Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ONE THING STOLEN by Beth Kephart: Author Interview and Giveaway

One Thing Stolen is the newest YA novel by author Beth Kephart. As part of the ONE THING STOLEN blog tour, I'm hosting Beth with a mini-interview. 


What are some of the books that made you fall in love with reading?
One of my early reading memories circles around “Counterpane,” that Robert Louis Stevenson poem, which I was read when “I was sick and lay a-bed.” My mother had a beautiful illustrated version of the Stevenson poems, and I’ve never lost the sound of those consoling rhythms. I liked Black Beauty, too, and I liked listening to recorded versions of musicals—stories inside the songs (“Doctor Dolittle” comes to mind). Perhaps this early love for stories contained inside verse influenced my own need for prose that is in some ways musical.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
I didn’t study writing in any official way. My degree was in the History and Sociology, from the University of Pennsylvania. I never met a writer until I was already a young mother. In my thirties I went to three writing workshops with my family—working vacations, so to speak—where I met Rosellen Brown, William Gass, and Jayne Anne Phillips, and learned, from them, patience and faith. But what I’ve learned about writing comes mostly from reading and analyzing, from writing and getting it wrong, from sitting with the 80th draft of something and trying to decode it.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Know why you love what you love in the work that you read. Analyze it. Break it apart. Figure out how the author performs her magic.
Tell me 5 things about yourself.
1. I’ve written and published in all genres—fable, poetry, adult fiction, young adult fiction, history, memoir, journalism, how-to, even corporate histories—except for writing that would appear on the stage or screen. I’m absolutely in awe of those who can do that work. That’s magic to me.
2. I care, perhaps excessively, about how stories get made. I think language—the choice of words, the repetitions of sounds, the management of white space, the reverberations, the risks—matters just as much as plot.
3. I collect masks and strange dolls from around the world and just yesterday acquired (a birthday present) a boundary statue from Two Buttons, the store Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) owns with her husband.
4. I try to read and review—for the Chicago Tribune, the New York Journal of Books, and my own blog—some dozen books each month. This sort of careful reading keeps me fully engaged with the possible in literature.
5. I teach memoir at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m calling this year’s students are My Spectaculars. As always I have asked them to articulate their expectations for the memoirs they read. Check out their responses, here.

By Beth Kephart
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Published by Chronicle Books
Pages 280
Ages 14 and up


Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she's become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether? Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love.

I was a child writer-dreamer who never strayed far from that path. Today I’m the award-winning author of seventeen books—dreaming my way toward more by night, while running a boutique marketing communications firm by day. I'm privileged to teach creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania in spring semesters. I love writing about the intersection of place and memory for the Philadelphia Inquirer. I am honored to review literature for the Chicago Tribune. Always and most importantly, I am privileged to be a mom.

Prize: one copy of ONE THING STOLEN by Beth Kephart
Must be at least 16 years old to enter
U.S. addresses only
Invalid entries will be disqualified 

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