of plausible to me. So tell me, are you a big dreamer? 
Goodreads Link
I am a huge dreamer. That part of my life has always seemed so vivid that the premiss of a dream boy becoming real isn't such a stretch for me. There were times when, like the book's narrator, my dream world seemed almost more real than my waking life.

Maybe it's the writer in me that makes me such a dreamer. Or maybe it's the dreamer in me that drives me to write. At any rate, they're connected. Both writing and dreaming tap into the subconscious. They speak the same language. I've often worked images or emotions from dreams into my writing. And sometimes I've found ideas from my writing appearing in my dreams. 

I think the tension between what's real and what's dream is really interesting. Dream Boy, for example, takes place today in a small town in southwest Virginia. Chilton has a fictional name, but it's a very real place--one that my coauthor Madelyn Rosenberg and I are both quite familiar with. 

Oh, wow, we're neighbors! I live pretty much due south of Bristol, TN over the border into North Carolina. Which is snug up next to southwestern Virginia. I love this area as setting so now I'm doubly excited for DREAM BOY. Does your book have a small town feel with all of its too close for comfort knowledge of each other?

Hey neighbor! My husband and I spent some of our honeymoon at the Breaks Park in Grundy--not too far from your area. (I always thought I should write a murder mystery called Honeymoon in Grundy. And if I knew anything about murder mysteries, maybe I would!)

In some ways Chilton is another character in the book. That small town sense of everyone being in everyone else's business is definitely at play in Dream Boy. I love all the details of small town rituals too--sporting events and homecoming dances and the way everyone knows whose dog it is running around loose and peeing on everyone's bushes.

Ha! So true. I've learned everyone is also distantly related to everyone else so you must never say a cross word about anyone, unless of course it's prefaced with "bless her heart."

Last week I had Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie on the blog talking about their co-authoring process. Can you tell my readers (and me!) a bit about the process you and Madelyn go through?

First, just want to say that I love Trisha and Lindsay and I can't wait for Creed!

When we started out, Madelyn had a general idea about the story arc, and we were open to seeing where that would take us. So we just dove in--no outline, no rules. 

I would write something and shoot it to her in an email. She would comb through what I'd written, making editions or tightening up language. She'd add some and send it back. Then I'd do the same. 

Sometimes one of us would get on a roll and add a huge chunk of pages. Other times, we'd just add a sentence or two. 

If we got caught up in a detail--knowing something needed to be added to flesh things out, but uncertain exactly what that detail needed to be--we'd put a couple of big capital X's and leave it for the other to fill in the blank. We'd also write notes as we went along, using different colors or all caps to set off our conversations from the actual text. Usually something like "JUST TRYING THIS OUT. NOT SURE ABOUT THE DIALOG." Or conversely, "DID YOU SERIOUSLY GIVE DANIEL A LIP STUD? ... NO! JUST NO." 

It was really neat to bring up an image or character as a sort of side-line thing and see Madelyn bring that character or image back in a meaningful way. 

We'd meet in person if we happened to be in the neighborhood or talk by phone to discuss some of the big-picture stuff--reshaping the arc, for example. And for revisions, we were on the phone for hours at a time--combing through everything together, with one of us as notetaker (usually Madelyn because I often had my little son on my lap, which isn't ideal for typing). 

That is so fascinating! And funny about the lip stud. I can imagine that physical descriptions are so different in each of your imaginations. Or did you find imagery to help so that you were working off the same inspiration? Like actors or Pinterest boards to make sure you were on the same mental page?

That would have been so smart. Next time--if there is a next time--yes, we'll get our bums over to Pinterest first thing! 

Ironically, we do have a Dream Boy Pinterest page now ( http://www.pinterest.com/madelynruth1/dream-boy/ ) but mainly it's stuff that comes to mind when we think of the book. 

