Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour hosted by Hannah at Irish Banana Tours for Stacey Kade’s “For This Life Only”. I absolutely LOVED her NA release, 738 Days, earlier this year, so when I found out about this YA release, I jumped on the opportunity to receive an advanced copy. I don’t want to give too much away, since my review of “For This Life Only” is coming soon, BUT it’s pretty safe to say that I loved it! 😉
As part of my stop on the tour, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Stacey about her latest release and her experience writing it. I always love getting inside the mind of authors and this interview was no exception! Enjoy! Oh, and stay tuned! My review and mood board are coming VERY soon!
Interview with Stacey Kade
Hi Stacey! First of all, congratulations on the upcoming release of “For This Life Only”! What an amazing accomplishment! There’s some fantastic buzz and excitement surrounding your latest novel, you must be thrilled! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview for my stop on your blog tour. It’s an honor to be involved in the festivities surrounding the release of“For This Life Only”. Now, on to the questions…
Sarah: What was the easiest thing about writing “For This Life Only”? Alternatively, what did you find the most difficult?
Stacey: First, thank you, Sarah, for having me!
The easiest thing…oh, gosh. So, here’s the thing. This book was hard. All books are hard, to an extent, but this one was “curl up in a ball in the corner and cry for months” hard. 😉 It was really, really personal to me, and I think that made it hard for me to get out of my own way, if that makes sense. My first draft was, I think, like 110,000 words. HUGE. Way too big. For example, at one point, Thera had her own POV chapters. We cut them because that made the story tighter and kept the focus on point. But I LOVED those chapters! 🙂
Finding the bones of a story in that mess was tricky—an enormous amount of credit goes to my editor, Christian Trimmer, for not throwing his hands up and walking away!
I think both the hardest and the easiest thing was that I could draw on real life. Easy because I knew I knew what I was talking about in much of the story from personal experience (versus researching and talking to people and crossing my fingers that I was getting it close to right.) But that also made it more difficult because fiction is not real life and vice versa.
Can you talk a little bit about what inspired the story you wanted to tell in “For This Life Only”? Why was it important to you that you shed a light on the tough topic of death and grief?
It was a combination of things. I wanted to tell a story that would portray, from my perspective, what the life of a pastor’s family is like. To me, it’s this weird thing because so many people rely on their faith and religion as something outside their family to help them get through tough times. But what do you do when those things are inextricably tied to your family and your family is going through a tough time?
When I was in my early twenties, I went through a period of questioning and not being sure what I believed. I’d been raised in the church, obviously, but in a way, that made it harder. Because I knew how everything worked behind the scenes. I think we expect people to simply believe or not believe when it comes to God, the afterlife, etc. And I don’t think we dedicate as much time and space in stories to the process of people questioning, trying to figure it out and not really falling into one box (believer) or the other (not believing). And when you’re dealing with death, particularly a death of someone close, as Jace is, all of those questions are intensified. We rely on our faith and our own sense of identity to help us, but if you feel like you’ve lost those things as well, the grief is that much more overwhelming.
I was so excited when I read your bio and saw that you’re a preacher’s kid. As a PK myself, I was wondering if the experience of growing up in an environment where you are exposed to so many of life’s big moments affected your writing at all.
Oh, I definitely think so. You see people at their very best and their very worst. I think you also have the blinders removed when it comes to viewing church as a human (and therefore flawed) organization. I also think that having a parent who routinely deals with death—hospital visits, funerals, being called out to a dying parishoner’s home in the middle of the night—makes it something you think about more often. This is the fourth book where I’ve written in some way about death and the afterlife! (Granted, The Ghost and the Goth books were more on the humorous side, but still!)
I love to ask authors to share fun, little known facts about themselves. What are some tidbits of information that you think your readers should know about you?
I’m addicted to Kate Spade purses. I will walk up to a stranger to compliment her on her Kate.
I cry super easily. It’s ridiculous. And it happens most often when people are NICE to me, which is weird, I know.
I have an anxiety disorder. It presents itself in a variety ways. Mainly with fear of diseases. But when my stress level goes up, who knows? 🙂 At one point in college, it made me feel like I had to keep certain clothes on certain hangers to keep “something bad” from happening. (That would be the OCD side of it.) It’s kind of hilarious to me now, though not so much at the time. I have one friend who rolled with it all, never making me feel bad about it, even when she couldn’t understand I was particular about why which flannel went with which hanger (it was the 90s, flannel was big then.) She’s also a fellow PK who helped me with feedback and thoughts on this book. Love you, Beck!
If you could visit the home of any fictional character in the history of literature, who would you pick and why?
Pemberly. Mr. Darcy’s home. Hands-down. Pride and Prejudice is one of the few books I’ve read over and over again. As for why, in general, I’m fascinated with the whole English country estate thing. If any one has any book recommendations, let me know. Love stories set in houses like that!
I’ve watched several documentaries about Chatsworth, which is, according to some theories, the real home that Jane Austen based Pemberly on. They used it for the Keira Knightly version of the movie, too! Also, I guess because as much as I would hate to give up things like modern plumbing, antibiotics and not dying while giving birth to my twelfth kid (because that happened a lot then), I’m fascinated with what it would have been like to live in those times in that kind of a house.
Pssst…DON’T MISS ANY OF THE STOPS ON THE TOUR!
For This Life Only by Stacey Kade
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 30th 2016
Buy on Amazon
A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.
Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.
And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.
Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.
She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.
But she’s also the first person to truly see him.
LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository