September 24, 2015
Hello readers, and welcome to our Tour Stop for
Very in Pieces by Megan Frazer Blakemore!
We are so thrilled to have Megan on the blog today for a quick Q&A!
Follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the banner above.
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Very Sales-Woodruff is done being a good girl. Done being the only responsible one in a family that’s unraveling. Done being the obliging girlfriend in a relationship that’s sinking. Done saying no to what she wants—like Dominic, her rebellious classmate.
With her mom’s drinking, her dad’s extended absences from home, and her younger sister, Ramona, running wild, the path Very has always seen for herself doesn’t seem to matter anymore. At the same time, Very’s grandmother, a poet known less for her work and more for her exploits with the likes of Andy Warhol and Arthur Miller, is slipping away.
If everything else can fall to pieces, why can’t she?
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Megan: I am excited to be here, too. My first YA came out in 2009 (Secrets of Truth & Beauty), and the YA book blogging world was just starting to get going. It’s amazing to see how much it has grown.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
Megan: The time has come for Very to decide if her life has been determined for her or if she can write her own story.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
Megan: I first started thinking about this idea of a house that becomes a sculpture. I had visited a store in Jackson, NH, Ravenwood Curio Shoppe, in which the building is a piece of art in itself, and I started to wonder what it would be like to live in a house like that. Who would build it and why? So that’s where the idea of the bottle cap sculpture came from. At the same time, I was a little obsessed with this song called “Take me to the Riot” by Stars, and started thinking about the character that might be singing that song – that character turned into Dominic. There were really all sorts of pieces I was picking up in different places, and they all came together and grew into a story in my head.
Tell us about the main character.
Megan: Very Sayles-Woodruff is smart, particularly when it comes to math. She follows the rules. In this sense, she was the most autobiographical character I have written. What is different from my life is her family, which is full of creative but unstable people. They rely on her to take care of the day to day details of life. She is fine with that until her grandmother, a famous poet, gets sick, and Very really starts to question her role in the family and in her life in general.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
Megan: I am not an outliner or plotter, but when I sit down to write each day, I generally have an idea of what I am going to write – where the scene is going to take me. But sometimes I am surprised by what comes out. Something clicks and I have a new idea that takes the scene – or even the whole story – in a different direction. Those moments feel like little gifts and there are a few of those in the book. One of those moments came between Very and her younger sister, Ramona. The two used to be close, but they are growing further and further apart, made worse by the fact that Ramona refuses to spend time with her grandmother. But one night they decide to make dinner for the family. When they were younger, they used to play a lot of make believe games, and as they make dinner, they slip into one of those games, imagining they are the help at a fancy estate. Very plays along, afraid that “this old version of Ramona might disappear into the new one.” She’s afraid of losing her sister, but doesn’t know how to help and this moment shows how she is trying to hold on. That it just popped up one day feels special to me.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
Megan: Very’s grandmother is a famous poet. I was well into drafting the book before I realized I couldn’t just describe her poetry, I was going to have to include some. That was a huge challenge to me because I am not a poet. It was daunting, really, and one of the parts of the book I am most nervous about.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
Megan: I also write middle grade and I have a new middle grade coming out in the spring, The Firefly Code, which takes place in a Utopia. I am also working on another YA. I don’t like to talk too much about projects as I work on them, but I can say it’s a road trip book in which a brother and sister go looking for a rock star who has mysteriously disappeared from his tour.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success in your writing future!!
Megan: Thanks for having me!