Today I am lucky enough to be hosting Alexandra Coutts here on Bibliophilia, Please. Her debut novel, Tumble & Fall will be released next week, and it takes on the looming apocalypse unlike any other YA novel that I've read. I read and reviewed it back in July, and I enjoyed it very much. And I cried. A lot. (You can read my review here.)
Anywho, Alexandra was kind enough to share with us why she chose her manner of handling the end of the world in Tumble & Fall in her guest post. The wonderfully lovely people at Macmillan have also provided a copy of Tumble & Fall for a giveaway below. Enjoy!
Title: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings.
The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.
Alexandra Coutts' Tumble & Fall is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.
The idea for Tumble & Fall came to me after thinking long and hard about what kind of a book I wanted to write next. I had just finished writing two books about magical dresses (Wish and Wishful Thinking, under my maiden name Alexandra Bullen) and, as much as I loved the fantasy elements and characters in those novels, I was eager to try out something a bit more grounded in reality.
That said, I also knew that I wanted my very realistic characters to be dealing with something BIG, and what’s bigger than the end of the world? Not much.
But from the very beginning, I knew I didn’t want to write a book about the apocalypse that we had all seen before. The daughter of a NASA scientist that sneaks on her father’s spaceship at the last minute, for example. Or a week-long party with no real-world rules or obligations. (Fun to live, maybe, but not so much to write.)
So I sat down for a while (a long, long while) and tried to really imagine what the end of the world would look like, for me.
For starters, I live on a small island, with a very strong sense of community. I knew I wanted that community to play an important role in the book. If an asteroid was really headed our way, I can easily imagine the many ways in which we would come together and search for ways to help one another, much as Sienna and Owen (and Zan’s family) do in the book.
I can also imagine that the urge to leave the island, to have one last mainland adventure, might be impossible to ignore. Nick and Zan are looking for answers to a very specific question, but in a way, they’re also curious about what’s going on in the world outside of their little island. I loved writing the Boston scenes in the book, for that reason.
And I knew, all along, that at the heart of this story would be the relationships the characters strengthened or created with each other, against the backdrop of a ticking clock. I didn’t want people doing big, crazy things, just for the sake of doing them. I wanted people pushing themselves in ways that maybe seemed small at first – the way that Sienna does, when she re-meets Owen, and the way that Caden (somewhat reluctantly) gives his dysfunctional parents a second chance.
It was my hope that these small “hurrahs” might turn out to be just as meaningful as a girl on a spaceship, trying to save the world. Because, when it’s clear that the world can’t be saved, at the end of the day, all we have left is each other. And those were the stories I was most interested in telling.
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About the Author
Alexandra Bullen Coutts has been a playwright, waitress, barista, gardener, script reader, yoga instructor and personal assistant. She grew up in Massachusetts, went to college in New York City, and lives
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Alexandra Coutts is part of the September Fierce Reads Tour with Leila Sales, S.A. Bodeen and Marissa Meyer. The tour schedule is on the Fierce Reads blog.
All Fierce Reads book and tour info can be found on Fierce Reads Facebook Fan Page.
US or Canada ONLY
Ends at 12:01am EST on September 21st
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