I am thrilled to be the second stop on Holly Cupala’s blog tour for her debut novel, Tell Me a Secret. I had the privilege of reading this one early. It’s thoughtful, layered, unique, and so authentic. You’ll be instantly swept into Miranda’s — aka Rand’s — complicated world and want to stay there through the very last page. Holly herself is lovely and sweet in person, and I’m looking forward to hanging out with her at ALA later this month here in D.C.
I’m also excited to be able to give away an ARC of Tell Me a Secret to celebrate its pending release. (See below for details to enter.) Welcome, Holly!
What’s your favorite flower and why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite! Big, chunky poppies are so scrumptious, as are peonies. I love simple daisies. I have this beautiful blue rose bush in my garden that I haven’t managed to kill yet, even with my black thumb. Maybe…snapdragons? Or lilacs? Lithodora? Is there a classification for multiple flower personality disorder…?
You can never have too many flowers. And blue roses… cool!
Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?
My favorite quote comes via my librarian friend, Jackie Parker (http://interactivereader.blogspot.com):
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have…arm yourselves! ”
~The Doctor (#10) in Dr. Who “Tooth and Claw”
Love that one ! Which book do you wish you could live inside?
When I was younger, I would have gladly lived inside The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende—I read it no fewer than a dozen times. It’s so rich and layered, the journey with love as its object. Now, it’s any book that has utterly captured my attention. At the moment, it’s Adios, Nirvana, a debut novel by Conrad Wesselhoeft coming out in October. Gorgeous.
I’ll look for it. Love the title. Who’s your favorite dead writer? (We don’t want to hurt the feelings of the living here!)
Italo Calvino. But if he were alive, he would still be my favorite! He wrote these amazing novels of the fantastic —every one of them different and more brilliant and fascinating than the last. My favorite is Invisible Cities, an imaginary conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Kahn. He was writing a book on writing, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, and died before he could finish the sixth essay. True confession: there are a couple of clandestine references in Tell Me a Secret.
I knew we had lots in common. I’m a big Italo Calvino fan too!
What book do you wish you had written and why?
I would say Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, but then only Laurie could write that book. It’s an arterial root in the YA tree. So instead, I’ll say the next book! My agent and editor are really excited about it, and I’m a little nervous. It will be a stretch, somewhere I’ve never gone before—very intense, with a lot of surprises. It would be lovely for it to already be written instead of yet to be!
What do you wish a fellow writer could have told you long ago?
That’s sort of like asking why nobody told you that pregnancy was the easiest part of being a parent! What I’d really love to know now is how any of them manage to write after they sell a book. Of course, we could ask the same thing about writing after joining Facebook…
LOL, but I do love FB. Did you draw on any of your own teen experiences for Tell Me a Secret?
A few of my teen experiences, and a lot of my college experiences. Most of the events in TMAS are fictional…with a few notable exceptions, my friends—who are sworn to secrecy —will tell you! But I remember the emotions of those years very vividly. I remember relationships and friendships and longing quite clearly, and I tried to draw on those memories.
The emotions of the novel feel very real! Who was the most difficult character to write?
I think probably Miranda, the main character, because she’s so complex. She has so much going on—grief and fear and desire and love and hope, against the backdrop of some intense secondary characters…a wild sister, a suffocating mother, manipulating friends, and mysterious men. Perhaps the strongest character of all is the one who helps save her in the end. Miranda has to navigate all of these voices to find out who she is.
Thanks so much for dropping by, Holly! Best of luck with the launch!
And, if you want to get to know Holly up close and personal, check out this video. She even sings! Be sure to stop by her blog on June 22, her book b-day, for lots of fun prizes and partying! You can find the full tour schedule here. She is hosting awesome contests and giveaways for the entire tour, so be sure to comment to enter.
Next on Holly’s tour is my good buddy and all-around sweetheart, James, at Book Chic.
You can enter to win my ARC of TMAS by doing the following:
– 1 entry for following @hollycupala on Twitter
– 1 entry for following me @amybrecountwhit on Twitter
– 2 entries for tweeting/retweeting about this contest
– 3 entries for becoming a fan of Forget-Her-Nots on Facebook here
-3 entries for becoming a fan of Tell Me A Secret on Facebook here
– 5 entries for posting this contest on your blog
Please comment on this post with your entry details to enter. Thanks!!
Fine Print: You must be 13 years old to enter and live in the U.S.