As we wrote, we were both much more concerned with the inner than the outer character, so we didn't go overboard on physical descriptions. I always appreciate Jane Austen's trick of focusing on a prominent feature or two (Elizabeth Bennet's "fine eyes," for example) and letting the readers fill in some of the blanks on their own. 

It turns out, though, that both Madelyn and I had pretty much the same look in mind for most of the characters anyway. After we had completed the first draft, Mad sent me a jpeg of a guy she thought captured Will, and sure enough, it was exactly what I'd been imagining. 

A few characters did morph a bit along the way. I kept seeing one of the friends with long dark braids (a bit like Madelyn's hair), but Madelyn saw her with something shorter and edgier. Another character's hair kept changing from blond to light brown. I can't blame that on coauthoring, though; I'm pretty sure I was the only one who kept changing his hair. I think I was just trying to see beyond what I'd originally thought about him, and for some reason in my mind, that process had a strange affect on his hair.

Very cool. And sounds like a lot of fun. I have a good critique partner who's writing style is close enough to mine who might be able to pull it off, but we might end up with something pretty twisted, too. Hah!

Anyway, this brings our chat to a close, but three quick last questions. Tell us, the next three books on your TBR pile, the liquid in your cup, and what's playing on repeat? And thanks so much for telling us about Dream Boy, I look forward to its release!

Thanks, it's been fun! Let's see...Next on my book list -- CLOG! by my friend Dan Smith, Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos, and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. 

Earl Grey is in my cup, unless I'm getting a migraine, in which case I medicate with a big cup of coffee and way too much sugar and milk. 

And I just checked iTunes for my most played song, and it was--(dramatic pause)--"Old MacDonald" from the album Barnyard Bluegrass, with a grand total of 124 plays. Perhaps that's best explained by the fact that my toddler has an unnatural obsession with Old MacDonald and for a while he wouldn't take a nap without it on replay. 

But below all the Old MacDonald and Sleepy Time Music Mixes, it's a three-way tie among Ed Sheeran's "Grade 8" (for peppy house-cleaning me), Regina Spektor's "Small Town Moon" (for contemplative car-driving me) and Levi Lowrey's "Space Between" (for poetic curl-up-and-cry me).

Thanks, again, Jro. I can't wait to read your No Place to Fall!

Thanks to you too, Mary! And next week stop in when I'll be chatting with Sarah Guillory, author of RECLAIMED.

Friday, February 14, 2014

It's My Cover Reveal!!!! And Two Giveaways! Annotated ARC, Art, Kindle Paperwhite!!!

But it's not here! You're going to have to pop over to the YA Valentines Blog to check it out.

So push this


and go!!!

Because there are prizes.

This is missing its purple mat, but it will have one. Approx. 20" x 20"
A matted piece of artwork, featuring a quote from NO PLACE TO FALL

AND

An annotated ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the book!

But that's not all! I'm also part of a new collective of '14 Debut Authors who are all debuting in the fall!
Our new site is here: http://www.fallfourteeners.com/
But you can enter the giveaway for a Kindle and our favorite books, right here!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NmQ2OTkwYzNjYjFhNTgzNDBiYmE5Y2JlNGEwMTA2OjEw/

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Conversation with Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver, Co-Authors of CREED


Lindsay Currie
Trisha Leaver







Hi Lindsay! Thanks so much for agreeing to stop by the blog for a chat. I've seen pictures of your dog, Sam, on the web so I already know we're going to do fine together. Big dog people solidarity! Anyway, you have a novel coming out in the fall from Flux, titled CREED. The blurb on your blog sounds amazing - deserted town, but not really because it's populated by a creepy cult. But beyond wanting to read it NOW, I'm intrigued that you co-authored it. Can you tell us about the process of working with another writer in the creative process?

