For October,I chose Karla J. Nellenbach.I read her Young Adult novel,A Sliver Of Hope,a few months ago because I participated in the book's blog tour.But after I finished reading it,I realized that it was a much more interesting and emotional novel than I thought it would be.I recommend it to all of you!
Publication Date: March 25th 2013
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Rating: 4 stars
Summary from Goodreads
My twin sister was the only person in the world I thought I’d known inside and out. Apparently, I was wrong.
Twin sisters share a unique bond, one that can't be broken by miles, time, or even death. Hannah and Hope Morton are no exception. When Hope takes her own life, Hannah loses a sister and a best friend, a catastrophe she isn't sure she'll survive herself.
With her family in ruins, Hannah is slowly disappearing, drowning in a sea of misery. Even her wild, energetic best friend can't pull her out of her grief. Desperate to help Hannah, her brother comes home from college, bringing his best friend Julian along, the first boy to break Hannah’s heart. None of their efforts are enough to pull Hannah off her self destructive path, though. Julian is the only one who can get through to her, working his way into her frozen soul with cocky remarks and genuine love that warms her from the inside out.
As Hannah works to find answers, she continues to uncover new secrets and people that reveal a side of Hope she had never shared with her twin. Alone now, Hannah must make a decision of her own: move on and start a new life with the people she has left, or let the weight of her grief drag her down with her sister.
Can you start by telling us when did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I've always considered myself a writer, ever since I wrote my first story when I was eight. It was a ghost story, aptly named GHOST. I'm sooo original :)
From starting writing books to becoming a recognized author, it’s a long way. How was it when you first started?
I completed my first craptastic manuscript more than a decade ago, so A LOT has changed. I've changed. I used to be all about writing paranormal and suspense. I didn't truly find myself as a writer until the idea for A&F came to me. Then, I was like TRAGEDY?!?! Why didn't I ever think of writing this stuff before?
What inspired you to write your first book?
Schindler's List. I know it sounds strange, but after watching that movie, I had this epic idea for a family saga spanning more than fifty years, during a war so catastrophic that life as we knew it basically ended. I still think about that MS. The writing was terrible(I will freely admit this), but every now and then, I pull it out and look it over to see if it's something I want to revisit.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I love first person. It allows me to put myself in the main character's place and ask myself what I would do if all this crap was happening to me. Sometimes, I shock myself with what happens and then I realize that yes, I would do exactly the same thing as my MC.
Your area of expertise is Young Adult books. Have you ever thought of writing an Adult book? And what genre would that be?
As a reader, I will pick up just about any book I find that looks like it'll be a good read. While I seem to stick mostly with writing YA/NA books that edge toward the dark and tragic, I have had ideas for others, both adult and YA. So, we can't count me out of the adult book world just yet. Anything can happen. One thing is for certain though, this girl *points at self* is not an HEA (happily ever after) sort of girl. I like real, believable endings, which usually means more bittersweet than happy. Hey, that's just how I roll ;)
What do you like most about writing for this age group?
Being a teenager is all about discovery, be it new friendships, first love, or even finding yourself. I love delving into the world of "firsts" and sharing that with my characters.
What books have most influenced your life?
I think almost every book I read influences me in some way, whether it's good or bad. That said, I will admit that I'm an Austen fangirl from way back in the day. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is quite possibly my favorite book of all time.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I actually have feelings! I'm not the kind of girl who deals well with other people's emotions. Someone cries in front of me, and I'm like, "Someone help her, cuz I can't!!" I'm just not touchy-feely...at least, that's what I always thought. Karla has real emotions and feels things? Who knew? I sure as heck didn't!
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
The beginning. I start, re-start, and then start all over again at least a dozen times on each of my WiPs before I'm happy enough with it to move past chapter six. Sometimes, it's an exercise in futility, but that's my process.
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?
