Thursday, March 21, 2013

17 & Gone Blog Tour

Today, as the fourth stop on Nova Ren Suma's 17 & Gone blog tour, we have a haunting image that inspired her latest YA novel.

Today is also the release date for 17 & Gone!

Source: via Nova on Pinterest

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Last year, when I was deep into writing 17 & Gone, I discovered an exciting new distraction and way to collect images that fascinated me: Pinterest. What started off as maybe one more thing to keep me from writing turned into a great source of inspiration, and my 17 & Gone inspiration board was born. I’d often write with the images up on my screen, staring at them in pauses between paragraphs. On each stop on this blog tour I’m highlighting one of the photos that spoke to me and helped me find my way through the darkness of writing this book.

This image is called “The Ghost of You.” It’s a photo by Lauren Withrow, and it sends me sailing back and thinking of my own narrator’s past (my narrator who happens to be, coincidentally, also named Lauren), thinking about what events seeded and shaped who she is now. Something integral did happen to Lauren when she was a kid: when she witnessed her babysitter Fiona Burke run away from home. Fiona Burke’s disappearance is something she’s carried with her for years—a mystery she thinks will never be solved.

She’d lost herself to that place where the missing kids go, the kids no one finds, even when lakes are dredged and woods combed. The ones computer-aged into adulthood who never make it home.
            She didn’t call. She didn’t write.
            She was just gone.
—from 17 & Gone, page 76

The key to who Lauren is can be found in these years-ago scenes with Fiona Burke, and I remember when I first wrote the earliest pieces of Fiona—those lines about her being missing—how ghostly and unattainable she felt at first. I was writing and writing to get her to come clear, and she was like a poltergeist, jumping and flitting away from me. Something in this image made her hold still.

For spotlights on more images from the 17 & Gone inspiration board on Pinterest, keep following this blog tour!

Blog tour schedule:

Monday, 3/18: Mundie Moms 
Tuesday, 3/19: Confessions of a Readaholic
Wednesday, 3/20: The Compulsive Reader
Thursday, 3/21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf 
Friday, 3/22: Anna Reads

Monday, 3/25: The Story Siren 
Tuesday, 3/26: A Good Addiction
Wednesday, 3/27: Radiant Reads
Thursday, 3/28: Presenting Lenore
Friday, 3/29: Book Chic

17 & Gone synopsis: 

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

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