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14 April 2014

Pasadena Teen Book Festival Spotlight on Sarah Skilton

Hi, everyone. As you can see, there is no Manicure Monday today. But I have something just as fun! I am really excited to be a part of the Pasadena Teen Book Festival blog tour! I have a fun interview with author Sarah Skilton below. Don't forget to scroll all the way day for some fun giveaways as well.

Event date: Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 12pm-4pm
Venue: Pasadena Public Library, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101
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Tue March 25 - Read Now Sleep Later - Spotlight on Catherine Linka
Mon March 31 - The Windy Pages - Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil
and Holly Goldberg Sloan
Wed April 2 - FangirlFeeels - Spotlight on Jesse Andrews
Fri April 4 - What a Nerd Girl Says - Spotlight on Margaret Stohl
Mon April 7 - What a Nerd Girl Says - Spotlight on Andrew Smith
Tue April 8 - Adventures of a Book Junkie - Spotlight on Amy Tintera
Thu April 10 - The Consummate Reader - Bridge to Books Guest Post
Mon April 14 - Nite Lite Book Reviews - Spotlight on Sarah Skilton
Tue April 15 - Nite Lite Book Reviews - Spotlight on Allen Zadoff
Wed April 16 - The Reader's Antidote - Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross
Fri April 18 - A Bookish Escape - Spotlight on Ann Redisch Stampler
Tue April 22 - The Book Twins - Spotlight on Carrie Arcos
Thu April 24 - Birth of a New Witch - Spotlight on Katherine Ewell

NL: Hi Sarah! Thanks for coming onto the blog today. We are really excited to have you.

SS: My pleasure! Thanks for asking.

NL: In 140 characters or less, describe what you newest novel HIGH & DRY is about.

SS: In this YA mystery, a heartbroken, hard-drinking teenage soccer player fights to clear his name after being dumped, framed, and blackmailed.

NL: What inspired you to write HIGH & DRY?

SS: I love mysteries and really wanted to push myself to write a different kind of story from my debut. BRUISED was a more “internal conflict” type of book, albeit with martial arts woven in, and it takes place over many months. HIGH & DRY is fast paced and spans a single week, and, unlike BRUISED, it’s written from a teenage boy’s POV. I loved the challenge of each aspect. I’m also a big fan of “Veronica Mars,” Raymond Chandler stories, and Humphrey Bogart films. This was a fun way for me to pay homage to those styles.

NL: In BRUISED, you used your past experience as a student of martial arts to help you write about a girl who is a black belt. Did you have any past experience or knowledge to draw from for HIGH & DRY or did you other research for it?

SS: I went through a big soccer phase after the 2010 World Cup, when I realized that several of the U.S. teammates played for L.A. Galaxy (plus of course, *cough*, Beckham). I liked watching matches, and appreciated the possibility of their instant, dramatic reversals of fortune, so much so that I decided to include the sport in the book. It wasn’t research in the traditional sense, but I did put my hours on the couch to good use, haha. I don’t have experience with any other aspects of the book, so I read a lot of mysteries to get in the right mindset, and I Wikipedia’d a lot.

NL: HIGH & DRY is told from a male point of view. Did you find it difficult or different to write from a male POV?

SS: Not especially. I asked my husband to vet the first draft and he offered a few suggestions, but otherwise it came fairly naturally to me. What matters more to me in terms of voice isn’t so much gender but other factors, such as family background, interests, intelligence, and personality.

NL: Since HIGH & DRY is about someone being framed, we’d like to ask have you ever been framed or falsely accused of something in your life? How did you handle it?

SS: Luckily, no. I’ve done things I’m not proud of, but I don’t believe I’ve ever been falsely accused. So, if I was accused of it, it was probably true!

NL: You are a (somewhat) new mother (with a freakin’ adorable baby). How has motherhood changed how you write? (I can’t imagine there’s much time for writing with a baby in the house)

SS: Thank you!! The first year of motherhood I gave myself permission to not write. It didn’t last very long, but I liked the idea of focusing on one thing at a time. The second year of motherhood, I got up at 4:45am while everyone else slept so I could write. It was effective in the short-term but not sustainable, at least not for me. The balance can be tough. I’m not sure it’s even fair to use the term “balance” because certain parts of life SHOULD come first at different times, in my opinion. But I’m working on it!

NL: Your husband is a magician (which sounds really fun). What’s the craziest trick you’ve ever assisted with?

SS: He is amazingly talented! However, he doesn’t work with assistants so I’ve not had the pleasure of assisting (yet) :)

NL: HIGH & DRY will be released in April but what are you currently working on?

SS: I’ve got two more contemporary YA ideas brewing, and one adult idea I’m excited about.

Lightning round!

NL: Favorite snack or beverage while writing?

SS: Coffee or Guinness.

NL: Do you have any strange writing habits?

SS: Sometimes if I’m super-psyched about a scene, I get up and dance and like, slap my hands on my knees while I dance. Please don’t try to picture this.

NL: Salty or sweet?

SS: Salty.

NL: What’s on your night stand?

SS: My wrist braces (for tendonitis) and a leopard-print sleep mask. Sexy!

NL: Cake or pie and what kind?

SS: Pie, apple crumble, specifically my mother-in-law’s.

NL: Thank you so much, Sarah! We can’t wait to see you in April for the Pasadena Teen Book Festival!

SS: Thank YOU for the great questions. I had lots of fun answering these, and I really appreciate it.

#1: ARC of A Girl Called Fearless
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only - ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #1
#2: Choose from 1 of the books featured at the Pasadena Teen Book Festival
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only - ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #2
a Rafflecopter giveaway

#3: $50 Gift Card to Vroman’s BookstoreOpen to attendees of the Pasadena Book Festival only! – ends 4/21/2014
To enter, suggest a new, unique/clever/fun name for the Pasadena Teen Book Festival. Examples of other cool names for teen book fests include (already taken, unfortunately)Teen Author CarnivalYALLFest, and YABFest. What should we call our event from now on? Email your top 3 best name suggestions to info@pasadenateenbookfest.com OR fill out this form! A panel of judges will choose the best name from all of the submissions. The winner will be announced at the Festival!

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