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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Tour Stop: IT'S A LITTLE HAYWIRE by Elle Strauss!

My good friend Elle Strauss is releasing her first middle grade book this week (If you haven't checked out her first YA, CLOCKWISE, you really should!) Read on to find out how you can read this book for absolutely FREE!

Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
 Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.

Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?

And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?
 Elle stopped by for a short interview:

Welcome! Can you tell me about your new book in 7 words or less.
friendship, homelessness, social issues, long lazy summers

What inspired the story?
It actually started years ago with a light dream where I heard a train whistle blowing, much like the ones I heard in my grandparents small town as a child. Except we weren't living near the tracks at that time.  It made me ask the question why would someone hear a whistle when there aren't any trains?

Has the process of writing this story been any different from your previous books? Can you tell us about the process?
Yes, this is my first middle grade. The voice of the main character, Owen True, was inspired by letters my eldest son had written to my parents when he was ten. My father, like Gramps in the book, likes to break out into song. He helped me to compile Charlie True's song list. My daughter did the illustrations, so it was great to work in collaboration on a project with her in this way.

What made you decide to including illustrations?
Most middle grade books have them. It's a Little Haywire has been compared in tone to Because of Winn Dixie (which thrills me--love that book) and many of   Kate DiCamillo's books did well with illustrations (yes, I'm a fangirl:)

How did you choose an illustrator?
Ha, ha. Well, I knew this girl and she owed me money. Just so happened she could draw. We bartered.

Do you have a playlist that goes with this book, and how did you choose the music?
My dad is a walking catalog of old tunes. When my parents were visiting over the holidays I made him tell me every time he thought of a new song. I made a list and picked the ones that worked.

Where can people find this book?
You can buy it here through Amazon

Can you tell us one thing you wish you’d known before self-publishing?
Probably that it takes up a lot more time than you think. You have to think of it like starting your own small business.

Do you intend to self-publish all your writing?
I don't know. I'm not opposed to traditional publishing, so I suppose if the right opportunity arose I'd consider it.

When can we expect another book from you? Anything you can tell us about that one?
My next book is the sequel to my YA time travel rom/com Clockwise, called CLOCKWISER in Apr/May. A companion novel will be available in June.

And remember how I told you at the beginning that you could read this book for free? It's only available free of charge today, so hurry over to Amazon to download your copy!
It's normally 2.99 but it will be FREE for Feb 22 and 23 only.

Elle Strauss writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She's a married mom of four, and lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for beaches and vineyards. She's fond of Lindt's sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather. Her Young Adult rom/com time-travel CLOCKWISE and contemporary/otherworldly Middle Grade IT'S A LITTLE HAYWIRE are now available on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interview! Will be getting this one...really enjoyed CLOCKWISE. Congrats Elle and continued success for rest of the year!