Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Split Giveaway!

Last week I posted my thoughts on Swati Avasthi's debut novel, Split (FANTASTIC!), and this week, I'm excited to offer up an interview with the author, and announce a giveaway of one copy of the book!

Hi, Swati, and welcome to YA Fresh. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

I started writing when I was five, but took a few detours before returning to it quietly when I was 29. A few years later (when I was still 29), I began taking classes at the Loft and Hamline University. A year later, (just months away from my 30th birthday), I started to call myself an aspiring writer when I received the Loft Mentor Series Award. During the year in the mentor series, I decided to get an MFA, which I did from 2007-2010. (Just graduated!)

Getting an agent and the sale was like riding a water slide -- fast, fun, and exhilarating. Finding an agent took about 8 weeks and the sale was even quicker. Rosemary Stimola, my agent and fairy godmother, took the manuscript to auction three weeks after signing me on as a client and got me a 2 book deal. I was so surprised by the email telling me that several houses were interested in offering me a 2 book contract that I actually had to diagram the sentence to believe it.

Haha! And loved all the years you spent at the age of 29! Now, readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

My best days are when I can sit at a Starbucks for at least 3 hours in the morning with my coffee and my earbuds in, listening to a playlist designed for the book (See my website for playlists). But that routine varies a good deal based on the needs of my 2 kids and the demands of my job, teaching. So, I'm now trying to make sure I n) revise 5 pages per day, whether at midnight or 9 AM.

Please tell us about your novel, SPLIT, and what we can expect from your characters.

SPLIT begins when 16 year-old Jace Witherspoon drives from Chicago to Albuquerque on the night that he finally hits his father back. He hasn't seen or heard from his brother, Christian, in five years, but Jace shows up on Christian's doorstep, hoping for a brotherly reunion, maybe even someone to confide his secret to. SPLIT is about surviving relationships within a family and outside of family after you've gotten out. Escape is one thing. Rebuilding your life is something else.

What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

I am almost done with my second draft of BIDDEN. Corey, Holly, and Savitri are looking forward to their summer before college, indulging in free-running and comic book reading when a shooting changes everything. BIDDEN is about how far we will stretch for our friends and whether the bonds we build can withstand the after-effects of violence.

It's been a really fun project because it is a hybrid novel -- part prose, part graphic novel. So I'm learning all about graphic novels, panels, layouts. Just a blast.

Sounds so interesting--and powerful. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Here's my favorite writing tip: Writing is no place for timidity. Write boldly, write bravely, write every day you can.

Thanks, Swati!

And now for those of our readers who would like to entered to win a copy of SPLIT, please leave a comment telling us why! The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday. Best of luck!

26 fresh comments:

Diana Dang said...

I heard great things about this novel! I hope to receive the chance to read it! ^^

faked_sugartone at hotmail

Mrs. Duff said...

I would <B this book! Split will be a must read for many of my students.
Thanks, teacher6th

booktoo said...

S P L I T ! Sounds like the perfect summer retreat.

Ekta said...

I've read wonderful reviews about Split and it seems like a very good family book. Thank you for the giveaway!

ekta.p7 [at] gmail [dot] com

FionaChan said...

I hope this is international! It's okay if it's not :D I've heard a looooooooooooooooooooot great things and positive reviews about this book, so I really want it :D

bookaholic said...

I want Split because I am absolutely in love with the story premise and the book cover even though I haven't read it! How pathetic and desperate is that?! Please give me the book!! *begs*

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Swati! It's a pleasure to have you on YAF.

Best of luck to the entrants!

jpetroroy said...

I love the idea behind this story and have heard such good review!

Marjolein said...

Haha, what a coincidence, I just interviewed Swati for my blog!
Really want to read it so, count me in!
marjoleinbookblog at gmail dot com

Erika Lynn said...

I think family relationships make for the best stories. there is so much built in conflict to draw from so i can't wait to read that


mariska said...

Because It's one of the Great Books that I MUST Have ! :)

count me in !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Janie Emaus said...

These books sound great. Thanks for the wonderful interview.

Aliya said...

I want to read Spilt because any woman that can stay twenty-nine for years is sure to dust some of that magic on to her book ;) Also, it sounds epic. And I wantz it. :p


Cass said...

I love to read the works of debut authors, and I'm loving the tenners' works! Also, it would be nice to read a book that address on domestic issues, family, something that everyone can relate to, hopefully. I think the cover is simple but effective and potentially symbolic to the story. One can only find out after reading the book!


Llehn said...

I think the premise is intriguing!


Camila F. said...

I would love to win this book because I'm a huge fan of family stories. The book sounds amazing!

Sharli said...

I'd love to read this book! I've only heard great things about it!
Thanks for the interview and the giveaway! :D

entrelibros_blog at

Jessy said...

I've read some really great reviews on Split.

Bee said...

I want to read Split because I love books and this just seems my kinda book. Also, the excerpt on random had me hooked.

8 weeks and an auction is so cool! Most of us only dream about that kinda thing..:D

Shari Green said...

SPLIT sounds great -- difficult, but great. Compelling premise, plus I always love finding good guy-POV YA books. I'd love to win this -- adding it to my TBR list. :)

sharigreen.ya AT gmail DOT com

tetewa said...

I've been hearing alot about this one, I'd like to be included!

Emily H. said...

I'd like to win this novel because I'd like to read it.

treerose AT yahoo DOT com

Lucy said...

Best of luck! Do you think this would translate well into film?

Nely said...

This book sounds really good. I want to read!


~M.A.CHASE said...

I've heard so many great things from different bloggers and readers that I'm just as eager to read this book. I'm a blogger myself and would love to read and review this book on my blog :D


Mary said...
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