Monday, February 27, 2012

This or That? with Julie from Pieces of Us

Visiting the blog today is Margie Gelbwaser, author of Pieces of Us. She is here to promote her new book and to share with her readers a look into the character Julie. If you haven't already read Pieces of Us, I can tell you that the characters are very complex. It's nice to get to see a little bit more into the mind of Julie!

Two families. Four teens.
A summer full of secrets.

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.

Here's a short and sweet This or That interview with Julie from Pieces of Us.

Cake or Pie? Cake, pie, candy, all please! Just don't let Mama see or she'll have a fit.

Shoes or Sandals? Sneakers

Running or Walking? Walking—as long as it's not speed walking

Musing or Pondering? Cogitate. That's a good word and was on last week's vocab list.

Handwritten Letters or Emails? Letters. You can always rip up a letter. E-mails find a way to come back.

Chocolate or Fruit Candy? Fruit candy? Is that like fruit is nature's candy? Have you been talking to my mom?

Manicure or Pedicure? Neither. I'm not Katie.

Nonfiction or Fiction? Take your pick. The more complex the better.

Writing Julie:
Sibling relationships are complicated, which is why I have never included siblings in my novels before. But with PIECES OF US, when I thought about Katie, Julie was always there. I also always knew there was some contention between them. I saw Katie as their mother's favorite. In an early draft, even Julie and Katie's father didn't stand up for Julie, but as the drafts evolved, so did this. What I didn't foresee was Julie's transformation into an ugly person. I knew there were issues, but I didn't know the role she would play in Katie's downfall or how her own needs would overshadow others'. To be honest, she is actually my least favorite character in the book because I feel she is the only one who knows what she's doing is wrong and does it anyway. Alex is terrible, yes, but he thinks differently. Julie has a conscience and chooses to ignore it.

Margie Gelbwasser is the author of INCONVENIENT, published by Flux in November 2010. INCONVENIENT, named a 2011 Notable Book for Teens by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee, tells the story of Alyssa Bondar. Alyssa must cope with an alcoholic mother, tuned-out dad, first boyfriend, and end of a long friendship. Margie's next novel, PIECES OF US, is told in 4 POV (one of them second) and deals with cyber-bullying, abuse, and how each teen's secrets affect the other 3. It will be published by Flux March 8, 2012.



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