I’ve gotten to know Marie on Twitter and on her blog so I was happy to get on the blog tour for her book Blue Sky Days which just came out recently. I have a fun post for you today that includes an interview with Marie as well as a giveaway for my lovely readers.
Blue Sky Days
Release date: January 17th, 2012
A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother – studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing – and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn’t have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn’t know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn’t helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it’s time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she’s stepped back in time.
When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes – he’s unlike anyone she’s ever met before, the kind of man she didn’t even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don’t always need a plan – sometimes life steers you where you’re meant to be.
Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it’s time for her to help Nicholas the way he’s helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
There were a lot of reasons I wanted to write this book. When I got the idea for Emma, I thought she would be a character that a lot of people would relate to, because who hasn’t gone through struggles and felt a little lost at some point in their life? Then there was Nicholas – sweet, chivalrous, free-spirited, kind of old-fashioned. He was so full of life, and not really your typical male lead. I wanted to tell their story – a story about love, life, struggles, heartache, strength, courage, and friendship.
Q. Seeing as this book touches the subject of cancer, what kind of research did you have to do?
Well, I had quite a bit of personal experience because my dad was diagnosed with leukemia when I was eight, and he spent two years in and out of hospitals. I also had a friend who was diagnosed with leukemia right before I started writing Blue Sky Days. I did have to do a bit of research to make sure I got certain facts right, though. I had some old brochures from the cancer hospital where my dad spent weeks and months at a time, and I did the rest of the research online.
Q. How did writing about such a tough subject affect you emotionally?
There were times when it was incredibly difficult, and I found myself wondering when I had become such a masochist. I’d be writing certain scenes and would just be bawling my eyes out because the characters were so real to me and I loved them so much that it was hard to put them through something so painful, even though I knew all along what the story was about, and what the outcome would be.
Q. Which topics would you like to explore in your future books (assuming there are more to come)?
I really doubt I’ll deal with such serious topics in the future. I don’t want to be another Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult, where you know you’re going to cry through all their books! I’m a sucker for love stories, so all my books will have some element of romance. I love contemporary stories that explore relationships, and I’d also eventually like to try my hand at fantasy. For the last few years, I’ve had an idea for a story that involves faeries. I’m anxious to get started on that one, but it’ll have to wait a while, because I’m already working on another project.
Q. What books do you most recommend to friends?
I’m a Harry Potter fanatic, so I’m always telling people they should read that series if they haven’t already. I also love Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery, the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, anything by Nora Roberts or Sarah Dessen, and the Passport to Peril series by Maddy Hunter. A few books I’ve read in the last year that I absolutely adored were Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, and The Hunger Games trilogy.
Q. What is your absolute most favourite thing to do in the summer?
Road trips! To me, there’s nothing like driving in a car with the windows down and the music blasted, knowing you’re going on an adventure. I haven’t been able to go on many the last couple of years, but I’m hoping to make up for it this summer!
Thanks so much for having me here today Giselle, it’s been a pleasure!
Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer. With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
WINNER IS: Debbie Sao