Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Giveaway and Interview: Sparks Off You by Anita Felicelli

Sparks Off You by Anita Felicelli
Julie Randeria has always worshipped her smart, independent older sister Maya. When Julie follows Maya to a community college physics class, she sees her degraded and loses faith in her. Sometimes when you lose a little bit of faith, you start along a path to losing all of your self, too.
Alienated both from each other and a society determined to see them as exotic others, each sister strikes out on her own as their family mythology continues to unravel. Lyrical and provocative, "Sparks Off You" is an existential coming of age novel that follows two Indian-American sisters trying to find their reality in the Bay Area at the dawn of the tech boom.

Find Anita:
Website: www.anitafelicelli.com
Twitter: @anitafelicelli
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SparksOffYou

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interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

Anita Felicelli is a writer and attorney, born in India and raised in Palo Alto, California. She studied art, literature, and rhetoric at UC Berkeley. An interest in social justice fueled her graduation from Boalt Hall Law School. Anita spent a semester abroad in Amsterdam focusing on international law (and trying to see as much of Europe as possible). She worked as a litigator at various small firms for eight years, writing poetry and novels by night.
A small press published Anita’s first collection of poetry, Letters to an Albatross, in 2010, coinciding with her departure from the full-time practice of law. After a short stint as director of publications at a film festival and think tank, she decided to write and pursue her own creative projects. An intrepid baker and traveler, Anita lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, and two corgis. Her first novel is Sparks Off You.

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Two sisters navigate lives of dissolving identities after losing their mother. One leaves, other comes of age after father unveils a dark secret.

--How did you get the idea for the story?
The first draft of Sparks Off You was written just after college when I realized that none of the books I read in high school or my early 20s got to the heart of what it’s like to grow up as a raw, intense personality in a time and place where irony, apathy, and detachment are treated as being more valuable than authenticity. Pretty quickly, the book evolved into a more existential consideration of mental illness. The main characters Julie and Maya both have experiences similar to those of my younger self with roller coaster moods, strong friendships, troubled romantic relationships, involvement in alternative subcultures, and what it’s like to grow up in America as an Indian-American immigrant.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I think I would most like to have dinner with my main character Julie—she’s smart, sensitive, artistic, and is always thinking about interesting ideas, which makes for great conversation. I’d least like to have dinner with Mark because he’s toxically apathetic.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I am now working on a novel about Maya from Sparks Off You. It’s about art, the legal world, and a mystery, too. Also working on a memoir and an interactive children’s book app—no release dates yet.
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar set-up or style)
The books I’ve read that feel the closest to mine are J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Anne Spollen’s The Shape of Water.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I could never stop reading! My favorite YA author is Madeleine L’Engle. Adult books I love are Victor Pelevin’s The Sacred Book of the Werewolf, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and Adolfo Bioy Casares’ The Invention of Morel, Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees, and Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano. The common thread is that they’re deeply emotional, intellectual and unconventional.

--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?

Black tea, spicy snacks, and rock music help me write. There’s a playlist for Sparks Off You here: http://open.spotify.com/user/1213175100/playlist/7KGNWSs3omCusp2wvg681S.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’d read minds. I’m always curious about what other people are thinking and feeling. A close second is flying. I’m fascinated by birds and bats.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I bake indulgent desserts with unusual ingredients, watch movies, and spend as much time as possible with my beautiful newborn and husband.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
Hold on to who you are and the hope that your life will be magical—because it will.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Please visit my website at www.anitafelicelli.com, follow me on twitter, or on my Facebook page for Sparks Off You. If you want to talk about anything I’ve written, I’d love to correspond—feel free to write to me at anitafelicelli@gmail.com.
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?
Edward or Jacob?
Hockey or soccer?
Ebook or paper?
Salty or sweet?
Beach or mountains?
Phone call or email?
Phone call.
Early bird or night owl?
Ex-night owl and I miss it! Exciting things always happen at night.
Dog or cat?
Dog—I have two of them.
Messy or neat?
Outrageously messy.
Ninjas or pirates?

My question to you, my lovely readers:

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