Author Spotlight: Caryn Lix Talks About Sanctuary

sanctuary | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com
Today I’m
shining the Author Spotlight on Caryn Lix and her debut novel SANCTUARY.

Title:     SANCTUARY

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Age Range: 14-99 (YA)

Launch Date: July 24 2018

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I love space. I love aliens. I love messy decisions and blurred moral lines and romances that transcend boundaries. I wanted to put all of these things together with that sense of claustrophobic horror you get from the very best creepy movies and video games, and that was why I decided to write about an alien attack on a prison – and one on a space station. You can’t get more trapped than that.

As for my characters, I love them all. I really do. They start as these vivid dreams and become my best friends and worst enemies, taking on a life of their own until I really don’t have much choice about getting them down on paper. They sneak out of my brain onto the page.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

Everyone has such a unique perspective on this, and I love hearing how other people write. For me, I often start with a rough outline, but before long that goes out the window, which means there’s usually a point halfway through where I’ve written myself into a corner and am curled up on the couch under a blanket yelling plot ideas at my dogs. Eventually my husband convinces me to go write some more, at which point I write a truly terrible chapter that has to be deleted later, but that’s enough to propel me back into the story and get things moving again. In this way, bit by bit, an idea becomes a plot.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a   librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

I had so many amazing teachers. I mention three in my acknowledgements. The first teacher who ever told me I could write was Ms Rochester, my grade 8 creative writing teacher. It had never occurred to me before that. In high school, my English teacher Mr Feschuk and my drama teacher Mr Montalbetti both had huge roles in encouraging me to write. I really don’t think I’d be where I am without them.

What makes your book  a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

As a teacher myself, I think I have a pretty strong connection with what kids like to read. This is a great classroom pick for reluctant readers who want page-turning action, but will still appeal to a wide audience, making it a good whole class read. I’d love to see teachers use it to explore themes of isolation, of corporate entities and their control over the world, of what we can trust in terms of what we see and hear in the world around us.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about  your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

Um, YES. I have two dogs. Aleiah is a nine year old rescue. She’s a black lab with three legs. We think someone kicked her as a pup and her leg grew in crooked. The rescue organization had to amputate it before I adopted her. She is my very best friend and is always at my side. Archer is a three year old Boston Terrier. He is 50% adorableness and 50% nightmare. When he’s not curled up being the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, he’s attacking a wall because it looked at him funny. They are my constant writing companions.

Caryn Lix Aleigh | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

Caryn Lix and Archer and Ali | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comarcher-anbd-ali

Caryn Lix and Archer | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

 

 

 

Caryn Lix | Author Spotlight | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comCaryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta. Visit her online at www.carynlix.com or find her on Twitter and Instagram: @missrithenay

You can pick up SANCTUARY at your local indie bookstore or online July 24, 2018.

Thanks, Caryn!

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Author Spotlight: Adrienne Young Talks About Sky in the Deep

Sky in the Deep | Author Spotlight: Adrienne Young Talks About Sky In the Deep | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Adrienne Young and her debut novel SKY IN THE DEEP.

Title:  SKY IN THE DEEP

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Age Range:  14+

Launch Date:  April 24, 2018

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Sky in the Deep is the story of a young warrior named Eelyn who was raised to fight in a generations-old rivalry against an enemy clan. But in the midst of battle, she sees her brother fighting alongside the enemy – the brother she watched die five years ago. The story follows her journey as she confronts what she has always been taught and decides for herself how she wants to live.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I’m a huge lover of history and the Viking-age is always a time that has fascinated me. I was also going through a significant evolution personally when I wrote it and I think that a lot of that worldview shift is reflected in Eelyn’s story.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

I am a research junkie and often spend a lot of time on it, even for things that are not writing related. I usually go overboard because I really enjoy it. As far as writing, I feel like every single story has been different for me. Sometimes they need to marinate before they ever get on the page and sometimes they hit my like a train and I can’t write them fast enough. That was the case for Sky in the Deep.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

I had a high school literature teacher who had a huge impact on me as a teen. He treated me like an adult and like an intellectual equal, and that was transformative for me. I am so grateful for the influence he had on me. It made me a better, more confident writer.

