Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Blue So Dark Interview/Giveaway

A Blue So Dark

Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.

Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.(Goodreads)


Interview


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What inspired you to write a book like A BLUE SO DARK?

Basically, A BLUE SO DARK opens as fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose struggles to keep a secret: her mother, an artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

I’m completely fascinated by the creative process. It’s just so ELUSIVE. Some days, you can go cross-eyed staring at a blinking cursor, and some days, it POURS out of you—three thousand words, and you haven’t even broken a sweat. But why IS that? What’s the source of creativity? Why do some people have the ability to think creatively, while others could stare at a canvas and NEVER, in their entire LIVES, be inspired to pick up a paint brush?

BLUE allowed me to explore the possibility that creativity and mental illness might be somehow linked…

Have you always wanted to write books?

Yes, yes, yes. I remember thinking, even when I was a little girl, that someday I’d go to college, and then I’d be a writer. Period.

The only reason that I got the chance to life out a lifelong dream, though, is because of the incredible financial support from my family. I was teaching piano and guitar lessons on the side while writing and submitting manuscripts…but without their help, I NEVER would have been able to get here. Took me more than seven years of full-time effort to get that first acceptance!

What is your writing process like—do you have any regular habits?

I JUST posted a vlog entry about the sounds and the music of my writing process! (The entry can be found here: http://hollyschindler.blogspot.com/2010/07/music-of-our-environments.html)

If you had to pick an actress to play Aura who would that be?

I recently saw some clips on the making of RAMONA AND BEEZUS, with Selena Gomez. I think she might make a great Aura, actually…

Does A BLUE SO DARK have a soundtrack—songs you listened to while writing or songs that remind you of the book?

I’m a BIG music junkie—and as soon as I gave Grace a collection of old vinyl, I started thinking of songs that represented their situation…One song that REALLY speaks to what’s going on, I think, is Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” Google the lyrics and see what I mean.

What type of books do you read? Any recommendations?

I read everything. EVERYTHING. There really isn’t a genre anymore that I can’t get into. Part of that is thanks to being a lit student. You don’t get to say, “That’s not my thing,” when you major in literature. You HAVE to read it—ALL of it—to pass the test, write your papers, make the grade. By forcing myself to read it all (poetry, sci fi, fantasy, etc.) I’ve really come to appreciate it all. My recommendation would be to push yourself to try new genres…to attack those shelves in the library that you once avoided. You really grow as a reader (AND writer) by moving out of your comfort zone…

If you could give Aura advice, what might that be?

At the beginning of the book, I’d probably tell her, YOU’RE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE. But like all people in the real world, Aura would never believe that just from me telling her. She’s got to weather hardships to TEST her strength, to prove to HERSELF that she has every capability to get herself (and her mother) out of the darkness that pervades their lives…

You can visit Holly Here and Here
& You can buy A Blue So Dark Here

Now since Holly is so generous and kind she has offered up a signed copy of A Blue So Dark to one lucky winner. Try being awesome back and visiting her site or commenting on the interview.

Fill Out This Form - Ends July 20th

Thank you so much for your time I'm excited to read this one.

7 comments:

Holly Schindler said...

Loved this interview, Caitlin! And thanks for hosting a giveaway!

Jessica @ Confessions of a Bookaholic said...

Great interview! Thanks for the contest :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Great interview and contest.

I also believe in reading everything. It is amazing that some days I can't write a word, but other days I sit diligently and write for hours. It balances out.

Candace said...

Great interview! I've been wanting this book!

brandileigh2003 said...

Awesome interview and giveaway.

Kris said...

Fantastic Interview! I'm also a read everything type of gal LOL! Thanks for the great giveaway also.

gabrywrites said...

Great interview. I watched the vlog video and I'm also a read everything type of gal, although I'm wary of horror because mainly I can get scared easily. Gore? It depends on how gorey the gore is, because if it's really gore, I get squeamish and get scared.