music

Best YA Debut Novels of 2016. Giveaway & Author Q&A: Kathryn Purdie – Burning Glass @KathrynPurdie #amreading

Hello, book lovers! As a special salute to this month’s Q&As with authors of 2016’s BEST YA DEBUT NOVELS, this final February interview includes a special GIVEAWAY of book swag from Kathryn Purdie’s debut novel, Burning Glass. For a chance to win, all you have to do is “like” this post before Saturday 2/27/16. The winner must also be willing to provide a mailing address so I can, you know, send you the swag. 🙂

Today’s Must-Read YA Debut Author Is . . .

Kathryn Purdie who, in addition to her obvious talent for writing, is a classically trained actress. Kathryn was inspired to write the Burning Glass debut trilogy while recovering from donating a kidney to her older brother.

Kathryn Purdie

Why Burning Glass is a Must-Read:

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An immersive page-turner with luscious writing and a complex heroine. Because of Sonya’s unique ability to physically and emotionally feel what those around her feel, she is forced into the employ of the emperor where she must protect him by sensing the intentions of would-be assassins.

The Interview

Eve: What made you fall in love with your novel?

K.P.: How surprising and flawed Sonya is as a character. She constantly shocked me and delighted me as I wrote her. Her unpredictability is my favorite thing.

Eve: When is your book’s official release date?

K.P.: My book releases March 1st. I haven’t seen the finished copy yet. I’m on pins and needles!

Eve: Many writers also seem to be music lovers. Did you create a playlist for your novel and, if so, what are some of the songs on it?

K.P.: I LOVE music, but I can’t listen to vocal music while I write, or I just want to sing along! So I write to soundtracks. I wrote almost all of BURNING GLASS to the film score of BELLE by Rachel Portman. The best vocal song that embodies the mood of BURNING GLASS is “Can’t Pretend,” by Tom Odell. I allow myself to listen to it while I revise, because revisions take less brainpower than drafting for me (so the vocal music isn’t so distracting).

Eve: Speaking of music.. . included in your book swag is a novel-inspired song you wrote and performed called “Song for Anton.” Clearly you are a musician. If you were in an all-authors band (like YA authors Libba Bray, Natalie Standiford, Barnabas Miller, and Daniel Ehrenhaft’s “Tiger Beat”), what instrument would you play?

K.P.: I would play the guitar—and I do play the guitar! My dad taught me when I was sixteen. I spent the rest of high school torturing all my friends with renditions of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” One funny thing about my guitar playing is I am the world’s worst strummerMy dad taught me folk songs and how to finger pluck, and that’s still the way I play.

Tiger Beat all-authors band Nicole Brinkley-YA Interrobang

Tiger Beat all-authors band – YA Interrobang/Nicole Brinkley

Eve: The best writers are also huge readers. What are some books you recently read that you loved?

K.P.: THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry (Pure magic and a sweeping feeling of nostalgia, intellect, and true love.)

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro (Awesome twist on Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is a modern girl in this version.)

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir (Amazing world, execution, and the concept of Masks fascinates me.)

Purdie three recent favorite reads

Eve: Having an online presence is a big deal for writers. How do you balance writing and social media?

K.P.: I don’t balance it! I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve recently downloaded the “Freedom” app to force me to stay offline while I write and revise. Wish me luck!

Eve: In the early days of crafting your novel, were you shy about sharing what you’d written with others?

K.P.: I’m always shy about sharing what I’ve written. I’ve learned that I like to stay very alone with my concept and draft until I’ve made it the best it can be. Of course, I can’t do this anymore since I’m having a trilogy published. I have to discuss my future books often with my editor. But I don’t mind. She loves these books and is as equally invested in them as I am.

Eve: Do you have a critique group and, if so, how did you find them?

K.P.: I met my critique group at the first writing conference I attended a few years ago. We hard core critiqued each other’s manuscripts the first years we were together. Now our schedules don’t allow for us to have time to critique everything (some of us are published and have tight deadlines), so we’re more of a support group now. But these ladies are very special to me and have gotten me through some intense times!

Eve: Who came up with the title of your novel? Was it the same title you used when querying agents?

