Friday, September 7, 2012

Fresh Start September-Carmen Rodrigues Interview

Hello fellow readers! Today I'm thrilled to be bringing you an interview with Carmen Rodrigues, author of the new book 34 Pieces of You. The concept behind 34 Pieces of You is intriguing, and I can't wait to read it. Before we get to the interview though, lets learn a little more about 34 Pieces of You. 

34 Pieces of You

Published: September 4th 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 336

Add this book to your TBR list on Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.

There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

There's so many secrets, don't you just want to know what they all are? I know I do! If you're curious about the book and want to know even more, go to Carmen Rodrigues's website to read the first 36 pages of the novel.
 Now that we know more about the book, lets learn more about Carmen Rodrigues. Here's the interview:

34 Pieces of you deals with the difficult subject matter of an overdose, what was the most difficult part about writing this novel?

All of it, honestly. These characters live in a bleak reality, and in order to create that reality, I had to dive into that world for years and years. It was quite depressing, and, at times, left me feeling unhappy. The novel also required me to access complicated feelings and memories from my own childhood. Early readers have commented that these characters feel uncomfortably real. I suppose that’s because I can relate to their journeys more than I care to admit.

34 Pieces of You is a mystery novel but Not Anything is a romance, was it difficult writing a different genre?

I saw it as switching gears, rather than switching categories. Both novels are contemporary YA and deal heavily with loss and first love. 34 Pieces of You does possess a mysterious air but not in the Nancy Drew sense. It’s more a mystery surrounding the complexities of the human heart—how we struggle to survive the most heartbreaking experiences; how we struggle to connect to each other but find ourselves, more often than not, disconnected; and how, despite our best intentions, we continuously fail each other.

Not Anything is a much lighter read. You’ll actually laugh while reading that book, but you will not laugh while reading 34 Pieces of You. It was being in this continuously gloomy world that was the hardest part for me.

Is there any significance behind the number of clues that were left behind?

I would love to say that there is, but, really, the number of pieces mirrors the number of chapters in the book. It was really just a good setup for the story. 

Where did the inspiration for 34 Pieces of You come from?

The idea came to me during a game of what if. Basically, you come up with one scenario and ask yourself if that happened, what might follow. I've always been intrigued by toxic friendships, particularly those that occur among teens within a neighborhood. A decade or so earlier, I had read a news story about a teenage suicide pact--actually, there were quite a few suicide pacts back then, as if this had become a popular activity among depressed teens--and that story influenced my what if question, which was this: What if there were two best friends who overdosed together--accidental or not--and only one survived? What would happen then? What kind of guilt would that lead to? What would be the fallout for the rest of the kids in the neighborhood and the surrounding community?

 When the sun is shining in the sky and you’re not writing or working, where could one find you?

I live in L.A., so the sun is almost always shining! But if I’m not working, I’m on a walk around my neighborhood or on a hike in the hills nearby. If not that, I love sitting in front of the ocean with music floating through my headphones. That’s the place where I feel most connected to God and the rest of this amazing universe.

 Other than writing, what are some of your hobbies/passions?

I’m a huge fan of taking something old and making it new again. That something old may be a dresser that I distress or a discarded door that I turn into a headboard. Even beyond writing, I like seeing the possibilities in things.

I want to say a huge thank you to Carmen Rodrigues for participating in Fresh Start September  and allowing Daphne, Faye and I to bring you this interview.

But wait, there's more!

One lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of 34 Pieces of You which Carmen has so generously offered!
This giveaway is limited to US only. 
All you have to do is leave a comment on this interview, saying anything you'd like. Then click the rafflecopter button, and you're entered to win!
The giveaway will run until September 30th
The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond to their notification email, or another winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also don't forget our feature wide giveaway. Enter to win that below: (Just click on the Rafflecopter link and it will bring you straight to our international giveaways, I'm not sure why it won't show up.)

As a bonus part of  Fresh Start September, we are giving everyone a chance to win some prizes donated by our wonderful participants and ourselves! The prizes include:

  • 2 winners of Strange Chemistry ARC packs, each pack including a copy of Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings, The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke AND Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard (courtesy of Strange Chemistry)
  • 1 winner of an eBook of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris (courtesy of Entangled Publishing)
  • 1 winner of a hardover copy of 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (courtesy of the author)-US only Enter here
  • 3 winners of a book of your choice from any that has been featured in Fresh Start September (each courtesy of the hosts)

The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will run until the end of the event (30 September). Remember to follow the Twitter and Facebook pages of the prizes you want to win, for example, to be eligible to win the Strange Chemistry Prize, you must follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Brandy C said...

Awesome giveaway! Thanks so much!

Catie said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read this one and thanks for the giveaway!

TayteH said...

Sounds extremely sad, but yet mysterious. :D Can't wait to read it. :D Interview was great.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

This sounds interesting, I love the 34 chapters 34 clues concept.

Mythical Word said...

The book sounds great. It's already on my to-read list!

Unknown said...

Love the idea, I'm excited to read the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in this fun book! I also liked this interview.

~Jennifer~ said...

The cover of this book completely draws me in, and the subject matter is heavy but so interesting. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway! :D

Christina said...

Oh man, I did not know what this was about at all. I am now prepared to be incredibly depressed. I've been discovering a passion for the exceedingly depressing books in YA fiction, so this sounds just right for me.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

this book sounds really intense! thank you for the contest!

Natasha said...

I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the chance to win!

Unknown said...

I love reusing things for a new purpose but wish I was more creative about it! Thanks for the great giveaway! This book looks very interesting and I'll be adding it to my goodreads list!

Unknown said...

Great Interview! I'm so excited to read this book!

Ruth said...

I've heard good things about this book. I can't wait to read it!

Angie said...

I love the premise and the whole mystery thing in this book. I cannot wait to read this!

Jen said...

I have never heard of this book. LOVED the interview now i can't wait to read this book :)


Cyndee said...

What a interview! It makes me ready to read a copy! Thanks for this chance. I love the genre:)
Cyndee Thomas

Anonymous said...

I Want to Read this!!!!

Gabbie said...

Sounds great! Can't wait to read!

Katherina Barney said...

This book sounds REALLY (emotionally) intense!!

Would LOVE to be creative enough to creatively recreated things from things I've destroyed (like the jeans into a headboard) :)

Kayla E said...

awesome giveaway! you rock!

Wendi said...

thanks for the chance I would love to read this!