The Compulsive Reader: Looking Ahead: Carmen Rodrigues and 34 Pieces of You!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looking Ahead: Carmen Rodrigues and 34 Pieces of You!

Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

On the blog today is Carmen Rodrigues and her new book 34 Pieces of You!

TCR: What was the hardest part about writing 34 Pieces of You

CR: Honestly, all of it. 34 PIECES OF YOU is told from three (really four) alternating points-of-view. You have the three main narrators--Jake, the brother; Sarah, the best friend; and Jessie, Sarah's younger sister--and Ellie, whose story is shared through her pieces. At the start of the novel, Ellie has died, and the other characters each feel responsible for her death. They start to examine their actions, telling us a story that spans five years. Plus, we're not only looking back, we're simultaneously moving forward. So there is what happened that night, what happened before that night, and what happened after.

To write from four different voices/two different sexes inside a nonlinear timeframe--all while dealing with an incredibly dark subject matter that, at times, made me feel very depressed--was difficult. I actually meant to write this book from only Sarah's P.O.V., but the story begged to be told otherwise. It took years to get it right--their vulnerabilities, back stories, and dialogue. And if you ask my editor, Jen Klonsky at Simon Pulse, she'll tell you that I'm a bit obsessive about my revision process. So the novel continued to be polished well after it was sold.

TCR: The easiest?

CR: Determining the locations. I'm most familiar with three places: Lorain, Ohio, Miami, Florida, and New York City. I grew up in Lorain and Miami, and have lived in NYC throughout the years. I wanted the bulk of 34 PIECES OF YOU to be set in a location that mirrored the emotional state of the narrators, so the majority of it takes place in a small, fictional Ohio town during the winter. About a fifth of the book takes place in NYC and Miami.

TCR: Where's the best place to stay up to date with you and your novels?

You can find me in so many places:

Twitter @ThisIsMyHndStnd
   --These boards show you the world I've created in 34 PIECES OF YOU. Really cool!

And here's what the book is all about:
"A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose. 
There was something about Ellie…Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance—and kept watch. 
Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life. 
Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along…."
Want to win an advanced copy? Check out the Goodreads giveaway! And be sure to visit Carmen's website because she's giving away a ton of fun books to celebrate her release!

And check out this cool video with Carmen about the book!

34 Pieces of You will be out in September 4th, 2012!

Carmen is also the author of NOT Anything--click here to read my review!

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