Fearless Friday with Alexandra Sirowy & Shannon Grogan

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August YA Thriller Debuts Shannon Grogan and Alexandra Sirowy teamed up to ask their MC’s a few questions!

Introducing, Kara, the main character of FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU:

Dealing with the aftermath of betrayal, her sister’s death, and the collapse of her family, 16-year-old Kara focuses on her dreams of becoming a professional baker. Winning a national baking contest could help her escape to a prestigious culinary school.

But someone is watching.

Someone hides, follows, and leaves her creepy notes.  If she doesn’t figure out who it is, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.

 

And, Stella, the main character of THE CREEPING:

Stella is the lucky one. When she was six, Stella and her friend Jeanie went into the woods to pick strawberries. Stella came back. Jeanie never did. Eleven years later, Stella is over it, even if whatever happened to Jeanie is still lost in her messed up memory. Stella has a summer full of cove days, best friends, and her gorgeous crush to look forward to, that is, until the fresh corpse of a little girl with eerie similarities to six-year-old Jeanie is found on the anniversary of her disappearance.

What are you most afraid of losing?

Stella: My friends! Especially my three bests, Zoey, Michaela, and Cole. I’d be lost without them.

Kara: I’m most afraid of losing my mom. She’s really all I have left. Even if she is a nut job and she drives me crazy. After everything, I guess I still need her. As long as she doesn’t turn into the mom from “Carrie”.

 

What are you afraid of that you’d never admit to aloud?

Stella: Ouija boards completely eek me out. Totally crazy, I know. I can handle the real stuff that goes bump in the night, but just whisper something like Bloody Mary to me three times in the same zip code as a mirror and I can’t sleep for a week.

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Kara: Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary! No, just kidding, Stella! I’d never admit this to anyone but you, but I’m afraid of pigeon germs. I kinda live in the city and they’re dirty and everywhere and they poop everywhere! I swear there is going to be some kind of pigeon flu outbreak. It’s gross.

Pigeons Pigeons Pigeons!

Pigeons Pigeons Pigeons!

Which scary movie or book would you cast yourself in and why?

Stella: I don’t like all those scary movies that have the girl always shrieking her head off or running the wrong direction or waiting for someone to save her.
I wouldn’t be that type of heroine. Whatever movie or book I’d be in, I’d be the one figuring things out and saving the day.

Kara: Me too, Stella. I think maybe “Silence of the Lambs”. The heroine in that was kick ass smart, in FBI training. Oh, FYI, that one is a book and a movie. Creepy!

Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs

Would you rather be covered by spiders or snakes?

Stella: Snakes for sure. Anything but spiders.

Kara: Yuck, neither! I think I agree with Stella. Snakes. At least if you stand up they will fall off. Spiders cling! Ick!

What’s your most embarrassing moment ever?

Stella: Ummm, hello? I already get enough sideways glances and stares. Invite more attention or whispers? Not gonna happen.

Kara: Ooh Stella, what secrets are you hiding? Why are people whispering about you? Hmm. Well, I try to keep mostly to myself so as not to bring attention either. But I think my most embarrassing moment was in 9th grade when I dropped an F bomb in Home Ec after I burned my hand pulling cookies out of the oven. That wasn’t really the embarrassing part though, the embarrassing part was Mr. King making me repeat it and spell it on the white board, and then use it in a sentence. And then giving me a detention.

 

Shannon writer photo crop 2Shannon Grogan teaches 2nd grade by day, and writes at Starbucks while her kids are at ballet and baseball. If she can stay off Twitter and stay awake, she writes at night, in a tiny logging town near Seattle, Washington. Her debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, will be published by Soho Teen, August 2015.
Alexandra Sirowy PhotoAlexandra Sirowy is the author of THE CREEPING, a debut thriller for young adults coming August 18th, 2015 from Simon and Schuster’s Books for Young Readers. To learn more, visit Alexandrasirowy.com or follow her on Twitter.

Release Day: Where I Watch You and Not After Everything in 3 Gifs

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Here it is! Happy release day for From Where I Watch You, summed up in 3 Gifs!

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Stalker

 

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Baking

 

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Kissing

From Where I Watch You is available NOW! Thank you for reading!

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Soho Teen

Add to your Goodreads!

 

And Happy Book Birthday to Not After Everything!

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About the book: Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry- loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her?But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?

Not After Everything is available now! Happy reading!

AMAZON | B&N BAM | INDIEBOUNDGOODREADS

 

Shannon writer photo crop 2Shannon Grogan teaches 2nd grade by day, and writes at Starbucks while her kids are at ballet and baseball. If she can stay off Twitter and stay awake, she writes at night, in a tiny logging town near Seattle, Washington. Her debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, will be published by Soho Teen, August 2015.

