Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway!

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I’m very excited to have the Sea of Tranquility blog tour drop by the blog today. I loved this book – find my review here – and today I’m honored to have Katja over for an interview and you can enter to win your very own copy!

The Sea of Tranquility
Katja Millay
Publication date: June 4th 2013 (pbk)
by Atria Books

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett.

Josh’s story is no secret. Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya who won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the mira­cle of second chances.

Interview with Katja Millay

Hi Katja,

I absolutely loved your book so I’m excited to have you visit my little place on the world wide web! 🙂

Thank you!  I love your blog. I appreciate you having me on today.

Q.- Let’s start with something that a friend and I have been discussing lately about genres. I’ve seen some list your book as a New Adult, others as a Young Adult; how do you define New Adult? For instance, does it require that the character be over 18? Does it need to have sexual content? I’d like to know your take! 🙂

I’ve seen so many different explanations of what NA is believed to be lately.  At the moment, it seems to be widely associated with college-age romance.  However, in my mind, the term NA says more about the age of the characters and the period of life they’re experiencing than it does about the genre of the book. The characters are often making the transition from the shelter of their teenage years into the early stages of adulthood and dealing with all of the changes and growth that come at that point in life.  I think that’s one of the reasons why TSoT, although the characters are still in high school, is often considered New Adult.  Due to their unique situations, Nastya and Josh are facing some of the changes and much of the growing up that often comes later.  

It may make more sense to think of NA in much the same way we think of YA. If we consider what the term YA – or young adult – calls to mind, there isn’t the automatic assumption of a high school-based romance.  The overall conclusion is that teenagers will be present and that it is intended for that same general audience, but beyond that it can take any form.   The subject matter itself can vary widely – romance, paranormal, mystery, coming-of-age, etc.  I think of new adult the same way – as a categorization – a more mature version of young adult that doesn’t, by definition, imply sex and romance.

I don’t believe a new adult novel necessarily has to have sexual content in it.  I think the main reason many of the books being categorized as NA often do involve sex is because sex is a significant part of life at the age that the characters are so it tends to naturally play a role.  In any case, I think that the inclusion of sex should be dictated by the characters themselves and whether or not the sex is organic and is there to support the story, not vice-versa.

Q.- How difficult was it for you to write from a boy’s perspective (so flawlessly, too!)?

Thank you! I appreciate that.  It was different.  I had to stay cognizant of the fact that there weren’t expressions he was using that a teenage boy wouldn’t use and that sort of thing. When I first started writing in his perspective, it was more difficult.  Once I had spent more time with him in my head, it became easier because I knew his character well enough that I was able to think in his voice.

Q.- Which perspective was the most fun for you to write?

Nastya was the most interesting character for me to write because she was snarkier and her thoughts were more unfiltered.  She was also more psychologically damaged so as a writer it was wonderful to be able to get lost in that mind and the way she viewed the world and the unique logic she employed.  I loved to delve behind the curtain there and show how the things that didn’t make sense to people on the outside made perfect sense to her.  Her mind was fascinating to me.  Also, although I wasn’t writing in his perspective, Drew was fun for me because he didn’t censor himself.

Q.- Do you have actors/pictures you used as inspiration for your characters’ profile? If not, who would you love to see play them in a movie?

I actually did have a picture that I kept in mind when I was writing Nastya.  It was ripped out of an old magazine from a layout on hairstyles or something like that.  It wasn’t someone famous so I have no idea of her name but her face was haunting to me.  Eventually, once the character was more fully developed, she evolved in my mind and the image changed somewhat so she didn’t end up looking exactly like that picture but that’s where she started for me.  As for Josh, he lives in my head.  I see him in such detail and so fully formed that it’s impossible for me to fathom ever actually “finding” him.  I’ve never found a picture that even remotely fits the image I created of him.  I’m beginning to be convinced that I never will.  It’s difficult because there isn’t a plethora of well-known seventeen year old actors out there and I see Josh very much as the teenager he is.  He isn’t ultra-perfect and gorgeous in a model-type way.  He’s very real and down to earth.

Q. Can we expect a new book from you soon? *puppy eyes*

I’m writing right now but I don’t have an ETA at the moment.  I promise when I do I will shout it from the rooftops!  It’s going to be coming a little later than I originally planned.  We’re in the process of a long distance move which came unexpectedly, so unfortunately the book is on hold until we get the family settled.  It’s difficult because all I really want to be doing right now is finishing that story but when I write I need to get lost in the characters and that’s impossible with my mind in so many other places right now.  Sometimes life gets in the way.

Thanks so much!  I have been recommending Sea of Tranquility to everybody with death glares and all! 🙂

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Giselle!  And I appreciate the peer pressure by death glare!  That’s awesome!

About the Author

Katja’s Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Katja Millay grew up in Florida and graduated with a degree in film & television production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked as a television producer, and a film studies and screenwriting teacher. Currently she resides in Florida with her family. The Sea of Tranquility is her first book.

