Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who's always nurtured Nora's talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expense-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to study history's most famous artists. The only catch: Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It's a no-brainer: Nora is in!
Nora's mother, however, is less than thrilled about the trip. Alice put herself through law school to give Nora the kind of financially stable life she never had growing up, and she worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter. Her opinions haven't gone unnoticed, either. Nora couldn't feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they've ever been. So, seconds after saying goodbye to Nora at the airport terminal, Alice calls out: "Wait! Stop! I'm coming with you!"
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
When I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to be a writer but had no idea how to actually make that happen. And so,not quite having a job yet, I decided to take advantage of my lack of responsibilities and travel for as long as I possibly could. With a friend from high school, I went to about eight countries. I know it’s so cliche to say, but it was such a lifechanging experience. It also didn’t hurt that my friend from high school was an art history major—she taught me so, so much.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Callum. I know, I know, he’s not perfect, but he’s actually based on my friend Rory who I met when I was traveling in London. I always have a soft spot for the cute literary boy, especially if he has an accent.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Oh, the novel. The title didn’t come until it was almost entirely finished.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I love the scene where Nora is alone in Paris and contemplating the type of person she wants to be. To me, that was the first scene where the audience gets to see her love of art, and her façade of “bratty teen” gets peeled away.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love how free Nora looks—her hand in the air is perfect. I also love the tiny sheep drawing.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki is next on my list, and I can’t wait to read it.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2016?
Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a memoir called CHOOSE YOUR OWN DISASTER that should be out next year!
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Alice. I really wanted her to be a nuanced, full character that didn’t come across as a child’s stereotype of their parent.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting. It’s harder, but more fun.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood. I will always fight for women’s health.
And We're Off
By: Dana Schwartz
Publishing Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill Publishing
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 15, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about May 24, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
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Blog Tour Schedule:
May 1 – Arctic Books – Book Look
May 2 – Once Upon a Twilight – Author Q&A
May 3 – Peace Love Books – Review
May 4 – The Young Folks – Author Guest Post
May 5 – A Page With A View – Like/Try/Why
May 8 – The Fandom – Author Guest Post
May 9 – Page Turners Blog – Excerpt
May 10 – The Hardcover Lover – Author Guest Post
May 11 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Favorite Quotes
May 12 – YA Book Central – Author Q&A