Here today to celebrate the release of her debut novel Tell Me A Secret is Holly Cupala, stopping by as part of her promotional blog tour. This is a very emotional, powerful read with a strong premise and brilliant characters and writing. If you haven't picked this one up yet, I definitely recommend it! For today's stop, Holly's been gracious enough to answer a few questions!
If you found yourself in Rand's situation in high school, how do you think your parents would have reacted?
It would have been a very difficult thing for any family in my town. People can be so harsh, especially when it’s someone else’s problem. But I think my parents would have risen to the occasion—as Miranda’s parents do to some degree, even though they must overcome grief as well as their own baggage. I’m very proud of the way my parents have come through adversities.
What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of developing Rand’s pregnancy?
In my original conception of the story—pun not intended!—the outcome of Miranda’s pregnancy was going to be quite different, and far more tragic. But when I got to that part, I couldn’t write it. Part of the inspiration for the novel was a tragic event of my own, but Miranda’s story was meant to take a different turn. Miranda would find hope and redemption, despite the loss of her sister and her suffocating family circumstances. You will have to read the book to find out what happens!
Rand has a high affinity in her art for labyrinths—what was your motivation for choosing this theme as opposed to something else?
The labyrinths came intuitively for the story of an artistic girl making sense of her past and present, with just enough light for her next step. But I have always been fascinated by labyrinth literature. Some of my favorite authors are Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges, whose writings have a kind of labyrinth twistiness to them. I love symbols and metaphors (in fact, I had to cut a bunch because there were too many!). I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get labyrinths out of my head for the next book (STREET CREED, Fall 2011), but then a whole new metaphor system arose for that one…hint: armor and power. Very fun to write!
If you could pair Rand with any character from any book, what would be your pick?
Hmmm…who would Rand like? Kartik from A Great and Terrible Beauty? (No wait, that’s me.) I always imagine Kartik to look like my devastatingly handsome Indian husband. In fact, Kamran, who is Persian, kind of looks like him, too…
Character-wise, I think she’d maybe like Owen from Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen, or Sebastian from Deb Caletti’s The Nature of Jade. Or Creed, from STREET CREED! Swoon. I can’t wait for you to read about him.
What is the most fearless thing you've done?
Besides write a bare-your-soul book? Hmm. I cliff-jumped 40 feet one time. I learned to overcome crippling shyness (yes, I know, seems completely unbelievable now). I’ve found the hope in hard times. I’ve sung for YouTube! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NApll2FHjLY)
What is the most private thing you're willing to share?
The journey Miranda takes, from grief to hope, very much paralleled mine as I was writing the book. The story arose from such a very personal place—it’s astonishing and wonderful and frightening to see it go out in the world and strike a chord with readers such as yourself. It continues to amaze me!
What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
Lemon bar. Sweet and sour, with a irresistible, gooey crunch. ;-)
Thank you Holly and congrats on a fantastic release!
Tell me a secret, and I'll tell you one...
In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.
Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.
In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her future.
You can also get a two chapter preview of the book here. Make sure to keep following the tour tomorrow at Marjolein Book Blog, and continue to get chances to win prizes from Holly! You can also find out more about this fantastic debut author here.
TELL ME A SECRET Tour Contest Entry Rules
• Leave comments at any official tour stop or Holly’s blog (www.hollycupala.com) throughout the tour! Each comment counts as an entry (one comment per post*).
• Tweet about the tour (@hollycupala) and tell us what you think!
• Post about the tour, then leave a comment at my blog with a link.
Each week's prizes will be announced at Holly’s blog the following week - check back to see if you've won and contact us at the contact link at www.hollycupala.com (we will hold prizes for 2 weeks).
* Comment calculation: for instance, during week one you can comment once at every official stop, and once on any of my posts for that week to be entered in that week's prize drawing.