What makes your book  a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

I think there’s a lot of Viking culture to take away from it, even if its fantasy, but what I think is the real takeaway is the fierce female main character and her willingness to push against what is widely accepted as truth in order to discover a new way of seeing the world. I think we could learn a lot from her.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about  your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

My brother has a dog named Savvy who was found on the side of the freeway and she is the most human-like dog I’ve ever met. She’s like a little baby and every time I see her I just want to hold her!

 

Adrienne Young | Author Spotllight: Adrienne Young Talks About Sky in the Deep | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comAdrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

 

You can find Adrienne at her website or on Instagram and Twitter.

You can pick up a copy of SKY IN THE DEEP at your favorite indie bookstore or online on April 24.

Thanks, Adrienne!

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Author Spotlight: Sarah Nicole Smetana Talks About The Midnights

It’s a brand new year in YA and Children’s Literature – which means it’s time to pass the debut author baton to a new group of writers. It’s a pleasure to welcome the Class of 2k18 and their debut novels into the world this year, and I’m extra pleased to get to feature some of them on my blog.

Author Spotlight | Sarah Nicole Smetana Talks About The Midnights | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Sarah Nicole Smetana and her debut novel THE MIDNIGHTS

Title:  THE MIDNIGHTS

Genre:  Contemporary YA

Age Range:  14+

Launch Date:  March 6, 2018


Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Taking place in Southern California, THE MIDNIGHTS is about an aspiring musician struggling to hold onto herself and her music after her father’s unexpected death uproots more than just long-buried family secrets.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

The simple answer is that the book was inspired by my experiences in the music scene as a teenager, as well as California in general. But as a coming-of-age story, I’d also say it was inspired by the process most teenagers go through of trying to figure out who they are, where they belong in the world, and how to best pursue their passions.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

The writing process was… long. I began this book, in earnest, about six months before I started my MFA program, and then it went through two years of writing and scrapping and rewriting and tearing apart the insides just looking for the real story. After figuring that out, it took a few more years to write the darn thing. And, all in all, I probably wrote hundreds of pages that were eventually deleted or reconfigured entirely. Seven years passed between the time I started really working on THE MIDNIGHTS, and now, when it’s hitting shelves.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

Ms. Kim, my AP English Lit teacher in high school. She’s married now and has a different last name but I will forever call her Ms. Kim. I had her class for 0 period my senior year, which was pretty rough because it was so early in the morning, but Ms. Kim was such an incredible teacher, so passionate and so fun. I didn’t actually do any creative writing there, but the class definitely expanded my love of reading. We tore apart these complex novels that I never would have understood or appreciated otherwise, and I think working like that—really isolating and assigning meaning to all the pieces in a work of fiction—helped guide me when I decided to start writing fiction of my own.

What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

Wow, this is a great question, and one I’ve never thought about! Other than it being a story about growing up and trying to figure out who you are (which I hope teen readers can identify with!), I think it would be a fun exercise to look closely at the setting as a literary device, and explore how it affects the protagonist and the story. The setting (and the weather in particular) was a big factor for me when writing, and it plays a very important role. We are, after all, a product of where we are raised. And sometimes, a place is really quite different from how it appears to an outsider.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

I have two favorite dogs, but I’ll just talk about one: Juno, the white German shepherd that my parents got a few years before I was born. When I came into the family, Juno was already part of it—and this, I’ve always thought, was really special. I never knew the world without having a big, loving dog by my side. She was my best friend until I was about twelve, when she passed. I still miss her.

 

Author Spotlight | Sarah Nicole Smetana Talks About The Midnights | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSarah Nicole Smetana grew up in Orange, California, where she wrote songs, played in a few bands, and successfully pilfered all of her parents’ best vinyl records. She received her BFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University and her MFA in Fiction from The New School. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three-legged cat. The Midnights (HarperTeen/HarperCollins) is her first novel.

You can find Sarah at her website and on:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

You can pick up a copy at THE MIDNIGHTS at your favorite local bookstore on March 6, or pre-order online now.

Thanks, Sarah!

