Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Flip The Bird (Kym Brunner)

Displaying FLiptheBird.jpgFLIP THE BIRD
Author: Kym Brunner
Pub. Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Mercer Buddie wants two things in this world: a girlfriend and the chance to prove to his master falconer father that he’s not a flake. With hunting season fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Mercer has only a short time to work with Flip, a red-tailed hawk he irreverently named to show his dad that falconers don’t have to be so serious all the time.

When Mercer meets Lucy, he falls hard for her gorgeous looks and bubbly personality. He thinks his love life is about to take flight, until he discovers that Lucy and her family belong to a fanatical animal-rights organization called HALT—a group that believes imposing any sort of restrictions on animals is a form of cruelty. Mercer soon realizes that if he wants to keep seeing Lucy, he’ll need to keep his love of falconry and his family’s raptor rehabilitation center a secret from her, and Lucy’s involvement with HALT from his family.
With humor and honesty, Mercer’s story shows how growing up means making difficult choices…and sometimes, being rewarded in unexpected ways.

Find it:

Displaying KymBrunnerAuthorPhoto.jpg
Kym Brunner dreams entire novels in her head, but needs about a year to write it all down. She wishes there was an app for this. She's addicted to chai tea, going to the movies, and reality TV. When she's not reading or writing, Kym teaches 7th grade full time. Her article, Cracking Down on Multiple POVs: Surrender and Nobody Gets Hurt, appeared in Writer’s Digest online (July, 2014). She is the author of the three YA novels listed below. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and her two trusty writing companions, a pair of Shih Tzus named Sophie and Kahlua. Keep in touch by following her on Facebook (Author Kym Brunner), Twitter (@KymBrunner), or at her website,

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love my main character, Mercer, because he feels so real to me and I can envision so many things through his eyes. He can be a bit lazy about chores and cleanliness, but that’s only so he can work triply hard at something he wants badly. But his best buddy, Charlie, cracked me up every time. He’s just so darn silly and will say and do anything to alter the mood of a situation from argumentative to amusing, or to avoid hard feelings between friends. He was my favorite character to write scenes with. Oh, but I love Weasel too, Mercer’s dad’s best buddy who sports a beard that is so unruly a few squirrels might live inside, who counsels Mercer about the important things in life. 

Wow, I’m such a cheater. I named three characters. Sorry… *hangs head

Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel. I was halfway through writing the book with the working title Falconer’s Feather (snore….), when someone flipped me the bird in traffic and I was like, “Ohmigod, thank you! I love you, angry driver! You just gave me inspiration for my book.” I renamed Mercer’s Red-tailed Hawk the next day and knew it just felt right. 

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

Whenever your MC has a goal of winning something––in Mercer’s case he’s going for the coveted “Best Apprentice” pin that his older brother won a few years’ back––you have to make a decision about how that event will go down. Will he work so hard that he earns that prize, or will something else happen that prevents it? Will it seem cheesy if he wins, and/or will the reader feel let down if he doesn’t? The way I handled the final chapters at Mercer’s first falconry meet felt like the perfect ending to me. But you’ll have to read the book to discover what that is and to see if you agree.

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

First, let me say that I loved the process that HMH Books for Young Readers went through to arrive at the perfect cover. Step one was me sending the art director images of other book covers that evoked the same sort of feeling I wanted when readers picked up my book. From there, I was shown five very different book cover images, and I loved four of them. Then we decided on the one I currently have and tweaked the small details such as color of the words and the wavy background. It’s really the perfect cover because it matches the humorous aspect of Mercer’s quips, as well as the serious aspects of being an activist who walks around with protest signs. I love the cover and I’m so glad the person who designed the jacket cover, Sharismar Rodriguez, was so darn talented. 

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

Oh gosh, I feel I’m about to cheat right now and I can’t stop myself. I was recently at YA Festival hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois (if you don’t know about this place, you should. It’s this average size independently owned bookstore that hosts like a million amazing authors every year). There were 33 super funny, amazing authors there, all with books out in 2016, so now my TBR reading list is a mile high. The first five on my bedside table are: “It Wasn’t Always Like This” by Joy Preble, “Our Chemical Hearts” by Krystal Sutherland, “Spontaneous” by Aaron Starmer, “Phantom Limbs” by Paula Garner, and “Anything You Want” by Geoff Herbach. Seriously though, all 33 books sounded freakin’ awesome. Check ‘em out:

What’s up next for you?

I’m nearly finished working on my next book titled “I Need My Space,” which is about warring twin sisters who head off to space camp in the year 2040 and end up blasting off to Mars with two boys from camp. I guess you can say I love punny titles. Fingers crossed that it sees the light of day sometime in 2018. 

 Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate? 

Oh boy. I know this answer because I literally sobbed when I wrote the scene. My daughter walked into the room and immediately said, “Oh no! What’s wrong, Mom?” I was like, “I’ll be fine in a minute. Everything’s okay.” It sounds so silly to me to cry about characters that don’t actually exist, but then again, what are emotions if not memories and thoughts of those we love? I spent so much time with these characters that I guess you could say I loved them. 

(PS: my editor at HMH, Julie Tibbott, told me she cried too, which of course is the dream of every writer: to make your readers laugh heartily but also to shed a tear.) It’s somewhere in the middle of the book and I don’t really want to say more than that. It sets the book off in a whole new direction. You’ll know it when you read it….at least I hope you do.

Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Revising, hands down. The writing process is as exhilarating as it is painful––thinking out plotlines, character motivations, and describing the setting. But once I get the first draft down, I love sculpting the words until it’s as masterful as I can get it. 

 What would you say is your superpower?

Power Napping! Whenever I get to the point that I’m super sleepy (usually after work on a hectic day), I can close my eyes, fall asleep in under a minute, sleep soundly for 13-17 minutes (uncanny, I know), and wake up completely refreshed. 

If you’re not falling out of your chair from amazement already, I’m also very good at Middle-of-the-Night-Time-Prediction. Yep, that’s right. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I guess what time it is and I’m often within thirty minutes of the actual time! Pretty darn super, am I right? 

I bet you wish you were me right now. 

3 winners will receive a finished copy of FLIP THE BIRD, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/24/2016- Books,Dreams,Life- Excerpt

10/25/2016- Here's to Happy Endings- Review

10/26/2016- Mike reads- Excerpt

10/27/2016- Itsmisselizabeth- Review

10/28/2016- Rachel's Book Reviews- Interview

Week Two:

10/31/2016- Margo Kelly- Review

11/1/2016- The Silver Dagger Scriptorium- Spotlight

11/2/2016- RhiReading- Review

11/3/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book- Interview

11/4/2016- Reese's Reviews- Review

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting my interview and giveaway! Great questions! Kym