Thursday, April 3, 2014

Plus One Blog Tour: Interview with Elizabeth Fama + Giveaway

I am beyond excited to be a part of the blog tour for Plus One by Elizabeth Fama. <3 I read this book back in October, and I loved it SO MUCH. You can read my five star review here. <3 I cannot wait to re-read this truly gorgeous book once my pre-ordered hardcovers of it arrive :) Because Plus One is amazing and I need you all to read it as well. For my blog tour post today I have an interview that I did with Elizabeth. <3 Thank you so much, Beth. You are amazing. There is also an US/Canada giveaway at the end of the post, hosted by Macmillan Kids. You all need to enter to win Plus One :) Thank you to Amanda for hosting this blog tour :) You are awesome. Hope you enjoy the post. <3 And the book :D
Plus One comes out in just a few days; on April 8th. You all need to buy it. It's amazing. Promise. <3

My interview with the amazing Elizabeth Fama.

1. Did you find it hard to write Plus One? Was it difficult to write about the Day/Night divide?

I find it hard to start writing a new manuscript at all, even when I already have the basic story idea and I'm excited about it. I procrastinate horribly! I think it's fear of failure. Once I'm solidly on my way, though, I become obsessed with what I'm writing and the work comes easier. My son, knowing that I was about to stall again in the summer of 2011 (after the editing process for Monstrous Beauty was complete), challenged me to a "novel-writing duel." We agreed to write 500 words a day, and we verified each other's progress on Sundays. I wrote Plus One, and he wrote a sci-fi fantasy called The Mile Corpse. (By the way, our three judges voted him the winner.)

Imagining the different lives of the Day/Night people was a challenge, but there was also a more trivial glitch that dogged me throughout the entire copyediting stage: it turns out we use the word "day" offhandedly in so many ways! Aside from the days of the week, which Smudges have changed to nights (for example, Tuesnight), there are words like birthday, yesterday, today, someday, everyday, weekday, washday... The word "day" kept slipping into Smudge dialogue and Sol's thoughts where I didn't think it belonged. After the umpteenth correction, I finally broke down and did a global search on "day" to make sure I really wanted each instance of it to be in the manuscript.

2. If you could be one character from your book, who would you be and why?

Well, I want to be someone daring and subversive, like Grady Hastings or Gigi, but if I were to magically transform one night, I'd probably wake up as D'Arcy's mother, Hélène Benoît. I was pre-med in college, I always got straight A's, I was a rule-follower, and now I collaborate a lot with my creative young-adult children. (I'm much fonder of D'Arcy's mom than many readers will be. But honestly, do you think Jean would have fallen in love with her if she wasn't secretly awesome?)

3. Which character in Plus One was your favorite to write about, besides Sol and D’Arcy?

Again, Grady Hastings and Gigi. Grady barely appears in the book, yet he really captured my imagination. If I were ever to do a companion novel, he'd have a starring role. As for Gigi, you can find out more of what I think of her in my short story, "Noma Girl." (Hint: she's softer than she seems.)

4. A lot of Plus One focus on Sol’s grandpa, Poppu. Do/did you have a good relationship with your grandpa?

My grandfathers died when I was fairly young (eleven and fourteen). I love what I remember of them, but I never got the chance to experience them as a true young adult and adult, which I regret. My own kids have grown up just steps away from their grandparents, and it makes a big difference in how deep the relationship is. As you know, I'm super family-oriented, and we have a big, close-knit family (one that shouts joyfully around the dinner table) so it was easy for me to imagine how attached Sol would be to Poppu, who has raised her since she was a toddler. 

5. The romance in Plus One is just all kinds of amazing. Did you always plan on having Sol and D’Arcy be together? Because to me, they have such an amazing romance. More so than other books.

Oh, thank you! I feel swoony about their romance, too, and I still find myself worrying about them, all these months later. I wrote a fun post over at Finding Bliss in Books about how the tenor of the romance evolved. I always knew the story would include "romance after initial animosity," but I thought it would be a little more of a lighthearted road trip between Sol and D'Arcy, and a sweeter, funnier coming together. Originally I imagined their relationship to be a little bit like Jack Walsh and Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas in Midnight Run. But the stakes became so high in the novel that the intensity and urgency of their romance necessarily changed. I wanted you to see how much Sol and D'Arcy were losing--and by extension how much everyone suffered--because of the divide. Time is running out for them, and they know it.  

