Monday, April 15, 2013

Naturals Blog Tour: Interview with Tiffany Truitt

I am so excited today to have Tiffany Truitt here today for an interview as part of the Naturals blog tour! If you haven't seen, I absolutely adore this series, and am so happy to be a part of the blog tour. 

If you haven't started this series yet, first, what are you waiting for???? Second, the synopsis for the book is spoilery, but the interview is not, so you should read it anyways, because Tiffany seems like such fun, and I think her answers themselves can sell you on the series. :) Definitely the English teacher I wish I could've had in high school (In addition to the great ones I had! I still love you Mrs. Rigby, Mrs. Foy, and Mrs. Sutherlin!)

About the book:

Ripped away from those she loves most, Tess is heartbroken as her small band of travelers reaches the Isolationist camp in the mysterious and barren Middlelands. Desperate to be reunited with James, the forbidden chosen one who stole her heart, she wants nothing to do with the rough Isolationists, who are without allegiance in the war between the Westerners and Easterners. But having their protection, especially for someone as powerful as Tess, may come at a cost.

When James returns, Tess’s world once again feels complete—until she discovers her sister, Louisa, has taken up her old post at Templeton, the dangerous chosen ones training center and the site of Tess’s loss of innocence. Tess will do anything to protect her loved ones—but will the price be more than she can give?

This second book in Tiffany Truitt’s dystopian series is a thought-provoking, thrilling story that asks who the true enemy really is—the chosen ones who are different, or the naturals…who are just like us.
So, I have a question that's been burning in my mind since I found out you were a high school English teacher. Obviously, you must love The Merchant of Venice and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, since they play such prominent roles in Chosen Ones and Naturals, but what are your favorite books (or plays!) of all time? And what is one book you think absolutely everyone should read at some point in their life?

Well, it's pretty safe to say that if a book or play makes it into one of my books, it's def one of my favorites. Besides YA, I mostly read 19th century British literature. This genre was my focus while studying for my masters. That being said, my favorite books change all the time depending on my mood and what's going on in my life.

Two works of literature I think everyone should read are Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Not only are they great reads, but both books can be used to study the use of language and characterization at its finest.

What do your students think of having a published author as their teacher? (I know I'd absolutely flip out!)

They get really excited. It's sort of the cutest thing ever. I get pretty embarrassed when they ask me about it, but I couldn't ask for a better support system. My librarian just got copies of book 1 and 2 for the school. When she told me, I had my own flip out moment.

I find the chosen ones themselves fascinating. Where did the idea for them come from exactly?

I wish I could say the idea came to me in a dream, sent down from the heavens, like so many authors before me, but it just sort of come to me driving one day. Shortly after college, I was in a long distance relationship. Being the mega nerd that I am, I would listen to movie and television scores while driving six hours to see my boyfriend. One drive I just started thinking about what would happen if women could not long produce...what would happen to mankind...what about cloning... and the ideas just kept coming.

Tess is so different from a lot of young adult protagonists. She doesn't try to be liked and just wants to stay alive without getting hurt. She's so great and refreshing to read. Is she as great to write? Who is your favorite character to write?

Oh, I am so glad you like her! I have come across quite a few readers who fault her for this, but is it really so terrible to be a survivor? A fighter? I find it an important quality, especially for a young female MC. I love writing her. Love it. She'll be a hard character to let go of. I can't wait to see her grow as a person in book three.

That being said, I really enjoyed writing Lockwood in book two. He's so light and fun, and he's a nice break from the doom and gloom of Tess' life.

What has been your favorite scene to write in the books thus far?

That's a tough one. Looking back on book one, I really enjoyed writing the confrontation between Henry and Tess. I never really saw them as potential love interests at first, but writing it through and editing, I saw the hint of it. I like the darkness and fire between the two of them. The scene really surprised me.

In book two, I love any scene with Lockwood, but the most fun to write was probably Tess' illness/dream scene. I loved playing with the structure of that.

I know the second book has JUST come out... But can you give a little tease of what's to come in the third? (I MUST KNOW!)

There will be the return of letters from books one...just not written by Tess' father.

For the newbies, can you sell the series in 10 words or less?

Star-crossed love. Freaky science stuff. Dystopian or bust.

And for a little fun, what's one random fun fact about you?

I eat more bags of hot fries than a lunchroom full of middle school students.

Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of one McDonalds and Banana Rats (don’t ask), she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).

Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”

Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. Tiffany is proud to call herself an educator and Young Adult author.

Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository

Thank you so much to Entangled for letting me take part in the tour! There are three paperback copies of Naturals up for grabs for the entire tour, so get to entering! You won't regret reading this series.

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