My editor, together with the sales and marketing team at my publisher, came up with the name, BURNING GLASS. They wanted something moody, atmospheric, and symbolic. It’s not an obvious title. When you read the book, you have to think hard about why that’s the title. That’s why I love it! My original title for the book was AURASEER, which is the type of empath Sonya is in the story. That term remains in the book, but it didn’t stick as the title. 🙂

Eve: Many writers have dark moments while working on their novels, times when they’re not sure they’ll ever finish. If you encountered hurdles like this, how did you overcome them?

K.P.: I didn’t experience this for BURNING GLASS (a rare exception to my norm), but I have for the next book in the trilogy, which I’m still working on. To get through all that, I lean on my support group of author friends and my amazing husband, I get practical advice on things I’m struggling with (like turning off my inner editor), and I cling to a strong vision that somehow I’ll succeed. Writing a book is hard, and it truly takes a village.

Eve: Was there any particular epiphany you had while writing your novel when you said to yourself, “Hey, I can do this. I’m going to publish this thing.”

K.P.: From the moment I had the idea to write BURNING GLASS, I knew this book would be special and different. I had another book planned and outlined, and I set it all aside when this story popped into my head. It flowed out of me with little difficulty, compared to previous novels. In all ways, it really felt “meant to be,” and I had high hopes for it.

Eve: Where can your fans reach you?

Website: kathrynpurdie.com
Twitter: @kathrynpurdie
Instagram: kathrynpurdie
Tumblr: kathrynpurdie

A Moment of Gratitude. . .

sunny forest

A sunny day in green forest with high trees

I love. . .

life.

reading.

my reading friends.

writing.

my writer friends.

my daughter and how she brings sparkle and laughter to my life.

my son and how ambitious, confident and reliable he is.

my husband and how loyal and smart he is.

the city I live in with its small town feel, friendly people, and quaint Old Town and British-style traffic circle, even though it’s actually a big city with all the conveniences.

that I have a short commute to work.

losing myself in music, both as a listener and as a player, and that jubilant moment when I hear, for the first time, a song I know I’ll love forever.

the music and foreign language students of all ages I work with, their enthusiasm, “aha” moments, hugs, and goofy things they say like, “You smell like a seashell.”

my piano students, AKA friends and fellow musicians, who tell me jokes and say Anna is way better than Elsa (I agree!), and get me to do my Stitch, dog, pigeon, and wicked witch imitations.

the excitement of knowing I will publish novels.

my two dogs and two cats, the friendliest, most intuitive furry friends ever, especially Teddie, our not-purebred-poodle-after-all with his really ugly butt.

my friends who make me feel like the nicest, funniest, smartest person in the world and who’ll talk to me about anything.

my parents and wish they lived closer.

my brothers and what good family men they are.

ice cream, being outside on sunny days, being indoors on cloudy days, libraries, meeting nice people, amazing talent, handsome cowboys (but, sorry, not cowboy music), epiphanies,  dumb blonde jokes, walking in the woods, and beauty in all its forms.

–Eve Messenger

 

 

Inspiration: Which Artist Do You Wish You Could Write Like?

Janelle Monae

Musician and performance artist Janelle Monae makes music the way I want to write: totally out of the box and genuine.  If you have not watched her video for the song Tightrope, please do not pass “go;” head directly to YouTube. . . or watch it here. 🙂

 

Talk about truth and singing from the heart, watch what happens starting at 1:33 when Janelle Monae sings, “I was made to believe there’s something wrong with me.” She released this video as-is. Why? Because it’s deeply honest.

 

Which artist would you like to write fiction like?

What to Do If a Song Gets Stuck in Your Head

twenty one pilots

An earworm is a snippet of a song WISH I COULD TURN BACK TIME. . . that gets stuck in your head and relentlessly refuses to leave. TO THE GOOD OLD DA-AYS It drifts off to sleep with you each night and greets you every morning even before you’re fully awake. WHEN OUR MOMMA SANG US TO SLEEP

Day after day, the earworm camps out in your mind, lays out a picnic, and loops endlessly. AND NOW WE’RE STRESSED OUT.

Sometimes the earworm may bounce to a different–also very catchy—part of the same song.
MY NAME IS BLURRY-FACE AND I CARE WHAT YOU THINK.
MY NAME IS BLURRY-FACE AND I CARE WHAT YOU THINK

How do you get rid of an earworm? WISH I COULD TURN BACK TIME. . .

