Today I have the pleasure of having a fellow Inkspeller, Stephanie Lawton on my blog for an interview. Her debut Young Adult novel, Want will be released by Inkspell Publishing on 7th June, 2012.
Here is the book summary, as well as the gorgeous, gorgeous cover. Yes. I repeated it twice, because once is not enough to express how besotted I am. :D
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.
She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past
So, here is our interview:
Please tell us your name
Please tell us about your book. When will it be released and by which publisher
It's called Want, and it comes out June 7 from Inkspell Publishing. I intended it to be a YA novel, but the 17-year-old main character, Juli, ends up dealing with some really adult issues. For that reason, I'd say it's for readers 16 and up, though it depends on the reader, of course.
Juli is trapped in the confines of her parents' social circle, where keeping up with the Joneses isn't optional. Appearance is everything, but the mask is about to come off, so to speak. Her ticket out of her Southern town is her ambition to attend a prestigious music school in Boston. She'll do anything to get in ... or so she thinks. She has no idea how bad things can get, and that getting what you want isn't always worth the price.
Her story is further complicated by her new mentor, Isaac, who is a professional pianist. He's got his own dark secrets, and when the two of them collide ... well, you'll have to read to find out. *winks*
What project are you working on?
My current project is another YA novel set at an antebellum mansion in the Deep South. Three teens with psychic abilities spend the weekend at the mansion learning how to control their gifts so they can have (mostly) normal lives. They never counted on getting drawn into a Civil War-era murder/mystery.
How much research did you do for this project?
For Want, I did extensive research on Mardi Gras customs in Mobile, Alabama; abnormal psychology; self-harm; Rachmaninoff; and the audition process of the New England Conservatory in Boston.
For the second project, I've done Civil War research; the history of Mobile, Alabama, and Oakleigh Mansion; children and adults with different kinds of psychic abilities; and spirit possession! I LOVE research so it's been a blast!
How did you come up with the story idea?
Want was born during a Mardi Gras parade for one of the oldest, most elite mystic societies in Mobile, Alabama. Some of the wives of the members were standing along the parade route next to us in their best dresses, hats and fur coats. (Yes, fur coats in the Deep South.) One lady in particular was very rude and snobby. I started to wonder what her life must be like, what toll it would take on your personal life and your family to keep up that kind of pretense. I imagined what it would be like to be her daughter, and that's where Julianne comes in.
Which genre is the book?
It was written as YA--the main character is seventeen--but it will definitely appeal to adults, as well.
Which genres do you enjoy reading and writing?
I have a master's in English so I used to be one of those academic snobs who only read "literature." Then I discovered Young Adult and absolutely fell in love. Now, I have a difficult time reading adult books. Often, they are beautiful and well-written, but incredibly boring. Either that or they are so far "out there" trying to shock people, that I can't identify with them. I love the late teen voice because it's right on the dividing line between childhood and adulthood--safety and the danger of independence.
Where can readers and fans find you - online that is?
I'm everywhere! I love social media so I'm on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stephanie-Lawton-author/192796874113180; my Twitter handle is @Steph_Lawton; my website/blog is www.StephanieLawton.com; my Tumblr ishttp://stephanielawton.tumblr.com/; and I have inspiration boards for my books on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/steph_lawton/. (That's where you'll find yummy pictures of Isaac and Dave!)Want is available to pre-order through Inkspell Publishing website.