Jun 5, 2013

Holding On and Letting Go Blog Tour and Interview!

Holding On and Letting Go (The Ties That Bind Us, #1)Holding On and Letting Go

Author: Lucy Kelly

Release Date: March 2013

Tour Brought to you by: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

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Click Here to read my review on this book!
Is there a way to describe the ties that bind us together? What happens when one of those ties is unexpectedly severed? Can everything else remain the same? Will the other ties hold strong?

Two years after her little brother's death, sixteen year old Emerson Caulfield returns to a home that she spent the last two years missing. In theory, everything should be the same. Her best friend, Matt, still lives next door. Her house is in the exact same condition as they left it. The scenery and hallways haven't changed, yet for Emerson, everything is completely different. The place may be the same, but Emerson is most certainly not. She returns home hurt, angry, and miles away from the girl she once was.

The 60,000 word novel alternates between the perspectives of Emerson, who is sturggling to keep breathing on a daily basis, and Matt, who wants to have his old best friend back so badly that he is willing to overlook the fact that she has completely changed. Though their friendship and relationship is a major part of the story, it takes backseat to the unique bonds between siblings, what happens when your worst enemy is in fact yourself, and the hardships that come with growing up and changing.

1. What gave you the idea for the book?
I have always been interested in the bond between siblings.  I have one older brother whom I love and is probably one of my best friends.  Because there is a nine year age gap between the two of us, I often got asked if it was basically like being an only child.  Sometimes, people didn't bother asking.  They just told me I was essentially an only child.  My response was always, "No, I have one older brother.  Specifically that guy over there", and I would point to wherever my brother was.  Despite the age and gender gap, we had quite a bit in common: the same sense of sarcasm, the same fight to win, the same love of certain television shows, and the same willpower to stand up for ourselves and people who can't.  Despite the fact that he is now married and has two children and I am on the verge of getting married, there is still some unbreakable bond between the two of us.  He can still decipher what I'm saying even during an ugly cry.  He's had years to really hone that skill.  I once read the following quote by science writer Jeffrey Kluger, “Siblings are the only relatives, and perhaps the only people you’ll ever know, who are with you through the entire arc of your life. Your parents leave you too soon and your kids and spouse come along late, but your siblings know you when you are in your most inchoate form.”  I think what Kluger said is pretty accurate, and I think the importance of siblings and that relationship often gets glossed over in the YA world of literature.

2. What was the hardest or easiest part of the book to write?

The easiest part was actually writing it.  I couldn't stop once I started.  The hardest part is putting it out there.  While my life is nothing like any of the character's, there are definitely bits of me that slipped into the book at different points.  Essentially, it's like putting a piece of myself out there to be judged.  Sometimes I'll read a review and then want to argue with a piece of it, but I signed up for this part of the equation.  I like the book.  I can't make other people feel the same.

3. I see it says #1 in The Ties that Bind Us. Does that mean we can expect more on Emerson or are you going to be having a different group for next book? 

Though Emerson isn't going to be a narrator in the second book, she will still be one of the main characters.  The second book is senior year in Savannah's perspective.  There is a second narrator who the reader hasn't met yet.  As much as I enjoy writing in Emerson's voice because it's naturally the closest to my own, I think Savannah's perspective helps to give a fuller vision of the group.  For the last book, expect there to be about five narrators, and Emerson will be one of those.  The third book is going to take place three years after they graduate high school.  If the first book is about the ties between siblings, the second book is about the delicate tightrope we all walk known as "friendship".  We toss the word "friendship" around loosely, but friendships are fragile and take work like any other kind of relationship.

4. This book made me cry through most of it, were there any times in writing the book that you had tears as well?

Probably the same times you did!  I probably cried the most during the scene on Christmas day and the New Year's Eve scene.  Emerson finally let herself be vulnerable.  I don't think anyone likes being exposed, so writing scenes where her emotions peaked were tough for me.  

5. Is there anything else that you would like to say to my readers?

Thank you for reading and giving me the chance to do something I love to do.  I appreciate it more than I can put into words.  Finally, if you are struggling, please don't give up.  Asking for help isn't a weakness, and I promise that there are people who care about you.  Personally, in the past, I've been the biggest obstacle to my own happiness.  Why take the bright, sunny path when I can go down the dark, twisted one instead?  I'm kind of Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy.  Without a doubt, the best decision I ever made for myself was to allow myself to be happy which is sometimes easier said than done.  Give yourself the chance to be happy and go after your dreams.
About the Author:
I'm not really going to write a biography. Though I am supportive of the high schools and colleges I have attended, it's probably not actually the most interesting stuff about me. I'm going to do a list of five really random things instead for now.

1) I like making lists. It's weird, and I never actually scratch things off of the list.
2) I sing and dance in the car like a maniac.
3) For the first six years of my life, I truly believed a shark lived under my bed. I watched Jaws at too young of an age.

4) Without a doubt, I am a night person. I am enormously grumpy when first woken up in the morning.

5) When I was younger, I read almost every Nancy Drew book, both new and old. I had a notebook, and I would take notes to see if I could figure out who the "bad guy" was before Nancy did. We probably tied.

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