Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Porcelain Keys Blog Tour - A Review and an Interview!

All right everyone. Today I want to tell you about a fabulous book that will induce all the feels by a great new contemporary YA author, Sarah Beard.

First let me tell you about the book:
Porcelain Keys
By Sarah Beard

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned. (description from author website)

Wow. This book was great. Lyrical, haunting, and like I said...all the feels.  Poor Aria has no way to escape the father that scares her. No way to embrace the music that brings her joy.  No true hope for the future...until Thomas.  Then when another tragic accident happens, Thomas suddenly disappears from her life and Aria finds herself broken again.  Even the music that's come back into her life may not be able to help her find solace.

So, without spoiling things for you, I will say that when I finished reading this book, all I could think was how I'd had a very similar experience when I read both Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. The emotionally-laden mix of happy moments and tragic scenes that left me with tears trailing down my face as I just kept turning pages because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. 

Touching on child abuse, abandonment, alcoholism, depression, and grief, you would think that this book would just be one sad, tortured moment after the next, and yet the music that infused the story, coupled with some heady romance brought such a sense of hope that I knew Aria would somehow make it through it all. Taking the journey with her was a heady thing. 

I can't wait to read Sarah Beard's next book to see what she does next! 

And now, here's a quick interview with Sarah Beard herself!

1. How long did it take from first spark of idea to final proofs to write Porcelain Keys?

Too long! I wrote the first scene in summer 2007 and finished my final round of revisions in November 2012. I loved the story and characters so much that I wanted to tell it right. So I took the time to learn and develop my writing craft, and by the time the book was finished I think I’d rewritten it at least three times. I also took a year off while going through cancer treatment, and another six months while renovating a house. Plus, with three little kids and a part-time job, I usually only got in one or two hours of writing per day. So I like to say that technically, it took two years. It makes me feel better when I look at it that way.
*Life. Always gets in the way, doesn't it? I have massive respect for anyone that can handle it all and still produce great things.  And congrats again on beating the cancer!*

2. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?

I have a lot of bizarre science fiction ideas, premises that my current audience might not be receptive to. But they are definitely concepts I’d like to explore someday. Of course they all involve a little bit of romance too. I don’t think I could write a story without someone falling in love. Whenever I read a book without romance, I think, “This would have been so much better if Sally and David had fallen in love.”

3. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?

Hitting the NYT bestseller list, then celebrating by taking my family to Scotland. 
*Oooh! That's on my bucket list, too, LOL.*

4. Quick picks list:
Favorite vacation destination?

Isle of Skye, Scotland.
I went there with some friends before I met my husband, and it is the most beautiful, magical place I’ve ever been. It’s also where my ancestors are from, which is probably why it felt so magical to me.

Favorite childhood book?

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

Favorite writing snackfood?

Anything chocolate will do, but chocolate-covered almonds seem to give me extra brain power.

Favorite clothing item?

Sweaters. I’m always cold for some reason.

*Ugh, me too. This winter's been hard!*

5. What's next on your writing horizons?
I’m working on another young adult romance right now. I don’t want to say too much about it, but it’s set on a California beach and involves chocolate, surfing, and supernatural elements. I also have detailed outlines for two more after that, both young adult romances.
I'm so excited to hear about more books in the works! I know that I'll be checking them out.  Thank you SO much Sarah, for taking the time to stop by my blog today.  It was great having you and I truly loved Porcelain Keys!

For more information about Sarah Beard, you can check out the following places:
Her website

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your great review and interview, and for being part of the Porcelain Keys blog tour!