"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Monday, May 18, 2015

MY Q&A with ANNA BANKS: JOYRIDE Blog Tour and Giveaway!!!

by Anna Banks
Release date: June 2nd, 2015
Published by Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 
Format: Hardcover, eBook


A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.


*Thank you, Anna, for taking the time to answer a few questions today!

No, thank YOU for having me! I’m excited to be here today. And just so you know, if any of your readers would like a signed bookmark and/or bookplate for JOYRIDE, just have them email me at byannabanks@gmail.com. This is offer is open internationally!       

*JOYRIDE is not your usual romantic contemporary, which is why I loved it so much! And so many others will too! Immigration, mental illness, drug abuse and suicide are all topics that are so difficult to discuss. There are so many different feelings and opinions towards them.

I know. And at first, I was afraid to write a book like that, with not one of those, but all of those issues in it. But in the end, I decided that it deserved to be written, instead of whether or not it was right or wrong to write it the way I did. I doubt any of has not come in contact with, or is even close to someone who, has been  affected by immigration, mental illness, drug abuse, suicide or racism. It touches all of us. I didn’t set out to write a book with all those in it, it just happened, because of who my characters were, and what they were facing.

*Which character spoke to you first, Arden or Carly? And did you know right away what their story was going to be, or did they grow into something more than you thought?

Carly’s story was the one that kept me up at night. That there could be some hardworking teen just getting in from work and school when I was all snuggled up in bed with my family. Yes, it was always Carly first for me. But with Carly, I knew there had to be sort of an anti-Carly. A teen who had it all. But really, there’s no such teen. All teens have their struggles, even if they appear okay on the outside. That’s where Arden started to grow for me. His problems are much different than Carly’s, but somehow they can become the balm that heals the other’s wounds.  

*What kind of research did you have to go through for Carly and her family’s immigration situation?

I didn’t do much formal research for this, because I experienced it in what you could say second hand. As a teen and an adult, I worked with many undocumented Mexican immigrants who were trying to etch out a living here in the Florida Panhandle. As we grew closer, they would tell me of their stories. Of how they were able to make it into the US undetected. Of how they paid these people called coyotes to bring them over illegally. But if I did have to research it, it would have been easy. All you have to do is Google “Family separated by deportation” and you’ll have many responsible journalism outlets covering similar—and heartbreaking—stories.

*I am obsessed with book titles and book covers and I love the look and title for JOYRIDE – everything ties in perfectly! Was JOYRIDE the original title? Were there other titles?

Nope, JOYRIDE was always the title. It just fit so perfectly with what I wanted the book to accomplish. Their relationship itself is a joyride, not to mention the actual joyride that takes place in the novel. Yes, it was always going to be joyride. And I adore the cover myself! I was so excited when I got a first glimpse of it, because it’s true to the story.

Arden and Carly are such strong and entertaining characters, is it possible that we may see them again in a future setting? 
At this time there aren’t plans for that, but I’m on Wattpad now, and I’ve posted all my Syrena Legacy short stories there, so I’m sure I’ll be posting future Carly and Arden adventures there as well.

*On a fun note! (Oops, I almost inserted a spoiler!)… What kind of books does Carly like to read? Perhaps like fairy-tales? If so, what do you think her favorite fairy-tale(s) and/or fairy-tale character(s) would be?

I know you didn’t specifically ask about Disney Princesses, but rather fairytales, but I think Carly would most relate to Jasmine from Aladdin. Jasmine is strong, and recognizes tradition, but always yearns to break free from it. She has a rebellious streak—and this is what she comes to like in Arden as well.
As far as what character she would want to be, I think we all want in some way to be Cinderella. For all our hard work to pay off in a big way, because we did the right thing. But sometimes Carly struggles to define right and wrong, and so she may admire Cinderella for always knowing the difference.

*Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us, Anna!!!

Thanks for having me! It was way fun! 


New York Times Bestselling author of The Syrena Legacy series. 

Grew up in a town called Niceville. No, seriously. I graduated from Niceville High School. So did J Lo's second husband. And the guy that plays Aqua Man on Smallville dated my best friend. 

Now I indulge my tendency to lie by writing the lies down and selling them to publishers. Well actually my agent sells it, so she's an accomplice to lies. One of my lies is called OF POSEIDON. The sequel is called OF TRITON. The last and final installment is OF NEPTUNE, and it released May 13, 2014. Be on the lookout for JOYRIDE, my YA Contemporary out June 2, 2015--Bonnie & Clyde meets Latina Pretty in Pink!

And um. I also write adult fiction under pen name Anna Scarlett. One of the adult lies is DEGREES OF WRONG.

That is all. 

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