Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Class of 2014 Day 15 ~ Andrea Hannah

Welcome to the fifteenth day of Class of 2014! For the last couple weeks, I've been spotlighting some of this year's debut authors. I wanted a way to celebrate both my high school graduation and one year blogoversary, so I decided to feature authors of the same "class" as me on Reading is My Treasure! (Want to learn more about this event? Go here.)

Andrea Hannah is my second to last featured author! She's the author of Of Scars and Stardust, a fall release that I'm incredibly excited for. From the cover to the title to the description . . . the book sounds amazing! Can you imagine how awesome it is to share an interview with Andrea (and a giveaway of her book) with you today? Enjoy.☺

Andrea Hannah lives in the Midwest, where there are plenty of dark nights and creepy cornfields to use as fodder for her next thriller. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in special education. When she's not teaching or writing, she spends her time running, traveling, and attempting to keep her pug out of the refrigerator (unsuccessful to date).

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Genre: YA contemporary/mystery
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: October 8th, 2014
Pre-order: Amazon / B&N
Find it on Goodreads

Goodreads description:

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she's been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her "delusions," Claire can't seem to escape the wolf's eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she's ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella's trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister's disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.
Where did the title Of Scars and Stardust come from?

The title was originally The Diaries of Ella Graham, and I was fond of that title because it highlighted the importance of Claire’s hunt through Ella’s scattered diary entries to find her sister. My editor felt differently, and so we started brainstorming a new title. My very favorite line in the whole book has always been “Where do you begin looking for a girl made of scars and stardust?” so I sent an email suggesting a play on that line, and my editor sent one at the exact same time suggesting the exact same thing. I figure it was meant to be, and it truly is a better fit for the book.

Tell me a little about a couple of characters in your book. What kind of personalities do they have?

I love this question! It’s hard for me to choose; I desperately want to tell you about all of them. Here are a few that are particularly special to me:

Claire: When she first begins the search for her sister, Claire is heartbroken, and that devastation definitely threads its way through how she sees the world and what’s happening around her. But in between all those notes of sadness, there’s this ferocity in Claire that I admire. It doesn’t matter how she feels, how gut-wrenching it is to go back to Ohio and face her reputation as the town pariah, she does it anyway because keeping Ella safe is the most important thing in the universe, and nothing can get in her way.

Grant: If I could go back in time, I would tell my high school self to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD date someone like Grant Buchanan. He is adorable, soft-spoken, and deliberate. Claire nicknamed him S&S in middle school—short for “slow and steady”—because he often pauses and thinks carefully before he answers. He likes reading the newspaper headlines, being a homebody, and has a pattern of freckles on his nose in the shape of the Big Dipper, which is Claire’s favorite thing about him. And above everything else, he is hopeful, which is my favorite thing about him.

Rae: Grant’s older sister and Claire’s childhood best friend, Rae is an integral part of their story. She’s an exceptional secret-keeper, but unfortunately, doesn’t always choose the right secrets to keep. Rae is sharp where Grant is soft, and shares the same sense of desperation as Claire does, only she’s looking for a way out of Ohio, where Claire is searching for a way back in. Theirs is a complicated relationship that comes to a head in one of my favorite scenes in the book, which also involves a chubby pug named Harold.

How is the cover of Of Scars and Stardust a good fit for the book?

I honestly can’t picture a more perfect image for this story! I just about died when I saw the finished cover, and then burst into tears, and then died all over again. When we were brainstorming cover ideas, the words that kept coming up were “soft,” “fragile,” “poetic,” “emotional,” “unsettling.” We wanted something that also reflected the style of writing in the book as well, and I think this cover does it all.

What was one of the most difficult parts about writing your book?

There were two parts of writing this book that made it difficult: time and content. I actually think that’s true for most writers and for every book, but this one had some specific challenges I haven’t come up against in my other books. When I drafted SCARS, it was during NaNoWriMo, and I was pregnant and super fatigued. So I was attempting to draft something that was really emotional for me, and taking up every available sliver of my energy, while also being more exhausted than usual. In terms of content, this story is something I absolutely needed to write when I did, and so it was sometimes gut-wrenching to come back to the page, day after day. I wrote this book at a time when I was sad. I’d lost several people in my life and I just felt like if I could stitch everything back together, it would all be okay. Parts of Claire’s story are parts of my own, and it was both freeing and emotional to really live that again. On another note, it’s been difficult to go back and revise, because I’m not sad anymore, I’ve grown, and it’s hard to remember who I was when I first wrote this book.

Who have been the biggest cheerleaders in your writing career so far?

So many people! Even though writing is a solitary thing, you still need people on this journey if you’re going to make it. My husband and best friend, Keri, have been incredible. They read everything I write, multiple times, and are kind enough to point out the positives, even when I know it sucks. My agent, Victoria, is also so, so wonderful and one of my biggest cheerleaders, and it’s possible that I would actually die without my critique partners and the writing community as a whole.

Has publishing a novel been tougher or easier than you thought it would be?

It’s been neither easier or harder, but it has definitely been longer than I thought it would be. The whole process, in terms of rejections, revisions, and reviews, have pretty much lived up to my expectations, but I think that’s because I did a lot of research and talked to so many people as I got more and more serious about publishing. But people can tell you how long everything takes, and how much “hurry up and wait” there is in this process, but it’s hard to comprehend how maddening it is until you’re living it.

Thank you for answering my questions!
Andrea has offered to give away a pre-order of her book from Barnes & Noble! (Thank you, Andrea!) The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on July 3nd @ midnight PST. I will announce the winners on Twitter and will send emails to the winner. If you win, you have 48 hours to respond and claim your prize.

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did! Come back tomorrow to read the last Class of 2014 interview!

Hint: This author's book releases from Spencer Hill Contemporary in November and features a dancer as its main character.


  1. I got an ARC of this book via NetGalley and I'm very excited to finally get to it on my review pile!
    Great interview!

    1. I was just approved for this one the day after this post went up, so it's on my review pile too. :)

  2. Oh, I loved this interview! As a writer, I understand using words to explain how you're feeling, and even using those experiences in stories. I cannot wait to read this book, and I'm so glad I have an eARC from NetGalley. Great questions, Kaitlin! :)

    1. I'm so glad you loved reading it! I loved it too. :) Thank you!

  3. I've been really looking forward to reading this book. And a great interview ;) Congrats on highschool graduation, it's a great, fun leap into the world beyond! Jen xx

  4. This book sounds amazing! I added it to my TBR list awhile ago when I'd first read the synopsis, but from reading the interview, I want to read it even more!

  5. I've been dying to read Of Scars and Stardust. I've heard numerous good things about it from those who have read an ARC. It's most definitely my most anticipated book of 2014.

    Great interview and congrats on your graduation!

    1. I can understand why it's your most anticipated book of the year. :)

      Thank you!

  6. Ooh this sounds like a good book. I wonder all these elements fit in to the main story: the wolves, and her missing sister and most of all Grant. From the character description given they sound lovely, and it's nice to know the author was so happy with the cover. It does look really cool ;)

    Definitely added to my TBR!

  7. I think that the interview really depicts her life as an author and that's great. I don't know much about the book, but from the Goodreads description it seems pretty good.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. :)

  8. Interesting sounding characters


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