Tag Archives: YA Contemporary

Author Interview: ‘Rules of Falling’ by Leslie Tall Manning

About the Book:

From the award-winning author who brought you i am Elephant, i am Butterfly and Upside Down in a Laura Ingalls Town.

Erica O’Donnell is hardly the quintessential high school senior. She doesn’t have a driver’s license. She’s never been to a concert. Sports are out of the question. She doesn’t own a pair of heels. No boy has ever asked her out. All of this for good reason: Erica faints. A lot. And at the most inconvenient times.

Chronic fainting, also known as syncope, keeps Erica on the sidelines as the odd-girl out. Luckily, Lindsay Bennett hovers nearby to catch Erica each time she nose-dives to the floor. Lindsay isn’t only Erica’s best friend—for four years she’s been her savior.

But things are about to change.

When Lindsay breaks up with her boyfriend Adam to pursue a married man, Erica is intrigued. But as Lindsay’s relationship intensifies, Erica finds her own world spinning out of control: from covering up her friend’s affair, to hiding her feelings for Adam, to casting suspicion when a string of arson fires sweeps through the town.

Gradually peeling away layers of deception from those she trusts the most, Erica must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover truths—and how many people will get burned in the process.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Reviews:

“Manning has pieced together a web of events and characters with a perfectly elegant flow. What seems to be a modern coming-of-age tale, mixed with a slight bit of romance, quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery filled with betrayal and deceit…highly recommend.” ~ Amy Powers, Readers’ Favorite Reviews

“Rules of Falling gave me a lot of the same vibes as i am Elephant, i am Butterfly, and I am just as impressed with this book. Readers will not be disappointed!” ~ Jennifer, Book Sirens Reviewer

“Complex and sophisticated. Absolutely un-put-downable.” ~ The Prairies Book Review

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

Thank you so much for the interview! As a kid, I was always making up stories and plays, and performing for my family. In high school I was involved in everything theatre and music related. Flash forward: I was in college as a theatre major, ready to graduate, when I took a play writing class. I was subsequently asked to direct the play and present it as part of the Day Reparatory Theatre program. During my final semester, I took a novel writing class, and it was like the flood gates opened and never shut! I have been writing for 22 years, both plays and novels, for adult and young adult audiences. And that very first play from college is now an award-winning novel called Knock on Wood. Sometimes life comes full circle!

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

YES!! I only write in my home office (situated in my little 1910 home) and only Monday through Thursday, from 11-2. I am very strict about this writing schedule. This is the best way for me to keep my writing style consistent. 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Heck if I know! Ever since that first play, ideas pop into my head all day long! It’s a blessing and a curse. Most ideas flitter away. Some make it to a Post-It. If that Post-It makes it to a file, then it will probably stay there forever. But if it makes it to my desk, then there is a good chance it will eventually become a book.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

There are two types of writers: Pantser (flying by the seat of your pants) and Plotter (knowing exactly where the story will go). I am right in between. I think about the story and take notes for up to a year before sitting down to write. Once I know the beginning, the ending, some crucial scenes, some character names, and the title, I begin. During the first draft, all hell breaks loose because the characters start bossing me around. I take back control during edits. You know, killing a character, bringing in a new one…showing them, ultimately, who’s boss.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I am what’s known as the genreless writer. I love to dabble when I read, and I do the same when I write. I have written everything from contemporary adult fiction, to magical realism, to a musical. It’s difficult enough to build an audience as a romance, horror, or any other genre writer. But as a genreless writer, I have to work extra hard to not only build an audience for each book, but get those readers to read across genres. Many of my readers do this, but there are so many who would rather read a book that follows a strict genre format. That, my friends, is not me. I’d rather write what my heart dictates than follow the herd.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

RULES OF FALLING, my latest YA contemporary novel, would make a great limited series, or so says Taleflick, the book-to-film curation service. And while I don’t usually put a face to my characters for my readers, as I want them to use their own imagination, I would cast the following: 

Erica, teen protagonist who suffers from chronic fainting: Sadie Sink 

Adam, hunky volunteer fireman who sees more in Erica than anyone else: Uriah Shelton kind of guy

Lindsay, the misguided bestie who gets involved with a married man: Amber Midthunder (Native American)

Mom, who is a bit neurotic when it comes to her daughter: Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Garner

Larry, antagonist and total creep: Someone like Alexander Ludwig

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I work in the evenings as a private English tutor, so I end up RE-reading the classics over and over again with my students; however, some of my favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Mitch Albom, and Laurie Halse Anderson. 

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’ve just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Dark and sad, but a necessary read in today’s crazy world.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. This little book has layers! Each chapter can stand alone as a short story, as we meet all of the neighbors in one young boy’s life. At the same time, there is an ominous feeling hovering over the town, as there is a murderer on the loose. Bradbury does such a great job of juxtaposing the warmth of summer with a backdrop of foreboding. Also, the story takes place just before the Great Depression hits, but because the characters do not know this, additional suspense is created.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Well, that’s a packed question! I give talks on this subject, and they last two hours. If I had to offer two pieces of advice before someone sits down to bleed onto the page, I would tell them this: Do not make excuses for NOT writing; in other words, get your butt into the chair! Secondly, don’t let anyone EVER tell you that you CAN’T write. Everyone gets better. Maybe not your first book, or even your second. But you will get better. Remember that novel I wrote in college? It sits in a box under my bed. My literary agent has never seen it. I have grown as a writer since that first book. And you will, too!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

Here you go. Stop by and say hello!

