Sunday Street Team: Gray Wolf Island (Interview + Giveaway)

Gray Wolf Island

One thing I love about 2017 is that it boasts a lot of diverse new releases. I once chatted with Tracey last year when I joined a chat featuring debut authors. Something about Gray Wolf Island caught my attention, which is probably the context of magical realism. Which is why when given the chance, I didn’t pass up the opportunity given to me by the Sunday Street Team to interview Tracey about her upcoming book.

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29906023Title: Gray Wolf Island

Author: Tracey Neithercott

Genre: Mystery, Magical Realism

Date Published: 10th of October 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Buy it on: Amazon – US /  Barnes & Noble TBD

Summary:

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TRACEY NEITHERCOTT

Tell us a little something about yourself. What do you have in common with your story?

When I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad. I arrived in New Zealand with a couple friends and a whole lot of strangers. Over the course of six months, I formed the kind of intense friendships that feel like they’re a part of who you are and who you’ve always been. There were a lot of things that made my friendship with these girls so intense—we were away from home, exploring one of the most beautiful countries in the world, doing things we hadn’t even dared to dream of: bungee jumping, skydiving, climbing glaciers, and exploring glow-worm caves. (And, yes, some studying.)

It was an adventure, and we were living it together. That’s what I wanted for Gray Wolf Island. I knew from the very beginning it would be about friendship, and it’s primarily told from the point of view of an introverted girl like me. Over the course of the book, she’s forced into some life-changing friendships, and it reminds me of the feeling I got when I was studying abroad all those years ago.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I love this question. There are so many great novels out there that everybody knows about, so I’m always pushing lesser-known favorites on my friends. One I completely adored was These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker. I’ve heard it described as Jane Austen meets X-Men, and as strange as that sounds, it fits. Imagine a historical setting with fun superpowers and a hilariously sassy and often snarky main character. I laughed throughout the entire thing—and fell in love with all of the characters.

While writing Gray Wolf Island, did you go for an outline ahead of time or did you have this eureka moment where you just wrote to your hearts content?

I aspire to be one of those writers who can conjure and idea and, from it, an entire novel. But I’m a heavy outliner. I like the sense of control it gives me. I like knowing where I’m going before I try to get there. And I really love the brainstorming process involved in plotting the story out. Even with all that planning, though, I still have moments that surprise me—a funny line here or a twist I didn’t see coming. I’m not sure how it happens, but it feels an awful lot like magic.

What do you love the most about the writing process for Gray Wolf Island?

Then end? I’m only 17 percent kidding. What I really, truly love are the brainstorming, plotting, and revising processes. I’m a very critical writer. I have a hard time turning off my inner editor, and so I spend most of my first draft thinking I’m the least talented author to have ever met a blank screen. In revising, though, I get to go into full-on perfectionist mode without slowing myself down. I love figuring out what’s not working and then puzzling out how to fix it. All of this was true for Gray Wolf Island. The drafting was slow and painful, at least twice as long as the revising. But as my critique partner likes to joke, “It’s your process. Get used to it.”

Gray Wolf Island has an interesting cast. But out of all the characters you have created, who is your favorite and why?

An impossible question! I thought about it for a while before deciding to just cheat. Truth is, I love them each for different reasons: Ruby, for her devotion to her sister; Charlie, for his fearlessness and love of adventure; Anne, for her ability to see the good in everyone; Gabe, for his decision to be better than himself; and Elliot because though he’s a prickly know-it- all, he has a good heart. But sometimes I think my favorite of all isn’t even one of the main characters. I pretty much laughed the entire time I was writing Doris Lansing, an old lady who’s instrumental in the lives of both of my narrators.

What will be the reader’s biggest takeaway after reading Gray Wolf Island?

The book deals with a lot of different themes—grief, identity, truth, trust—but in the end I think readers will really come away with a sense of the incredible power of friendship, how people can come into your life and transform it into something better. At least I think that’s the biggest takeaway. That, or the importance of packing plenty of underwear when setting off on a treasure-hunting adventure.

