Releases: September 1, 2012
Where I got my copy: Author, for review
Click here for my review
"The grandeur of the traveling circus is at its peak in the early 1920s when sixteen-year-old Laila Vilonia is searching for an escape from her bleak future. Behind the gates of the legendary Marvelle Circus, she is thrust into a mysterious world she never knew existed—a paradise populated with outcasts. It’s in this glamorous new home that Laila sparks a controversial romance with notorious sideshow performer, "The Disappearing Man," and learns just how dangerous her new life can be.
Touring the picturesque eastern coast of America, Laila’s immersed in friendship, vaudeville, festivals, sequins, and serial killers. But behind the curtain, a sadistic plan is brewing that will crack the very foundation upon which she’s become so dependent."
Today, I have a giveaway and an interview with YA author of Showtime, Chloe Kayne!
Let's get started!
Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
Chloe: I’m 23 years old, vegan, just graduated college, and have a pole dance studio in Minneapolis.
Me: How did you get interested in writing?
Chloe: I used to write stories and plays all the time as a kid, but I never stuck with anything long enough to finish it. So I’ve always liked writing and telling stories, but more recently, it was my friend Alex telling me he was writing a book that got the idea in my head.
Me: What is your writing process like?
Chloe: I usually get ideas bits and pieces at a time. So I write out as much as I can as notes or even entire scenes. I try to write a synopsis before I get too far so that I can work from an outline. But the outline is only a rough guide; I don’t stick to it too much. It’s just nice to have something to aim for and keep me on track.
Me: Is there anything that inspires you to write (music, a TV show, movie, etc.)?
Chloe: Music, big time. (One of the bigger plot threads of Showtime was inspired by Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary”) I always brainstorm while I’m running and listening to music, so music inspires almost everything I write.
About her book, SHOWTIME:
Me: What inspired you to write about a traveling circus?
Chloe: A couple years ago, I started training in aerial arts (silks, trapeze, Spanish web, lyra, etc.). I loved it so much; it’s all I wanted to talk about—except no one wanted to listen. Around the same time, I saw an episode of the TV show Oddities where they were talking about procuring items from the 1930’s Coney Island Sideshow. I thought it would be interesting to hear what the performers’ lives must have been like, plus I could talk about aerials to my heart’s content!
Me: Since the circus is still in full swing here in 2012, what made you set it in 1918?
Chloe: 1918 was smack in middle of the golden age of circus. Circus (and, to a lesser extent, vaudeville) was the main form of entertainment in America before silent films became popular. I knew right away I wanted to write about a circus in that prime era when entire towns would shut down so residents could enjoy “Circus Day,” and crewmen would construct whole villages and arenas overnight. (That kind of efficiency was unheard of in those days. Even the U.S. Military—in preparation for WWI—studied with Ringling’s canvas men on the streamlined system of setting up and tearing down, and how to load everything into just a few hundred train cars.)
Me: What was the hardest thing about Showtime to write?
Chloe: Because it is a traveling circus and I write random scenes and piece them together, at the end of my first draft, I had my work cut out to string the scenes together and make sure that they all corresponded with the location (I made up a route book of their stands), the weather/season, and even the day (which corresponded with the 1918 calendar).
Me: How about the easiest?
Chloe: Seth is both my favorite character and he was the easiest (and most fun) to write.
Me: What was one of your favorite scenes to write about in the book?
Me: Laila’s background is less than perfect. And for that matter, so is just about everyone else’s! What made you write your characters this way?
Chloe: I didn’t do it consciously, and I’m not quite sure why it happened unconsciously. I think I considered Marvelle to be a refuge for a lot of the characters, so their backstories just dropped into place.
Me: Are there any characteristics with your cast of characters that you yourself share?
Chloe: Jodelle and I value loyalty above all, Laila and I share questionable taste in guys, and I love animals as much as James and Florence.
Me: The aerialist acts in Showtime that Laila performs are very, very detailed. I feel like I’m sitting ring-side at an actual circus! How did you learn about this, and make it believable?
Chloe: Thank you! Since I do aerials, the details were taken from that.
Me: What do you hope that the readers of your novel take from it? Is there anything they should learn?
Chloe: That with every step you take forward, you’re pushed a couple steps back (like the tightrope, get it? Haha). But as long as you keep walking, you’re still advancing.
Me: Can you tell us anything about upcoming titles you're writing/have written?
Chloe: I’m working on Spotlight, the sequel to Showtime, as well as an unrelated book called Into the Shadows. I’m really excited about Shadows because it’s written from the POV of the villain. I was wondering if a villain could hold a story, and it turns out; they can as long as you have who would essentially be the “protagonist” thwarting their plans. There won’t be much sympathy for the main character, though, so I might be the only person to enjoy this book. Oh well.
Me: What book(s) are you currently reading?
Chloe: Wake by Amanda Hocking, Fallen by Lauren Kate, Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, and Garden of Lies by Eileen Goudge. Plus like three or four nonfiction circus and sideshow books, because that stuff’s just interesting!
Me: What is your all-time favorite book?
Chloe: I have a few. J Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Dark Places and Sharp Objects, both by Gillian Flynn. And the Harry Potter books (especially Azkaban and HBP).
Me: What authors do you look up to the most?
Chloe: Gillian Flynn, Chuck Hogan, JK Rowling, and Veronica Roth. And I love Eileen Goudge’s style of writing.
Me: If Showtime were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as Laila? As Dex?
Chloe: I would choose actors who are unknown, but for visual’s sake—I think Katie McGrath looks similar to Laila and Logan Lerman kind of looks like Dex. (And then I would make them dye their hair even blacker because a pet peeve of mine is black-haired characters with “off black” or dark brown hair in movies. GARH! I’m-talking-to-you-Snow-White-and-the-Huntsman. Harry Potter’s not even getting away from this one unscathed…)
Me: If you could spend one day with any one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Chloe: Trent Reznor, preferably while he’s recording an album. Because I can’t comprehend how musicians take what’s in their head and make it real. I can type so much faster than I can think, so it’s kind of easy to get the words just how I picture them. But with music, I feel like if you heard a tune in your head; by the time you nailed it just right on the guitar or piano or whatever, you’d have forgotten how you originally intended it to sound.
(I think I just answered my own question…I don’t play any instruments, but those who do might feel the same way as I do about typing!)
Me: Can you share some advice for aspiring authors?
Chloe: The tidbit that helped me the most was when I read somewhere that you don’t have to start at the beginning when you’re tackling a new project. Just write whatever part you can see most clearly at the time and work to string other scenes around it.
If you need to rework the scenes later because they don’t work with the storyline once you’ve found it, that’s fine. I’ve found that every scene counts, whether it makes it into the book or not.
Oh, and I see a lot of people getting hung up on how many words per day they write (or don’t write). Quality over quantity, remember!
Thanks, Chloe, for joining us today! Showtime releases September 1, 2012.
Scroll down for your chance to win one of two ARC copies!
Contest closes August 8, 2012 (winners will be chosen/contacted August 8)
Contest closes August 8, 2012 (winners will be chosen/contacted August 8)
Thanks again to Chloe for joining us!
Good luck, and happy reading, everyone!