Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Debut Authors Bash ~ Interview with Bethany Neal (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to this stop in the 2014 Debut Authors Bash! This event is hosted by YA Reads (thank you!) and is month of debut author features (interviews, guest posts, giveaways, etc). You don't want to miss out on the great posts! Check out the schedule here.

I'm excited to share an interview with Bethany Neal with you! I really enjoyed reading her debut, My Last Kiss.☺ You can read my review for it here. At the bottom of this post is a giveaway for a signed copy of Bethany's book that I recommend entering!

My Last Kiss
by Bethany Neal
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: June 10th 2014


What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy? 

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss--the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died--is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn't a suicide as everyone assumes. She can't remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she's worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. 

If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she'll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made--good and bad--that led to her last kiss.

Bethany Neal's suspenseful debut novel is about the power of first love and the haunting lies that threaten to tear it apart.
Hi Bethany!
First of all, tell me a random fact about yourself. 

I used to have a pet pot-bellied pig named Mozart. 

How did you feel after finishing the first draft of My Last Kiss

I felt like I had a ton of work to do! I’m what people call a “pantser” because I don’t outline before I write a first draft. (I write by the seat of my pants, get it?) The story took a while to take shape during the drafting stage, but once that first full manuscript was complete I needed to focus on the flashback chapters that gradually reveal how and why Cassidy died. They all hinge on each other, but they’re presented to the reader (and Cassidy) out of order. That meant I had to copy and paste all the flashback chapters into a separate word doc and arrange them chronologically to make sure there weren’t any inconsistencies. That was a lot of work. Well worth it though. 

What is your favorite part of the cover for My Last Kiss?

Oh, I totally lucked out with my cover. I absolutely adore it. My favorite part is the glossy letters of the title on the matte background--I’ve always loved books that have that effect--but I also love the idea behind why the image is fractured/shifted. The jacket designer, Elizabeth Clark, said the broken image of the main character was to represent how Cassidy is piecing her memory back together. Such a cool idea! 

If you were in Cassidy's situation, how do you think you would first react to being dead?

I think it would be a sort of I told you so moment. I’ve always been interested in the occult and scary movies and stories about dark, deadly things. Everybody kind of makes fun of me for believing--or at least wanting to believe--in things like Ouija boards and afterlife. Wouldn’t that be the biggest redemption ever if I came back to haunt them!

If you were to write a novella for any of the characters in My Last Kiss, who would you most likely write about?

Madison. Hands down. I already have most of it written from when I was doing character development. She has so many interesting layers. 

Do you read a lot of ghost/mystery novels? How about movies and tv shows with ghosts in them?

I read a lot of books that revolve around the aftermath of death, and I’ve definitely watched many horror movies with a ghostly premise, but they don’t specifically need to contain a “real” ghost to pique my interest. I’m just fascinated by what happens after we die, and ghost are kind of a side effect of that fascination. Right now I’m reading Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington and it has a ghost in it. Can’t really say much besides I’m loving it without spoiling the plot though...

Who is your favorite fictional ghost? (You can include more than one if you have a lot of favorites.)

Well, my first ghost-crush was Casper from the 1995 movie where Devon Sawa played the human version of him. *swoon* I also love Patrick Swayze, so I’m obligated to mention Sam Wheat from the movie Ghost

Thank you for answering my questions. :)

Bethany Neal writes young-adult novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing! She is obsessed with (but not limited to): nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, pickles, and dessert.

You can find her locked in her Writertorium for insane amounts of time. But, hey, insanity is fun! My Last Kiss is her first novel.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

One US winner will win a signed copy of My Last Kiss! The giveaway will end Midnight PST on October 4th. Good luck!

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