Introducing Debut Author Rahul Kanakia

Welcome readers! Hope your summer is going well, even if it is coming to an end. This week we are introducing Debut Author Rahul Kanakia whose novel, Enter Title Here, was released on August 2nd, 2016. You can check it out here!

And now for the interview!

  1. 150507 - Author PhotoWhat character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?
    I’d steal Scarlett O’Hara’s complete and utter self-possession. I read Gone With The Wind while in 9th grade, and she made a huge impression on me. I’d never before realized how far it’s possible to get on chutzpah alone. Hopefully I’d temper it with a little more kindness and self-awareness though.
  2. What’s the last lie you told?
    “My last lie? Hmm, I can’t really remember.”
  3. If you could punch one person creature on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
    A shark
  4. What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
    If we’re being honest, I probably don’t have a possession I’d die for, but I sure do like my Kindle. I splurged and got the really stupidly expensive Kindle Oasis: the one with physical buttons and a weird asymmetrical shape that’s better balanced for one-handed reading. I love e-readers. They are amazing. I’ve gotten to the point where I only own maybe 20 or 30 physical books. The other 500 are in Amazon’s cloud.
  5.  Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
    Don’t end a scene on a line of dialogue. Which sounds stupid, because authors do this all the time, and it can actually work really well, but my instructor went on to explain that scenes should contain a moment or two of relaxation at the end: a place for the reader to collect themselves before moving on to the next scene. Otherwise the story just feels like an incessant series of loud bangs. I think about this all the time, and the transitions between my scenes have been much-improved because of it.
  6. What book do you wish you’d written?
    That cancer book everybody’s talking about: The Emperor of Maladies. I haven’t read it, but it looks so weighty and serious. I bet I could be weighty and serious! I wear glasses! I have a beard! If any of you work at CNN, just know that I think I could be a great “Medical Expert.
  7. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
    Probably Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” I personally am left numb by most classical music, but my fiancé is a huge classical music nerd and has been dragging me to tons of concerts, and I for some reason really enjoyed this one, which was Anton Dvorak’s attempt to capture the spirit of America in symphonic form. I’ve listened to it dozens of times since then, and my appreciation has certainly deepened. For instance I initially thought the second movement was dull and slow, but I’ve slowly come to understand its pleasures. Anyway, it seems like it would bear up under a lifetime of listening a little better than would my usual standbys, which re mostly pop-country and Broadway musicals.
  8. You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the
    Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
     Whichever spell lets you apparate. I’m tired of having to stand up and physically walk from my bed all the way to the refrigerator whenever I get hungry.
  9. Enter_Title_final_revealWith only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
    Shelob. She seems like she can be reasoned with.
  10. Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
    GOSSIP GIRL meets HOUSE OF CARDS.

 

Thanks Rahul! Check in next month as we continue the debut author series! 

If you want to get to know Rahul better, you can also check him out at his twitter and his web site!

Twitter: @rahkan

Website: http://www.blotter-paper.com

 

Summer Roadtrip Mix: Baa Mix 87

There is nothing like listening to a new mix right as you set out on an adventure. If you’re going to listen to one song, then it’s a tie between Fiction and There Will Be Time (Live in South Africa version, plz) because both are incredible. In fact actually, the whole Kygo album is great so just get it. Oh and the new Grouplove is pretty great.

  1. Kygo Feat. Tom Odell: Fiction (OB-SESSED. But annoyingly, this is just a snippet, and it’s not on youtube, so you’ll have to trust me that it’s amazing.)
  2. Grouplove: Welcome to Your Life
  3. Mumford and Sons & Baaba Maal: There Will Be Time (This is the M&S I know and love)
  4. DREAMERS: Sweet Disaster
  5. The Middle East: Blood
  6. Sigur Ros: Ovedur (Jonsi ily you amazing man. Also if watching the video and you want to skip the first two weird minutes, you won’t miss any of the song..it starts around the 2 min mark. )
  7. FIDLAR: Sabotage (Cover, but oh what a cover.)
  8. Carter Burwell: Trees Have a Life (I have loved this instrumental piece since 2000, when I first heard it in Before Night Falls. But I’ve never been able to find audio of it that I can download to iTunes, which is really frustrating. If anyone knows where I can get an mp3 of it PLEASE TELL ME)
  9. Kaleo: Way Down We Go
  10. Brand New: I am a Nightmare
  11. Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and TM88: Bossed Up
  12. Death Cab for Cutie: Good Help (Is So Hard to Find) (How do they keep making such amazing music after so many years.)
  13. Kygo Feat. James Vincent: I’m in Love
  14. American Authors: Right Here Right Now
  15. Good Charlotte: Life Can’t Get Much Better
  16. The Head and the Heart: All We Ever Knew
  17. Twenty one pilots: heathens
  18. Indigo Girls: Galileo  Horrible video but just listen to the audio on it
  19. DMX: Blood Red
  20. The Naked and the Famous: Higher
  21. Austin Jones: Welcome to the Black Parade (acapella) Don’t listen to a lot of acapella, but this is a pretty interesting rendition of one of my fav songs.
  22. My Heart Borns: Dug My Heart  I didn’t love this one at first, but it grew on me.

