Author Chat with Tara Lynn Masih (My Real Name Is Hanna), Plus Giveaway!

3934660_20180910-183533_1

Today we're excited to chat with Tara Lynn Masih, author of My Real Name Is Hanna.  

Read on for more about Tara and her book plus a giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Tara Lynn Masih!

Tara Lynn Masih

Tara Lynn Masih is editor of two ForeWord Books of the Year, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. She is author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Where the Dog Star Never Glows, and Founding Series Editor for The Best Small Fictions annual anthology. My Real Name Is Hanna, her first novel, received a 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award. 

 

Website * Facebook 

 

 

 

Meet My Real Name Is Hanna!

Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray.

--

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler's army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in "free of Jews." Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele--and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits.


Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna's father disappears, suddenly it's up to Hanna to find him--and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.

Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit.


A 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award Book

 

Amazon * B & N Indiebound

 

 

 

~ Author Chat ~

 

 

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

A documentary titled No Place on Earth, about the Stermers and their family and friends, who hid underground in caves to avoid being killed by Nazis during World War II. It was riveting. Even my young son was greatly affected by the story. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and the next day, sat down and began a very rough draft. My family is fictional, but I did a lot of research over the years to find out anything I could about the area of Ukraine that they lived in and how they survived. Their story is incredibly inspirational, and I'm glad others will read about it and hopefully they will watch the film themselves.

 

YABC:  Who is your favorite character in the book?

Besides my main character, Hanna, my favorite character is Alla Petrovich, a Ukrainian neighbor who befriends Hanna. I liked watching their relationship unfold, and I think their message of crossing cultural barriers is needed now more than ever. Alla represented all the good that there is in human beings; she was sort of the light that fought the evil darkness that surrounded them.

 

YABC:  Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first, but it had a different title early on. I was using the working title The Witness Tree, because there's a tree in the novel that plays a big part in the family's survival. That's all I want to say about the tree, but my publisher rightly felt it didn't capture the humanity in the story, so we worked with the first line in the book. It took time for me to adjust, having called it The Witness Tree for many years, but now I love My Real Name Is Hanna.

 

YABC:   What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I don't think there is one scene in particular, but the section where they are in the cave is for me the most dramatic and was the most challenging to write. First, because I've never lived in a cave and had to really go deep into my imagination, despite having some biographical material from Esther Stermer, and second, because I wanted the writing to match the way that Hanna is spiraling downward.

 

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

That I can finish a novel! That I have to be very passionate about the subject in order to do so, or I lose interest.

 

YABC:  What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I love the entire cover. But I think what I like most is the feeling that the female figure is sort of trapped at the bottom of a cave, which is very dark, but there is this little bit of shining yellow-orange light, or hope, at the top.

 

YABC:   What would you say is your superpower?

Empathy. And reading is an important part of developing that superpower. I hope this book will increase your empathy toward the Other. I hope you will remember Hanna (and the other Holocaust victims) when you go through your own hard times, and that you will always fight for what is right, as Alla does. Standing up for your fellow classmates and neighbors can save lives.

 

YABC:  Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

Over time, I'll be donating a portion of my royalties to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in honor of the three Holocaust survivors who are mentioned in the book's dedication. We can't forget these stories. Behind the stories are real people, real lives lost. It's hard for our brains to take in millions. Sometimes we need to focus on one to understand the loss.

 

 

 

My Real Name Is Hanna

By: Tara Lynn Masih

Publisher: Mandel Vilar Press

Release Date: September 15th, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

Five winners will each receive a signed copy of My Real Name Is Hanna (Tara Lynn Masih) ~ (US Only)

 

 

 *Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Rate this blog entry:
Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview & Giveawa...
What's New In YA ~ September 11th, 2018

Related Posts

 

Comments 2

Renee Moore on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:35

Beautiful cover!

1
Beautiful cover!
Tara Lynn Masih on Sunday, 16 September 2018 17:41

Thanks so much! Designed by Sophie Appel.

