Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Buzzin' Tuesday

Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison. For the next four Tuesday's I'm going to be buzzin' about Angela's books. Included will be interview questions and book reviews for those books I've been able to get my hands on. I've been intrigued by her books for awhile now and I'm finally far down enough on my stack of "books to read" pile that I've been able to take a look at them. :)

The cover alone on Sing Me to Sleep just makes me smile and want to read it. Here's what it's about: Beth has always been "The Beast"--that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion--for music, and for Beth--leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's Beauty.

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her. . . one that could shatter everything.

Very intriguing, isn't it. Here are a few questions Angela answered for me about this particular book and her writing.

What lead to your decision to be a writer?
I started writing in first grade like everybody else. Okay, I know some of you smarty-pants out there learned in kindergarten or pre-school. I learned in first grade. And that was it. I never found anything else I wanted to do more than that--except be a mom. I did the mom thing first--devoted two decades full-time to it. When my youngest started school full-days, my mind was turning to jello. I went back to school then, too. I got accepted into Vermont College's low-residency MFA program. I got to learn from professionals how to turn my passion for writing into novels. And I've been writing full-time since I graduated in 2004. It took almost four years to get my first contract.

Where did the idea for Sing Me To Sleep come from?
I used my high school experience for the springboard of Michael and Leesie's romance in TAKEN BY STORM. When I needed to come up with something new for the second book in my contract with Penguin, I stole from my daughter's life. She sang in an AMAZING all-girls, competitive choir when we lived in London, Ontario, Canada. I always wanted to set a novel in that unique world that as a parent volunteer I got to see a lot of. I was as much in love with the Amabile Choirs as she was. But I didn't have a story. A few months before I was at the above-mentioned crisis searching for an idea for my second Penguin novel, a tragedy happened to my daughter's best friend in Amabile's Young Men's Ensemble, Matt. I pitched the idea to my editor. She came back with some plot improvements. And I got a thumbs up from her publisher. That story took a hold of me and didn't let go. It was an honor to write it. Matt's mom and the entire Amabile organization embraced the project and continue to support it. Amabile recorded two of the songs--yeah, songs, I wrote original lyrics and wove them all through the text--and released them on iTunes, "Beth's Song," and "Take me Home."

Who is your favorite character in this story and why?
Derek--mostly because even though I fictionalized him, and my editor insisted I give him a bad boy side, so much of Matt's buoyancy made it into his character. That makes him endearing and much more real.

What part was the most fun to write?
This book was an emotional roller-coaster to write. I cried most days while I worked on it. But, Beth's makeover was fun to write--especially the laser scene. And the scenes where the choir's diva, Meadow, is convinced Derek likes her were fun. Actually, the most fun was getting to go back to my favorite mountain top in Switzerland and introducing Beth and Derek.

Take a look at Angela's website. There is a book trailer as well as a link to purchase "Beth's Song" and "Take Me Home" on iTunes as well as lots of other cool things. Stay tuned for my book review of Sing Me To Sleep that I'll post Thursday and let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Bonnie. I love to visit your blog. I lived in Seattle when I was a little kid--went to kindergarten and grade school in Edmonds. I love to just rest a moment in your gorgeous woodsey photo. I look forward to coming back lots.