Saturday, March 10, 2018

March Madness: Boomerang by Helene Dunbar

Today I've got an interview with the lovely Helene Dunbar, author of the newly released, Boomerang!

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Hi Helene, thanks so much for joining me on The Fox’s Hideaway. For those unfamiliar with your newest novel, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Sure! Boomerang is the story of a boy who everyone assumes was kidnapped, but who really ran away. Five years later, he returns to his old home – not necessarily by choice - in order to try to claim an inheritance to save the boy he developed an intensely complicated relationship with while he was away.

If you had to sort Sean into a Hogwarts house, which one would he be in?
I have to admit that I always have a hard time sorted anyone (including myself) into houses.  Since you asked, I had him take the Pottermore test and he was sorted into Ravenclaw. He REALLY wants to be in Gryffindor, though. But Sean’s biggest flaw is that he sees things in black and white and that often gets in the way of his grand plans.

I love that your books cover an array of themes that realistically portray teen lives. What do you love about writing contemporary fiction? And how important is it for authors to accurately represent what it means being a teen?
Thank you! 
Although I grew up reading a lot of classic science fiction and fantasy, I would have read contemporary when I was in high school and that’s why, I think I write it.  I very much took that “write the book you want to read, but can’t find” to heart. I was always looking for books that I could (1) lose myself in and (2) identify with. Not that I needed to read about characters exactly like me, but I wants book that I found at once emotionally moving and accessible. 
I think authors have a responsibility, more than anything else, to be honest.  To me that means letting your characters feel things that might not be easy or neat. Life is messy and being a teen is probably the messiest of all. Everything is changing and not at the same rate for everyone. I think it’s important for teen readers to see that those mixed up emotions are normal and that not everyone chooses the same path and that’s okay.

What is one of your favorite parts about the writing process? Least favorite? 
I love revising, mostly because I hate plotting. In revisions, I can dig deep into my characters and their thoughts and dialogue and I really enjoy the associated nuance. Plotting feels like work to me. A lot of work.

And a question I always enjoy asking: what are you currently working on? Anything you can share about it? :D
By the time this runs, I’ll be working on my 2020 book, which is a sequel to my 2019 book, PRELUDE FOR LOST SOULS about two best friends who live in a town where everyone makes their living talking to the dead.  One of the boys desperately wants to leave and the other desperately wants to stay and both of their paths are complicated by the expectations of those around them and the things and people they feel responsible for. 
As I type this, I’m working feverishly on trying to finish up a YA in vignettes, which is a coming of age story in New York 1983, set against the early days of the AIDS crisis. It’s a book I’ve been thinking about for a very long time and I’m excited by the idea of being able to share it.

Lastly, what do you hope people take away from Boomerang?
My alternate title for Boomerang, was “Ordinary Love” from the U2 song about Nelson Mandela. It’s about how love pulls people off their pedestals and there’s a question in the song, “Are we tough enough for ordinary love?” that Sean’s lover, Trip, would absolutely ask. Not, “Can you handle being in a fairy tale relationship where everything is flowers and candlelight?” but “Can you handle the day in and the day out and accept the people you love on their own terms even if you don’t like their decisions?” 
For me, that’s the question at the heart of this story. It’s not always an easy question to answer, but I think it’s an interesting and important one.

Thanks again for joining me on the blog and congrats on your latest release. 😊 
Thank you SO MUCH for having me here!

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You can find Helene on Twitter, Goodreads, and her website. Boomerang can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, and you can request an autographed copy from Parnassus Books. And you can add it on Goodreads! :)

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