Welcome to the official blog tour for How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo! This tour is run in by the lovely folks at Me, My Shelf, and I in conjunction with Swoon Reads, and yes, if you stay tuned, there is a giveaway in it for you, and the winner will receive a finished copy of the book!
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Goodreads | Buy It!
For the tour, I was lucky enough to interview the author of the book, Karole Cozzo! Read her interview below, and keep going to win your very own copy of the book!
1. Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write How to Say I Love You Out Loud?
I work in a school setting that serves students with various special needs. Most of the siblings I encounter are wonderful—supportive and mature beyond their years. However, it's impossible to miss how in so many situations their needs or desires have to come second to the more immediate or pressing needs of their brothers and sisters. I was interested in telling their story, thinking about how their family dynamics impact their lives and relationships. My main character, Jordyn, is far from perfect and doesn't always treat her brother as she should. But she definitely grows, and even if readers don't love her every action, it's my hope that they come to respect her and her progression throughout the story.
2. Who was your favorite character to create and write about?
Probably Leighton (my main character's rival)! She was fun. And I really challenged myself to not turn her into this one-dimensional mean girl. I wanted her to be real, and I wanted her to have some redeeming qualities. I always enjoyed playing around with what was going to come out of her mouth next.
3. What does your writing process look like? How did you go about penning this story?
I usually know how I want my story to start and where I want it to end. My stories tend to be character driven, so most of my initial focus is on their character arcs—it's more of a challenge for me to tease apart the actual plot and plug in the details of how they get from point A to point B. But I'm DEFINITELY a planner, and I typically can't bring myself to start a "Chapter 1" until I have a story outline down on paper. As I get into it, I usually picture chapters in my head first. Then I put down a really rough outline—bits of dialogue without punctuation or capitalization, incomplete sentences. The final pass is actually fleshing out the chapter, adding actions and descriptors, and at least trying to be grammatically correct. Usually, every chapter is created in this manner.
4. The book features a playground with Dr. Seuss scenes—is there a particular children’s book that inspired you to create something/be a writer?
The book that will always come to mind is The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward. It was a springtime favorite. The artwork is so beautiful and dreamy and the story is touching. I hope something I create someday can have such an authentic emotional impact. Now, as an adult and working mom, I also appreciate the message about busy moms being able to reach their ambitions at any point in life—that definitely goes along with my writing journey, and I love that in this way this story is still special to me.
5. What are three things you can’t live without right now?
My beautiful planner by ShePlans on Etsy. I'm still a paper and pencil girl, and there's not a day that I'm not checking my planner. (Um, I checked out these planners, and GIRL they are amazing. Totally sad about my lack of money because I feel like I NEED these in my life.)
My Hawaiian Hazelnut coffee from Cape May Roasters—my day doesn't officially start until it's brewing!
Limes—I use an obscene amount of limes during the summer—in ice water, mint ice tea, and there's nothing better than a fresh-squeezed margarita!
The giveaway is US only and will be shared with Me, My Shelf, and I for mailing purposes only. The winner is chosen randomly via Rafflecopter, and the winner will receive one finished copy of the book. No PO boxes, please. :)