August 11, 2021

Blog Tour: Under the Milky Way by Vanessa Barneveld – Interview and Giveaway

Hello Readers! Welcome to our stop during the Under the Milky Way by Vanessa Barneveld blog tour, presented by Entangled Teen!

We are thrilled to have Vanessa on the blog today for a quick Q&A.

Click on the banner above to follow the rest of the tour, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Nothing ever happens in Dawson, Colorado.

Until high school senior Cassidy Roekiem’s mom checks into a “wellness center,” but nothing is wrong with her.

Then people start seeing lights in the sky and missing chunks of time, but the town insists nothing is going on.

And now Hayden, the new boy at school who keeps to himself and is more than a little mysterious, starts to notice her like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Suddenly, “nothing” is starting to feel a whole lot like something. And everything leads back to Hayden. The boy she’s starting to fall for. The boy with too many dark secrets for his kind heart. The boy she’s pretty sure isn’t human…

Under the Milky Way by Vanessa Barneveld
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Publisher: Entangled Teen | | | | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

It’s my pleasure! I love hanging out with extraspecialterrestrials like you. I really appreciate you helping me celebrate the release of UNDER THE MILKY WAY.

Describe your book in 140 characters or less

It’s Veronica Mars meets the X-Files when a Colorado teen tries to get to the bottom of spooky, unexplained lights in the sky. UFOs? Oh, no!

What was your inspiration for writing this book?  Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

This book is so dear to my heart because it was partly inspired by my mother’s real-life encounter with UFOs when she was a girl. The idea of visitors from outer space has always fascinated me but terrified me at the same time! In my work as a captioner for the deaf and hearing impaired, I get to watch a lot of TV, including shows about alien encounters. It got me thinking about all the “what ifs.” What if UFOs were real? What if there are aliens from another galaxy – or galaxies – living among us? If so, why? Eventually a cast of characters began to form in my mind, demanding I start writing their story. And in 2015, that’s what I did.

Tell us about the main character(s).

Fiercely independent high school senior Cassidy Roekiem is busy. Busy taking care of her mother, who’s recovering from a breakdown. Busy investigating a missing person’s case that has intrigued millions for decades. Busy keeping up with AP classes plus honing her skills in American Sign Language. Busy with her after-school job. Busy trying to ignore the longing stares from new boy Hayden McGraw because, well, she’s too busy to date anyone, no matter how cute they are. It’s a delicate balance and she’s handling things. Just. Think she’ll finally crumble when UFOs buzz her town? Think again…

Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?

Early in the book, when my characters are getting to know one another, Hayden mentions he’s physically incapable burping.

Thinking he’s kidding around, Cassidy replies, “One day you’re gonna have to prove you’re human like the rest of us.”

To her, it’s a throwaway line. To Hayden, it’s devastating because he can’t prove he’s an ordinary Earthling. And revealing his true self would quite literally mean The End for him.

Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing?  If so, why?

As a writer, you know you’re doing an all right job if you laugh and cry buckets of tears along with your characters. They become living, breathing people. Friends, even! I do my best to put myself in their shoes. In UNDER THE MILKY WAY there are a number of occasions when my characters experience intense physical and emotional pain. I found myself wincing and squirming during these scenes! I felt soooo bad about torturing them on the page!

What sort of projects do you have going on right now.  Any new books coming out?

I have a number of projects in the works. One is a follow-up to UNDER THE MILKY WAY, and I’m also outlining a ghost story in the tradition of my debut book, THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. It’s an excuse to spend more time with my characters, really. I miss them!

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!!

Thank you so much for having me here. Until next time, keep your eyes on the skies!

Australian Vanessa Barneveld lives in a 19th-century house in inner-city Sydney with a 21st-century husband, two eccentric cats and one ghost—all of whom provide inspiration for her spirited novels. In addition to her writing career, she’s part of a crack team that produces closed captions for deaf TV viewers and audio descriptions for the blind. An avid traveler, she enjoys the journeys almost as much as the destinations. She freely admits to being food motivated and will stop at nothing to find the perfect hot chips wherever she roams around the world.

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  1. Sherry

    Sounds like a very good book.

  2. Jeanna Massman

    Interesting cover. It sets the tone for the book.

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