Michelle Levy squaredMichelle Levy grew up in Littleton, Colorado, but moved to Los Angeles as soon as she was legally allowed because she hates driving in the snow. When she’s not writing, she’s likely working at her other job as a casting director for film and television or skulking about (and occasionally posting—she’s working on that) on Twitter. Her debut, NOT AFTER EVERYTHING, will be released on August 4, 2015 from Dial.

ALL FOUR KIDS: An Interview with Jessie Humphries, author of KILLING RUBY ROSE

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I’m so happy to interview my Greenhouse Literary sister Jessie Humphries, whose YA thriller KILLING RUBY ROSE is out right now!

 

Killing Ruby Rose_FINALIn sunny Southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal). But after six months of therapy and pathetic parenting by her mom, the District Attorney, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

When Ruby ends up killing a murderer to save his intended victim, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up swapping Valentino red for prison orange.

With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?

Available at Amazon, BAM, IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s

And other local & national retailers.

SG: Hi, Jessie! Congrats on your book and thanks for stopping by our blog!

JH: Thanks for hosting this interview, Shannon! It’s nice to have an agency sister involved. Go Team Greenhouse!

So, I decided that I’m going to answer ALL of your questions! But not like I normally would, more like rapid fire! Like Ruby Rose cocking and pulling the trigger, I’m gonna bullet point out these answers like an automatic rifle with night scope vision!

SG: Awesome, I’m ready! So tell us where did the idea for KILLING RUBY ROSE come from?

  • From watching/reading the DEXTER series by Jeff Lindsay and reading the HEIST  SOCIETY books by Ally Carter.

SG: Jessie, do you outline or use any visual plotting method when you write? Or bullet points, ha ha 🙂 ?

  • Yes, I use the beat system from Blake Snyder’s book, SAVE THE CAT. Me and my CP’s call our system of outlining, “Brushing Our Cat.” ;0

SG: Oh I love that book! What are your favorite revision tools?

  • Babysitters, busy cafés with high energy, caffeine, and a reward system including chocolate.

SG: How could we ever get through revisions without chocolate! When do you write, when are you the most creative, and what does your schedule look like?

  • In the morning. It’s when I’m most focused and creative. I usually have to get up between 5-6:00 am to get any amount of work done because I have to be home by 8:00 am for carpool.

SG: Wow, you are dedicated for sure! So when you venture out so early, where do you write?

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SG: Of course! And, where is the weirdest place you’ve written down story notes?

  • On the back of a fortune cookie. (Don’t remember what the fortune cookie said though).

SG: Okay, I’ve never heard of anyone writing notes on a fortune cookie! Jessie, did you research much for KILLING RUBY ROSE?

  • A little bit. Three years of law school and a grueling bar exam also helped with the legal aspects of the book.

SG: What a perfect background for writing crime! Can you tell us what was the hardest part of writing this book?

  • The ending. Before my agent signed me, she made me change the ENTIRE ending. It was hard, I might have had a series of mental breakdowns, several stages of giving up, and a popped out rib from the stress…but I did it!

SG: Ugh! Endings are so hard! I’m so glad you made it, and I sure hope your rib is better! How did you come up with the title for KILLING RUBY ROSE?

  • I didn’t. My amazing agent, Sarah Davies did. The second she said it, I knew it was the one. (The title I had come up with was total crap).

SG: Just one of Sarah’s many talents, right? So, Jessie, is this your first book? If not, did you learn anything new when you wrote this?

  • No, it was my third (or fourth book–depending on how many times I revamped that first book). I learned a ton from those first couple attempts, namely: stop writing sucky books.

SG: I know what you mean! Have you ever wanted to strangle or shake one of your characters?

  • Yes, and then I did. Literally, have them strangled, stabbed, shot, set on fire, etc. What? My MC is a serial killer!

SG: Oh yeah! LOL! SO when you’re sitting at your computer, stuck, what distracts you?

  • Checking Facebook for what fabulous things my friends are doing while I’m stuck and suffering.

SG: Jessie, what is your favorite part of the whole process of getting this book from your idea and into the hands of readers?

  • Experiencing the making of the book trailer. From hiring the director and actors, to being physically present for the filming, to sharing it with the world. Seeing my characters come alive right before my eyes is cool beyond description. Also, the filmmaker, j.j. huckin, has decided that the footage he’s got is so good that he can’t stand to waste any of it and is turning it into a short film!

SG: Wow! That is incredible! I can’t wait to see it! Okay one more writing question: How long did it take to write the first draft of KILLING RUBY ROSE? Revisions?

  • First draft: 6 months. Revisions: 18 months (because revisions started all over again once I sold my book)

SG: And worth every minute of work and popped ribs, etc., I’m sure! Last question, Jessie. As this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you are afraid of and something you are not afraid of.

  • I’m afraid of shins. (It’s weird, I know).
  • I’m not afraid of failure. (I move past it all the time).!

 

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About the Author: Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.

