Monday, August 17, 2015

Sourcebooks Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: The Dogs (Allan Stratton)

The DogsHardcover
Expected publication: September 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

Cameron and his mom have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that’s what Cameron’s been told.
When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even his sanity.
What's hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.

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Displaying Allan Stratton bw_20Mar15.jpg

Allan Stratton is an internationally published playwright and author. His awards include a Michael L. Printz Honor Award, multiple ALA picks and the Independent Publisher Book Award.

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

My mom fled with me from my dad when I was a baby. We went to my grandparents’ farm near a town much like Wolf Hollow. Writing The Dogs was like playing with memory, mixing fact and fiction like my hero, Cameron, does

2. Who is your favorite character in the book?

I could say Cameron, because he’s kind of like me – I’ve always talked to myself (out loud) and imagined things in the dark. But I call my books and characters my “brain babies” because they come out of my head. So, like any good parent, I really mustn’t pick a favorite.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel?

Oh, the novel. The novel always comes first for me. Once I’m inside it, the title seems obvious.

4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Hmmm… Maybe Cameron’s drive with his father? Or maybe Jacky’s reveal about what happened after his mother went away; the way he feels so guilty for something that wasn’t his fault? A less obvious choice might be the scene in which Cameron’s mother reassures him of her love and understanding, despite his problems. The bond between Cameron and his mom is very special in the book, just as my love for my mom has been key to my life.

5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what are some of the most important things you've learned as a writer from then to now?

Never be afraid. Say what you think. Speak the truth. 

If the words aren’t there, don’t panic. It’s because you’re not ready. When the time is right, you will be.

Oh, and a tip on editing: When in doubt, cut it out.

6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?

The questions: What’s going on behind the lighted window? What’s coming toward the house?

7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

8. What was your favorite book in 2014?

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

9. What’s up next for you?

I’m working on a new novel, funny, scary, out there, about a girl and her grandmother. Can’t say any more, but I’m having fun: Zoe’s a blast. The first draft is due end of October. ☺ 

10. Is there anything that you would like to add?

The Dogs is my most personal book. How can we discover the truth about our life when everyone we know has secrets? That question has haunted me since I was a kid. It haunts me still.

Oh, and one last thing, this chat has been fun!

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