Friday, July 8, 2016

Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Black River Falls (Jeff Hirsch)

25897670Title: BLACK RIVER FALLS
Author: Jeff Hirsch
Pub. Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Seventeen-year-old Cardinal has escaped the virus that ravaged his town, leaving its victims alive but without their memories. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for a group of orphaned kids in a mountain camp with the help of the former brutal school bully, now transformed by the virus into his best friend. But then a strong-willed and mysterious young woman appears, and the closed-off world Cardinal has created begins to crumble.

Find it:

Here are some things about me.

I live in an extremely Brazilian section of an extremely Greek neighborhood—Astoria, Queens, which is just to the right of Manhattan. (That's as you face Manhattan. If you were, say, lying on your back in the middle of Central Park with your head in a northerly position, we would be to your left) I live there with my wife who has a blog and our two cats who do not. One day I hope to have a very large dog that I can name Jerry Lee Lewis.
I used to write plays (I actually have an MFA in it, which is currently number 8 on US News and World Report's annual list of the top twenty most useless masters degrees) and now I write books for teens. I've written two. One was about a girl who wanted to be a rock star and could graciously be called a learning experience.

The second, is The Eleventh Plague and it comes out Sept. 1, a fact I still find pretty amazing.

 What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

 I’m not entirely sure why but I got to thinking about the school bully. I figure most people are basically born decent so surely some series of events must have made him into the lunch money stealing, freshman menacing jerk he is, right? Well, what if one day his memories of those events were wiped from his mind? And more than that, what if he forgot he was supposed to be the bully? Would he still be one? Thinking about that lead me to the larger question of who any of us would become if we forgot all the things that made us who we are.

 Who is your favorite character in the book? Wow, you might as well have asked who I like better, my cat or my dog. But if I had to choose? 

Hmm. I guess I’d go with a secondary character—I like all the main characters pretty much equally—and choose Freeman Wayne. He’s smart and has a way with words that I find fun. Also, I think he’s the clearest example in the book of the way having your memories taken away can transform you into a completely different person. 

Which came first, the title or the novel? 

I’d say the book and the original title, which was just Black River, came at the same time. But then it turned out that my publisher was releasing a western for adults at around the same with that title so we had to go searching for something else. We must have gone through a hundred possibilities before ending up roughly back at the beginning with Black River Falls.

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

Mentioning the one that immediately comes to mind would be a bit spoilery so I’ll go with my number two, which is the very last scene in the book, the last two and a half pages actually. Throughout the course of the book we learn all about a comic book series the main character’s father is famous for creating. In the last scene of the book that story intersects with the main character’s story in a way I find really satisfying.

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

Relax. Don’t try so hard. Just write. Early on I always went into a chapter with a big agenda. I tried to force things, to bend things to my will. Storywise. Thematically. Now, as much as possible, I simply try to understand the characters as best I can then bring a few of them together and see what happens. I try to let things happen naturally. 

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

 I guess it’s that it really feels like the book to me. A little dark and foreboding, but thoughtful too. 

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

Right now I’m really looking forward to reading Grunt by Mary Roach, The Fireman by Joe Hill, and the next chapters of Saga by Bryan K. Vaughn.

What was your favorite book in 2015?

 Hard to pick just one, but I guess I’d have to say The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

What’s up next for you? 

A bunch! I just finished the first draft of my 2017 book, currently titled Unnatural Disasters. I’m also finishing edits on a novella length follow up to my last book, The Darkest Path, which will come out later this summer. And I’m working on a middle grade adventure series! Better get back to work, huh?

Is there anything that you would like to add?

 Thanks for having me! 

3 winners will receive a finished copy of BLACK RIVER FALLS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/27/2016- The Cover Contessa- Interview

6/28/2016- Lisa Loves Literature- Review

6/29/2016- BookCrushin- Guest Post

6/30/2016- A Gingerly Review- Review

7/1/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Interview

Week Two:

7/5/2016- One Night Book Stand- Guest Post

7/6/2016- Just Commonly- Review

7/7/2016- She Dreams in Fiction- Review

7/8/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book - Interview

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