Welcome to the wonderful The Castaways blog tour hosted by YA Reads! This is my very first blog tour, how excitingggg! I was lucky enough to interview Jessika Fleck, the lovely and super sweet author of The Castaways! Check out my interview below!
- First of all, describe what the book/story is about in one sentence. (It can be a long sentence!)
The Castaways is a story about finding your strength, learning to trust yourself and others, great adventure, finding family in unlikely situations, and survival.
- How did you come up with the idea for this book?
The idea for The Castaways came to me in two parts. First off, a friend of mine was going through a really rough time with her daughter being bullied at school. It was heartbreaking and horrifying and left me at a loss that such things happened so regularly and in plain sight of teachers and administrators and other students. It just isn’t right. As all of that was sort of percolating in my mind, Halloween came along and my husband and I took our daughters on the obligatory pumpkin patch excursion. Of course, we visited the corn maze. And, of course, it was as creepy and beautiful and mysterious as it always is. At one point we decided to split up — one adult with one kid — and race to the finish. Well, I had our youngest daughter who wasn’t at all interested in getting out of there and so we just ambled through the crooks and bends and dead-ends. And that’s when it hit me: what a perfect place to run away when you’re trying to hide. And that was pretty much the beginning of The Castaways. The rest, honestly, spiraled into place.
- Are any of the characters based on people you know in real life?
No. Anticlimactic, I know. Really though, they’re all completely from my imagination.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
Without giving away any spoilers, one of my most difficult scenes to write also happens to be one of my favorites. When Olive arrives on the island, she’s taken in by one group of kids, but ends up pretending to be knocked out. Eyes closed, she tries to figure out what’s going on, who’s who, what sort of shelter she’s in, if these people are kind or not, etc… Being in Olive’s point-of-view, I had to explain everything minus her visual cues. Also, this is the first scene the reader meets anyone from the island and there are four characters, other than Olive, in one room. It was a great challenge and so fun to write.
- As a writer, what would you choose as a mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Does a patronus work? 😉 If so, mine would be a snowy owl.
- What is the first book that made you cry?
I doubt this is the first, but it’s the first I can really recall… Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. I read it in high school. It still haunts (in all the good ways) me to this day.
- If The Castaways was being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?
In a perfect, dreamy world, Olive would be played by Odeya Rush. Will by Devon Bostick.
- And finally, what’s next? Are you working on another book?
Currently, I’m deep into revisions for my next YA fantasy, The Offering (Swoon Reads, fall 2018) as well as working on revising my first MG project (yay!) for my agent. Very exciting, stressful times over here! I’m basically living on coffee and chocolate.
About the book
Book Title: The Castaways
Author: Jessika Fleck
Release Date: April 3, 2017
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
“The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous. Renowned for its infamous corn maze… and the kids who go missing in it.
When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.
Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home. But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she’s ready for.”
About the author
Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, Kidliterati, and is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Connect with Jessika Fleck:
Enter the Giveaway
Click the link below to win a prize pack including a The Castaways paperback + swag OR an Amazon gift card in the case of an international winner.
Follow the tour
You can follow the rest of the tour over here!
I have also reviewed The Castaways on my blog before, so check that out if you haven’t already! Simply click hereeee!
Thank you for reading!