Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with Emily Martin, Author of The Year We Fell Apart!

Welcome to Sassy's Fangirl Debuts, a feature event where I introduce you to this years and next years debut authors! Grab some popcorn and have your Goodreads page open because there are some wonderful new authors and books coming out soon! 

This week of Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts, we are having the wonderful Emily Martin, YA author of THE YEAR WE FELL APART, which releases on January 26th of  next year!

In case you missed it, to celebrate the opening of the Sassy's Fangirl Debuts newsletter, I am hosting a 2016 debut pre-order of your choice and it ends on Monday, so don't forget to enter! HERE is the link!

Title: The Year We Fell Apart
Author: Emily Martin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 26th, 2016
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past. Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan. Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis. While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from. As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

Hi Emily! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! Before we get started on the interview, would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me, Talina! I’m so excited to be part of the Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts! A bit about me… Aside from writing YA, I also work in the environmental field, helping municipalities reduce waste and increase recycling. My other interests include: hot chocolate, goldendoodles, vintage clothing, and slowly working my way through Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking.

1. First off, congrats on having The Year We Fell Apart being compared to NYT bestselling author Sarah Dessen! How does it make you feel to be compared to her and her writing? What were your initial thoughts on that?

Thank you so much! It’s kind of mind-blowing, actually. First seeing my book mentioned in the same sentence as Sarah Dessen may have brought on some flailing. She was my first introduction to YA, and I’ve been a fan of her writing for so many years.

I lived in North Carolina during graduate school and drew a lot of inspiration from that setting. But at it’s heart, The Year We Fell Apart a story of two best friends trying to figure out if they have any future together over the course of one summer. In that regard, I can definitely say Sarah Dessen’s stories influenced my writing, and I hope her fans will enjoy reading The Year We Fell Apart!

2.  How many years have you been writing that led to your forthcoming release?

I ‘d been playing around with several different story ideas for years, but this was the first one that stuck. It started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2012, and I revised it for about a year before entering Brenda Drake’s PitchWars in 2013. That led to another major rewrite, and helped me get my agent, Lara Perkins. I revised with her before eventually selling to Sara Sargent at Simon Pulse, and of course we revised together for many months. All told, I worked on this book for close to three years, and learned so much in the process!

3. Your forthcoming release seems like it will tug at the heartstrings of readers and I’m curious to know, what do you want them to take away from the story?

I hope it will! Harper is a very flawed character, and she makes a lot of questionable choices. But her peers have also given her an unfair reputation, and because of this she sometimes has a hard time seeing past her own mistakes. This kind of labeling and societal pressure is a reality a lot of teen girls face, and what I really want readers to take away from the story is that everyone makes mistakes (sometimes even more than once), but they don’t have to define you. There is always room to grow and learn from them.

4. While writing, were there any characters you could relate to the most? If so, how?

I think there’s a little bit of myself in all of my characters. Harper and Declan both have sarcastic senses of humor, which may be a bit similar to my own. J I can definitely relate to the pressure and (double) standards Harper faces, as it’s something I came across a lot in high school. I’ve also certainly made my share of mistakes over the years, and have some experience with beating myself up over them, as she often does. And Mackenzie definitely takes after me with her flair for vintage clothing and love of food!

5. Now that your novel is close to being published (how exciting!), are you currently working on anything new? If so, could you give us a hint as to what it is?

I am working on a new story, though it’s still in its early stages. This one takes place in my home state of Michigan and is focused on family secrets and the complicated relationships between characters that I love to write!

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, Emily! It was a thrill to have you! If you guys haven’t already added this debut contemporary to your TBR, you should! It seems like this one will sweep you off of your feet and deep into a world of love, loss and hope!

Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored. 

Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016 from Simon Pulse.


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