5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, July 31, 2015.
Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) Not After Everything is a great title! Who came up with it? Was it the original title or did it change along the way?
Ugh, the titling of this book was a whole big thing, but ultimately totally worth it. The end result was a true team effort. It all started with my original title: A Necessary End, which is from a Shakespeare quote that the smarty-pants main character uses. But I never quite felt like it was the right choice, so when I signed with my agent we brainstormed until we landed on The End of the Beginning, which was the title used at the time of the sale. That stuck for a while, until deeper into my first round of edits. This was right around the time my acquiring editor moved to Australia and I was placed into the hands of my awesome new editor.
Between my agent, my editor, my acquiring editor, and me, we had a list of 245 titles! This is not an exaggeration! I still have the list. There were song lyrics, song titles, quotes from various sources, and finally lines pulled directly from the book. Not After Everything was a total throw away line at the beginning of the book, but when we pulled it out, the clouds parted and a chorus of angels sang a gorgeous major chord. I think there might have been harp music, too. Who can say? I just know it was quite a journey, but in the end I’m thrilled we took the time to find the perfect title.
2) If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?
Well, first of all there would definitely be a panel of expert psychiatrists and psychologists who have extensive experience with teenagers. There’d be a very serious discussion about how suicides affect the people left behind, and dealing with grief as a teenager. Then the topic would veer into how to deal with abusive, alcoholic parents. Ultimately the show would end on a positive note. Something to the extent of “it gets better.” And then EVERYONE GETS A PUPPY! You get a puppy and you get a puppy and you get a puppy . . .
3) Thinking back to the way beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
How to take criticism! I joined a critique group after I finished my first manuscript and I’m pretty sure it saved my life. It’s perfect practice for when you’re critiqued by agents and editors. If I hadn’t had those years to learn to not take the criticism personally, I don’t know how I would have reacted when I got my first agent rejection or even my first edit letter. Since I had a supportive critique group that made me feel safe enough to put my writing out there and provided helpful critiques, I learned to embrace it. Usually we’re too close to our own writing and we don’t see the issues, but if someone points them out and you figure out a way to incorporate their notes into your rewrite, the reward is immeasurable.
And patience!!! Publishing is a big ol’ waiting game. You don’t have a choice but to be patient. If you were not a patient person before getting published, you will be forced into becoming one.
4) What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing I’m busy being a casting director for film and television. I’ve been in casting for fifteen years and I’ve had the pleasure to work on some amazing projects including Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Big Love, Bruce Almighty, My Name is Earl, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and Vampire Academy. The most rewarding part of my job is finding new talent. There’s just nothing better than being the person who gets an actor their first job.
5) If you could have one super power what would it be?
I wish I could read super fast or in my sleep or something. Basically I’d like to be able to keep up with my TBR pile. Either that or the power to collect everyone else’s powers. Remember Peter Patrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) and Syler (Zachary Quinto) in Heroes? Then I’d have ALL THE POWERS! World domination would be at my fingertips! Bwahahahahaha.
About the author:
Michelle Levy hails from Denver, Colorado, and now lives in Los Angeles, California, where she works as a casting director for film and television. She has worked on projects such as Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Bruce Almighty, Vampire Academy, and many more. Not After Everything is her debut novel. Visit Michelle online at MichelleLevyBooks.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, Jul 31, 2015.
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