I’ve got something special for you guys today!
I’m participating in the BLINK Summer Reading Tour right now and I get the pleasure of introducing you to No Place Like Here!
This sweet YA Contemporary is a classic coming-of-age tale with lots of heartfelt moments along the way. I hope you enjoy.
Today, I’m going to be sharing with you a conversation I had with the author of this book, Christina June! From her book to her process to her advice to young writers, we covered it all.
You can also enter to win a bundle of all five books on the BLINK Summer Reading tour! Look for the Giveaway below!
Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She’s just spent a year at boarding school and can’t wait to get home. But when Ashlyn’s father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for “exhaustion,” a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down.
The cherry on top? Ashlyn’s father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn’t even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed “indoor girl,” not even Ash’s habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes—inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere—can help her cope.
With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad’s marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home.
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1. What was your inspiration for this novel?
Ashlyn started as a character who appears in IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE. Readers who know her already will be familiar with her poor choices in boys and her unusually strict father. When my editor and I were brainstorming ideas for my next proposal, I knew I wanted to let Ashlyn tell her own story that would explore how much more than that she is. The fairy tale framework, Hansel & Gretl, is essentially an abandonment story between children and their father, which fit Ashlyn perfectly. Since my companions are all set in the summer, my mind went to a wilderness retreat center–summer camp for adults—as the right setting, and voila, her fish-out-of-water story began to take shape. Her experience was inspired by my chats with students who feel powerless in their own families, for various reasons. I wanted to show them that they words and thoughts have value and they can change their situation if they want to.
2. Do you use music when you write?
Always. I make playlists on Spotify, usually from whatever strikes me off the radio, and those songs tend to become the voice of my characters. Ashlyn’s theme song is The Gold by Manchester Orchestra. The lyrics of the chorus really speak to her feelings about her father.
3. What’s a writing day look like for you?
They’re never the same! I have a full time job and a family, so I take whatever time I can get. The hour before I start work and the hour after before I have to pick up my daughter are pretty reliable, though. I also take advantage of summer time, when I’m not in school, and November for NaNoWriMo.
4. What’s your favorite part about writing? Least?
Favorite is drafting, least favorite is editing. I think a LOT about what I want to write before I actually start, so my first drafts are pretty clean. I like things to be done and put away, so going back and making changes is always a challenge.
5. If you could speak to a writer just starting out, what would you tell them?
Don’t give up. Keep at it and know you learn something new from every project. Writing “the end” is so powerful, so strive for that. Publishing is about patience, so while you’re waiting, write the next thing and do other activities to refill the creative well when you’re feeling stuck.
Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.
She is the author of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, and the forthcoming NO PLACE LIKE HERE.
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Enter to win 1 of 5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles (A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty In Punxsutawney, and Swing)!
Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 8/9/2019.
Enter through this Rafflecopter form and may the odds be ever in your favor!
