August 31, 2015
Hi readers! We are so excited to have Leah Scheier on the blog today to celebrate
Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier
presented by Sourcebooks!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Everything about Jonah is unexpected. On the first day of school, he sits next to April, when he could have chosen to sit with the popular girl. He turns down an invitation to join the school team and declares he'd rather paint. He encourages April to develop her musical talent and shrugs off the bullies that torment them.
April isn't surprised to find herself falling for Jonah. The unexpected part is when he falls for her too.
But the giddy happiness of their first romance begins to fade when Jonah's unpredictability begins to take a darker turn. April understands that her boyfriend is haunted by a painful memory, but his sudden mood swings worry her. She can't explain his growing fear of cellphones, electric keyboards, and of sounds that no one else can hear. Still, no matter what happens, April is sure that she'll always stand by him.
Until Jonah finally breaks and is committed to a psychiatric ward.
Until schizophrenia changes everything.
Though everyone urges her to let him go, April stays true to Jonah. But as the boy she adores begins to disappear in front of her, she has to face her worst fear: that her love may not be enough to save him.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Thank you for hosting this interview! I’m so excited about the release of YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
When April’s boyfriend is diagnosed with schizophrenia, she must make an impossible choice: stand by her love or let him go so they can both heal.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
Usually the inspiration for my novels is a long, back-and-forth process. I come up with an idea, get really excited, toss all night as the possibilities explode in my mind, and then trash the whole thing in the morning and start over. YOUR VOICE is the only novel whose concept came over me in a flash– and stayed true through multiple revisions. I asked myself, “What would it be like if my first boyfriend, the love of my life, suddenly began to change, through no fault of his own– if schizophrenia stole away the person I’d fallen for? How long could I stand by my love? How hard would I fight?” That question became YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR.
Tell us about the main character(s)
April is caring and loyal, with a snarky sense of humor. She has trouble fitting in and making new friends, so she’s terrified of being alone after her best friend transfers to private school. When Jonah, the cute new boy, shows interest in her, she can’t believe her luck. Jonah is vibrant and talented, fun and spontaneous. They start off as friends, mutually relieved to have found someone to break their loneliness, but their friendship soon grows into a romance. April doesn’t do things by halves; Jonah is her first love, and she’s absolutely devoted to him. So when her boyfriend’s spontaneity begins to take a darker tone, when his mysteriousness becomes a frantic paranoia, April refuses to believe it. But Jonah’s illness soon becomes impossible to ignore, and April’s loyalty is tested over and over, as she watches the boy she loves begin to disappear.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
There is nothing sweeter than the wonder of first love. April describes her growing attraction to Jonah in the following passage:
We listened to music, studied for tests, watched movies on his laptop. He learned that I cried at happy endings and became angry at sad ones. I found out that he liked action- adventure flicks and oddball comedies. And I discovered that I didn’t care what we watched as long as I was sitting close to him and I could feel the tremble of his body when he laughed.
Most of all, I enjoyed watching him when he wasn’t looking. I’d never had a boyfriend before, so I don’t know if this was normal, but everything he did fascinated me. I loved the way he bit his lip when he was concentrating on an assignment and then rubbed his eyes when he was frustrated. I loved it when he’d ask for help with a math problem and then make fish faces when I tried to explain the answer. I loved the sound of my name when he whispered good night to me. I even loved it when he fell asleep in the middle of a movie, because then I could just watch him. I’d brush the black curls from his forehead and trace his dark brows with my eyes, memorize the dimple over his open lips, the curve and hollow of his cheeks. I’d touch the dark hairs on his arms and follow them to his wrists, then slip my fingers into his hands. I’d study the open button at his neck, run my eyes over the dip beneath his collarbone and then imagine the rest, the hidden I couldn’t see. I’d wonder how his lips would feel against mine when he finally kissed me. I’d count the days we’d been together and worry that maybe he didn’t want to. But when he woke, I was always careful to look away, because I couldn’t let him know what I’d been thinking. I was embarrassed to let him see how much I cared.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
A paranoid rant is surprisingly difficult to write. You’d think it would be easy—it’s just a jumble of randomness, isn’t it? Actually, the disorganized speech of a paranoid schizophrenic is called a “flight of ideas,” which means that each thought, though rapid and incoherent, is somehow connected to the next. It’s very hard for others to follow, but it often makes a bizarre kind of sense, if only to the person himself. Putting together a flight of ideas that the reader can understand, and which flows naturally took a lot of effort. I spent days on that one paragraph.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
Hmm… that’s a tough one to answer because of my intense superstition regarding works in progress. I can say that I’m working on two very different novels, both YA contemporary, and I’m super excited about both! A couple of years ago I spoke prematurely about a WiP and then, for some reason, couldn’t write another word of that book. Just froze up, halfway through a chapter. So I’ve been scared of the writer’s block gods ever since. Apparently they get angry when I talk too much. :-)
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!!
Thank you! I hope you enjoy my YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR. It’s out September 1st
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!