Thursday, June 15, 2017

INTERNET FAMOUS Blog Tour: Guest Post & Excerpt


Happy Thursday, everybody!!!

I'm EXTREMELY excited to share this post with you all! I don't know if you recall, but last year I read Danika Stone's ALL THE FEELS and I was absolutely smitten with it, so as soon as I heard about her newest book, INTERNET FAMOUS, I was sold!

I've been eagerly waiting for it for months, and guess what?! The wait is over! INTERNET FAMOUS is now on sale, and to celebrate, I'm taking part in Raincoast Book's blog tour, and I have a guest post from Danika and an excerpt to share with you all!

Just in case you haven't been counting down the days for this book like I have, here's what it's all about:


ABOUT THE BOOK

INTERNET FAMOUS

Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 320 (Paperback)

Description:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.



GUEST POST

A BOX FULL OF CHARACTERS

By Danika Stone

       When I was a child, I watched a Canadian children’s television show called Mr. Dress-up. On it were a menagerie of puppets, Mr. Dress-up – the host, and a “tickle trunk”. Now, while I enjoyed the antics of the puppets, Casey and Finnegan, and Mr. Dress-up always felt like another grandpa, the thing I really enjoyed was that flower-painted box of goodies. In it was every type of object imaginable! It was a veritable Canadian-Mary-Poppins box of treasures.

       As a writer, I often think back to the tickle trunk. When we write, we ask our muses to come up with a whole world of details, from the particular shade of the characters hair, to the name of their long-lost love, to their absolute dislike of the taste of radishes. The small, meaningless details are what build a living, breathing character, and the ability to do so differentiates the mediocre story-teller from the weaver of words.

       Knowing that details make the difference, how might a writer apply this approach to character development?

       For me, it involves an actual box. It’s an everyday shoebox. I write the name of the character on a piece of paper, trying if I can to match the imagined handwriting. It sits in my office on a shelf. At first, it’s empty. I don’t know the character at all. But one day – while I’m doing dishes, perhaps – it strikes me that the spoon I’m drying is one of the heirlooms she’s inherited from her mother’s family. Without a second thought, I run and deposit it into the box. The character appears for a split-second, then fades.

       Another day passes, maybe more. This time, I’m in my living room, half-listening to the news as I flip through a magazine. Distracted, I run across a photograph of a house overlooking the water. My breath catches. This, I think, is where she used to spend her summers as a child. The character’s image appears like a candle in the dark, brightly glowing. Before the commercial break ends (and the character disappears), I put this object into the box, too.

       The next day it’s a scarf of iridescent pink fabric. (The one I’ve had forever, but only today noticed.) That night, it’s a half-used tube of Chapstick. The next morning, an earring back, left on the toilet tank. One by one, they arrive, quite on their own, and become part of the box. With each object, the vision of the character glows a little brighter, lasts a little longer.

       By the time the box is full, I have a snapshot of a real person. There are flea-market finds and everyday items along with the hints of their stories. I finally sit down at the computer and begin to type.

       The words that arrive on the page aren’t nebulous guesses at “who” I’m writing. They are tethered in reality, and they have a whole history attached to them. Over the months of writing that follow as I write the book, the box flexes. Some objects join it, while others – no longer needed – disappear. And in the end, the soul that has lived there becomes a living, breathing character who I know with the same intuitive rightness as myself. The tickle-trunk’s magic is real.

       So how about you? What are YOUR tricks to writing a realistic character? Do you have any other writing advice that you follow? Give your thoughts in the comments below!



EXCERPT

       Eyes closed, Madi stumbled blindly forward.

       “Where are you taking me?”

       She shivered as Laurent’s mouth brushed the shell of her ear. “Just trust me. Alright?” His fingers tightened around hers. “Almost there.”

       “Okay.”

       In the last minutes, Laurent had slipped on her backpack, taking one of her hands in his, the other hand sliding around her waist. She wasn’t sure where they were, but she could smell damp cement, mildew and decay. The sound of the city had dimmed in the last seconds, the red glow of sun through her eyelids replaced by darkness.

       “You know I don’t like scary movies, right? No screamers on my dashboard. No trolls in the dungeon.” She shuddered. “Definitely no trolls!”

       Laurent laughed. “This is good, chérie. I promise.” His scruff brushed her cheek, voice low. “Just a little further. Here. Take a step down. Don’t let go of me.”

       Madi stumbled, but he caught her, the faint scent of cologne reaching her nostrils as he helped her regain her footing.

       “And one more step,” he said. “A little to your left. Aha, almost there now. Hold on.”

       He put a hand on either shoulder, turning her slightly. When he let go of her, Madi’s arms rose in sudden fear, but Laurent came back at her side.

       “You ready?”

       Madi nodded.

       “Open your eyes.”

       Her lashes fluttered open to discover they were standing in the damaged interior of a building. She guessed it had been a brick apartment building, but a fire, sometime in the last years, had gutted the interior. Now it was a roughly rectangular box forming a massive chimney, three or four stories high, with charred beams and the wilting remains of fire-bent stairs clinging to one side. Below their feet, the floor was warped and uneven, but apparently sound. Above them, the wide open sky.

       Madi gasped as her eyes adjusted to the light.

       Light poured in from many glassless windows highlighting an explosion of imagery. Faces rose from floorboards. Intricate words twisted into strangely foreign shapes. Round and round the interior walls had been painted into a massive mosaic of light and color.
“Oh my God. Did you paint this stuff?”

       “Oh no, not me,” Laurent said. “Though I’ve met the artists who did.” His arm slid over her shoulders. “One of them is a MadLibber, actually.”

       “Who?”

       He winked. “I’m pretty sure you can figure out which artist would have the attitude to do something like this.”

       Madi’s eyes widened. “ArtWithAttitude? This was painted by Ava?!”

       “Among others.” Laurent said. “This is one of my special places. One of the hidden gems in the city. It’s one of the places I wanted to take you.” He stared up at the broken-down walls and vibrant graffiti with the reverence some people saved for church. “I love this place. I’ve photographed almost all of it.” He looked down at her and grinned. “The murals are always changing. Come back in a week, this’ll be new again.”

       Madi smiled. “This is the inspiration for your photographs.”

       He nodded.

       “And the… the feeling of it is what you want to capture?”

       Laurent’s eyes widened, gold dancing in the green. “Exactement! I want to photograph the life and spirit of a place. Not just the structure, but what a building is because people have put their lives into it.” His hand rose to cup Madi’s cheek. “Because they’ve loved it. Their vision is imprinted on it for— for— always.”

       “Forever?”

       “Yes. Forever… Inaliénable. Indélébile.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Follow Danika:
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Website


Just so you don't forget after her guest post, Danika asked:
  So how about you? What are YOUR tricks to writing a realistic character? Do you have any other writing advice that you follow? Give your thoughts in the comments below!

----

 And I want to know:

Are you as excited for INTERNET FAMOUS as I am? 
What did you think of that excerpt?

1 comment:

  1. Aww, it sounds cute with potential for amazing! I can see why you've been anxiously awaiting its release. Thanks for the share!

    ReplyDelete

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