Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview with Lucy Kelly author of Holding on and Letting Go + Giveaway

Interview with Lucy Kelly author of Holding on and Letting Go + Giveaway

Is there a way to describe the ties that bind us together? What happens when one of those ties is unexpectedly severed? Can everything else remain the same? Will the other ties hold strong?

Two years after her little brother's death, sixteen year old Emerson Caulfield returns to a home that she spent the last two years missing. In theory, everything should be the same. Her best friend, Matt, still lives next door. Her house is in the exact same condition as they left it. The scenery and hallways haven't changed, yet for Emerson, everything is completely different. The place may be the same, but Emerson is most certainly not. She returns home hurt, angry, and miles away from the girl she once was.

The 60,000 word novel alternates between the perspectives of Emerson, who is struggling to keep breathing on a daily basis, and Matt, who wants to have his old best friend back so badly that he is willing to overlook the fact that she has completely changed. Though their friendship and relationship is a major part of the story, it takes backseat to the unique bonds between siblings, what happens when your worst enemy is in fact yourself, and the hardships that come with growing up and changing


What can you tell the readers about yourself?

I guess I’ll start with the fact that my real name is not Lucy Kelly.  It’s a pen name.  When I publish the second book, both will be put under K.A. Coleman which is my real name.  I am truly awful at telling people about myself.  Every time I have to attend a conference, a class, or any kind of ordeal where I have to meet new people, I always have to do that thing where you introduce yourself and then say three interesting facts.  Normally, I stick with the same three “interesting” facts.  I can’t remember how to ride a bike.  Clearly, that expression is misleading.  A shark swam within three feet of me in the ocean three years ago, and it wasn’t one of those “sign up to swim with sharks” ordeals.  It was more of a, “we need to get out of this water right now” kind of moment.  I cry at commercials.  The grandma showing the little boy where she lives with Cheerios gets me every time.

2 - What inspired you to write Holding on and Letting Go?

When I first started teaching, I would make bets with students to get them to study.  Best idea in the world?  No, probably not.  In one of my many deals, I agreed to read a YA book they all liked if they all passed a test on the book we were reading in class.  Well, the good news is that they passed.  The bad news is I had to read the worst YA book I have ever read.  The lead female was useless.  It was poorly written.  Teenagers aren’t one dimensional, and the characters they read about shouldn’t be either.   Too often, you can only find strong female characters in fantasy literature for teenagers.  I wanted to give the YA world another option.  Before I knew it, I had basically planned out Holding On and Letting Go in my head.  Things went quickly from there.

3 - Can you describe your book in a short sentence?
The book is an emotional roller coaster for both teenagers and adults;  the book will take you to the highest peaks and lowest dips, but in the end, you will be really glad you experienced the ride.  That wasn’t really a short sentence, huh?

4 - Do you have a favorite characters from your books? If yes, who and why?
Wow, not an easy question.  Though my life is nothing like Emerson’s, my actual voice is probably the closest to hers, so as an author, her voice is the easiest for me to slip into writing wise.  I do really like that character; she has her secrets, but doesn’t everyone?  Every single person who answers this question for me picks a different character.  There are quite a few different personalities in that book.

5 - Is there something you can tell us about the second book?

Many of the same characters will be in the second book which takes place three months after the first one ends, but it won’t be narrated by the same two characters.  Switching narrators has been really fun.  The first narrator is in the first book and that character is any author’s dream voice to write.  I also really like that with the change in narrators, the reader gets a very different view of the returning characters.  Look for the second book to arrive in just a few short weeks

6 - Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?

I want my readers to know that I am eternally grateful to them for picking up my book, reading it, and then wanting to talk to me about it.  Honestly, I am truly stunned and humbled when a reader e-mails me to talk about the book.  Those e-mails are some of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.  

About the Author:

I'm not really going to write a biography. Though I am supportive of the high schools and colleges I have attended, it's probably not actually the most interesting stuff about me. I'm going to do a list of five really random things instead for now.

1) I like making lists. It's weird, and I never actually scratch things off of the list.
2) I sing and dance in the car like a maniac.

3) For the first six years of my life, I truly believed a shark lived under my bed. I watched Jaws at too young of an age.

4) Without a doubt, I am a night person. I am enormously grumpy when first woken up in the morning.

5) When I was younger, I read almost every Nancy Drew book, both new and old. I had a notebook, and I would take notes to see if I could figure out who the "bad guy" was before Nancy did. We probably tied.

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