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Surreal Moment No. 11

Surreal Moment in a Debut Author's Life | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSurreal Moment – November 18 2017
St. Louis, MO. (NCTE) National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference

It’s been a week,  and I still cannot believe that I was part of a conference session at NCTE. Talk about surreal. I never would have imagined I’d be speaking to English teachers on a national stage – ever – let alone after I stopped being one.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had the honor of presenting a session at NCTE on Refreshing and Renewing Reading in the Secondary Classroom with fellow Class of 2k17 members McCall Hoyle, Alexandra Ott, and Leah Henderson. It was so fun speaking about teaching again – and extra fun to be speaking about something so dear to my heart – how to implement pleasure reading in the Language Arts classroom. The me who read Nancie Atwell’s In The Middle religiously while I was getting my teaching certification would have been thrilled.

Surreal Moments | NCTE Panel | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

surreal moments | Barnes and Noble Ladue | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

McCall and Alex and I also got to do a book signing at the wonderful Barnes and Noble in Ladue, MO. The staff was so friendly – and it was so fun being around so many kids and adults excited about books.

Surreal Moments | Barnes and Noble Ladue Store | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

 

 

 

I’m also happy that I’ve gotten the chance to see some amazing scenery in my travels this year.

St. Louis | NCTE | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

But mostly I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to talk about books with people so passionate about reading and about kids. I’m extra grateful for all the new friends I’ve made along the way.

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Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahimsa

Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahmisa | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Supriya Kelkar and her debut novel AHIMSA.

Title: AHIMSA

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Range: Grades 3 to 7

Launch Date: October 2, 2017  

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book.

AHIMSA takes place in 1942 in British-ruled India. After Mahatma Gandhi asks each family to give one member to the non-violent freedom movement, 10-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life to join. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Her mother is. As the family gets more involved in the resistance, Anjali must confront her privilege and prejudices to ensure their little part in the movement is completed.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

The original idea for AHIMSA was based on my great-grandmother’s story. She was a Gandhian freedom fighter who was jailed for her role in the resistance. She later went on to become a congresswoman post-independence. I thought it was an incredible story with a strong female character full of persistence and resistance and social justice. Although the story is now fictional, I think it still retains those traits that drew me to the idea in the first place.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

Coming from a screenwriting background, I always do little character write-ups first, getting to know my main characters. I then use the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet to figure out the beats I need and move on to outlining. Once that’s finished, I start writing the actual draft

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

Vidhu Vinod Chopra, a Hindi film writer/director/producer has had a very big impact on my writing life. I started working on his writing team out of college and have learned so much from him about storytelling. It has been an incredible experience getting to learn from him.

What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

As a book that features an Indian character, AHIMSA can be a good pick for a mirror book and a window book. It also addresses social justice and privilege and resistance so although it takes place almost eighty years ago, many of its themes are relevant today, and can be used to show young readers they have what it takes to “alter the course of history” as Gandhi said.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers  about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

My mom likes to tell the story about how when I was a kid and we went to see the Taj Mahal, while everyone else was admiring the Taj Mahal I was staring at a street dog saying, “Look at that dog!” So it is hard for me to pick my favorite dog but my childhood pet, Cookie, was a very loving Shih-Tzu and my best friend who I really miss.

Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahmisa | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

Author Spotlight: Supriya Kelkar Talks About Ahmisa | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comSupriya Kelkar was born and raised in the Midwest. She learned Hindi as a child by watching three Bollywood films a week. After college she realized her lifelong dream of working in the film industry when she got a job as a Bollywood screenwriter. AHIMSA, inspired by her great-grandmother’s role in the Indian freedom movement, is her debut middle-grade novel. You can follow her on Instagram @supriya.kelkar and on twitter @soups25
Learn more at www.supriyakelkar.com

 

Thanks, Supriya!

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Author Spotlight: Amanda Hosch Talks About Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying

Author Spotlight | Amanda Hosch Talks About Mabel Opal Pear } www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Amanda Hosch and her debut novel Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying.

Title: Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying

Genre: Middle Grade Mystery

Age Range: 9 to 12

Launch Date: October 1, 2017


Please tell us a little bit about your book.