0
Thanks so much! Designed by Sophie Appel.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Babysitter's Club: Kristy's Big Day
Kristy's mom is getting married, and Kristy is going to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Very Last Castle
A curious little girl watches the man who guards the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jack B. Ninja
Jack B. Ninja! Jack, be quick! Jack, jump over the...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Freak N Gorgeous
Everyone is ugly sometimes. ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Forest Queen
When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Kendall's Snow Fort (Scholastic Reader Level 2: American Girl: Wellie Wishers)
There's a storm coming! The other WellieWishers promise to help...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Little Girl Who Wanted to be Big
The internet’s “World’s Best Father," award-winning photographer Dave Engledow, follows...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Diamond and the Boy
Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Little Penguin Stays Awake
A charming companion to Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Merry Christmas, Little One
Christmas comes but once a year - Time...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hi-Five Animals
What's the best way to say hello to anyone you...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Three Little Superpigs
After defeating the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Superpigs...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twice Dead
Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon
In 1815, a 5-year-old girl searches for Utopia in a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Way I Used to Be
The main character Eden is raped by her brother's best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Babysitter's Club: Kristy's Big Day
 
4.0
"'The Baby-Sitter's Club: Kristy's Big Day' by Gale Galligan, based on the novel by Ann M. Martin, is an interesting..."
The Very Last Castle
 
5.0
"'The Very Last Castle' by Travis Jonker, pictures by Mark Pett, has a Willy Wonka feel to it. The book..."
Jack B. Ninja
 
3.5
"'Jack B. Ninja' by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Stephen Savage, is a rhyming story about Jack, a young ninja who..."
The Darkest Minds
 
4.0
""The Darkest Minds" is a YA dystopian that felt very similar to others out there- but the twist being a..."
Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
 
3.0
""Never Fade" continues the Darkest Minds series with what felt a bit like an intermediate book. Beginning after the end..."
The Darkest Legacy
 
4.0
""The Darkest Legacy" continues The Darkest Minds series after the resolutions of the trilogy. This time, we follow Suzume (Zu)...."
Exo
Exo
 
5.0
""Exo" is a really interesting YA sci-fi that follows a 17-year-old human a hundred years after Earth has been taken..."
Cross Fire
 
5.0
""Cross Fire" was a great sequel to Exo that wraps up all the major plotlines and possibilities. The zhree, an..."
Everything, Everything
 
3.0
""Everything, Everything" follows Madeline, who lives in a bubble- she has a rare disease called SCID, which means she is..."
Eleanor & Park
 
4.0
""Eleanor & Park" was an unexpected touching read for me. Eleanor is a chubby red-head and Park is a half-Asian..."
Warcross
 
5.0
""Warcross" begins a fantastic new YA series from Marie Lu. Fans of the Legend trilogy will rejoice in this new,..."
Freak N Gorgeous
 
4.0
"'Freak N Gorgeous' by Sebastian J. Plata provides an in-depth and telling look into the world of two teenagers who..."
The Forest Queen
 
3.3
"THE FOREST QUEEN by Betsy Cornwell caught my eye at first glance. The cover is beautiful and promises a tale..."
My Wish For You A Message for Every Girl and Girl at Heart: Lessons from My Six-Year-Old Daughter
 
4.0
"My wish for you is the quintessential girl power read. Although it seems to focus on empowering young girls..."
Kendall's Snow Fort (Scholastic Reader Level 2: American Girl: Wellie Wishers)
 
3.0
"Kendall’s snow fort is a feel-good lesson learning wintery mix of fun. Essential for slightly more advanced readers, Kendall’s..."
The Little Girl Who Wanted to be Big
 
5.0
"Dave Engledow does it again with THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WANTED TO BE BIG. All the little girl wants to..."
The Diamond and the Boy
 
4.3
"Told in alternation POVs, THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY tells the story of how the diamond is created and the..."
Little Penguin Stays Awake
 
5.0
"All Little Penguin wants to do his fly like all of the other birds. His only hope is wishing on..."
Merry Christmas, Little One
 
5.0
"MERRY CHRISTMAS, LITTLE ONE is a fun, interactive story about Christmas time and snowmen. "Christmas comes but once a year..."
Hi-Five Animals
 
5.0
"HI-FIVE ANIMALS is exactly as it sounds. You Hi-Five all of the animals! The illustrations are adorable with close up..."