Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Post: Nova Ren Suma (17 & Gone)

Out last week is one of my favorite books so far this year, by an insanely talented author: 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. This book is mindblowing, breathtaking, and painful, with a stunning execution. And to celebrate the book's release, I've got Nova stopping in today with a guest post, with the next photo she used as inspiration and motivation during the writing of this book.

Last year, when I was deep into writing 17 & Gone, I discovered an exciting new distraction and way to collect images that fascinated me: Pinterest. What started off as maybe one more thing to keep me from writing turned into a great source of inspiration, and my 17 & Gone inspiration board was born. I’d often write with the images up on my screen, staring at them in pauses between paragraphs. On each stop on this blog tour I’m highlighting one of the photos that spoke to me and helped me find my way through the darkness of writing this book.

Source: flickr.com via Nova on Pinterest

Today’s photo—one that sends a jolting shiver down my spine whenever I look closely at it—is by one of my favorite photographers, Brooke Shaden. Her work is hypnotic and magical all at once, and in this particular image what strikes me the most is the perfect little details: the face pressed to the other side of the wall and protruding, the two thighs and knees, the five fingertips. And of course the single arm that’s gotten through.

It’s a hallucination like one my narrator, Lauren, might have had:

I had to leave this house. I knew how hot the shadowy hands would be, from the fire, how their grip would singe through my flannel shirt and my cotton shirt beneath it and even the shirt beneath that, to what’s left, which was my skin.

Once they touch your skin, you’re theirs.  —from 17 & Gone, page 223
This is how it feels to be Lauren so much of the time, this image, this sense of someone on the other side of the wall forcing their way inside. And at the same time, that’s her, too, caught in walls she can’t dig her way out of, trying to explain what she sees and what she knows, and it’s like no one on the other side can hear her enough to believe her.

For spotlights on more images from my 17 & Gone inspiration board on Pinterest, keep following this blog tour!

Monday, 3/18: Mundie Moms
Tuesday, 3/19: Confessions of a Readaholic
Wednesday, 3/20: The Compulsive Reader
Thursday, 3/21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf
Friday, 3/22: Anna Reads

Monday, 3/25: The Story Siren
Tuesday, 3/26: Here!
Wednesday, 3/27: Radiant Reads
Thursday, 3/28: Presenting Lenore
Friday, 3/29: Book Chic

Book Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment