I've heard excellent things about it — so you can go add it on Goodreads, get it from Barnes and Noble, or check out her extremely elegant website.
1. What was your inspiration behind the book?
The book started as a project for college. I was an education major, and I had to research a topic in education and present it in a multi-genre paper (which is a mix of poetry, short stories, art, comics…basically creative forms of expression instead of a standard research paper). I chose to look at sexual assault in high school and one of the poem that I put into my multi-genre paper became the starting point for Canary. The story grew from it, and the poem is in the final copy of the book.
2. What kind of character did you develop Kate to be, and why did you choose that path for her?
Truthfully, I developed Kate as someone who was a bit weak and was pretty suceptable to peer pressure. I wanted to show how you could easily get caught up in this world and allow things to happen that you may otherwise not. It wasn’t until my agent and I worked on revisions together that Kate started to change. My agent pushed me to make Kate someone who was strong and didn’t think what was happening was right at the start. She still listened to her friends more than she should have, but she wasn’t a character driven by others and what they wanted her to do. I love who Kate became. She spoke up for herself from the start and loves her brother with a fierceness that would make her do pretty much anything for him (which was in the book from the start – her relationship with her brother is one of my favorite parts of the book).
3. What has been your favorite moment about the book process?It’s definitely connecting to readers. I love talking to people who are excited to read Canary and those who have been lucky enough to get an ARC and read it already. There are few things better in my day than getting an e-mail, tweet, or Facebook message from someone who loves books and reading as much as I do.
4. Where is your favorite/most productive writing spot?
I have two writing spots. In the early morning, I write in my office. My husband and I were lucky enough to find a house that has an office attached to the first floor. It has two sky lights, wood floors, and a sliding screen door that looks out onto our backyard (and another door that closes me off from the rest of the house when I need it to be quiet). I have a bunch of bookshelves in it full of my favorite books and a table I bought years ago that I use as my writing desk.In the afternoon, I prefer to go an write at a coffee shop. I have three favorites around me, and I’ve been known to drive from one to another in order to find the perfect table. I wrote a lot of Canary at coffee shops and thanked them all in my acknowledgements!
5. Any future book plans developing?
Yes! Right now my agent has my first MG novel called Operation Pucker Up. It’s about a girl who gets the lead in the middle school play and then finds out she has to kiss the male lead. She’s never kissed anyone before, so her friends set out to get her her first kiss before opening night. The book is really fun and a tribute to my days growing up in theater.The second book is a YA novel called Back to the Start about a girl’s whose sister goes missing. The town finds themselves unable to move on without any closure, and the main character is terrified that it’s her fault her sister is gone because of something that she did.
6. What are three things you can't get enough of right now?
— My husband and I are hooked to Twin Peaks. We’ve never seen it before but find ourselves watching 2-3 episodes a night because we need to find out what happens next. — Sleep! It’s summer vacation for me (I teach), so I’ve been catching up on some long lost sleep!— Coffee….wait, what am I talking about. I’ve been hooked to that for years!
7. Do you have any writing/working music? What's your favorite?I always have to write to music. Right now I’ve been writing to The National, The Civil War, The Swell Season, Coldplay, and Lana Del Ray. There’s certain songs I’ll put on repeat and listen over and over to for more than an hour if I’m trying to get a certain mood.
8. Do you have any summer vacation plans?
Canary is coming out August 1 and I’ll be having a launch party that day. On August 2, my husband, mom, and I are heading to Boston for a book signing at my favorite bookstore, The Boston Booksmith in Brookline. I went to graduate school in Boston and try to get back to the city at least every other year. After my book signing, the three of us will be heading to my Aunt and Uncle’s lake house where I plan to hide out for a week after the book launch and just relax.
Thank you so much to Rachele, and everyone be sure to go check out Canary!
Happy release day (August 1)!