I have always wanted to ask an author about this. What were your thoughts when they showed you the final cover for your book?

I loved it! Gray Wolf Island (both the book and the island in the book) is filled with bits of magic, and I thought the thick fog and clouds perfectly conveys the mystery and the something other about the island.

Lastly, what item should we have with us at all times while reading your book?

How about brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter? It’s not required, but … they’re brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter. Gabe is something of a baker, and there’s a certain scene where the group eats these cookies (which he found on this blog). Each time I read the scene, I got a major craving.

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Tracey Neithercott’s first book was written by hand and illustrated with some really fancy colored pencils. It was highly acclaimed by her mother. Now, she writes YA stories of friendship, love, murder, and magic. (None of which she illustrates—you’re welcome.) She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, who suggests improving her novels by adding Star Wars characters.

Follow Tracey on social media!

Blog || Twitter || Goodreads || Instagram

newGiveaway[INTL] Win a pre-order of Gray Wolf Island

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Thank you so much to SST for letting me interview Tracey before it’s release! I am very excited to read it once it is released, and it is only a few days away. Bless.

Are you excited to read Gray Wolf Island? Be sure to keep those brown butter oatmeal cookies ready!

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Sunday Street Team: Internet Famous (Interview + Giveaway)

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Last year, I was given the opportunity to read a fantastic book about a fangirl who lives to create content through her videos for her fandom. It was yet another book that expressed my thoughts as a fangirl, and it is now a book close to my heart because Liv was a fangirl that I never thought I would ever see manifested on a novel. The book was none other than All The Feels, and it was written by none other than Danika Stone. Through the same platform, I am now given the opportunity to interview the author herself. Internet Famous is her newest young adult novel that promises to speak to a lot of hearts once again. The Sunday Street Team has allowed me to interview Ms. Stone about her latest release. But before that, let’s get into more details about Internet Famous.

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31145123Title: Internet Famous

Author: Danika Stone

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Date Published: 6th of June 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Buy it on: Amazon – US / Amazon – UK / Barnes & NobleTBD

Summary:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIKA STONE

Is All The Feels and Internet Famous set in the same universe?

Heck YES! In fact you might even notice a little bit of crossover between the two. (Keep an eye out for Starveil fandomly things in the memes and posts.)

Oh yay! Now that you mention it, are there any hidden Easter eggs in Internet Famous? Any clues for us?

I always do little crossovers between books. Starveilbrian1981 from All the Feels plays a relatively large role in Internet Famous but there are a few other characters that you might discover elsewhere too. Ava – the graffiti artist – for instance, has her own book: Intaglio.

Is there a particular person to whom you dedicate the characters to?

Internet Famous is dedicated to Mark Oshiro, the blogger behind “Mark Does Stuff” and the first person who I first noticed using the term “funemployed”. He’s an AMAZING person. I adore him!

I see. So who do you connect with more? Liv or Madison?

Hmmm… Personality-wise, I’m probably a mixture of both of them. I wish I was a bit more outgoing – as Madi is – but I’m also not as anxious and shy as Liv. I will certainly admit that I wove in elements of myself into them.


That is so cool! Do you have a writing ritual? Like something to get you in the mood or at peace to help you write?

My writing ritual is that I tell my family when I’m going to write a book and then I start it and I don’t stop until I’m done. That sounds really boring until you realize that the reason most authors have difficulty writing is that LIFE gets in the way. My children know that if I’m writing a book in the summer, they’re expected to entertain themselves for a lot of that time.

Oh wow. That is some dedication right there. What are some books by your favorite contemporary authors that inspired you to write contemporary as well?

I love EVERYTHING by Rainbow Rowell, though I think Eleanor and Park is probably my favorite. I also really love the In Death series by J.D. Robb and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. And then (up on a pedestal) is Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible and ANYTHING by Margaret Atwood. Seriously though. Atwood is a QUEEN!

