Author Chat with Margaret Peterson Haddix (The Summer of Broken Things), Plus Giveaway!

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Today we're excited to chat with Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of The Summer of Broken Things. Read on for more about Margaret and her book, plus a giveaway!

 

Meet Margaret Peterson Haddix!

 
 
 

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.

 
 
 
Meet The Summer of Broken Things!
 
 
From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.
 

A Chat with Margaret Peterson Haddix:

 
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
 
The first part of the idea came from a great but somewhat ill-fated trip to Spain with my family. We had flight delays of more than 24 hours both coming and going; the airlines lost my husband’s, daughter’s, and son’s luggage, and so the three of them spent the first night in Madrid picking through my suitcase figuring out if they could wear any of my clothes (I’m sworn to secrecy about whether the answer was yes or no); we made a lot of stupid mistakes due to jet lag and inadequate Spanish skills. Given a key labeled for the left-side apartment of the fourth floor, we discovered it instead fit into the right-side apartment door, and in our exhaustion we just went with it... Fortunately, our problems were more comedy than tragedy, though in some cases we only laughed afterward.
 
The second part of the idea—the inspiration for the secret Avery and Kayla find out about their families—came from a dream I had about two of my daughter’s friends and their mothers. The dream was one of those extremely vivid ones that seemed perfectly logical while I was in it, but made no sense whatsoever once I awakened. I didn’t really care, because I was thinking, “I’ve heard of other authors getting ideas from dreams, but it’s never happened to me before. But now it has! This explains everything!”
 
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
 
I have such a soft spot in my heart for Kayla. There are many ways in which she is similar to the person I was at 16, and any time I had to write a scene where she was going to be embarrassed or humiliated or hurt (i.e., most of the first two-thirds of the book) I wanted to throw myself protectively in front of her and scream at everyone else in the scene, “No! You don’t treat Kayla like that! I won’t allow it!”
 
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
 
The ideas arrived together. But this is one of the rare cases where the working title from the very beginning of the first draft also became the title that appears on the finished book.
 
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
 
I’m not sure it’s pride, exactly, but I can definitely pick out a scene that I feel most conveyed the mood that I was trying to depict. When I was researching the book and visited the 11-M memorial at the Atocha train station, I knew instantly that that room was going to play an important role in my story. It felt so sacred and profound to me. But it’s also a very stark place--literally an empty room—so there’s not much to describe. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to show why it became such an important place for Kayla. I have been very gratified that some of the readers who got advance copies of the book commented on the memorial. One just said, “Oh, that room...” And that was the perfect reaction, exactly what I wanted.

5. What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Everything! THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS is my 41st book, and I think this is my very favorite cover. I’m in awe of what an amazing job the designer, Lucy Ruth Cummins, did in symbolizing so many aspects of the book with one image. And it’s beautiful.

6. What was your favorite book in 2017?

I don’t keep track of what I read when, so it’s a little difficult to remember what I read in the first half of 2017 vs. the end of 2016. But my favorite YA book that I read in the second half of 2017 was FAR FROM THE TREE, by Robin Benway. I made the mistake of reading the last half of it on a plane—and in a middle seat—so it was a little embarrassing how much it made me cry.

My favorite non-YA book I read in 2017 was HOMEGOING, by Yaa Gyasi. It’s horrifying and amazing and profound.

7. Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

By far, it’s the scene(s) that begins with Avery’s dad driving off the road between the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen) and El Escorial. From that point through the next fifty pages or so, I cried as I was writing the first draft, and then cried during every single stage of revision after that, even when I was just proofreading the last version. Sometimes I was crying for Avery, sometimes I was crying for Kayla, and sometimes I was crying for the dad. And all of those times I was probably just crying for myself, for being human and helpless and inadequate and mortal. But I always cried.

8. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

For the first 20 years or so of my writing career, I would have said drafting. I love the feeling of discovery, and the sudden epiphanies. But revision is growing on me. More and more, I see how many epiphanies there are with revision, too. Maybe I’ve finally learned to be patient and wait for the ideas that are a little slower to blossom. 

 
 
 

The Summer of Broken Things

By: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Release Date: April 10, 2018

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 
One winner will receive a finished copy of The Summer of Broken Things (US only).
 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

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Comments 6

Dianna G. on Friday, 23 February 2018 19:59

As soon as I heard about this book, it went on my TBR. For years, I've been reading Among the Hidden with each round of 6th grade classes. MPH is a favorite author! Love the cover on this one, and intrigued by the summary. Would love to share this with my students.

0
As soon as I heard about this book, it went on my TBR. For years, I've been reading Among the Hidden with each round of 6th grade classes. MPH is a favorite author! Love the cover on this one, and intrigued by the summary. Would love to share this with my students.
Alyssa Annico on Wednesday, 07 March 2018 05:07

I love the flower petals on the cover and it sounds like a great read!

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I love the flower petals on the cover and it sounds like a great read!
Emily on Thursday, 08 March 2018 12:58

Love love love this cover

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Love love love this cover
Danielle Hammelef on Sunday, 18 March 2018 16:15

The cover is intriguing and almost like a controlled explosion. The synopsis sounds emotional and mysterious and I enjoy friendship and family stories.

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The cover is intriguing and almost like a controlled explosion. The synopsis sounds emotional and mysterious and I enjoy friendship and family stories.
Penny Olson on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 00:25

I love the cover. It is so creative. The story sounds really intriguing and mysterious.

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I love the cover. It is so creative. The story sounds really intriguing and mysterious.
Kelly G on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 19:11

The cover is really pretty and reminds me of summer. The synopsis sounds great!

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The cover is really pretty and reminds me of summer. The synopsis sounds great!

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