Today, I'm happy to be participating in the blog tour of Anywhere But Here by Tanya Lloyd Kyi! It just released on October 15th and sounds like it's one heck of a book. (She also happens to be a Canadian author which is awesome!) I was lucky enough to get to interview Tanya for the tour so check it out:
Ciara: Can you describe Cole in five words?
Tanya: Cole is (1) smart, (2) funny, (3) creative, (4) selfish, and (5) a bit of an idiot. But he's working on that last one, and he's slightly improved by the end of the book!
C: What do you love most about contemporary fiction?
T: I love when characters become so real that I know them better than I know the people next door. I love when I'm deep in a novel and find myself noticing real-world details the way an imaginary character would notice them. And I love finishing a book and feeling reluctant to let go of someone I've grown close to.
My favourite contemporary writers are masters of developing complicated and nuanced characters. They create people who are real enough to live on in my mind long after I've turned the last page.
C: What was the hardest part about writing Anywhere But Here?
T: To properly tell the stories of Cole and his friends and family, I needed an advanced degree in the art of weaving. While Cole's tale is definitely the dominant one in the book, my secondary characters kept developing lives and problems of their own. His best friend is dealing with his parents' relationship issues. Cole's dad is battling grief and alcohol. Even the school counsellor has a love affair going on! So I had to weave their lives into the background of the novel. At one stage in the writing process, I had a giant chart covered with multi-colored post-it notes to track the lives of different characters.
Sometimes, developments in secondary stories are just a sentence in a conversation. Or a scene glimpsed in the school hallway. But together, these little moments help create a fabric of overlapping lives. And since my book is set in a small town and it's about discovering the value of friends and community, I needed to tell these stories -- in a way that didn't overwhelm Cole's point of view.
Whew! It was even hard to explain the hardest part of writing this book!
C: Thank YOU Tanya for taking the time to answer my questions, and for the detailed answers!
Cole’s small town is a trap he’s determined to escape in this fresh and moving debut novel that balances loss with humor.
Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.
Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for including me in the blog tour!
- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)
Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Tanya Lloyd Kyi's Website