Hi, and thank you for having me! So glad to know you’re a dog person, too. And yes, Sam think’s he’s a huge part of the publishing world because he sits at my feet while I’m writing! I don’t know, perhaps he’s got a future as the mascot for young adult literature:) Here he is, with his most academic face on…


Anyway, back on topic! CREED is a psychological horror that I co-authored with Trisha Leaver. We’ve actually been writing together for for a few years now, and loving it. We started out as CP’s and eventually discovered that when we put our two brains together, we come up with some insanely twisted stuff. 

In terms of sharing the creative process - it’s a blast! Believe it or not, CREED actually originated from a dream Trisha had. She then called me, relayed the more sinister aspects (the distant wail of a storm siren in an abandoned farming town), we brainstormed and then set out to write a story around those few chilling details. Fortunately for us, it ended up coming together into a manuscript that we loved. With our amazing agents Kathleen Rushall and Kevan Lyon pitching the book, we were lucky enough to end up with editor Brian Farrey on the project! 

 While I don’t think co-authoring is for everyone, its certainly been fun for us and we look forward to writing more together. In my opinion, the key isn’t just having a similar writing style, but a similar vision for each individual project as well. Well, that and the fact that we enjoy sharing the process. That helps:)

Fascinating. I think that would be loads of fun. And now Trisha has joined the conversation, too! Hi Trisha! So more about this, because I think co-authoring though done, is not done a lot. David Levithan is someone who comes to mind as a regular co-author type. What's a typical writing week look like for the two of you, do you plot or pants? How often do you go back and forth? Do you Skype and write? In general - how in the heck do you two do the co-author thing? 

Ah, good questions! To be honest, neither of us are really plotters. We honestly prefer to start with an idea and let it flow from there. Generally, we allow the story to go in the direction that feels right - even if this means making major plot or character changes along the way. Since we pass the MS back and forth (sometimes mid-chapter), you’d be amazed at how many new threads develop or how many plot bunnies take on a life of their own. Trisha is really the amazing idea generator between the two of us and sometimes her thoughts take us in entirely new directions than we planned to go in. 

As for how much we Skype/talk - A LOT. I think our books come together in the end because of the amount of brainstorming we do and that’s pretty much all by phone.

So how does the actual writing work? Do you do multiple POV's and split those up? Is one of you the dialogue writer and another the prose writer? Or is it truly like an exquisite corpse story, but with purpose? However you do it, I imagine it's a whole ton of fun to write a novel with someone else. It seems like it would subtract any pressure that might be there.

The logistics of how we write are actually a lot more simple than people think. We don’t write multiple POV’s, and don’t split up anything really. I think a key is that we both write what we’re comfortable with. If I’m writing a scene and I honestly feel like Trisha is going to be able to create more authentic dialogue or something along those lines, I’ll toss the half-written scene at her and let her have a go at it. When it comes down to it, it’s not about who can write the majority of the book . . . It’s about creating the best book it can be, regardless of which one of us is writing the various scenes. Fortunately, Trisha and I have similar writing styles so it’s impossible to detect shifts in writer throughout the MS. Our writing method is pretty informal and yes, really fun! 

So, I know CREED is a creepy sort of tale, but was there one scene that stood out because it was so much fun for y'all to write?

Trisha: Hmm…how to answer this without giving too much away?  I wouldn’t so say a specific scene as I would a character.  Mike is the younger brother of our mc’s love interest. He is sarcastic by nature and quick with a crude yet completely spot on answer.  He was a hoot to write, probably because I, myself, have a sarcastic streak.

Lindsay:  YES! I’d have to say that our opening scenes were very memorable for me in terms of writing CREED because they set the tone.  It’s a dark, foreboding feeling that really sticks to your bones, and refuses to go away throughout the entire MS. Just think broken down car, nothing but farmland for miles, darkness approaching, and the distant wail of a storm siren. 

With each answer I want this book more. Alright, so we've talked co-authoring, let's talk individual projects. Are you each interested in writing solo as well? (I immediately think of Sheila E and her solo albums apart from Prince) Anything on the horizon? More co-authored projects? Are you branding yourself in unique ways for different types of projects? 


