Thursday, April 7, 2016

Me, My Shelf and I Blog Tours, Interview, & Giveaway: My Seventh Grade Life In Tights (Brooks Benjamin)

My Seventh-Grade Life In Tights by Brooks Benjamin

Blog Tour April 4-8 & 11-15

Author: Brooks Benjamin
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte/Random House

All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are.
At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship?

Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor.



Brooks and his wife, Jackie, live in Tennessee with their 75 pound daughter, LeeLoo, a sweet and severely demented German Shepherd mix.

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

I was actually on a dance crew in middle school. We planned to dance for the entire school on the very last day, but when the time came to do it, we chickened out. I loved the idea of a story with a self-taught street dancer and knew that when I wrote it, I'd make him and his crew a lot braver than me and my crew were back in 7th grade.

2. Who is your favorite character in the book?

Oh dang, this is tough! I love all of them so much. However, I think my favorite might actually have to be Sarah, the girl Dillon ends up getting dance pointers from. A lot of students consider her the "snobby girl" but there's a lot of things we don't know about Sarah at the beginning of the story. She and Kassie have a history, she and DeMarcus have some secrets, and she seems way too willing to help Dillon. It was so much fun coming up with her character and finding ways to work against the mean girl stereotype.

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

The title. I joined some of my critique partners for Camp NaNoWriMo in 2013. When I started my profile, it asked for my book title. I named it "Dance Book" just to have something to call it, but then the next day, the title instantly came to me. My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights. I'd never had that happen to me before. It was a beautiful moment.

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

Okay, I'll have to set this one up a little. M7GLiT has a couple of really adorable budding-romance subplots. One is m/f and another one is m/m. There's a scene at the end where one of the characters comes out to some friends. There are a few of people at school who hear about it and are 1) shocked and 2) complete jerks about it. What I'm probably the most proud of is how the character and the friends handle the situation. There's not some epic monologue where everyone stops what they're doing and listens to a seemingly prepared speech or anything. But the situation is handled. And in their way. I just love how much each of the friends bond with one another when it happens.

5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

That while you may develop one character based on you or your experiences, every single character in the novel ends up having a strong connection to you somehow. Elements of your personality, experiences in your past, wishes for the future. You see pieces of yourself in every character. You hear moments of your life in everyone's dialogue. It can be scary sometimes. But it's also extremely cathartic.

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

I love the little dancers scattered around the title and the hidden words peppered throughout the design. It brings such a fun level of energy to it and I couldn't have asked for anything better!

7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?

I think I've answered this question differently each time. But that's because I've read so many incredible debuts that it's seriously hard to pick just one. So, keeping with my own tradition of not picking the exact same one twice, I'm going to say THE GIRL WHO FELL by Shannon Parker. This book will hug your heart, then squeeze it, tear it in half, and finally sew it back up at the end. 

8. What was your favorite book in 2015?

Again, so many to choose from. So I'm going to pick one I haven't mentioned yet that deserves all the mentioning and go with Lance Rubin's DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE. I had no idea that a writer could inject so much humor into a concept so macabre. But Lance did it and I can't wait for the sequel! 

9. What’s up next for you?

Since M7GLiT sold, I've written another MG and a YA. Right now I'm working on another MG (tentatively titled The Mossy Hollow Fortune Tellers Club) which I'm falling in love with a little more with each chapter I finish.

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

I just want to give a huge shout out to my debut siblings in the Class of 2K16 and the Sweet Sixteens groups. They've made this journey so much fun and infinitely more bearable. <3

One Winner will get a signed hardcover of the book + a swag pack

Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships In US Only
Please see Terms and Conditions for more details, some exclusions apply.


April 4 Shelf Life REVIEW
April 5 The O.W.L REVIEW
April 6 Reading Nook Review REVIEW
April 7 Curling Up With A Good Book INTERVIEW
April 8 The Reading Nook REVIEW

April 12 A Dream Within A Dream GUEST POST
April 13 Big Hair and Books REVIEW
April 14 Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic} REVIEW
April 15 Owl Always Be Reading EXCERPT

No comments:

Post a Comment