Welcome to DAY 1 of the HOLDING SMOKE Tour! Elle Cosimano is a fantastic author and an awesome woman that I'm sure you'll love. I had a chance to interview her to kick things off!
1. Describe HOLDING SMOKE in less than 10 words:
The Shawshank Redemption for teens meets If I Stay.
2. Without being too spoiler-y, what was your favorite scene to write?
I can’t share anything about my favorite scene. It would spoil everything. You’ll know it when you read it… when every loose thread in the story suddenly weaves together into something solid and twisty and intense. So instead, I’ll just say I loved writing the romantic elements of this story. It’s a challenge to write a love story when the love interests can’t touch each other, not because of family or societal obstacles, but because one isn’t corporeal and it can never be physically possible. The scenes between John and Pink are sweet and poignant and moving. There’s such a longing in them. Their connection transcends a physical relationship. Writing these scenes challenged me to explore the hearts and minds of my characters more deeply, in order to translate that yearning and tenderness to the page.
3. How will teens be able to relate to Smoke?
Smoke truly believes he is living the life he deserves – that he isn’t worthy of redemption. There’s such a hopelessness to his situation, because he believes his life is over and he’ll never overcome what he’s done, or what’s happened to him. He’s resigned himself to the labels society has put on him – worthless, criminal, killer. The teen years are the first years when most of us make our biggest formative choices, and often our biggest mistakes. These are often our first experiences being labeled and judged for those choices. And the aftermath of those choices sometimes feels damning in permanent and life-altering ways. I wanted to tell the story of a teen who realizes that he isn’t the sum of his circumstances and mistakes, and that he can change the direction of his life, even when everything feels hopeless.
4. Why do you write young adult?
I love stories of self-discovery. And the teen years are about unraveling the mystery of who we are, and making choices about who we want to be.
5. What do you have coming up next?
My next book, THE SUFFERING TREE, comes out in spring of 2017. It’s a YA mystery/thriller with a hearty helping of historical romance and a pinch of paranormal. Think Outlander meets Warm Bodies and you’re on the right track.
Favorite Drink: Coffee, cream, no sugar
Favorite Food: Stuffed jalapeños
Favorite Movie: Gross Pointe Blank
Favorite Song: This week? GHOSTS THAT WE KNEW by Mumford & Sons (it ties in closely with the themes of HOLDING SMOKE).
Favorite Book: Steve Hamilton’s THE LOCK ARTIST
John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.
But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.
Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.
ABOUT ELLE COSIMANO:
Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
3 Finished Copies of HOLDING SMOKE (US Only)a Rafflecopter giveaway