October 3, 2013

RECLAIMED Blog Tour: Interview with Sarah Guillory

Today on the blog I bring you my stop on the RECLAIMED blog tour. So sit back, relax and enjoy the insane number of questions Sarah Guillory so patiently and brilliantly answered for all of us.

Title: Reclaimed
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.

All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.

Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.

Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.

The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.

Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.

Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
Okay. Now you know what the book is about. Here are my questions and Sarah's answers.

Queen Ella Bee: A quick set of short answer questions just to get things started...
Full name. 
Favorite book.
Biggest pet peeve.

Sarah Guillory: 
Sarah Guillory. 
That’s like picking a favorite child! If I have to – Fahrenheit 451.
Dog-earing pages in a book.

QEB: For those readers who don't know what RECLAIMED is about, can you summarize RECLAIMED in 6 words (or less)? 

SG: Flawed, broken people seek way out.

QEB: I absolutely love the cover of RECLAIMED. What was your reaction the first time you saw it?

SG: My heart still skips a beat when I see it. The cover designer, Jenn Rush, actually posted this picture on Twitter, and I sort of had to catch my breath when I saw it. It was exactly the way I pictured Jenna. I contacted my editor immediately, who’d already seen the picture and thought the same thing, and all of a sudden, we had a cover.

QEB: As an English teacher, how do you balance teaching, writing and grading all of those papers?

SG: It’s not easy. I try (usually unsuccessfully) to leave work at work. My mother is a teacher, and my grandmother taught for over thirty years, and the piece of advice I often received was to try and separate my work and personal life. I think that is extra hard as a teacher, but many who don’t burn out easily. So I work very hard while I’m at school, then I get home and write. I try my best to stick to the schedule of writing from the time I get home until dinner. Being a teacher makes me a better writer though, I think. I get a good feel for dialogue, as I am listening to and talking with teens all day, and I have my finger on the pulse of my readers, so to speak.

QEB: How have your students responded to your novel? Did you get any input from them as you wrote?

SG: My students are the best support I could have. They’ve wanted to read my book well before it was book-shaped. I didn’t get any feedback or input from them, though I did have identical twins in my class while I was finishing the draft of Reclaimed, and I totally picked their brains, as well as stole an allergy.

I did have a former student read an early draft of Reclaimed. I taught Emily three years in a row and she was great in giving me feedback and encouragement.

QEB: If you could pick one character from RECLAIMED to step out of the book and become a real, live, breathing person, who would it be?

SG: I love all my characters, and while they may not breathe off the page, they feel very real to me. How am I supposed to pick just one?! I guess I would love to spend the day with Mops, Jenna’s grandmother. She cracks me up, and I’d love to sit at her kitchen table drinking sweet tea and listening to her stories.

QEB: Do you plan to publish any other novels - YA or other?

SG: I just finished revisions on a YA historical/contemporary novel that I’m very excited about. It’s set in Louisiana, where I live, and has romance and dark, twisty characters. I’m also getting ready to start back to work on a secret YA project. I wrote a third of it last summer, but revisions on Reclaimed and a new book put them on hold until now. The secret project is different from anything I’ve written before.

QEB: Do you have any writing habits or rituals? Things you MUST have or do when you sit down to write?

SG: I have to print the manuscript out by hand and revise in green ink. I usually revise wrapped up in a brown fleece blanket and sitting in the leather recliner in my office.

QEB: When you're not writing or teaching, what are your favorite things to do?

SG: I’m a runner. I started running about ten years ago, and I’ve run six marathons. I love long runs in the early mornings. I also knit. I love to read of course, take the dog on long walks, and spend as much time outside as possible.

QEB: And now a lightning round, just to close it out:
Mac or PC: PC
Coke or Pepsi: Coke
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla

QEB: Thanks so much to Sarah for coming on the blog today and answering all of my questions. I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and learned a bit more about this debut author. Don't forget, RECLAIMED comes out on October 15th!


Sarah Guillory is a YA author. In addition, she teaches sophomore English and loves that they pay her to fan girl over books and authors and to watch her students fall in love with the written word. Sarah lives in Louisiana with her husband and ridiculously spoiled bloodhound. RECLAIMED is her debut novel.

I hope you're all well acquainted with Sarah and properly excited for this book now. Y'know. As you should be. And if you have anymore questions for Sarah, leave them in the comments below!