Find Jessie online: website, blog, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads

 

Shannon writer photo crop 2Shannon Grogan teaches kindergarten by day, and writes at Starbucks while her kids are at ballet and baseball. If she can stay off Twitter and stay awake, she writes at night, in a tiny logging town near Seattle, Washington. Her debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, will be published by Soho Teen, Spring 2015.

ALL FOUR KIDS: An Interview with M.G. Buehrlen, author of THE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE

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We are so excited to share with you an interview with M.G. Buehrlen, whose YA Sci-fi THE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE is out right now!

 For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that The57LivesOfAlexWayfare-144dpimake her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Waterstones | Powell’s

 

SG: Hi, M.G.! Congrats on the release of THE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE! Where did the idea for this story come from?

M.G.: I’ve been collecting story ideas since I could put pen to paper, and this particular main character came on the scene when I was 16 years old. Alex’s name was Susan back then (mostly because one of my favorite films at the time was The Parent Trap, the Hayley Mills version) and all I knew about this new character was that she kept getting randomly dropped into different time periods. I didn’t yet know why or how. I wrote a lot of scenes with her throughout the years, some in Puritanical New England, some in Victorian London. It wasn’t until I started watching Doctor Who that I realized Alex was a time traveler. After that detail came into play, everything clicked, and the story flowed from there.  

SG: How did you come up with the title?

M.G.: Actually, my publisher, Strange Chemistry, came up with it. My working title was The Descenders, because that’s what the time travelers are called in the book. But I love this new title. I think it’s far more intriguing and mysterious. 

SG: Is this your first book?

M.G.: This was my second novel, actually. The first novel I ever finished is in a drawer somewhere, and I might try to sell it one day. I’d love to see it in readers’ hands. I spent about six years revising that one single manuscript, which is where I honed my craft for 57 LIVES. While other authors wrote several books before they were published, I just kept shaping my first one over and over again. I guess it’s the same sort of learning process, although for me, I couldn’t seem to let those characters go or “cheat on them” with new characters. I still miss them and think of them fondly. 🙂

S.G: Do you outline? Use any visual plotting method?

M.G.: I do outline. I actually use the prompts from The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt to “unlock” all the secrets of the story, then I plan it all out in 3 major acts. But I leave lots of room for changes. I don’t like to outline with strict boundaries. I still love it when my characters surprise me and take the story in a whole new direction. (Btw, I highly recommend The 90-Day Novel to any writer looking for a swift kick in the right direction.)

SG: What are your favorite revision tools?

M.G.: Besides Scrivener, my must-have revision tools have been peanut butter cookies (lots of them) and coffee (even more of that). My brain basically runs on sugar and caffeine at that point.

SG: Where do you write?

M.G.: I’m currently in the process of moving, but here’s a photo of the treadmill desk my husband built for me in my old writing room. I love this thing! Even though nothing beats a cushy recliner when you’re drafting, I like the discipline of the tread-desk. While I’m working on a manuscript, I post photos that inspire the story as well as outline post-its on the wall.

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SG: Did you research much for this story?

M.G.: Oh, gosh yes. With time travel, you have to meticulously research each time period to get all the little details as accurate as possible. I worked my butt off to get it *just right* for the reader, and I hope I succeeded.

SG: How long did it take to write the first draft? Revisions?

M.G.: It took me three months to write the first draft. Again, I was using The 90-Day Novel, and I was determined to finish in 90 days. And I’m a fast reviser — probably because of all the sugar and caffeine. It took me one week to finish the final revisions for 57 LIVES. I’m pretty proud of that (but I’m still trying to catch up on sleep).

SG: And lastly, as this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you are afraid of and something you are not afraid of.

M.G.:

Afraid of: Falling and failure. The two Big Fs. I’m not afraid of heights, just the possibility of falling from them. And failure — ugh. Is there anything worse? I’m working on accepting that failure means progress. Failure leads to success. I have to remember this.

Not afraid of: Being myself. I used to. Oh, how I used to. But not anymore. I think something beautiful happens once you enter your 30s. You just don’t care what people think anymore. It’s so freeing and exciting. I only wish I’d entered that stage much earlier than my 30s. I may not have missed out on so many opportunities. So youngsters take note! Chuck those cares to the wind and BE YOURSELF.

SG: That’s great advice! Thanks so much, M.G.!

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When she’s not writing, M.G. moonlights as a web designer and social media/creative director. She’s the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website YABooksCentral.com, a social network for YA (and kids!) book loversTHE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE is her debut novel. M.G. lives nestled away in the Michigan pines, surrounded by good coffee and good books, with her husband and son and three furbabies. Say hello on TwitterFacebook, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 

Shannon writer photo crop 2Shannon Grogan teaches kindergarten by day, and writes at Starbucks while her kids are at ballet and baseball. If she can stay off Twitter and stay awake, she writes at night, in a tiny logging town near Seattle, Washington. Her debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, will be published by Soho Teen, Spring 2015.