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March 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Mosquitoland by David Arnold – Guest Post

Mosquitoland-blogtour

Hi and welcome to our tour stop for

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

presented by Penguin Random House!

We are so excited to have author, David Arnold, stop by the blog today
with a note to all you readers out there!

Mosquitoland

“I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.”

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, “Mosquitoland” is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

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Available for Purchase:
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[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s8CjoO-8pU” width=”400″ ratio=”4:3″ color=”white” autohide=”1″]

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Guest-Post

Dear Reader,

Writing is magic.
Let me explain.

Mosquitoland is the story of Mim Malone, a sixteen year-old girl with a host of oddities and issues. It is not the story of me, David Arnold, a rather ho-hum homebody who enjoys the simple amenities of day-to-day life (not unlike that of a hobbit, actually, minus the hairy feet, and the living in a hole, and whatnot). That said, while writing the novel, there were a few places in the manuscript where I found myself wondering: was that for Mim, or for me? The answer was, of course, yes.

I was nine when my family moved from Jackson, Mississippi, to Ashland, Ohio. I chose those cities to tell Mim’s story, not because our circumstances were the same, but because in my earliest drafts, I sensed that Mim and I drank from the same well of sensitivity and impulsive honesty; to draw from it, I would need a setting I understood intimately. From there, other similarities popped up in the manuscript, never invited, but rarely turned away: Mim has various medical mysteries, as do I. We have the same ideas about music (everything is better on vinyl), shoes (go vintage, or go home), and conversations with strangers (insert wide-eyed emoji). And, in the original draft, Mim struggled with being the new kid at school. While these scenes were cut, this “new kid” mentality is at the very heart of who Mim is.

At least three times before ninth grade, I was the new kid. Now before you say, so what, Dave, lots of kids move to new cities and have to start all over, and blah, blah, blah, understand this: I was beyond nerdy. I was some mutant, uber-nerd in oversized flannel and neon braces. (I was a hobbit among kings, to continue the metaphor.) Countless times, I stood in the middle of playgrounds, cafeterias, hallways, places abuzz with the vigor of youth, and wondered: how does anyone ever make friends? I ended up making plenty of friends, though most (as you might imagine) were fictional. Holden Caulfield. Alan Grant. Frodo Baggins. Hello, friends.

During the two years it took to write Mosquitoland, I’m not entirely sure I wasn’t just trying to create a friend for my teenage self. Writing Mim’s story allowed me to travel back in time, to go to those playgrounds, cafeterias, and hallways, and to whisper in Young David’s ears, everything is going to be okay. I did this for myself by doing it for Mim. And I wonder, maybe that’s what writing is: to put a piece of your own soul on the page, then watch your characters breathe it like air.

If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

D. Arnold

David Arnold is a stay-at-home dad who wrote Mosquitoland while his son napped and watched Sesame Street. This is his first novel. The family lives in Lexington, KY and readers can find David Arnold online on Twitter @roofbeam and visit him at www.davidarnoldbooks.com.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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