Thursday, November 2, 2017

Guest Post with McCall Hoyle


Book Nerd Guest Post
Photo Content from McCall Holye

McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

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WHICH CHARACTER HAVE YOU ENJOYED GETTING TO KNOW WHILE WRITING THE THING WITH FEATHERS?

From the start, I felt confident that I would like Emilie and Chatham, the guy Emilie has a crush on. I spent a lot of time thinking about and getting to know them before I wrote the first chapter. I also really enjoyed researching and getting to know Emily Dickinson, whose poetry plays an important role in the story. But I’m a high school English teacher, so I already knew I loved Dickinson and her poetry. What really surprised me was how much I enjoyed writing about Emilie’s seizure response dog, Hitch.

Dogs have always been an important part of my life. I just didn’t know a dog was going to become such an important part of Emilie’s story. If fact, there were times when I was writing when I had to be careful not to let Hitch steal the show. He is truly a girl’s best friend and loves Emilie unconditionally. And what Emilie really needs to learn is how to love herself unconditionally, epilepsy and all, just the way Hitch does.

As the story progressed, Hitch took on this Yoda-like wisdom of his own. In some ways, he becomes Emilie’s role model and teacher. Emilie’s mom and therapist have been giving her advice for so long, she’s tuned them out. Because Hitch speaks a different language and because there is no judgement involved, she is able to “hear” what Hitch has to say.

Emily Dickinson once said, “Dogs are better than humans because they know but do not tell.” Writing about Hitch encouraged me to pay attention to dogs’ facial expressions and body language. I did a lot of research on the bonds between service dogs and their handlers and gained a new respect for dogs in general and service dogs in particular.

I hope readers will love Hitch as much as Emilie and I do.


YOUR FAVORITE QUOTES/SCENES FROM THE THING WITH FEATHERS

The Thing with Feathers is really about relationships, so I wanted to choose quotes that spotlight one of those relationships. I contemplated Emilie’s relationship with her mom or Emilie’s relationship with super-adorable Chatham, her crush. Ultimately, I decided to stick with the dog-human bond. Here are a couple of quotes that highlight Hitch’s wisdom and humanness.

“It's sad that my dog looks confused when my phone rings, like he's baffled by my blossoming social life.”

“If Hitch were a person, he'd be Mother Theresa or Gandhi or someone who treated all living creatures with the respect they deserve. It's depressing how my dog is a better human being than I am.”


TEN REASONS TO READ THE THING WITH FEATHERS

Epilepsy Awareness—November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and Emilie’s struggles with her epilepsy will give readers an idea of what it’s like to live with this disorder

The Setting—Think ruggedly beautiful barrier islands of North Carolina.

Swoony-Worthy Crush—Chatham York is the kind of guy many girls dream of dating and the kind of guy many moms want their daughters to date.

Coolest Dog in the Universe—Enough said on this topic already. Hitch is more human than some humans.

You Might Cry—Who doesn’t need a good cry sometimes?

You’ll Smile—You might even laugh at Emilie’s sarcasm or Chatham’s jokes. You’ll definitely smile when Hitch is on the page.

Emilie’s Other Best Friend—Every girl needs a friend like Ayla to push her out of her comfort zone every once in a while.

Dickinson quotations—Each chapter opens with an Emily Dickinson epigraph. HarperCollins/Blink helped with the permissions from Harvard University Press to use Dickinson’s work. The epigraphs complement the story beautifully.

Acceptance—Readers might learn a thing or two from Emilie and Hitch about acceptance and unconditional love, which I think we would all agree we could use a bit more of in this world.

Hopeful—Emilie will give readers the hope they need to pursue and believe in their own happily-ever-afters.



Emilie 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.”



“[Readers] will swoon over the dreamy Chatham and root for Emilie to come out of her shell.” Kirkus

Emilie 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 Thing with Feathers' is a compelling story of overcoming fears, forging new friendships, and finding a first love. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists, 'The Thing with Feathers' will prove to be an ideal and enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections. 
MidWest Book Review

"Beautiful, Touching, and bursting with hope". ―Pintip Dunn, Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author

You can purchase The Thing with Feathers at the following Retailers:
        


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you McCall for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle..

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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4 comments:

  1. If I could go back and change one day, I would alter my routine to avoid a car accident.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think I would change anything because what if going back and changing one event changes everything that happened after?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I could go back and change any day, I would make one last phone call to my best friend who past away.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wouldn't. Things happen for a reason.

    ReplyDelete