Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Summer Camp by Diane Hanks

Summer Camp by Diane Hanks
Some people never grow up. Others grow up gradually, barely noticing when they stop needing to talk to Mom every day or when they no longer need to borrow money from Dad. And then there are those of us who remember exactly when we stopped being children. We remember because it’s never a choice.
Summer Camp: A Memoir is about a girl who has no choice because her parents are alcoholics, and her mother is mentally ill. It’s the story of a girl who needs to get through grade school while bringing her younger siblings through the fallout of their parents’ war, divorce, and forced reconciliation. As she comes of age, she also must navigate the typical challenges of high school, which become more difficult after her mother walks naked through the streets of their small town following an incident at the neighborhood church involving holy water and a hamster. No one ever said mental illness doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Addicts lie. It comes with the territory. And while all lies have the potential for damage, sometimes the truths that go untold are just as bad. So above all else, this is the story of a girl trying to survive her parents’ lies and secrets; who, as an adult, must free herself from both.
Giveaway: ebook (pdf) open internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our Interview:

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Summer Camp: A Memoir is the true coming-of-age story about a girl whose parents are alcoholics and whose mother is mentally ill.

--How did you get the idea for the story?  
The memoir is based on my life, which, for better and worse, has provided plenty of material.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? 
If she were still alive – and was cured of the illnesses that plagued her during life – I’d most like to have dinner with my mother.  I never knew her when she was well, so never knew what she was like without her addictions and mental illness.  I’d least like to have dinner with the psychiatrist she’d had an affair with.

--What are some of your favorite books?  
My all-time favorite novel is To Kill A Mockingbird.  I also loved The Book Thief, The Lovely Bones, and The Help.

Do you still have much time to read? 
I have a long commute to and from work, so listen to lots of audio books.  Some of my favorites include:  J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, narrated brilliantly by Jim Dale; the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, which also has an outstanding narrator; and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  On my Kindle, I’m currently reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.

Do you have any other works in progress?
I’ve just finished my new novel, Finn McCool: A Faerie Tale for Grown-Ups

Any teasers or release dates? 
Finn McCool will be posted on Kindle this weekend!  Inspired by Irish mythology, Finn McCool is about an unlikely hero who embarks on an incredible adventure to save his magical kingdom – and, more importantly, its gift of true love for humans.  

Seamus works in The Department of Human Wishes as a wish-granting faerie, whose specialty is supposed to be true love.  But he’s an inept matchmaker, having brought together several notorious couples.  For his latest unfortunate match Lancelot and Guinevere Seamus is punished with centuries of sleep.  When he wakes, Seamus learns that evil faeries have captured his kingdom’s most powerful weapons.   He wants nothing more than to join the battle as a warrior like his fallen hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.  Instead, he’s sent on a matchmaking mission that’s certain to fail because the human he’s assigned to help doesn’t believe in true love.  Kara Sebree only believes in that which can be proven by science.

His only solace is that the name he’s given when sent to the human world is Finn McCool, so close to that of his hero.  As Finn, he has no idea that he and Kara are the only hope faeries have in saving his kingdom and that humans have in saving true love. 

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? 
I don’t think I could resist being part of the magical world of Harry Potter, but in one of the earlier books when life at Hogwarts wasn’t quite so ominous.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
All I need is time, which isn’t easy to come by with a full-time job (I’m a medical writer by day).  You have to be disciplined about carving out a few hours every day to write.  While I write, I always play movie soundtracks, mainly epic instrumentals.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’d love to be able to fly.   I think it would give you such a sense of freedom. 

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time with my family, which is most important to me.  I also enjoy walking outdoors, and try to walk three miles every day, weather permitting.  Exercise is so beneficial for mind and body.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
I would like to thank every person who has taken the time to read Summer Camp: A Memoir, with special thanks to those who have written reviews.  Knowing that the book has made a difference in people’s lives means more than I can say.  I also want to let my readers know that I’ve written both a feature length screenplay and a television pilot based on the memoir.  Heather Matarazzo (actress) would like to direct, and we’re working to make that happen.  It’s extremely difficult to get an indie movie made right now, and it’s not much easier to sell a pilot that features children.  So please wish us luck!

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?  Chocolate – the darker, the better.
Edward or Jacob?  Sorry, not a Twilight fan.  But I think I’d go with Edward.
Hockey or soccer?  Baseball.  I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan, despite their September collapse.
Ebook or paper?  Both.  I love my Kindle, but I don’t ever want to lose the option of having books that I can feel and smell.
Salty or sweet?  Salty.
Beach or mountains?  Beach.
Phone call or email?  Email.
Early bird or night owl?  Early bird.
Dog or cat?  Dog.  I’m allergic to cats.
Messy or neat?  Neat, though not freakishly so;)
Ninjas or pirates?  Pirates, especially any that look like Johnny Depp.

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  1. Good blog. You might enjoy this little poem about mothers.

  2. Interesting, I had not heard of this book before. I grew up in New Orleans and had alcoholic parents myself and so did so many of my friends that we thought it was normal. It was not until I went to college that I realized that everyone else wasn't really like that.

  3. I love The Book Thief! I just heard yesterday it's going to be a movie! This is good!

    I'm scared of heights, I don't think I'd wanna fly!

  4. I enjoyed the interview, especially about learning about the author's upcoming works.

  5. Great interview - I love the sound of this one! And I totally agree with any pirate that looks like Johnny Depp! ;)
    Thanks for the great interview! :)


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