An Atmospheric Companion Novel - Interview with Estelle Laure (+GIVEAWAY)

It's hard to not have cover lust over Estelle Laure's But Then I Came Back (and its companion novel, This Raging Light). We caught up with Estelle to chat about easter eggs, cover love, and what's up next for her!

Interview with Estelle Laure

But Then I Came Back is not a sequel but more of a companion to This Raging Light. What was it like connecting the novels? Are there easter eggs you’re hoping readers will find? 

I had a lot of fun, actually. Changing perspectives took a minute and at some point I got really frustrated because Eden’s family was so supportive, she lived in this really nice house, and everyone loved her. There was no strife I could point to other than her accident. No struggle, no story. So it took some work to get into her insecurities and issues. We all have them. No one is exempt. As far as easter eggs I mostly hoped people would get some giggles out of how absurd the whole Digby/Lucille situation seemed from the outside. Eden’s perspective on Digby as her brother and Elaine, his ex-girlfriend, were super entertaining for me. I mean, we all worry so much about what other people think of us and the truth is human beings are so self-centered they almost never think about anything but themselves. Sad. True. This was a good way of illustrating that point. I do hope the whole thing will be extra fun for people who read This Raging Light, but I really worked to make it stand on its own.

The way the book is laid out and the language used mirrors the experience Eden has through the book. It’s almost atmospheric. Did you intentionally lay it out this way or was it a more organic process? 

I always try to make the language reflect the character’s reality. Eden basically feels like she’s in a dream. Once she’s touched the afterlife she’s no longer only of this world. So then how does she perceive reality and how does that reality reflect what she’s seen and is now experiencing? That’s the dressing on the salad and the chocolate sauce on the ice cream. It’s after I’ve dumped everything out onto the page, carving that reality out of language. Can you tell it’s my favorite part? It’s the agonizing yummy.

What quotes embody what you want readers to get from the story? 

Well, if I could have quoted Bukowski’s The Laughing Heart in its entirety, I would have done that because in the end it encapsulates in one page what it took me 250 to write. I always read it to students when I do school visits and by including even a couple of lines from it, I hope it will stick to readers and that they will remember it when they are lost.

The covers of the two stories couldn’t be more different, yet they are perfect for the stories within. What was your reaction when you first saw both covers? 

Thank you! Well they actually changed This Raging Light for the paperback, so it’s more of a match to But Then I Came Back. I think they’re all beautiful. I love the cover to But Then I Came Back so much I had the flower tattooed. I am always humbled and grateful to see what happens when someone else’s artistic talent interprets a story I’ve made. I feel honored and totally excited by all the covers so far.

What is up next for you? Will there be more stories set within the same world? 

No I think I’m done with Cherryville. I might revisit Wren someday, but not yet. For now I’m moving on. I can’t talk much about it because it’s still forming and I am superstitious, but I’ll just say it’s all about girls!

by Estelle Laure
Published: April 4th 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads

Eden Jones, a 17-year-old girl, feels lost after surviving a near fatal accident. Unable to connect with her family and friends, Eden forms an unlikely relationship with Joe, a boy who comes to the hospital to visit Jasmine, a friend who may soon be gone forever. Eden is the only person who can get through to Jasmine, but is she brave enough to face a world that’s bigger and more magical than she ever would have allowed?

Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

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Tour Schedule
Week One:

3/27/2017- Literary Dust- Interview
3/28/2017- The Best Books Ever - Review
3/29/2017- Novel Novice- Guest Post
3/30/2017- Portrait of a Book- Review
3/31/2017- Literary Meanderings- Excerpt

Week Two:

4/3/2017- YA Book Madness- Review
4/4/2017- Don't Judge, Read- Review
4/5/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview (you're here!)
4/6/2017- Just Commonly- Review
4/7/2017- Wandering Bark Books- Excerpt


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