Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blog Tour: Interview with Cheryl Rainfield+Giveaway!

Today I'd like to welcome a wonderful author and a truly inspiring person to my blog. Cheryl Rainfield, the author of Scars, has stopped by to answer some of my questions about her novel, her personal reasons for writing it and what she's working on next. Fellow readers, please give a warm welcome for the amazing Cheryl Rainfield!

Links to click: Website, Blog, Twitter 

The cover of Scars is actually a photo of your arms. What does it mean  for you personally to have that image for the cover of your book?
It means a lot to me. It means not hiding my arm or my scars any more, and not being ashamed of them. I spent a lot of years wearing long sleeves. Not hiding my scars, and actually having them be on the cover of Scars is a kind of speaking out, and of saying—this is my history, this is a part of me. I don’t like hiding my scars any more; I refuse to—I think because, being an abuse survivor, I don’t like secrets and shame. Having my own arms on the cover with my scars visible is also a kind of reaching out to others who’ve used self-harm, letting them know they are not alone. I have rarely ever seen anyone else with their self-harm scars visible—maybe twice in my life. To think you’re the only one can feel very lonely, and increase the pain. I want others to know that they’re not alone. I love that WestSide made such a tasteful cover. I was scared that a publisher would make the cover sensationalist, but WestSide was incredibly respectful, and, I think, brave. I think the cover will help reach more people than it would have otherwise; I love that it doesn’t hide the subject, just as my writing doesn’t. It’s breaking silence, and, I hope, encouraging healing.

What has been the most rewarding moment so far since you've gotten this story out there?
The reader letters I keep getting make me feel so good. To hear that a reader who’s been abused and/or used self-harm to cope finds my book real, that she or he deeply identifies with my main character, that she or he wants to share my book with friends so they can understand about self-harm—that is just incredible for me. That is the kind of thing I was hoping for! And then, to hear from other readers who have not been abused or used self-harm to cope, that they couldn’t understand why anyone would use self-harm before they read Scars, but now they “get” it—I was also really hoping for that. I also met two parents whose kids had used self-harm, who both cried when they saw Scars, and I think got some hope. That felt good. Getting blurbs from writers I admire, glowing reviews, and seeing that Scars is selling and really reaching people—all those things have also felt wonderful.

You're not only an author but also a well-known book blogger. :) What's the most recent novel (fictional or non-fictional) that you've really loved?
I’ve been listening to audiobooks the last month and a half instead of reading by sight, since I have a concussion, so that’s been limiting me a bit—but I enjoyed the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the sequels (though I wish I’d known how much violence and things reminiscent of ritual abuse there were in the books before I started). The last YA novel I read that stands out to me, that I absolutely loved, was Tanya Egan Gibson’s How to Buy a Love of Reading. It had so much depth and richness, a fantastic story, and such beautiful writing.

I'm always inspired by quotes so I was wondering if you had any particular favorites that you'd like to share?
I love quotes, too. (smiling) Here are some of my favourites:

“We read to know we are not alone.”-CS Lewis

“I will not take a young reader through a story and in the end abandon him. That is, I will not write a book that closes in despair. I cannot, will not, withhold from my young readers the harsh realities of human hunger and suffering and loss, but neither will I neglect to plant that stubborn seed of hope that has enabled our race to outlast wars and famines and the destruction of death.”
- Katherine Paterson , A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

“Write what you want to read. The person you know best in this world is you. Listen to yourself. If you are excited by what you are writing, you have a much better chance of putting that excitement over to a reader.”
- Robin McKinley, author of Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

“The rule of the writer is not to say what we can all say but what we are unable to say.” - Anais Nin.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." -The Buddha

“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to
see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” -Anonymous

Are you working on any other projects currently?
Yes. I’m working on two different YA novels (and have others in the works). One is a paranormal fantasy about a teen with telepathy in a society where she can be enslaved for that, so she’s often on the run for her life. The other is an edgy realistic novel about a girl with a port-wine stain who is abducted, and has to face her abductor and free herself, while working through some body issues. All of my manuscripts have bits of abuse in them—pieces of things I’ve been through myself, and woven into fiction. I try to put small pieces of my experience into my fiction so that there’s truth that resonates but hopefully it’s not overwhelming, the way I think it would be if I put everything into one book. I think it’s important for books to have emotional truth in them, as well as to entertain.

I love those quotes! And the sound of those YA novels! Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope everyone was inspired to pick up a copy of Scars. It is such a great book! And thanks to Teen {Book} Scene, one of you will be able to get a signed copy!

 To enter this giveaway, please fill out the form. (While greatly appreciated, you do not have to be a follower to enter this giveaway!) This giveaway will run for two weeks and ends on the 21st. Open to the U.S. only. This giveaway is now closed.

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  1. What a fantastic interview! I didn't know that those were the authors arms on the cover!

  2. Wow, I had no idea that those were the author's arms on the cover. That is so powerful that she is able to show them like that and show others that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you!

  3. Thank you so much for the interview!!!

  4. Wow - awesome interview. I really looking forward to reading Scars.

  5. Wow, I've been wanting to read this one, but I'm really amazed that the author's arms are on the cover. That's so brave, it almost makes me want to cry! GREAT interview, and thanks for sharing!

  6. Thank you, you guys. I'm so glad it makes a difference to hear that my arms are on the cover. Sandy was a great interviewer!

  7. Oh dang, I had no idea those were her arms on the cover of her book. I do love her reasoning behing using her own arms for the picture. Her two upcoming YA books sound like they are going to be amazing and I can't wait for them to be published! I also love quotes and she listed some great ones! Awesome interview girl!


  8. Hey,

    I've entered your contest already but I wanted to let you know I've added it to a new blog I'm apart of called Book Contest Directory. All this site is dedicated to is listing great contests for people to know about!