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Sunday, 25 May 2014

THE A-WORD BLOG TOUR -- with special guest, author Joy Preble!

<-- click to see the other stops...

Today is the day -- the final day of Soho Press's THE A-WORD blog tour!

Ain't that cover gorgeous? Yes, I said "ain't". Just because I'm British doesn't mean I can't channel my inner Texan every once in awhile.

For those of you who don't know, THE A-WORD is the sequel to Joy Preble's THE SWEET DEAD LIFE: a super-fun novel on the middle grade/young adult borderline that tells the story of sassy 14-year-old Texas gal Jenna, her stoner angel brother Casey and the family mystery that surrounds them. Want to hear more? Of course you do.

Now, however, we are celebrating TSDL's new baby sister, THE A-WORD, and who better to help us do that than the angel herself, Joy Preble!

 Joy Preble is the author of the popular and highly acclaimed Dreaming Anastasia series as well as The Sweet Dead Life, the prequel to The A-Word. A former English teacher, Joy grew up in Chicago and is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is now a full-time writer and lives with her family in Texas, where she has learned to say "y'all" without any hint of irony.

Let's give her a warm welcome:

One of the best and most humbling things about being an author is getting to know my fans – both virtually on line or through emails as well as in person when I tour or go to conventions and conferences.
And Hannah, who is hosting this stop of THE A-WORD tour, has been one of the most awesome fans ever! I swear that everyone in the UK who has read my DREAMING ANASTASIA series has done so because Hannah has put it in their hands! And I have recently promised her that Emma and Charlie in the forthcoming IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS (Soho Press, 2016) as well as Leo and Max in next year’s FINDING PARIS (Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins, 4/21/15) will definitely please her as much as the Anne/Ethan romance in DREAMING and its sequels!
When you write romance, you really do hope that your readers find the characters as enticing as you do. That they’re going to root for them and hope for them and dream for them and angst over the complications that keep them from being together and rejoice when they finally find each other at last!
Anne and Ethan (and the above mentioned Emma and Charlie and Leo and Max) are bit more romantically traditional in this sense. They meet. Complications ensue. And we worry about whether they’ll get their HEA or how damaged they’ll be by the time they make it to that point. By the time Anne and Ethan are finally and really and truly together at the end of ANASTASIA FOREVER, a lot of loss has occurred. In Ethan’s case, he’s even partially lost his sight, which I think to some extent was my writer’s answer to his endless myopic blindness to the truth. And maybe an answer to those who said that I seemed to like Ethan’s blue eyes a bit too much! Hah!
For Jenna it’s a bit different, because the bigger, dramatic plot arcs belong to other characters. It’s Casey and Amber and Bo in THE A-WORD who are the angels with a mission to accomplish and discover. Jenna’s got a huge role in things, too, but it’s yet to come. (Which readers will either get to read or not. Right now we’ve planned only 2 books in this series. So if you want more Jenna and Ryan you guys are going to have to spread the word!)
But there is Jenna pursuing Ryan anyway and Ryan pursuing Jenna. I really wanted these two to have a totally sweet and very mutual love that developed while both of them were increasingly thrust into the larger mystery of Amber’s past and Casey’s yet-to-be-discovered purpose on earth and Bo’s craziness, plus the huge world-controlling cartel of evil.
So it was a true pleasure to write Ryan baking cupcakes and telling Jenna his life plans and Jenna – not the girliest of girls—pondering outfit choices and Homecoming mums and reacting to Ryan’s kisses. And also his cologne, which is a sweet and hopefully amusing running gag for the two of them.  (Let me interject here that if anyone who as ever as I have, taught 9th graders, totally knows their affection for copious amounts of cologne.)

Anyway, Hannah—and the rest of you! Enjoy THE A-WORD! Let me know what you think of this installment of Jenna’s journey. Let me know what you think of the Jenna/Ryan romance. Here’s to a good love story!

Oh, stop it y'all. I'm flattered.

So there you have it, folks! The DREAMING ANASTASIA trilogy, mentioned above, is home to my all-time favourite book character, the beautiful Ethan, and the series remains one of my absolute favourite stories of all time. The historical fic/YA/fantasy/romance lover in you can find a more in-depth praise post here. But for now, I hope you'll all support this lovely lady and treat yourselves to a hilarious paranormal mystery that somehow manages to be lighthearted and heart-warming at the same time. Let's hear it for THE A-WORD!

I'm the final stop on this blog tour, but you can find the entire ten days of fun here on the Soho Press website! Go say hi for me :)

Thanks for gracing Perfect Companions Have Pages and Prose with your presence, Ms. Preble. To the rest of you, I hope you'll allow THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and THE A-WORD to grace your shelves! 

Until next time!