Today, the Fantastic Blog Hop tour bus is making its first scheduled stop in the chilly north. We stop to warm our hands at the home of author, Rachel Reuben. Hi, Rachel! Welcome to the tour! Tell us a little about yourself.
What is your story about?
My story “Hag” is about a girl who discovers her ex is gay through tragedy.
Where does your story take place?
My hometown, Cleveland, Ohio.
Is writing a natural talent, or did you take classes to hone your craft?
I can honestly say it was a learned skill. The people I grew up with were constantly telling tall tales. Mainly to get me to do what they wanted like; eat my veggies, go to bed, etc. I just started writing my lies down and selling them LOL!
Do you have a ritual when you write? (Special time of day, music etc.)
I like to write at night, but that’s hard to do now that I have to go to bed at night. My ritual consists of answering emails, blogging, and writing at least one scene of my book.
Do you write in multiple genres?
Yes, I’ve done nonfiction, children’s and now YA/fantasy.
Most people want to know, is writing really all that hard?
It can be if you choose a difficult topic. My newest book Eternal Bond took several years to write because I had no experience writing a novel. I made all the typical rookie mistakes; writing in first person, following trends, and not knowing much about the genre.
Do your family and friends read your work?
Only my aunt has read my book.
Have you ever had writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
I’ve had it and I actually gave up and started freelancing, thinking I didn’t have what it takes to write novels.
Do you have an illustrator, or co-author, if so, who?
Who is your favorite author of all time?
Mark Twain, hands down.
What is your latest release?
What other books do you have published?
Where to Buy Hag:
First Three Chapters:
Review of Hag
Audrey Saldano has learned to be tough. Living on the less posh side of Cleveland, she's learned to defend herself. The only thing she can't defend herself against is the pain she feels when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Desmond, with his new girlfriend, Raquel.
Even the appearance of a hot, interesting new guy, Roddai, can't make her feel any less upset. In fact, Roddai irritates her even more. He's persistent and, eventually, Audrey finds that she enjoys his company.
Audrey isn't quite sure what's going on when Desmond shows up at her home and wants to be friends again. In fact, he asks her out to a carnival and she agrees to go. While there, he's jumped by a bunch of boys from another school. Desmond fights them off, but gets surrounded. Fortunately, Roddai isn't far away and jumps in to help Desmond, scaring the other boys off.
For a time, life seems pretty good. She and Desmond are back together and she's friends with Roddai. Everything is fine until Desmond decides to get even with the guys who jumped him at the Winter Carnival. This time, things don't go so well and Desmond is seriously hurt. Audrey's life falls apart. Desmond's death reveals secrets he'd been keeping, even from her.
Hag is an intense, real life drama for teens. Gritty and hard hitting, Hag closely examines Audrey's situation and asks the question, "What would you do if...?"
The characters in Hag are well fleshed out and seem authentic to the reader. Audrey is an especially good, three dimensional character. Her grief and anger are very real. While we might not agree with her actions, we can see why she reacts in the way she does. She is tough, independent, self-sufficient and doesn't rely on others to fight her battles for her.
I really enjoyed Hag is a great coming of age story for young adult readers 16+ and adults. It will make you laugh, cry and cheer.