6. Ohh. I’m also really curious. If you have to live in the Day or the Night, which would you choose and why?

Unfortunately no one gets to choose. The Office of Assignment chooses for us all. I suspect, because my ancestors were poor Italian immigrants, I would have been born a Smudge. But living at night would kill me because I'm a Day person, through and through. I get up super early and go to bed early. I don't like to go out at night...I like to feel cozy and snug in my house when it's dark.

7. Also.. I’m kind of dying to know if you have any plans about a sequel for Plus One? Because I would die to read one. Loved Plus One so much and I would love to read more. (That ending is evil, lol)

I wrote and sold Plus One as a standalone, but I never anticipated how much the characters would stick with me. It's not an exaggeration to say that I think about Sol and D'Arcy every single day. And I've actually been awakened by Grady Hastings on a couple of mornings, practically yelling in my ear! He'd be a big player in a follow-up novel, and he knows it. His work has only begun. I'm sorry about the ending, Carina, but it was necessary! (And that's all I can say without spoiling it.)

Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

ELIZABETH FAMA is the YA author most recently of Plus One, an alternate-history thriller set in contemporary Chicago. Her other books include Monstrous Beauty, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and an Odyssey honor winner, and Overboard, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a society of Midland Authors honor book, and a nominee for five state awards. A graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in biology and an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics, she lives with (and cannot live without) her boisterous, creative family in Chicago.

Where to buy Plus One: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - The Book Depository
Where to find Elizabeth: Website - Twitter - Tumblr

Tour Schedule: 

March 31st   -  Fiction Fare
April 1st       - The Starry Eyed Revue
April 2nd      - Ivy Book Bindings
April 3rd       - Carina's Books
April 4th       - Presenting Lenore
April 5th       - Shae Has Left the Room
April 6th       - The Best Books Ever
April 7th       - Teen Librarian Toolbox
April 8th       - Love is Not a Triangle  (Release Day)
April 9th       -  The Bevy Bibliotheque


  1. This is a brilliant interview Carina! I have heard so many great things about this book and how well the romance works, so I'm super excited for my copy to arrive (it was dispatched yesterday!!!).

  2. What a fantastic interview, Carina! I've loved reading more about the process and the world of Plus One! I'm quite looking forward to read it when it releases!

  3. I'm glad that Beth enjoyed writing Gigi's character, as I really liked her. I have Noma Girl bookmarked, and I can't wait to read it soon! I wouldn't mind a follow-up novel. ;) I like that Plus One works well as a stand-alone, but I'd definitely be happy to get more from this world.

    Brilliant interview and thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Excellent interview!! I've heard so many great things about Plus One. The character arc really sounds fabulous. So looking forward to reading Plus One :D

  5. I haven't read it yet, but I have come to the conclusion that I need to! I think I would prefer to be a smudge. I find the night absolutely gorgeous and have trouble going to bed and getting up on time. Oh, and you're sorry about the ending? That makes me nervous. Am I going to be in tears when I read it? Looking forward to it even with the possibility of tears!

  6. I love hearing Elizabeth talk about her books. She's so smart and self-aware.

  7. I really enjoyed Plus One. Wonderful interview! I love hearing Fama talk about her eloquent. Thank you for sharing and for the chance to win a HC. :-)

  8. Awesome review Carina =) I just discovered this book yesterday and enjoyed learning more about it and the author!

  9. I have heard such amazing things for this book and I can't wait to read it! and wow! 5 stars! I must get on with it! fantastic interview!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  10. I loved the interview. I'm looking forward to reading Plus One.

  11. I so want to read this book! And the cover!

  12. I've heard of this book and I really hope that I get to read it! It sounds awesome and the cover is so beautiful!!

    Lovely interview! C:

  13. No, but I really want to - it sounds amazing, and the cover is beautiful! Maybe this will be my chance to read it :) Fingers crossed!

  14. I love a good romance, so I'll definitely check this one out! Awesome interview!

  15. I'm quite curious on the whole day/night premise!

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