Fifth-grader Mabel (code name Sunflower) wrote the Rules for a Successful Life as an Undercover Secret Agent, so when her parents leave town abruptly she is not too worried–but when her beloved Aunt Gertie is arrested, and her objectionable Uncle Frank and Aunt Stella (Frankenstella) and her annoying (but clever) cousin Victoria take over her house and the family’s private museum, Mabel begins to smell a rat and she is determined to find out what her suspicious relatives are up to.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I’ve always loved mystery and detective stories. Mabel’s voice came to me one summer. It was very strong and very sure. Her parents were secret agents, she knew their secret, and was struggling with balancing their secret and trying to live a normal fifth-grade life.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

Usually, I write the first two or three chapters to see if the narrator has a story to tell. If I find it interesting, then I plot out the rest. Mabel’s voice was so strong in the first few chapters that I was able to outline the book in a day since I knew exactly what she would do. The short outline had perhaps two or three sentences for each chapter. The first draft took about six weeks. After I was done the first draft, I double-checked some of the fact and trivia, and then revised (of course) and revised some more.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

How much time do you have? Seriously, so many people encouraged my love of reading and writing, starting with my mother.

Miss Linda from the Nix branch of the New Orleans library system. She let me hang out in the “teen” section, which was only two bookshelves and always recommended new books for me. She taught me about the wonders of interlibrary loan. In fact, I was a library volunteer during the summers of my middle school years.

Mrs. Lee Klebba and Mrs. Sandra Fassnacht at Mercy Academy both encouraged my writing.

 What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

Mabel is a typical fifth grader and she’s studied US geography and state capitals (which come into play for the plot), but her secret super power is observation. She really sees what’s going on and trusts her instincts. I’d love to see MOPRS used as a way for students to strengthen their own powers of observation.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

When I was about three, we brought home a shaggy black street mutt from Audubon Park. His real name was Reginald, but I called him Puppy. He was the smartest and most loyal dog ever. He was a street mutt at heart so he would eat anything (crayons, rubber bands, bananas, loafs of bread, frozen whole fish). However, he was also super-obedient. One day, my brothers and I put our full lunch plates on the kitchen floor, told him “no,” and walked into the other room. He sat next to the plates, quivering, but not eating a bite. My mother was not pleased with our experiment, and we had to give Puppy the ham from our sandwiches as reward for his restraint.

Author Spotlight | Amanda Hosch Talks About Mabel Opal Pear } www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

Author Spotlight | Amanda Hosch Talks About Mabel Opal Pear } www.patriciabaileyauthor.comI’m an EFL/ESL teacher (English as a Foreign Language/English as a Second Language) and taught abroad for almost a decade: Canada, South Korea, Czech Republic, and Taiwan. Originally from New Orleans, I now live in Seattle with my husband, our two daughters, and a ghost cat. We recently added two former shelter cats to our family. When not writing, I volunteer at the school library or work with struggling readers.

https://www.amandahosch.com/

https://twitter.com/AmandaFaeremom

Thanks, Amanda!

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Author Spotlight: Kim Ventrella Talks About Skeleton Tree

Author Spotlight | Kim Ventrella Talks about The Skeleton Tree | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Kim Ventrella and her debut novel SKELETON TREE.

Title: Skeleton Tree

Genre: MG Fantasy

Age Range: 7-12

Launch Date: September 26, 2017


Please tell us a little bit about your book?

Twelve-year-old Stanly knows the bone is a little weird, but that’s okay, because now he’ll have the perfect photo to submit for the Young Discoverer’s Competition. With such a unique find he’s sure to win the grand prize.

But, oddly, the bone doesn’t appear in any photos. Even stranger, it seems to be growing into a full skeleton . . . one that only children can see. There’s just one person who doesn’t find any of this weird—Stanly’s little sister. Mischievous Miren adopts the skeleton as a friend, and soon, the two become inseparable playmates. When Miren starts to grow sick, Stanly suspects that the skeleton is responsible, and does everything in his power to drive the creature away. However, Miren is desperate not to lose her friend, forcing Stanly to question everything he’s ever believed about life, love, and the mysterious forces that connect us.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I started by asking what would happen if a boy discovered a finger bone growing in his backyard, and the rest of the story evolved from there. I had no idea where my spooky skeleton story would go, but it ended up helping me through a difficult situation in my life.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

I write fast and revise slow. By necessity more than by choice. I wrote the first draft of Skeleton Tree in two weeks, but the entire revision process took over a year.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

J.K. Rowling! No, she wasn’t my actual teacher, but she did inspire me to start writing. And books are great teachers!

