Hello Readers & Writers,
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelley York & Rowan Altwood, authors of Other Breakable Things from Entangled Teen. This is a rather emotional novel, but one with an incredible premise.
Before I kick off the interview, here is a synopsis of Other Breakable Things:
According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.
Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.
Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.
And now it is.
Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.
And she’s not giving up so easily.
A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.
Right down to the thousandth paper crane.
Q1: Where did the inspiration for Other Breakable Things come from? It’s a rather heavy hearted tale.
Kelley: I think a lot of my books have that heavy quality; even Dirty London, which is overall more light-hearted and optimistic, has some heavy themes, like addiction, tucked beneath the surface. When I talked Rowan into writing something with me, she had the idea for Luc and his ailments, and we decided a book on euthanasia and the Death with Dignity act would be a good one subject to tackle.
Q2: Given the subject matter of the book, did you ever have to take a break to gather your thoughts?
Rowan: Not really. We both thrive on this kind of stuff.
Kelley: For me, it’s therapeutic. It gets emotional at times and you really feel the “character bleed,” but some of my best writing (I think) comes when it gets emotional.
Q3: What made you tie in the Japanese legend behind folding paper cranes?
Kelley: I read a book as a kid called Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. It’s a historical fiction about a little girl (who actually existed) in Japan who contracts leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima. She starts folding cranes in order to be granted a wish. I first read this book in grade school, and the idea of this legend has stuck with me so strongly ever since. It’s a great kid’s book and I suggest everyone check it out.
Q4: What do you want your readers to take away from this book?
Rowan: Nothing is black and white; the hardest decisions in life are made in shades of grey.
Q5: What do you admire most about the characters you created?
Rowan: I like Luc’s sass. I know people think he comes off as a douche a lot of the time, but honestly if you think about how much time he’s spent being sick and in hospitals in his life, he hasn’t had a normal upbringing or socialization. He’s awkward and doesn’t like to admit it. I like his sarcasm probably because a bit of that comes from me.
Kelley: Evelyn’s loyalty, I think, and the growth she displays throughout the story. She starts off pretty meek and go-with- the-flow, and gradually learns to stop letting everyone else’s needs come before her own.
Q6: Describe Other Breakable Things in three words.
Kelley: Painful, hopeful, emotional.
Q7: Where is one place you’d like to go on a road trip to and why?
Rowan: If I only had one stop? Point Reyes National Seashore.
Kelley: Same. It’s our go-to vacation spot.
Q8: What’s your writing process like?
Rowan: I throw words at a page and hope Kelley can make sense of them.
Kelley: I arrange words, throw more words at a page, and hope my editor can make sense of them.
Q9: Do you have any projects in mind for the future?
Kelley: I have a few books in the works, and no idea which I’ll finish first. I have one my editor really wants to see from me, an LGBT dark contemporary, another road trip-esque kind of book (very, very different from OBT), and the beginning to a fantasy series.
| https://www.facebook.com/tevinters/ (Rowan)
Once again, a big thank you to Kelley and Rowan for joining me today. To see more book related posts on my end, keep an eye on the blog.