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Follow Danika on:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Tumblr | Pinterest

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

Want to have your own copy of Internet Famous? Click the giveaway button below!

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Huge thanks to the Sunday Street Team for letting me be a part of this tour. I cannot wait for you all to meet Liv, because I know for sure that she is another MC that will take your heart. If you want to know more about the Sunday Street Team, click the button below.

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Now, do you know other books that features bloggers or a book that features someone that is Internet Famous?

Let’s chat!

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Sunday Street Team: Girl In Pieces (Interview + Giveaway)

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Have you ever read a synopsis of a book and thought: “Oh my, this sounds like an amazing book.”? Yet at the same time, you get hesitant on thinking about reading the book? Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces discusses such a hard-hitting topic. It is hauntingly spectacular to begin with, and a much needed read for everyone. Not every book out there tackles self-harm as this beautiful piece of literature.

When the opportunity of interviewing Kathleen opened itself in the form of the Sunday Street Team, I took it. It was the curiosity in me that triggered the sensation. Luckily, I was fortunate enough.

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24879132Title: Girl In Pieces

Author: Kathleen Glasgow

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Mental Illness

Date Published: 30th of August 2016

Series: None

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads

Buy it on: Amazon / TBD

Summary:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

An Interview with Kathleen Glasgow

Was it hard to write about a sensitive topic such as self-harm?

It was, in the sense that I tried very hard to give an honest voice to a very difficult topic. I felt like readers needed to know what it’s like, what happens, how lonely it is.

In the process of writing the book, did you experience a moment of writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

I didn’t experience writer’s block so much as “writer’s dilemma,” which is a little thing also known as “life,” and which tends to get in the way of writing time. So I really had to carve out time to write, which took eight years. Because, um, I had two kids along the way and they kind of demand attention? The nerve, am I right?

Is Charlotte a real person in your life?

No, but I wish she was, because I think she’s beautiful, brave, crazy, awesome, and fearless. I’d also like her to teach me to draw, because she’s really good at it.

If given the chance, would you have changed the ending that took place in the book?

No, I wouldn’t change the ending. I considered one other ending, but this one seemed to fit. Some things are left open to interpretation, but some things are also wrapped up neatly. And (spoiler) I give Charlie the ending she worked so hard for, because she deserves it.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book where everything just seems to fall into place? 

Well, I don’t know if I can say everything falls into place anywhere in the book, because the book is about life, and people, and being in pieces, so things are crazily jumbled and out of whack. But I can say that I love the last half of the third section of the book, when Charlie has found her voice and is coming into her own as an artist and as a person.

What would you say to other Charlies out there, struggling with their daily lives carrying physical and mental scars?

First, I would say hello and then I would say, You are not alone. We are out here, we struggle every day with darkness, and there are more of us than you think, and we are beautiful and strong and creative and positively angelic. Then I’d ask if they want to get some coffee, because that’s my favorite drink. And because sometimes the smallest conversation can help in the biggest of ways. And I would give them information about places to call for help.

What are the three possible things that you can say can pull people out of a dark time? (Like the in the song ‘My Favorite Things’)  

“I’m listening.”  “You can tell me anything and I will not judge.”  “You can tell me anything and I will still love you.”

If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, please consider contacting:

Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

To Write Love on Her Arms: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/

National Runaway Hotline: 1-800-621-4000

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Image via Kathleen’s site

Kathleen Glasgow lives in Tucson, Arizona. She writes for the radio show The Writer’s Almanac and can probably provide you with some interesting anecdotes about historical literary figures if you asked nicely. You can find out more about Kathleen by following her on Twitter: @kathglasgow, Instagram: @misskathleenglasgow (where she posts about sunsets, depression, spirit circles, and books) or her website: kathleenglasgowbooks.com.

 

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(Click for the giveaway.)

Want to know more about the Sunday Street Team? Click the lovely blog button and be directed to pure awesomeness.

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Have you read Girl in Pieces yet? Any thoughts? What other books about self-harm have you read? I need recommendations.

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