Here’s some conventional wisdom:

  1. Ignore it. TO THE GOOLD OLD DAYS.. .
  2. Watch the music video.
  3. Sing it with people, friends, strangers, anyone who will join you.
  4. Replace it WHEN OUR MOMMA SANG US TO SLEEP with another song.
  5. Read a book. Or several.
  6. Do anagrams. AND NOW WE’RE STRESSED OUT
  7. Blog about it and ask others for help. WISH I COULD TURN BACK TIME. . .

HELP! If you’ve ever had a song stuck in your head, how did you finally get rid of it?

The Random Tag

Thank you to Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets for tagging me with The Random Tag and thus giving me an excuse to reveal more random facts about myself. 🙂  If you’re looking for great recommendations on books AND music, please check out Lila’s blog.

1.What is your favorite food?
Indian! Serve up the palak paneer, please. 🙂 Oh, and Korean barbecue–I can’t choose. I love all the Korean side dishes.

             

2.What are you having for dinner tonight?
My husband is a great cook (thank goodness, or we’d starve), and he made pulled pork.

3.Who was the last person you emailed? 

Kristy Acevedo.

 

 

 

4.What sports do you do?
I’m a huge fan of women’s volleyball.

volleyball

 

5.Do you have any pet hates?
When people make other people feel small.

6.Do you play any instruments?
I love playing music!! Piano, guitar, and djembe, in that order. And I love singing harmony.

giphy

I NOW TAG . . .

Melanie Noell Bernard

Amy @ Every Book You Need to Read and More

Shatona @ The Positive Black Woman

Why Do People Always Think I’m a Store Employee? and the Dragon’s Loyalty Blog Award

Emma @ Book Crunch  was so nice to nominate me for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award (thanks for all the great YA book recommendations, Emma!), so I will do my best to come up with seven facts about myself.

First, the Rules. . . 
Display the award on your blog.
Announce your win with a post.
Link the blogger who awarded you.
Present 6 deserving blogs with the award.
Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded.
Write seven interesting things about you.

Seven Facts About Me

  1. More times than I can count, when I’m out shopping in department stores, strangers approach me for assistance because they think I’m a store employee.woman-and-clerk-comparing-items
  2. Singing and dancing to impromptu made-up songs with my children is one of my favorite things in life.
  3. I’ve always secretly wanted to be a radio DJ. Last year I got to fulfill this wish with a guest-DJ stint on a major Los Angeles radio station.
  4. Unless I really respect the person in charge, I’m a bit of a rebel against authority.
  5. I’m definitely an introvert, but if you met me you’d probably think I was an extrovert, albeit an occasionally awkward one.
  6. This probably comes as no surprise, but reading, writing, and blogging about YA novels brings me immense joy.
  7. I am beyond excited to feature on my blog in February interviews with authors of (what I consider to be) the five must-read YA debut novels of 2016.

The six deserving blogs I’d now like to nominate for a Dragon’s Loyalty Blog Award are. . .hmmm, wait… it’s too hard to limit the list to six because I adore all seven of these fun, smart, loyal bloggers so much!

Beth @ betwixt-these-pages 
Millie @ millieschmidt 
Hannah @ hsduerloo and questtype 
Joan @ fiddlerblue 
Stefanie @ yourdaughtersbookshelf 
Kelly Miles @ authorkellymiles 
Jon Stephens @ Start Your Fiction 

— Eve Messenger

What Were Your Favorite Writerly Gifts This Year? #writinglife #amwriting

Writerly Christmas Haul 2015 copy

Writerly Christmas Haul 2015 – Eve Messenger

Ho, ho, ho! ‘Tis the season for displaying, flipping through, hooking up, playing with, and just all-round jump around with glee about our favorite “writerly” and “readerly” Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa gifts. Here were my favorites this year:

  • Stephen King’s On Writing, the only craft book I wanted to own. I was so happy to find it under the tree.
  • New speakers handcrafted from curly maple wood by my talented husband. Now I can listen to music in style.
  • Bananagrams, a fun, fast-paced anagram/crossword game that I adore. Now I just have to find people brave enough to play me. . .
  • A Barnes & Noble gift card (yessssss).

And. . . wait for it . . .

  • A Kindle Paperwhite with graphics so similar to real paper that when I first opened it I kept trying to peel the label off. Except it wasn’t a label–it was the graphic that appears on the screen when it’s shut off, haha.  I doubt I’ll ever fully give up the familiar, tactile joy of reading real books, but it’s great to have a close electronic equivalent plus all the conveniences of being able to read in any kind of light, access more books at lower prices, and contend with fewer stacks of read books.