More by intuition, but there is some logic thrown in there. For the most part, I let the characters lead me, but sometimes, they go off on their own and it's up to me to reel them in from wandering around, all lost and confused.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! I love to share teasers from my current WiPs. This one is from a YA mystery (my first ever foray into writing a male MC) I'm currently playing around with entitled HATE CRIME. Clearly, it's a light, fluffy beach read :)
The second Miss Cutter abandoned her station to go refill her coffee cup, Ben leaned in close. “Quick. Tell me who you were fighting with this time,” he ordered in a loud whisper. “Had to have been someone big for you to look like that.”
“Jack Foundry,” I answered with a wince. Damn, but my side hurt. Well, everything hurt, to be honest. From the swollen left half of my face, to my scraped knuckles, to my ribs, right down to my toes, even though I was pretty sure those had escaped the hammers Jack had for fists.
Ben’s eyes rounded, his mouth falling open. I would’ve laughed if it didn’t hurt so much. “Are you suicidal?”
Miss Cutter returned then, steaming mug in hand. “If you’re not on the verge death by axe murderer, Mr. Lumley, do not scream in this office.”
“Okay.” Ben jumped up, a snarky grin riding his lips. “I’ll just go out into the hall and scream some, then.”
“I don’t think so.” It was said in a low monotone, but had Ben planting his butt back in the seat next to me. That was the dragon power of Miss Cutter. Another one of her sympathetic smiles slid towards me. She’d gifted me with no fewer than ten in the five minutes I’d been sitting there. This last one made eleven.
“Are you sure you don’t want an ice pack, Matthew? That eye is swelling quite a bit.”
“I’m okay, ma’am, but thanks.”
She waved a hand in my direction, set her coffee cup down and turned on her heel. “I’ll get the nurse to bring you a couple of ice packs when she’s done with Mr. Vance.”
Before I could repeat that I was fine, she disappeared down the long hall beyond the front desk, no doubt off to order the ice pack from the school nurse. I’ll probably have a dozen of them piled on my face before she’s done with me.
“Alex?” Ben jerked at that revelation. Alex Vance was the only person besides Ben who could claim the title of my best friend. He also happened to be Ben’s bitterest enemy, a fact that I never could understand and neither of them felt the need to explain to me. “Alex was in this fight, too? Why wasn’t I invited to the party?”
“Lex wasn’t fighting,” I told him as a hollow laugh escaped. It wasn’t funny, not by a long shot. “He was just standing there—like an idiot—so Jack could pound on him.” At Ben’s snicker, I shot him a dark look. “Sort of like what you’d do, actually.”
“No,” Ben corrected with a slight shake of his head. “No, I wouldn’t just stand there.”
“You wouldn’t fight either.”
“Course not. I’d just run. I am pretty fast, you know.” He shook his head again. “No, I wouldn’t fight. That’s what I keep you around for. To protect me and keep me company and stuff.”
“I’m not a dog.”
“Of course, you’re not.” He waved off my irritated growl with an easy grin. “A dog would cuddle with me, and you don’t.”
“I’m not gay, Ben.”
“Well, no one’s perfect.”
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I appreciate each and every one of you! I love reading honest reviews, both good and bad. They help me to know what areas of my writing need some improvement, because hey, no one's perfect, right? Also, I love to hear from readers, even if it's just to give me recommendations on books they think I simply must read. I could spend hours, days, weeks, years on the Twitter and Facebook just talking about books. Yeah, I guess you could say I'm addicted to the written word. There are worse things to be obsessed with :)
Thank you so much for your time,Karla!
About the Author Karla Nellenbach divides her time between day jobbing, writing, and indulging in her Winchester obsession. The rest of her day is spent playing butler to a cranky old man masquerading as a housecat and two rambunctious puppies that closely resemble small horses. Born and raised in the wilds of Michigan, she knows two immutable facts: (1) it is entirely possible to live in a thumb, and (2) you definitely can go home again…you just might not survive the winter. Having resided in the sunscape of Florida for the last decade, she’s still on a quest to see a real live alligator outside of the “petting” zoo. Karla is currently at work on her next novel. You can find more information on Karla and her work at her website, The Last Word: http://www.karlanellenbach.com/
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