Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Playing With Fire by April Henry - Book Tour + Giveaway

Playing with Fire
April Henry
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: January 19th 2021
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.

Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now she is cautious and always plays it safe. For months, her co-worker Wyatt has begged her to come hiking with him, and Natalia finally agrees.

But when a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back, a perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. With no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, a group of strangers will have to become allies if they’re going to survive. Hiking in the dark, they must reach the only way out―a foot bridge over a deep canyon―before the fire catches them.

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Author Interview
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Chips. I love them so much, but the crumbs get in my keyboard. Once my space key got stuck. Now I have a thin rubber cover that goes over my keyboard.

 2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Dont stop. I wrote when I was a kid, but as I got older I thought there was no way a poor girl from Southern Oregon could be a writer. So I stopped writing. I so wish I hadnt. To become a published author, tenacity is more important than talent.

3. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
Finishing a book (by an author named Evelyn Lampman) and turning to the first page and reading it again.

4. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
I did want to be a writer, but as I got older it felt like wanting to be a magical unicorn. I decided I would be a medical researcher. Honors 204 Biochemistry my first term freshman year quickly made me realize this was not a good choice.

5. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Stubborn, curious, and friendly.

6. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
I write all my books walking on a treadmill desk. If Im traveling, Ill open up the ironing board and use it as a standing desk.

7. Whats one movie you like recommending to others?
I love Shaun of the Dead because it works as a send up of zombie movies, as a zombie movie and as something genuinely touching.

8. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
I would love to have a cat again, but my husband has developed severe allergies over the years and alas, we cannot.

9. Have you ever met anyone famous?
I’ve meet a lot of famous authors. Ive been on panels with RL Stine. (He reminds me of a congenial tanned lizard.) I met Angie Thomas before she was published. Alan Gratz and I have eaten pizza together.

10. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
The bulk of it takes six months but there’s a lot of time devoted to research and planning before I start.

11. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
- Read a lot - and think about your reading. If you start losing interest in the book or even disliking it, think about why. If you love a book (and this is harder), think about why.

- Write a lot - and think about your writing. Re-read it and try to make it better. Try to apply some of the lessons you’ve learned from other people's writing. You can even put your own twist on something another author did.

-   Don't give up. It can take a long time to get published. I got over 150 rejection letters from agents, dozens from editors, and it wasn't until I wrote my fourth book that I got published. I'm so thankful I stuck it out! (And that my parents believed in me.)

12. What book do you wish you had written?

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus.

13. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!

1.   I buy nearly all my clothes on e-Bay.

2.   I have held a variety of odd jobs, including German translator, cleaning lady, and a brief stint as the girl who jumps out of a cake.

3.   In 1656, one of my ancestors was charged with bewitching a pig. Luckily, he was found not guilty.

4.   My paternal great-grandfather gunned down my grandmother's boyfriend for kissing her. (A long-hidden family secret I uncovered a few years back and that will probably make its way into a book. It explains a lot about my grandmother.)

5.   I hold a purple belt in kung fu, an orange belt in kajukenbo, and a blue belt in Brazilian jiujitsu.

6.   I speak German (slowly and with mistakes). And I know some sign language.

7.   I'm pretty sure no one noticed me in high school.

8.   I can make a cloverleaf shape with my tongue. It's supposed to be some rare genetic trait. When my kid showed me she could do it, I tried and tried until I could too.

9.   I wrote an episode for the running app Zombies, Run!

10.       I have more than 46 chromosomes.


Author Bio:

April Henry is the New York Times–bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels The Girl in the White Van; Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Anthony Award for Best YA Mystery; Count All Her Bones; The Lonely Dead; Run, Hide, Fight Back; and The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, the first two books in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

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