by Rachele Alpine
Release date: August 1, 2013
Publisher: Medallion Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.
Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.
But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.
I know this sounds clichéd, but I’ve always wanted to be a writing. My mom has a picture I drew in 2nd or 3rd grade that says, “When I grow up, I want to be an author.” I spent my early years filling notebooks with scribbles and when I got older, I wrote story after story. I still have all of these notebooks, and some of the stuff I wrote is pretty funny. I grew up surrounded by books. My mom or grandmother was always reading to me, and I think that sparked my love of writing too. I wanted to create my own stories after hearing so many amazing ones.
Q: What were the challenges (research, psychological, etc.) in bringing this story or characters to life?
I think the hardest part was writing about such sensitive issues. I put my main character Kate through a lot, and I wanted to make sure it all sounded authentic. There were parts where I had a really hard time getting into Kate’s brain and what she was feeling. Much of what I wrote during difficult times in the novel didn’t sound true to her voice. I discovered that when I shifted to poetry, I could express what she wanted to say that sounded true to her. This is what inspired to book to be written in a mix of prose and poetry, and I love how it turned out.
Q: What was the easiest part of writing CANARY?
The story came to me pretty easily, although my writing process was a bit odd. I wrote the book in scenes that weren’t necessarily in order. At one point I put all the scenes in order and looked to see where there were holes in the plotline. I then wrote those scenes. I don’t exactly advocate writing a book out of order, but for me, it made it helped.
Q: What is your favorite scene or was your favorite to write? Don’t forget to tell us why.
I think my favorite scenes in the book were the ones with Kate and her brother Brett. Brett is definitely my favorite character in the book, and I love the strong bond Kate and Brett have. My little sister is really important to me and I used our relationship as inspiration for the one between the two siblings in CANARY.
Q: What’s next for you writing wise that you can share with us?
I have a MG book my agent plans to sub called OPERATION PUCKER UP. It’s about a girl who gets the lead in her middle school play and then finds out she has to kiss the male lead. She’s never kissed a boy before, so her friends launch a plan to help her get her first kiss before opening night. It’s a lot of fun and a nod to my theater days when I was younger.
I’m working on a YA novel called BACK TO THE START about a girl who goes missing, how the town reacts to her disappearance, and her sister who has done something so horrible that she’s afraid she is the cause of everything.
Rachele Alpine is a lover of sushi, fake mustaches, and Michael Jackson. One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. By day she’s a high school English teacher, and by night she writes with the companionship of the world’s cutest dog, Radley, a big cup of coffee, and a full bag of gummy peaches. Rachele lives with her husband in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there.
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