Oh, and I can’t believe I almost forgot. I got a new printer! It’s exactly the kind of black-ink-only workhorse I wanted for printing manuscripts. We haven’t had a working printer in our home for so long, and then I went and broke my classroom computer by printing out too many novel manuscripts (sorry, boss).

Here he is: Brother HL-L2380DW.  Isn’t he handsome?

Seasons of Book Blogging, a Book for Every Month #amreading

“THE SEASONS OF BOOK BLOGGING” TAG

RULES:
Thank the creator and the person who tagged you.
Begin with the month in which you were tagged and move forward from there!
State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
Tag whomever you like when you’re finished… or else you’ll be ‘it’ forever.
Have fun, of course!
The Seasons of Book Blogging Tag was created by Jordyn @ J. Bookish. I really enjoyed this book tag and would like to thank the one and only Beth @ betwixt-these-pages for tagging me. If you’re looking for edgy, well-written, off-the-beaten-path books to read, be sure to check out her blog.

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December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.

Lightning by Dean Koontz. I love this story so much. I mean, seriously, just check out this blurb:

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying.

Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. But just as lightning illuminates, darkness always follows close behind.

lightning by dean koontz

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January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you’ve kept it or not!

My resolution this year was to write more novels and to read more books. I did both. 😀

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February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!

Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons is so “charmingly” written. I loved the relationships between the three generations of “passionate, willful Southern women.”

Birthday Bonus: The best gift I’ve ever been given was. . . This is a little embarrassing but when I was a little girl I really liked baby dolls. One Christmas I got exactly the one I’d been wishing for and toted her all around with me after that.

baby doll

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March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you’d never read it.

 You know how sometimes a book–or, in this case, a series of books– comes along when you’re in exactly the right frame of mind for it? That’s how Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was for me. Those books brought me so much joy that, after reading them, I went on to listen to the BBC radio broadcast, and that was really entertaining, too (definitely better than the movie).

Hitchhiker's Guide.jpg

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April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.
Well, I had high hopes for 17 & Gone, but I’m sorry to say it didn’t live up to my expectations.

17 & gone copy.jpg

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May is the month when the flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.

I’ve never really jumped at stories about dragons, but Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina presented dragons in such an interesting, unique way that by the end I thought they were pretty glorious. It didn’t hurt that the story was really well written with an element of music running through it.

51vj3bu6yol-_sy344_bo1204203200_

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June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.

I’ll just say right now that I am not a re-reader. However, a book that completely transported me to a different world was Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Knife of Never Letting Go copy.jpg

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July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don’t light books on fire.)

In concept and execution, Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall is the perfect book for me. If Before I Fall were a person, I would marry it.

bookcover_home_before_i_fall

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August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.

I have a lot more 2015 debut YA authors’ books to read before I can decide who’s the hottest up-and-comer, but for now my guess is the talented and gorgeous Sabaa Tahir.

sabaa tahir copy.jpg

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September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.

I found something to love about pretty much every book I read for school, but if I have to pick a favorite I’ll say Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (which has, in my humble opinion, the truest-to-the-book movie adaptation ever made.)

To Kill a Mockingbird copy.jpg

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October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick one character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.

Who wouldn’t love to dress as the baddest assassin in town, Calaena Sardothien from Sara J. Maas’ Throne of Glass?

Throne of Glass copy.jpg

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November is the month when we’re reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you’re grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!

I am so glad I read Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda . I don’t remember how I stumbled across it, so I’m not sure who to thank, but Simon vs. the HSA was one of my favorite reads of 2015. I loved Simon’s voice and am puzzled by how this heartwarming book is not on more people’s favorites lists.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda cover

If this book tag is something you’d like to try, consider yourself tagged!

Fellow Writer, What Puts You into a Creative State of Mind? 

Creativity

I’d be really curious to learn what stirs your imagination and creative spirit.  If it’s music, do you usually listen to the same music, or does the music vary depending on what you’re creating?  Reading great literature?  Exercise — rigorous workouts or leisurely strolls?  Habit, as in writing at the same time every day or in a particular environment?  Meditation?  Random things?

I’d love to hear from you!