Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (May 6, 2014)
Sold by: Macmillan
Today we're kicking off a blog tour to promote a contest and free Exclusive Bonus Content only available to those who pre-order my third novel SAVAGE DRIFT!
When you start a new book, do you like to outline the entire story or fly by the seat of your pants?
I am a big believer in outlines. This is something I learned the hard way. When I first sold MONUMENT 14 to Macmillan, I had only written the first half. I had a brief phone call with my editor about the shape the rest of the story would take and then I set off to finish the manuscript. I turned in a draft that was 475 pages long! It meandered and wandered along for a period of three months.
I then received the letter that no novelist EVER wants to get. It contained these words, "The book you have written is not the book we bought."
After a good, long cry, I took a look at the manuscript. Their concerns and criticisms were right. I had a book with maximum velocity for the first 165 pages, that then drooped along for another 300.
I had to do a massive rewrite. For the rewrite, I outlined the heck out of it. I designed a thrill ride for the reader - and then I sent it to Macmillan for their notes! I wanted them to be quite sure of the book I was going to write for them!
Since then, I've carefully outlined each novel. I believe in telling a good story - and a good story needs to be designed and planned, like an acrobatics show.
What about your characters? Do you figure them out entirely before you start writing or do they reveal themselves to you along the way?
Aha! That's the gold question. They absolutely develop as I write. They surprise me all the time and this is where the magic and spontaneity enters the story. I have a scene - I know what needs to get done, and then the characters are brought into the moment and their responses are almost always surprising to me.
What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of and why?
SAVAGE DRIFT is told by two narrators, Dean and Josie. I found Josie's entire storyline to be very exciting to write. Every day I sat down with her, she surprised me. I'm proud of how organic the creation of her voice was for me. It was as if she was just sitting inside my imagination, waiting for her turn to tell the story.
If your Josie could give one piece of advice to teens, what would it be?
At one point in the story, Josie says, "It is possible to sacrifice too much." I think that's a good message for girls to keep in mind. We are often taught to take care of other people's needs first. But if you put your own dreams and ambition aside to make someone else's a reality, you will come to resent it. We may be expected to play supporting roles - or to play nice, but women must not shrink to fit!
Thanks so much for having me here, Jean! As always, it's a pleasure to connect with you and your readers!
Dean, Alex, and the other survivors of the Monument 14 have escaped the disaster zone and made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Some of the kids have been reunited with their families, and everyone is making tentative plans for the future. And then, Niko learns that his lost love, Josie, has survived!
Or is it?
For Josie, separated from the group and presumed dead, life has gone from bad to worse. Trapped in a terrible prison camp with other exposed O’s and traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid—along with her two protectors, Dean and Jake—joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with Josie.
In Monument 14: Savage Drift, the stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy, author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?
Book Nerd Spotlight
Emmy began her writing career as a playwright. The first play she wrote and performed was called, “The Miss Alphabet City Beauty Pageant and Spelling Bee.” The New York Post said it, “restores faith in our country’s comedic future.” The Daily News called it, “hilariously clever.” Her next play, “Smorgas-Bourne,” landed Emmy a starring role in the Paramount feature film, “Superstar,” opposite Molly Shannon.
As an actress, Emmy went on to have featured roles in the films “Nancy Drew,” “The In-Laws,” and “Lucky Numbers.” She was a season regular on the NBC sitcom “DAG,” and performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1, including the song she sang with her brother, Sam: “We Can’t Make Love Because We’re Related.” She has improvised with the Upright Citizens Brigade, Chicago City Limits and (her always favorites) the Heartless Floozies.
Emmy graduated from UCLA with an MFA in screenwriting in June of 2006. While at UCLA, Emmy won the Eleanor Perry Award for Excellence in Screenwriting from Women in Film for her screenplay, “Tulum.” Screenwriting and television writing credits include: “Kung Fu Magoo,” “Bubble Guppies,” “The Assistants,” and “Running With Scissors.”
After Emmy graduated from UCLA, she and her family moved from LA to New York. Emmy decided to try to fulfill her life-long dream of writing a novel. That book, which started out titled, WE ARE VAL-U-MART became MONUMENT 14. Emmy is profoundly thankful to her agent, Susanna Einstein, for all her guidance and support over the years and also to Jean Feiwel, Holly West, Molly Brouillette and everyone in the Macmillan Children’s Publishing group. Emmy now lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids and a flock of 5 nifty chickens.
Hey Book Nerds! Emmy is running a Bonus Content giveaway for people who pre-order her book. Let's make this happen and spread the book love for Savage Drift. How to Pre-order???? Easy! CLICK HERE and it will direct you to Emmy's website and get your Exclusive short story!
To help spread word about the campaign, we’re running an ADDITIONAL giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter below to have your choice of two prizes. You can either win a Mega Swag pack or a signed paperback of both MONUMENT 14 and SKY ON FIRE.
Thanks for joining us today! Here’s the full rundown for this blog tour. Come hang out on another stop, learn more and get additional chances to enter the giveaway!
Saturday, March 22
Official tour kickoff!
Sunday, March 23
Why Max Skolnik?
Emmy discusses why she picked Max as a subject for the Exclusive Bonus Short Story.
Monday, March 24
Sneak peek from SAVAGE DRIFT
Tuesday, March 25
Exclusive interview - Learn what superpower I’d pick
Wednesday, March 26
An intimate interview with Emmy where she reveals something revealing
Thursday, March 27
Killer Cover Art – see the process behind the cover for this Exclusive short story
Friday, March 28
Hitting The List – hear Emmy’s behind the scene’s view about watching her friends hit the list on the Fierce Reads tours
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*