This post is part of the Sea of Tranquility blog tour:


Thanks to the fabulous people over at Atria Books, I have one signed copy of The Sea of Tranquility for giveaway.

· Giveaway ends June 16th, 2013

· Open to US addresses only
· Full contest terms and conditions found on Rafflecopter

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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55 Responses to “The Sea of Tranquility Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway!”

  1. Kate @ Ex Libris

    This is one of my favorite books EVER. Josh and Drew’s voices are a big part of why. Writing as a teen guy must be so difficult but Katja got it 100% right!!

  2. Melanie

    Each time I stop by at a tour stop on this blog tour, I learn something new. For instance- I never knew that this was written in the perspective of a man/boy. Actually, I probably knew but it didn’t really quite process in my mind that awfully well, huh. Great explanation on the NA genre! I’ve always been careful when I pick one of those up as I’m no fan of explicit scenes.

    Aweosme interview, chick! <33

  3. Nicole

    I have heard so many wonderful things about this book. I cannot wait to read it. Thank you so much for a chance to win!

  4. maya

    I’ve heard a fair bit about this and am dying to read it! Shame the giveaway is US only – I guess I’ll just have to buy a copy 😉

  5. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    I love how she discussed how YA/NA are seen. I truly love this book and it is definitely a favorite of mine. Can’t wait to see what she writes next. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway! 🙂

  6. Amy

    I still need to read this!!! I am so behind on my reading and I know I will love this, but I have a few tours and review commitments coming up, so it’s probably going to be like another 2 weeks. *sobs* Awesome interview babe!!

  7. Megan K.

    I’m planning on starting on TSoT soon, so it was great being able to know more about Katja and the book. 🙂 I also agree with Katja’s answer about NA. ALL authors should take note of that, lol. Great interview, you two! This has definitely got my more hyped to read this book.

  8. Danny

    Just like you I am a big fan of this book. Actually, I wish I could reread it again for the first time!

    and I loved Katja’s NA answer and I think she’s very right, that NA isn’t nececarly about College kids, but more about the state of development the characters are in. Like SoT – I think it perfectly fits NA even though they are both still in School!

  9. Joan

    I’ve read some great reviews about this book and I can’t to read it!!!


  10. Aman

    I love how the author defined NA in her words, I think of it as the same. High school or college setting doesn’t matter as long as the characters are going through some sort of emotional transition. Love the interview 🙂

  11. Molli

    LOVE Katja’s thoughts on what NA is. This is what I’ve been saying. I am TOTALLY psyched to read her book. 😀

  12. Alexia

    I’ve tried to procure this one through multiple avenues: NetGallery,GoodReads giveaways etc and I’ve lost out every time. I am really excited to read this one.

  13. Misti

    I really loved this book and all the characters. I would love to own my own copy so I can read it over & over again.

  14. Siiri

    Loved the book, love the interview and love Katja! Wish I lived in US/Can so I could have a chance to win a paperback, but doesn’t matter anyway since I was planning on purchasing it soon as a paperback. This one deserves to be pet and loved in real life too 🙂 Thanks for sharing hon!

  15. The Blank Page

    Oh MAN! This book is the BOMB DOT COM! I want to win a signed copy more than I want my own Josh Bennett. Okay maybe that’s a lie but you get the idea 😉

  16. Sophia

    To be honest, one of my friends literally JUST tweeted about this book today. I had only heard of this one across the blogosphere, so to see someone outside blogs reading this definitely gave me a wake up call–it’s a book I HAVE to read. At first, I was hesitant, because reviews said it might not be for everyone, but I’m convinced that I need to read it asap! Lovely interview, girls! I love how Nastya is unfiltered and snarky. I can’t wait to meet her. 🙂

  17. Alexa Y.

    I enjoyed all the males in The Sea of Tranquility, particularly Drew, Josh and Clay. I thought that they were really well-written and authentic!

  18. Meghan

    This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
    Did the author have any say on the design of the book cover? Also, who in the author’s life encouraged them to sit down and write their first book?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  19. Anonymous

    This book was one of my favorites last year. I’m so excited that it’s finally out in paperback!

    Cassandra E

  20. Lauren Elizabeth

    I’m thrilled to hear we’ll get another book, even if it will take a little while. Good luck with your move, I know that can be very time consuming and distracting. Love this interview, and love the book—thanks ladies! 🙂

  21. vivalabooks

    I haven’t read The Sea of Tranquility yet, but oh boy do I want to now! The synopsis just drew me in. I had this sudden urge to go buy the book and find out about Nastya’s past. Plus, there’s a male POV! And, by everyone’s positive comments, I think it’s safe to say that Katja Millay did a great job. I just cannot wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  22. Alexia

    This giveaway is awesome. I’ve tried so many ways to get my hands on this book! Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  23. Denise Z

    I am generally an action gal, but every now and then I want that read that touches the emotions and follows the struggle of healing and finding love. Looks like The Sea of Tranquility meets that bill. I just about choked up reading the synopsis, can’t wait to read the actual book. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the awesome chance to win a copy, regardless adding to the wishlist 🙂