Saturday, March 22, 2014

Guest Post with Emmy Laybourne

Photo credit: Kit Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, screenwriter and former character actress. She is the author of the upcoming release BERSERKER ("You will love Emmy Laybourne's vision of an American west studded with Viking glory." -, as well as the MONUMENT 14 trilogy ("Frighteningly real… riveting" - NYT Book Review, Editor’s Choice) and the novel SWEET (“A gripping action-adventure survival story” – VOYA, rated Perfect Ten).

Before her life as a novelist, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1; and acted in the movies "Superstar," "The In-Laws" and "Nancy Drew," among others. Emmy lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids and a flock of 9 nifty chickens.


Series: Monument 14 Series (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (June 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250063078
ISBN-13: 978-1250063076


“Fans of the trilogy will likely be looking for this title.” —VOYA

“Gritty and violent, this is a tale of endurance and tenderness, with a group of teens who will do whatever it takes to protect the people they love.” —The Horn Book

“... A dizzying alternating-perspective climax.” —Booklist

Hi everyone! I'm Emmy Laybourne, author of the MONUMENT 14 series, and I'm delighted to be here with my dear friend, Jean Vallestros. Jean is one of my best blogger pals. I met her on my first Fierce Reads tour, back in 2012.

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!

It's over.

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?

You can purchase Pieces of Me at the following Retailers:


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.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, I love this series...I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. Great review....