1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and you newest release, UNRAVELING.
Unraveling is about Janelle Tenner. Two days before the first day of her junior year, she gets hit by a car and dies. Only then she wakes up and vaguely recognizes a boy who guys to her high school. It's Ben Michaels, a guy she's never really talked to. Despite all logic, she's sure he's somehow brought her back to life.
Janelle's dad is an FBI agent working on a tough case. People are dying of radiation poisoning and they've found and unidentified explosive device counting down to something that could be the end of the world.
And the more Janelle learns about Ben and her father's case, the more she thinks they're connected.
I used to live in San Diego, where the book is set. I was a high school teacher there for several years and some of my students are the best people I've ever met. Now I live in New York and read and write a lot.
2. What was it like for you when you found out UNRAVELING was going to be published?
I was incredibly shocked. I've always written a lot and when I was in high school I really wanted to be an author, but after one terrible writing conference I decided that maybe publishing wasn't for me. So I continued to write, but just for me because it was something I enjoyed. When I moved to NY, a friend of mine convinced me to join a writing group with him, and I shared the beginning of Unraveling with the group. They loved it and my friend encouraged me to show it to Janet Reid.
Janet became my agent, submitted the book, and sold it, all in less than a week. So for weeks afterwards, I felt like I was walking around in a daze. I was just so grateful that I'd written something that I loved and other people loved it too.
3. Lately it seems books are being picked up for TV series, or movies, if UNRAVELING were to be optioned for either, who would you cast as Ben and Janelle?
I absolutely adored Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit--she was so amazing. I think she would make a great Janelle.
Ben is much tougher for me to cast, mostly because I'm just not familiar with many teen actors. I always picture him to look a little like James Franco from his Freaks and Geeks days back in the late 90s. But if anyone has a better suggestion, I'm all for it.
4. How did you come up with the idea for UNRAVELING?
The short answer is I was a little heartbroken. My boyfriend and I were doing long distance and it was tough, and we'd just had an argument. I was feeling a little dramatic about how it wasn't fair that I loved someone who lived in a different city, and that got me thinking about characters who fall in love but are from different worlds.
At the same time, I really wanted to read a YA book that had some small science fiction elements and had some kind of thriller aspect. So I started brainstorming and threw all my energy into the book so I wouldn't worry about whether the boyfriend and I would stay together (we did :) and Unraveling was the result.
5. If you can pick ONE song that can describe Janelle's life, what song would that be?
"We Are Broken" by Paramore. It was definitely a big inspiration for me while I was writing both Unraveling and the sequel.
6. Can you tell us if there is going to be a part two?
There is! It'll be out some time in 2013.
The next question is if it is a series :-)
7. How many books can we expect?
Right now, at least two. Unraveling sold in a three book deal so I'm doing a third book. I'm just not sure yet if it will be a third book about Janelle and Ben or something new.
8. What are you working on now?
I'm actually working on a couple short stories in the world on Unraveling. They're from Ben's POV and they take place before, during, and after the novel.
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Elizabeth Norris is giving away a SIGNED COPY of Unraveling + some swag to one lucky visitor! All you have to do is following the rafflecopter below.
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
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Wednesday 4/25: My Five Monkeys
Thursday 4/26: Good Choice Reading
Friday 4/27: Mindy Ruiz
Monday 4/30: Literary ExplorationThursday 5/3: Shortie Says