Yes, we both author solo projects! For more information on those, please visit our separate websites at www.trishaleaver.com and www.lindsaycurrie.com.  Regarding co-authored work, we do have a second book coming out from Flux in 2015 - tentatively titled HARDWIRED. We’ll share details on that book as soon as we can:)  In addition, we’ve just completed a YA historical fiction horror based in the late 1800’s.  

When it comes to branding, I think our taste pretty much dictates the brand we’re creating as opposed to the other way around. When we write together, typically our manuscripts fall along a darker line and are psychological in nature. In other words, read our books with the LIGHTS ON!

Got it! Lights on. And people, go check out those links! And put Creed on your TBR list!

It's been wonderful hanging out with the two of you but it's time for my final questions. Please tell us, the next 3 books on your TBR piles, the liquid currently in your cups, and what's playing on repeat! 

Lindsay: Aw, thank you for having us! It’s been awesome. Next 3 books in my TBR pile are: THESE BROKEN STARS, FANGIRL and DEFY. Can’t wait to read all 3! The liquid currently in my cup is coffee, with French vanilla creamer and there’s nothing on repeat! I don’t like writing with music. Crazy, right? 

Trisha: Finally a question I can answer without too much thought J  top of my TBR pile is SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron, THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Hale Anderson, and FALLOUT by Ellen Hopkins.  As for what is in my cup….Joseph Carr Cabernet. And what I have on repeat today, and this changes regularly, but today it is SAY SOMETHING by A Great Big World.

Be sure and stop in next week when I'll be chatting with Mary Crockett, co-author of Dream Boy!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Six (or, What's Up With Me)

I don't know if that's a thing, but we'll make it one. My blog posts have been less of the personal nature lately and more of the interview/pitchwars nature, so I thought I'd catch you up to speed on my world.

In list format! My favorite!

So here are six things happening in my world.

1.  My first pass pages came! These are the stack of pages you get, printed in the fonts and headings and flibberdygibbets that the real book is going to be printed in. It's cool. It's awesome. It's 354 pages! It's also scary as it's the last time I can make changes. I'm trying not to obsess, but I seem to be wildly vacillating between pride and "oh god, this is awful." They're due March 10th and I'm slowly picking my way through a few chapters at a time.



2. I just finished my first full (almost) week of school. We did have a two hour delay on Thursday so I guess it still wasn't a real full week. But after close to a month off, with only an intermittent day in attendance for not-inclement weather, I was exhausted and spent the whole day in bed yesterday (with the exception of farm chores).

3. I've been reading a whole bunch of 2014 release ARCS. I really enjoyed HEXED by Michelle Krys, an irreverent funny teen witch story set in Los Angeles. Lots of laughing out loud. It's something I probably wouldn't have picked out on my own and I would have missed a good one. I also thought Tara Dairman's ALL FOUR STARS, a middle grade about a young foodie with big dreams was totally adorable. I've just started THESE GENTLE WOUNDS by Helene Dunbar and I think it's going to be a heart wrenching contemporary, one of my favorite kinds. So put these on your TBR lists!

4. I finished my WIP, WHO I THOUGHT YOU WERE, during all my snow days. Six weeks, people! It was sort of my own little JaNoWriMo. Along with the help of my #30mdare folks on Twitter. Now it's time for the clean up. I have high hopes for this manuscript but honestly, I'm a little scared to start the revisions because of those high hopes.

5. I'm tired of winter. I need blue sky days and more daylight. But that damn groundhog says otherwise.

What I think of you, Weather Dog

That's me! What's up with you? Read any good books lately? Been anywhere tropical?


Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Conversation with Bethany Hagen, Author of LANDRY PARK

The below-mentioned blue glasses - Bethany's website

Hi Bethany! I'm so excited to have another of my YA Valentines on the blog. I'm still waiting for my turn to read the community ARC of Landry Park, so I popped over to Goodreads and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The thing that peaked my interest the most is the combination of what readers perceive to be an almost historical fiction feel to a future set novel. How did this particular combination appear to you? Are you a big fan of both genres? (I am!)