What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

Skeleton Tree would be a great book to spark conversations about losing someone you love.        

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

My favorite dog is my dog, Hera! I even mention her in my acknowledgements. She’s super sweet and smart, loves to run in the snow and is great at spooning. She’s a rescue dog who was seized by the police from her original owners and is now what they call “severely damaged.” Despite being very fearful of people and dogs, she loves life and is a fantastic co-writer.

Author Spotlight | Kim Ventrella Talks about The Skeleton Tree | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com
When she’s not writing, you might find Kim Ventrella working as a children’s librarian, hanging out with the best dog ever, or dreaming of snow.

 

 

 

You can find Kim on the web at:

https://kimventrella.com/

https://twitter.com/kimventrella

https://www.instagram.com/kimventrella/

 

Thanks, Kim!

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2017 Debut Book Love – The Thing with Feathers

Fellow Class of 2k17 member McCall Hoyle’s debut novel, THE THING WITH FEATHERS, released earlier this month. This is YA at its best – and teachers and librarians are going to want more than one copy of this book on their shelves.

2017 Debut Book Love | The Thing with Feathers | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comEmilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”

THE THINGS WITH FEATHERS is a touching story and a compelling read. Teens will love it – but so will adults.

The Thing with FeathersThe Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautiful book – full of hope. McCall Hoyle’s YA debut captures the fears and excitement of edging past what’s comfortable and safe – and learning to trust the people around you. The writing is lovely and the characters are perfectly drawn – likeable but flawed, and at all times, believable.

View all my reviews

For readers

  • A relate-able hero.
  • A sweet romance.
  • A school environment/community that teens will recognize.

For teachers

  • Emily Dickinson!
  • Beautiful and heartfelt writing.
  • A close look at facing fears and finding your way to acceptance.

THE THING WITH FEATHERS is available now. You can pick up a copy at your local bookstore or online at:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powells

patriciabaileyauthor.com

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Author Spotlight: R.M. Romero Talks About The Dollmaker of Karkow

Author Spotlight | RM Romero Talks About the Dollmaker of Krakow | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on R.M. Romero and her debut novel THE DOLLMAKER OF KRAKOW.

Title: The Dollmaker of Kraków

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Age Range: 8-12

Launch Date: September 12th, 2017

 

Please tell us a little bit about your book?

 The Dollmaker of Kraków is a historical fantasy novel that follows Karolina, a living doll who arrives in Krakow, Poland on the eve of World War II. It chronicles her friendship with a veteran of the Great War and a Jewish man and his daughter, and what happens to them during the German occupation of the city from 1939 to 1943.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I never would have written The Dollmaker of Kraków if I hadn’t traveled to Poland when I was a teenager. (I’ve been back twice since.) At eighteen, I was struck by the beauty of the city of Kraków and shattered by the horror of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. It took me almost a decade to be able to be able to write about those things, though the form it took was quite unexpected…

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

For better or worse, I am what is known as a “pantser.” I don’t outline my books; I let my characters lead me through the story while I’m writing the first draft. Then I go back and revise, cutting out threads that fizzled out and making sure the plot unfolds in a more coherent way. I draw inspiration from music, art, reading nonfiction, and traveling.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

In middle school, most of my teachers were annoyed by how I was more interested in writing fiction than paying attention in class. But my 8th grade English teacher Carrie actively encouraged me to keep writing. During our graduation ceremony, one of the teachers would say a few words about a student they’d grown close to. When my turn came, Carrie told the audience that one day, they would see a book I’d written on the shelf in Barnes and Noble. It meant the world to me. And happily, her prediction has come true!

What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

In a time when hatred and xenophobia are on the rise, I think that it’s valuable to look back at history and see not only how such things can lead to tragedies, but how to actively resist them. The Dollmaker of Kraków is about doing just that.