Website: www.leslietallmanning.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8118702.Leslie_Tall_Manning

Amazon Books: www.amazon.com/Leslie-Tall-Manning/e/B00VRZ3FOK%3Fref

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Leslie-Tall-Manning-Writer/236448826562926

Twitter: @LTManningWriter

Instagram: www.instagram.com/leslietallmanning

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/leslietallmanning

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/leslie-tall-manning

Book Sirens: www.booksirens.com/book/SFBU8QK/L9BNVKW

About the Author:

Leslie Tall Manning is an award-winning novelist who writes about adults and teenagers craving independence and often stumbling into it headfirst. She especially loves digging into universal themes such as friendship, bravery, and self-forgiveness. Her previously published books have received 5-star reviews from Publishers Weekly; Prairies Book Reviews; Midwest Book Reviews; Netgalley; Novel Gossip; YA Books Central; Readers’ Favorite; Pickled Thoughts and Pinot; and the Story Circle Network. Manning’s awards include the Sarton Women’s Literary Award; North Carolina Author Project Award; Self-e Library Journal Selection; International Book Award Finalist; Taleflick Road to Development Finalist; Indie Brag Medallion; Story Monsters Certificate of Excellence; and the Firebird Literary Fiction Award. She spends her days writing furiously and her evenings tutoring young adults. When she isn’t crafting books, plays, or musicals, she enjoys taking care of her Victorian home and traveling with her artist husband. She is proudly represented by Uwe Stender at the TriadaUS Literary Agency.

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Book Blitz: ‘The Finest Lies’ by David J. Naiman

Title: The Finest Lies

Author: David J. Naiman

Publisher: Empire Old Line Media

Genre: YA Contemporary

About the Book:

High schooler Nicole Hallett has just about had it with her brother Jay, so when a mysterious man appears with an offer to replace him with a better one, she doesn’t hesitate. Nicole has always been impulsive, but this time, she finds herself in a predicament far worse than anything she’s experienced. Just like that, an average snow day—usually filled with hot cocoa and snowball fights—is commandeered by the stranger, who forces the siblings into a dangerous game. 

Confronted by past reflections, tested by present complications, and threatened by future possibilities, Nicole has until the end of the day to disentangle the riddle of her life.

This suspenseful, yet winsome novel by award-winning author David J. Naiman explores the power of family and forgiveness. But take heed. The truth can cut like shards of glass, especially for those who’d rather avoid it. Sometimes, only the finest lies will do.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

About the Author:

David J. Naiman is a best-selling independent author of award-winning books for children, teens, and adults including Jake, Lucid Dreamer, first-place winner of the Purple Dragonfly Book Award and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in pre-teen fiction and Didn’t Get Frazzled, humorous medical fiction written under the pen name David Z Hirsch. He is also a successful physician specializing in internal medicine and an unsuccessful speller specializing in vowels that sound identical to other vowels. He lives with his wife and two children in Maryland.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.davidjnaiman.wordpress.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/17828168.David_J_Naiman

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/David-J.-Naiman/e/B07BFHF8NB

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Book Blitz: ‘Signs We Don’t See’ by Carrie Beamer

Title: Signs We Don’t See

Author: Carrie Beamer

Publisher: Evernight Teen

Genre: YA Contemporary

About the Book:

Etta Litali has grown accustom to the superstitious behavior that comes along with being in an Italian family. But when her dad begins to spend his nights stealing signs from every city pole within three miles of their home, her house becomes overrun with dirty poster boards and the neighbors begin to notice.

Stressed her dad will end up on Oprah as the man who hoards stolen signs, Etta distracts herself with a boy named Jordan. Despite the ban Jordan’s clique has on Etta, their connection grows into something special.

Jordan starts to miss school and disappears leaving Etta confused and wondering if their relationship was ever real. Knowing Jordan is hiding something, Etta has to find a way to show Jordan he can trust her or she will lose him. The only way to do that is to reveal to him that she’s been keeping a secret too.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

About the Author:

Carrie Beamer grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where the sports and barbecue make the humidity in the summer and the frigid temps in the winter worth it. She fell in love with reading as a young girl when she picked up her first Beverly Cleary book and was pulled into the world of Ramona Quimby.

Her passion for writing young adult comes from a love of the mischief we all explored as teens. She believes no matter where you grew up or what era, you walked a fine line of keeping it all together or completely falling apart while navigating the ups and downs of school. Teen angst is a rite of passage that we all recover from at some point, and she loves to write about it.

She’s a high school registrar who fills her nights with writing and reading into the wee hours. Her weekends are spent hanging out with her two sons and trying to tame a couple of obnoxious rescued dogs, and life couldn’t be better.

She has published two YA novels with Evernight Teen titled KEEP WHAT REMAINS and SIGNS WE DON’T SEE.

Social Media Links:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/clbeamer

Twitter: @CarrieBeamer2

Linktree for all book links: www.linktr.ee/cbeamer

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