Goodreads Link
I am a huge fan of the "future historical," as it were.  (Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog, Catherine Fisher's Incarceron, and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Taleare some of my favorites. [And I'm reading Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner'sThese Broken Stars right now and it's just magnificent.]) I'd like to be very intellectual here and claim that the basis of the appeal is in the juxtaposition of progress and regress, but I think the honest answer is that I adore science fiction and also flouncy dresses, and I wanted to smash them together to make a thing.

The author speak equivalent to art speak or educationese, impressive. All very lofty languages indeed. So Incarceron is one of my favorite world-building books. What are some amazing world gems we'll find when reading Landry Park? Any favorite fancy dresses? (Why fiddle-dee-dee, I do love that ballgown!)

There are MAGNIFICENT dresses.  Silk and lace and tulle and corsets and antique hair combs and embroidered slippers and yeah...all the pretties.  But I do have to say that  my actual favorite piece of Madeline's world are these Cherenkov lanterns that use the Cherenkov radiation effect for light.  They are bright blue but also kind of ghostly at the same time--and they are actually the original source of the Landry family wealth.  To me, they are a reminder of the way nuclear power is threaded through every aspect of gentry life, for better or for worse.

Well that is some heady reading material (says the non-science girl after visiting the Wikipedia page for Cherenkov radiation). And a very pretty shade of blue. Kind of like your glasses. Seriously you have the best frame style of all the YA authors. I secretly want Bethany Hagen glasses. Are there any baubles that Madeline values above all others in Landry Park? And does that change as the novel unwinds?

Madeline is surrounded by the Landry family crest, which is the atomic symbol (familiar to any high school student who had to lug around a 25-pound chemistry textbook.)  The family crest is wrought into necklaces and her father's cufflinks and her mother's hair combs, it's embroidered on her bedsheets and inlaid into the marble patio outside her ballroom doors.  She's been raised to be proud of her family and of her home. But of course, since it's a YA dystopian novel, our heroine soon learns that the history behind her family's success is much darker than she ever realized.

The Landry home sounds like the Ritz Carlton or something. Do you use visual references like Pinterest to find and write these details? What helped you in the creation of the Landry Park world?

There were a lot of things I relied on to help envision the world of Landry Park.  Pinterest was a wonderful resource because I could pull in so many different things to stitch together the estate in my mind--the grounds at Powis Castle, the exterior of the Chateau Fontaine-Henry--and, at the same time, reference gorgeous dresses and jewelry and moss-covered statues.  (You can find the Pinterest board here.)  

I also relied on music--Ludovico Einaudi, Thomas Newman and Dario Marianelli were on heavy rotation--and re-watched my favorite movies over and over again.  Gone with the Wind, the 1994 Little Women, Pride and Prejudice (both the 1995 and the 2005 versions,) and Jane Eyre specifically, plus I watched a LOT of Science Channel shows about space and future technology.  For a while, I had possibly the strangest Netflix queue in the Midwest.

That Pinterest board is sumptuous. Gorgeous imagery. Now I want to read this book even more! So this question will bring our chat to a close. Please tell the readers the next three books on your TBR pile, what liquid is in your cup, and what's currently playing on repeat. And thanks so much for stopping by!

Thanks for putting this all together.  You rock!

Next Three Books TBR: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, Unhinged by A.G. Howard, and Bruised by Sarah Skilton (<----I've been a karate geek for over fourteen years, and got my first black belt as a teen, so I'm excited for this one!)
Liquid in Cup: Coffee.  There's a biscotti next to the cup.  Life is good right now.

Currently on Repeat: The Gregory Brothers singing "Wrecking Ball."  Why is it so addictive?!

Next week, be sure and stop in when I chat with Lindsay Currie and Trish Leaver, co-authors of CREED.