That Artsy Reader Girl – Summer Reading Tour Kick-Off
Pages & Pugs – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney + Favorite QuotesMangeuse de Livres – Q&A with Annie Sullivan (French & English)
Moonlight Rendezvous – Book Review of Meet the Sky + Favorite QuotesMusings of a (Book) Girl – Christina June Guest PostOhana Cascadia – Book Review of Meet the Sky + Favorite QuotesA Bronx Latina Reads – Book Review of Pretty In PunxsutawneyNay’s Pink Bookshelf – Book Review of Swing + Favorite QuotesTaylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Book Review of A Touch of Gold
Kayla Reads and Reviews – Book Review of Swing + Creative Post
Savings In Seconds – Book Review of Meet the Sky
J.R.’s Book Reviews – Book Review of A Touch of Gold
Book-Keeping – Book Review of Meet the Sky
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Interview with Laurie Boyle Crompton
Lifestyle of Me – Book Review of No Place Like HereShelf-Rated – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney + Favorite Quotes
Reading Authors Network – Book Review of Swing
Read At Night – Interview with Christina JuneYA/NA Book Divas – Book Review of Swing
Cinnamon Summers – Book Review of No Place Like Here + Favorite QuotesInky Moments – Creative Post
Marshmallow Pudding – Christina June Guest Post
Never Too Many to Read – Creative Post for No Place Like Here
Ohana Cascadia – Book Review of Swing + Favorite QuotesNay’s Pink Bookshelf – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney + Favorite QuotesFictitiousWonderland – Bookstagram Post for A Touch of Gold
Story-eyed Reviews – Interview with McCall Hoyle
Will Read Anything – Book Review of Meet the Sky
Kait Plus Books – Book Review of No Place Like Here + Favorite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All – Book Review of A Touch of Gold + Bookstagram Post
Adventures Thru Wonderland – McCall Hoyle Guest Post
Here’s to Happy Endings – Book Review of A Touch of Gold
What She Will Read – Book Review of No Place Like Here + Favorite Quotes
Starlight Reads – Book Playlist for Swing
Story-eyed Reviews – Book Review of Meet the Sky + Favorite Quotes
Library of a Book Witch – Book Review of A Touch of GoldWill Read Anything – Book Review of Swing
Inky Moments – Book Review of No Place Like Here + Favorite Quotes
Beauty In the Binding – Author Q&A with Annie SullivanOnemused – Book Review of Meet the Sky (Instagram Photo)A Bronx Latina Reads – Book Review of No Place Like HereCinnamon Summers – Book Review of Meet the Sky + Favorite Quotes
A Dream Within a Dream – Book Review of A Touch of Gold
A Bookish Dream – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney
Savings In Seconds – Book Review of Swing + Favorite Quotes
FictitiousWonderland – Book Review + Creative Post for Pretty In Punxsutawney (Instagram)
What She Will Read – Laurie Boyle Crompton Guest Post
Never Too Many to Read – Book Review of No Place Like Here
Starlight Reads – Book Review of Swing
YA/NA Book Divas – Book Review of A Touch of Gold
YA Media Consumer – Meet the Sky Book Spotlight
Some Books and Ramblings – Interview with McCall Hoyle
Moonlight Rendezvous – Book Review of A Touch of Gold + Favorite QuotesThe Reading Corner for All – Book Review of Meet the Sky + Instagram Post
Feed Your Fiction Addiction – McCall Hoyle Guest PostTaylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Book Review of No Place Like HereBook-Keeping – Book Review of Touch of Gold
Utopia State of Mind – Book Review of No Place Like Here
Kait Plus Books – Annie Sullivan Guest PostMusings of a (Book) Girl – Book Review of Swing
Kait Plus Books – Laurie Boyle Crompton Guest PostRead At Night – No Place Like Here Creative Post
Ohana Cascadia – Book Review of A Touch of Gold + Favorite Quotes
Lifestyle of Me – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney
Reading Authors Network – Creative Post for Swing
Story-eyed Reviews – Interview with Christina June
Two Points of Interest – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney
The Secret Reader – Book Review of A Touch of Gold + Creative Post
Belle’s Archive – Book Review of Swing
A Dream Within A Dream – Annie Sullivan Guest Post
Smada’s Book Smack – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney
A Bookish Dream – Book Review of No Place Like Here
Adventures Thru Wonderland – Book Review of Meet the Sky
Here’s to Happy Endings – Book Review of Meet the Sky
Belle’s Archive – Book Review of Pretty In PunxsutawneyThe Secret Reader – Book Review of Pretty In Punxsutawney + Interview with Laurie Boyle Crompton + Creative PostSmada’s Book Smack – Book Review of No Place Like HereFaery Tales Are Real – Book Review of A Touch of Gold
Read At Night – Book Review of Swing + Creative Post
Two Points of Interest – Book Review of Swing
Thanks for stopping by! See you tomorrow. x — A