Introducing Debut Author Peter Brown Hoffmeister

Hey guys–I took a bit of a summer break in June, but I’m excited to get back to the Debut Author Series for July with Peter Brown Hoffmeister, whose book THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH, came out on May 17th, 2016. Publisher’s Weekly gave Peter’s book a STARRED review (one of many) and called it “Profane and profound… A raw offbeat novel with an abundance of honesty and heart.” You can find it here.

Onto the interview! author pic

  1. What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?
    Can I go back into the past? All growing up, my little brother was a better athlete than me. He had this confidence. He just knew he could win anything. I wish I’d been able to relax more as a teen, be confident like him, know who I am, and do what I love.
  2. Ah brothers. Aren’t they grand? Ok, so what’s the last lie you told?
    That’s easy because it was such a lie. I told my wife’s aunt that I loved her Christmas casserole made of shrimp, mayonnaise, and rice.
  3. If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
    I was an angry teenager – I punched a lot of people – and I don’t know if I want to punch anyone anymore. But if I was forced to choose…maybe Donald Trump right after he says something about Mexicans?
  4. What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
    I have my dad’s college baseball bat from when he was a leadoff hitter for Stanford (it’s marked with a #1 in the wood meaning he hit first). My dad and I went through some really difficult years and earned each other’s respect. After all of that, he gave his bat to me. So it sounds funny, but that bat is a symbol.
  5. Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
    From my writing buddy Chin in college: “Don’t worry about whether it’s truth or fiction. Either way, tell a f***ing good story.”
  6. What book do you wish you’d written?
    Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. How could that possibly have been her first book? When I started to read it, I could feel that the world had shifted a little.
  7. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
    Bob Dylan’s
    “To Ramona.” Best advice to another human. I’ve only listened to that song 500 times.
  8. Ooo. Good choice. Ok, next: You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you This Is The Part Coverlike. Which one is it? Pretego Horribilis provides protection against dark magic…and don’t we all need a little protection from the darkness?
  9. With only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
    Voldemort’s FOR REAL scary. Plus, I’m not Harry Potter and I don’t have a lot of “wit” to draw on. So I’m choosing the enormous spider, Shelob. I killed a lot of huge spiders in our tin-roofed house in Congrejal, Costa Rica where I wrote This Is The Part Where You Laugh. I’ve got spider-killing experience.
  10. You are braver than I my friend. Last question! Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
    Love and basketball, with a little bit of heroin, homelessness, and dirty love letters to dead Russian princesses thrown in.

Thanks Peter! See you guys next month as we continue the series with some badass Fall debuts

 

 

 

Introducing Debut Author Evelyn Skye

Welcome back, readers! I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day! As May comes to a close, I’d like to introduce our author of the month, Evelyn Skye Evelyn’s novel, The Crown’s Game, was released on May 17 and debuted on the New York Time bestsellers listevelyn-skye-head-shot-high-res! Find a copy of this amazing novel here.


For those of you just joining, I’ve been hosting a 2016 Debut Author Series, where I post short, Proust-inspired questionnaires with a 2016 debut author every month. And so, without further ado…

  1. What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)
    Etienne St. Clair’s charm (Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins)
  2. What’s the last lie you told?
    A guy asked me out and I pretended I was interested, but really I just wanted to listen to his Russian accent for a while.
  3. If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
    Heh heh heh… Um, no comment.
  4. What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
    My daughter. I know she’s not a “thing,” but there is nothing that comes even close to what I would be willing to do for her.
  5. Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?crownsgame-hc-c1-678x1024
    Keep on writing!
  6. What book do you wish you’d written?
    I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  7. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
    “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera 
  8. You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
    Portus – it turns objects into port keys! How amazing would it be go wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted, without having to deal with traffic or airport security? (And now everyone knows what a practical-minded nerd I am, that this is the spell I chose…)
  9. With only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
    Oh, good lord, Voldemort, because I’m going to die either way, and I am terrified of spiders! Also, I’m not important enough to Voldemort for him to torture me, and being killed instantaneously by Avada Kedavra is infinitely preferable to the long, painful death that Shelob would mete out.
    And now I’m going to have nightmares… thanks a lot, Sabaa.
  10. Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
    Star-crossed lovers battle in an alternate, magical version of Imperial Russia.

Thanks, Evelyn, for participating in this interviews series! And readers, check back in just a couple of weeks for our next interview of the series!

 

BEA and BookCon Schedule

Are you going to BEA or BookCon??? Here’s my schedule, as well as info about how you can get an early copy of A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT if you are attending!

BEA, FRIDAY, MAY 13:

8 a.m.: BEA Breakfast (ticketed event)

2-3 p.m: Signing A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT advanced copies at the Penguin Random House Booth (Booth 2433)

7 p.m.: Panel at THE BOOK STALL (811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093), with John Corey Whaley, David Arnold and Jennifer Niven.

BOOKCON, SATURDAY, MAY 14:

9 – 10:30 a.m.: Penguin Teen VIP Trivia Challenge

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Panel with Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver, and Melissa de la Cruz and Margot Wood of Epic Reads: “What is light without darkness? Balancing good and evil in YA literature.”

12:15 – 1:15 PM Signing following panel—Table 4.