Sunday, June 7, 2015

SST - Days Like This - Interview & Giveaway

Title: Days Like This
Author: Danielle Ellison
Release Date:
June 2, 2015

Goodreads Link:

Synopsis (GR):
Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.

Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother's disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.

Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn't involve Cassie Harlen.

When Cassie's mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn't know how he's going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.

Neither does Cassie. 


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In college. I’d always spent my time imagining, reading, writing stories and playing Barbies--but it never connected with me until I read a novel that made me want to write so others could feel like I did. So in college I took some writing classes starting end of sophomore year and I’ve never looked back.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m in grad school and I’m a nanny. I’m also at a bookstore where I coordinate a book festival and work in the store. So when I’m not working or writing, I like to go to the gym and eat good food and spend time with people I love. Sometimes I get to read or watch TV or I just sleep.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
They sort of just come to me. I’m not usually actively looking for a story when one finds me! I do have a list of ideas but I will probably never write any of them. Characters just live in my head and when they’re ready to share their story, they start yelling at me to write I do.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A country singer! I was going to live in Nashville and my grandpa was going to drive my tour bus around the world. :)

What inspired you to write the story?
I was standing in my kitchen in December, about to go to a Christmas party, and it was beautiful, very sunny, outside. And bam -- I heard the first line. “On days like this mom used to pull me out of school and drive us down the coast.” By the time the party came around a few hours later, I had most of the story figured out. I told my friend Jenny about it, and I was like “But I can’t write it right now! I’m on deadline!” and of course, I ignored that and did it anyway.

Who are your favorite authors?
Jennifer Donnelly, Cora Carmack, Rachel Harris, David Levithan, Marie Rutkoski, Courtney Summers, Laini Taylor, Jason Reynolds -- there are MANY.

What is your favorite book and why?
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly because it’s the book I read in college that changed my life. I actually met her last year at BEA and got to share with her how much that book meant to me -- and that was really glorious.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Hard copies! I usually read ebooks if it’s NA, but otherwise give me the real deal. Support indie bookstores!!!
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m not fully committed to anything -- grad student over here -- but the books I have opened/purchased/pre-ordered and are waiting to read next are: All the Rage by Courtney Summers, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, All Played Out by Cora Carmack, Flirting with Scandal by Chanel Cleeton and Love on the Ledge by Zoraida Cordova.

Obviously, I have an over-commitment problem. I just need a whole week to do nothing but read!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If there’s anything else in the whole world that you can do instead, anything that brings you joy, fills your passion and pokes at your brain in the middle of the night—do that instead. Follow your other passion(s).

I say that because writing is hard. So hard. Harder than you think you know. It’s uncertain, exhausting, this endless harrowing of self-doubt and second-guessing, subjective, critical, and it’s slower than molasses. If you have something else in your life that you can pursue and be fulfilled by, then do that instead. It will make you happier.

It’s when you don’t have anything else, when you know this is your path, that you don’t let any of the bad things change your opinion and you give it 120% because failure isn’t option. If you have a fall back plan, another idea of what you can do with your life, then I honestly believe you should pursue that. If writing is where you’re meant to be then you’ll come back to it.

About the Author:

Danielle Ellison spent most of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't

divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.

Danielle is the author of the YA books, Salt, Storm, and Follow Me Through Darkness. Days Like This is her first NA.

When she’s not writing, Danielle is probably  eating cookies, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

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