Author Of The Week: Chat with Paula Stokes (Hidden Pieces), Plus Giveaway!!
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Paula Stokes , YABC's Author of the Week!!
Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious, Ferocious, and This is How it Happened. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com [authorpaulastokes.com] or on Twitter and Instagram as @pstokesbooks.
Meet Hidden Pieces!
Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move ... is murder.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The inspiration probably came from a few different places, including reading other thrillers about people being blackmailed/threatened and trying to decide in my brain what I would do in that position, as well as spending time at the Oregon Coast, where the book is set. The beach, in winter, is actually a really atmospheric setting for a dark and twisty book and I love how the location adds to the overall creepy feel of the story.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The book definitely came first. I wrote this with the working title of CHOOSE, and the original draft was darker and more shocking in the sense of the choices the main character was forced to make. During the writing and revision process, some of the choices got scaled back to feel more realistic within the context of the characters and their motivations. Because a fire is integral to the plot, I then considered a lot of titles that used the words "fire" or "ashes" before finally settling on HIDDEN PIECES, a title that revealed itself during revision when I changed the first page of the book. I feel like the best titles reveal themselves during the writing process, though I have definitely started with a title before, as in the case of LIARS, INC.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I am proud of the scenes that show Embry's low-income status and how it plays into her thoughts across almost all aspects of her life. I know many of the people in the YA community are comfortably middle-class, but I am not and never have been, aside from a few months when I worked a high-paying job that I absolutely hated. A lot of the things Embry and her mom deal with when it comes to money--can we afford to go out to eat, can we afford to fix the furnace, how are we going to pay these medical bills--are things my loved ones and or I have dealt with personally and it means a lot to me to be able to put them in a story where other people like me might feel represented. I am also proud of scenes featuring Embry and a local homeless person that come later in the book, because I volunteer with the homeless and I think they are often unfairly stereotyped in books and movies.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now ?
I learned that there are no guarantees, that it never really gets easier, that I have to write for myself and because I love to write, because most of the "life changes" I dreamed about as a pre-published writer haven't happened. But that's okay, because I do love to write and no low sales figures or negative reviews are ever going to take that love away from me. We have very little power as writers, but that's one power I do have. No one else can ever tell me I have to quit writing.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
It's MATTE! I don't know why I am obsessed with matte covers, I just am :) But I also really like the cover art too. I love the girl they picked, because she's a really good representation of Embry, and I love how the designer incorporated both puzzle pieces to play off the title and fire/burning to incorporate in the fire storyline. Oh and it's small and random, but I love the title font. I am not a visual artist at all, and it always amazes me to see disparate elements come together to create such a powerful final image. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this cover does a great job of conveying the tone of the novel.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018-2019?
I have a rule where I don't read a series until all the books have released, so once I get my hands on the new Laini Taylor and the new Marie Lu, I can dig into two books I've had on my shelf for a while. Also #MurderTrending! I love the way Gretchen McNeil writes and I have pre-ordered her latest and eagerly await its arrival :)
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2017-2018?
I've spent most of the year reading adult thrillers, but I'm going to give a shout out to THE WICKED DEEP. Shea Ernshaw's YA debut about the spirits of three witches who manifest every year in the teen girls of a small town and go on a killing spree was the perfect blend of high-action plot and evocative prose.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I am not under contract at the moment, but I’ve penned two more complete novels—one a heartfelt YA story of a Type A overachiever struggling with the aftermath of a sudden illness, the other an adult murder mystery. I’m also working on a YA adventure thriller set across the wilds of Iceland. It's highly unlikely I'll have a book out in 2019 unless I decide to self-publish something, but my goal is to have four finished manuscripts out on submission by early next year so that I can hopefully release at least one book in 2020. Stay tuned :)
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
I just want to say thank you to anyone who has reviewed one of my books, or even just taken the time to read one. I know how many different things compete for our time and attention these days, and sometimes it amazes me that people still read at all, especially when the internet means there are a thousand other things we could be doing, most of which don't cost additional money. But I know I still love to read and will never give it up. So thank you to all the like-minded readers out there for making it possible for authors to live their dreams :)
By: Paula Stokes
Release Date: August 28th, 2018
One winner will recieve their choice of any Paula Stokes book ~ (International Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Love this cover .. It adds to the thriller aspect of the synopsis! Definitely my type of book and sounds like it can be an amazing movie adaption.
I am in love with this cover especially after reading the blurb and the interview with the author. The way she describes it coming together even better than she could have imagined says to me that it is right on point for the storyline! I love the puzzle pieces and the whole vibe the cover gives off.