Friday, November 30, 2012

Q&A With Author Daisy Whitney + Giveaway


Today I would like to welcome the fabulous author Daisy Whitney to the blog for an interview. It just so happens that it's your lucky day because Daisy spills a few of her writing secrets with us as well as offering a copy of both of her novels, THE MOCKINGBIRDS and THE RIVALS donated by the fantastic folks at Little Brown.


Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.


When Alex Patrick was assaulted by another student last year, her elite boarding school wouldn't do anything about it. This year Alex is head of the Mockingbirds, a secret society of students who police and protect the student body. While she desperately wants to live up to the legacy that's been given to her, she's now dealing with a case unlike any the Mockingbirds have seen before.

It isn't rape. It isn't bullying. It isn't hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug ring has sprung up, and students are using the drugs to cheat. But how do you try a case with no obvious victim? Especially when the facts don't add up, and each new clue drives a wedge between Alex and the people she loves most: her friends, her boyfriend, and her fellow Mockingbirds.

As Alex unravels the layers of deceit within the school, the administration, and even the student body the Mockingbirds protect, her struggle to navigate the murky waters of vigilante justice may reveal more about herself than she ever expected.


-What inspired you to become a writer?

My desire not to leave the house each day. That, and I really like making stuff up, and controlling the lives of imaginary people!


-How long did it take you to write THE RIVALS? During that time did you come across any blocks/times that you couldn’t write?

I wrote the first draft in two months, then revised it many, many times over the next six months. As for blocks, I don't believe in writer's block! You put your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys!


-What inspired you to write THE RIVALS? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?

My publisher want a sequel to THE MOCKINGBIRDS! That, and I felt there were many unanswered questions about a student-run justice group that I wanted to delve into, and I also wanted to tackle a "case" that raised all sorts of shade of gray for the Mockingbirds, as the case in THE RIVALS does.


--What is it that you’re exploring in THE RIVALS?

The story looks at when vigilante justice works and when it doesn't, the responsibilities we do and don't have to police and protect each other, when to take a stand and when not to, and how to make choices you can live with.


--Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

I always have a soft spot for Martin, Alex's boyfriend. And for Jones, her good musician friend. And I particularly like Theo, a new character introduced in this book because I totally feel for him and his situation, as readers will learn.


--What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

What's the cutest thing your dog did today? Funny you should ask! It was probably when she staged an elaborate ruse to try to trick me into letting her eat a bone inside the house by planting it at one of my back doors, but then asking to be let in the other one.


--Which authors have been most influential to your own writing?

Gayle Forman, Emily Giffin, Normal Maclean, John Knowles, Robert Cormier, Harper Lee


--If you weren't writing, what would you want to be doing for a living? What are some of your other passions in life?

I'd really like to be a Broadway star, but alas, I can't sing, dance or act.


--Tell us about the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.



The biggest challenges always come during revisions when you have to go deep into the story and the characters and ensure everything that happens feels truly authentic. It's hard, but so rewarding.


--Please list seven random likes.

I like shoes, dogs, chocolate chip cookies, sparkly things, rings, necklaces, and caramel


--Is there anything that you’re working on that we need to be looking out for?


Yes! I have a standalone novel called WHEN YOU WERE HERE that Little Brown will publish in Spring 2013. I'm super excited about it -- it's about big loss and big love.





By day, Daisy Whitney is a new media producer, reporter and on-air host. At night, she writes novels for teens and is the author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and its sequel THE RIVALS (Little, Brown). Her third novel WHEN YOU WERE HERE releases in Spring 2013 (Little, Brown), and her fourth novel STARRY NIGHTS (Bloomsbury) hits shelves in Fall 2013. When Daisy's not inventing fictional high school worlds, she can be found somewhere north of San Francisco walking her adorable dog, watching online TV with her fabulous husband or playing with her fantastic kids.  A graduate of Brown University, she believes in shoes, chocolate chip cookies and karma.  You can follow her writing blog and new media adventures at DaisyWhitney.com.



Thank you very much for your time, Daisy and thank you for visiting with us!



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