Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: The Special Ones (Em Bailey)
Em Bailey is an Australian living in Germany where, despite having been a vegetarian for many years, she now enjoys the occasional Wurst. Em used to be a new-media designer for a children’s television production house and is now a full-time author. Shift is her first YA novel, although she has written a number of books for children under the name Meredith Badger.
When she’s not writing, Em is generally getting lost, losing stuff, reading, hanging out with her friends and family, and listening to Radiolab podcasts. Like Olive, she doesn’t like leggings that look like jeans, but has no problem with tofu schnitzels.
Meet The Special Ones!
Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I guess it would be Esther, because she is the character I spent the most time with and who I came to understand the most. She’s quite flawed and has made some bad decisions, although she believed them to be good when she made them. She’s idealistic but she’s also prepared to acknowledge her own weaknesses and I like people who can do this. I must admit to having a sneaking soft spot for Lucille however, although everyone else seems to hate her.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The idea came first, but I had came up with the title fairly early on too. This is unusual for me – usually I spend ages agonizing over the title, but this one came early and stuck.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I really, really love the cover of the US edition of The Special Ones because it does such a brilliant job of depicting the themes of my book. There’s the slightly spooky-looking figure of the girl with her candle and then there’s the hint of static over the top of the image – just enough to suggest that she is being viewed through a surveillance camera. It’s perfect!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?
I am a big fan of the Norwegian author; Karl Ove Knausgård. He wrote a six part autobiography in Norwegian and the final installment is due to be published in English this year. I’m dying to read it. His books are hilarious and heart-breaking and incredibly honest.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m currently planning a new YA novel. It’s in the very early stages so I don’t want to say too much, but I it looks like it’s going to have a spooky, ghostly theme to it and lots of dark, family secrets.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Definitely the antagonist. He is a deeply unpleasant character and the sections which were written from his perspective were very difficult. I had to keep reminding myself not to think like an ‘ordinary’ person as I wrote them. It’s very uncomfortable to force yourself under the skin of someone horrible. My whole body would feel tense after a writing session and it was always such a relief to swap back into the perspective of one of the other characters.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Hmm, I don’t know if ‘enjoy’ is the word I’d use with either of those options! Actually, that’s not quite true. Coming up with an idea, and the way one narrative thread can sometimes trigger a whole bunch of other interesting narrative threads can be very exciting. It is almost like the story already exists and you are just uncovering it. But revising has its fun moments too – so long as it’s not huge structural revising (which can be soul-destroying!). Little tweaks, removing things that aren’t necessary and polishing a sentence until it shines can be very satisfying.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
This is such a boring superpower, but I think mine is perseverance. I’ve never been one of those authors who can nail something on the first or second draft (I really wish I were though!). It takes many, many revisions to get something right, but luckily I seem to be able to push through the tough times. I’m really lucky to have great editors to work with me through the process. But if I could choose a superpower I’d pick flight. Because that’s the best one, right?
The Special Ones
By: Em Bailey
Publishing Date: July 18th, 2017
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Three winners will receive a copy of The Special Ones (Em Bailey) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
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This sounds like a very chilling story! I'm already worried for the kids in this "reality" show. The cover is even more spooky.
I love the cover. What a great superpower to have. Perseverance is a great trait to have especially as a writer. I know as I write reviews for novels that I read, I feel that sometimes I struggle to say exactly what I want to say. Rewriting and erasing gets exhausting and frustrating. As an author, with your words reaching out to potential readers, perseverance is a great strength!!