I wanted to write a book that gave a historically accurate and sensitive depiction of the Holocaust and the German occupation of Poland during the Second World War, and I think that it could be paired with lessons about WWII by teachers and librarians. I even have a series of blog posts containing more historical information paired with photos from my trips to Kraków that I plan to put on my website in September. I also wanted to let young readers experience the beautiful and unique city of Kraków and give them a window into Polish folklore and mythology, which is fascinating!

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers  about  your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

This is Tucker, my family’s dachshund. If you’ve seen Up! and remember Dug, that sums up Tucker quite well…

Author Spotlight: RM Romero Talks About the Dollmaker of Krakow | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

Author Spotlight: RM Romero Talks About the Dollmaker of Krakow | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com
R. M. Romero the author of fairy tales and children’s fiction. She lives with her family and a menagerie of pets in Colorado. You can visit her online at rmromero.com, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.

 

 

Thanks, R.M.!

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Author Spotlight: Jonathan Rosen Talks About Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies

Author Spotlight | Jonathan Rosen Talks Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comToday I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Jonathan Rosen and his debut novel NIGHT OF THE LIVING CUDDLE BUNNIES.

Title: Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies

Genre: MG Humor/sci-fi/horror

Age Range: Ages 10-13 or Grades 6-8

Launch Date: August 1, 2017

Please tell us a little bit about your book?

It’s about Devin and his cousin Tommy, who think a witch has moved into the neighborhood. Nobody believes them, until strange things start happening. Things like reports of the hot new Christmas toy, the Cuddle Bunny, coming to life all around town. Devin and Tommy have to prove the new neighbor is behind it, while at the same time being forced to fight the cutest little monsters ever.

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

The story had always been in the back of my mind. I wanted to do something with evil stuffed animals and make it quirky and funny. And then the right timing struck. I had just had a couple of really close calls with a previous manuscript, but get stopped at the very end both times. Both places gave me different reasons why they ultimately passed, but the common thread with both of them, was that they loved the humor. So, with that fresh in my mind, I returned to that evil stuffed animal manuscript, and set off to make the funniest book that I could. I think it lived up to that and the characters were sort of organic. They have their own quirks, which fit and grew into the situation more and more as I went along.

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

I’m such a bad person to ask about this. Writing, I get in whenever I can. If I have a spare half-hour here and there, I’ll jump into write. Mostly, I write at night when the house is quiet and everyone is in bed. What helps me, is having a weekly critique group. I feel the pressure to have a chapter ready for Tuesdays, so I make sure to have something to read then. It doesn’t always happen, but most of the time, I’m ready for Tuesday.

As far as research goes, I do a TON. I look up almost everything I want to use. Even if I think I know it all, I look it up to make sure, before I put it in a story.

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

I like this question. I do always remember one teacher who inspired writing. Ms. Spurny back in high school. I’d had writing in my English classes before, but she had fun creative writing exercises, which I loved. I’d never had things like that before. I even took some of the exercises she did when I started teaching. Her class was one of the first ones I had, where it wasn’t just learning the proper format of writing. She let us be as creative as we wanted and take a story wherever we wanted to go.

What makes your book  a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d  like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

 My book is funny. Honest! I do think kids will get a big kick out of things in there and there are plenty of jokes for their parents as well. Besides looking up certain references the book makes, I think it will just be entertaining for kids. My kids loved when I did the voices and dialect for the characters, so this is something to reward students for working. I’m sticking to that.

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about  your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

My favorite dog is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (mostly) mutt named Parker. He’s less than a year old and is about the biggest lapdog there is. He’s so loving and loves to cuddle. Oh, I didn’t mention…he’s mine! Love that dog and he’s made an impact on everyone in the house.

 

Author Spotlight | Jonathan Rosen Talks Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

Author Spotlight | Jonathan Rosen Talks Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comJonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time being a volunteer coach and chauffeur for his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into. He mostly writes middle-grade, because he finds that he shares the same sense of humor as that audience. Jonathan proudly represents diversity by way of being half-Mexican and half-American, though to be fair, neither country is really willing to accept responsibility.

You can find him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/houseofrosen?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JRosen18

FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com, The Tuesday Writers and has own website, WWW.HouseofRosen.com

Thanks, Jonathan!

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