As promised, I have a special treat for you today. YA author Mary Beth Bass answered a few of my questions about her exciting new book everything you know, which will be released this Thursday, October 18. In eveything you know, images of a dark forest, a screaming woman and blood haunt Emma Mathews from the moment she meets Joe Castlellaw, and everything she thought she knew about life, her family, and herself is about to change forever.
1. How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 1995. I published my first book in 2005. Looking at that 10 year gap kind of shocks and slightly terrifies me now, but then I take a step back and remember that that’s what not giving up looks like. But, whew. No wonder so many writers need chocolate!
2. What made you want to write YA?
I wish I could say it was part of a grand, well-thought-out plan, but Emma, the heroine of everything you know just came to me, upset and confused, and looking to tell me her story. I was sitting at my desk in the sunny living room of our house and she just showed up. I hadn’t read much YA at that point (Twilight hadn’t been published yet, I know, a long time ago). I was teaching acting and stage adaptation at a performing arts high school, so maybe I was especially aware of how simultaneously amazing and painful it is to be a teenager. Not that any of us really forget what that felt like. I know I haven’t.
3. Your book everything you know comes out this week. Can you tell me a bit about Emma, the main character?
Emma is the second oldest in a family of five kids. At the beginning of the story she’s unsure about her place in the world and who she’s supposed to be. Her older brother Turner is incredibly smart, accomplished and perfect (or so it seems to her); her sister Maude is beautiful; her sister Elizabeth is super popular; and her little brother Sandy is adorable. Emma’s long-time best friend Izzy lost interest in her and found a new best friend. When Emma meets and falls for Joe, everything she thought she knew about her family and herself falls away. Her parents have been lying about who and what they are, and where they really come from. And inside the experience of the awesomeness of kissing and the beautiful terrors of falling in love, Emma has to find the strength to fight against an evil she didn’t even know existed, and to make difficult choices and then act on those decisions.
4. I saw on your Website that you are having a book trailer contest. What a great idea! How did it come about?
Thanks for asking! I’m always interested in and awed by people who can do things I can’t do. I don’t know how to create something visually beautiful or compelling. And because I started in the performing arts I also love interdependent creative endeavors. I thought hosting a contest for people to create a trailer for my book, everything you know, would be a fun way to promote my book and give other creative people a chance to promote themselves, too. And I love books and book trailers!
Here’s the link for anyone interested in entering: www.everythingyouknowtrailers.com.
5. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hmm, I know I’m not the only writer who struggles with this question and how to answer it. What to put in, what to leave out… Anyway, here goes. I’m a vegetarian, happily married to my first (and only!) boyfriend, we have three awesome kids. (<3). I’ve lived in 9 states, including North Dakota, where we had to drive to Canada to get spaghetti in a restaurant, and the Bronx, New York where they had the best, swoon-worthy carrot cake I have ever tasted from a store hardly bigger than a walk-in refrigerator. I started out as an actress and went to a conservatory where I learned the language of the fan and how to take snuff, and where I met most of the people I love most in the world, and later I went to a university where I majored in experimental theatre and minored in peace (I’ll let those job security guarantee choices sink in). I love music (especially loud music in the car in the summer with the windows open) and John Keats’ poetry beyond every non-living thing. I love fall and winter and I try as hard as I can to hike every day.
I’m thrilled to be publishing everything you know with Boroughs Publishing Group.
And, thanks so much to the fabulous C. C Hunter for the opportunity to guest blog here!
everything you know
NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING FOREVER
Emma Mathews never believed she was like everyone else, but neither did she think herself crazy. Meeting Joe Castlellaw, Henry Dearborn High’s newest student, was like waking on a cold rock in a strange place, the world bathed in liquid moonlight. Everything is different now…and fraught. Visions of a dark forest, a screaming woman and blood haunt Emma’s dreams, and not only at night. But Joe’s lonely beauty makes her float on air, and she would follow him anywhere: out of high school and through the great tree, to a world of poetry and political savagery, of magic and murder, to a life that is entirely theirs and yet unlike anything they have ever known.
This week I’m giving away two ecopies of Mary Beth’s book everything you know to two people who leave comments. Note: these will be ebooks only. (Sorry, but this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. Also, if you are reading this on Goodreads, you must leave your comment on my Website blog for a chance to win.)