Friday, March 27, 2015

Engaging Novel Interview


Engaging Novel Interview

Today I’m going to do something a little different. Instead of interviewing an author or writing about my own work, I will interview a Southern Magic author’s novel. This will work basically like a book review except it will only cover the first 16 sentences of the novel. See if you can guess what story this is, and who wrote it.


“Word has it Taylor nailed you last weekend,” Mike said between swigs of beer. “Please tell me you didn’t screw that jock douchebag.”

I might be the only seventeen-year-old in the world confused about her virginity status, but I at least knew I didn’t have sex with Brandon Taylor. I could tell by Mike’s suggestive grin under that blue Seahawks cap that he was only teasing me, but after an entire week of denials and explanations, his comment pissed me off anyway. With the way rumors flew around Ridgeview High so quickly, I might as well have had sex with Brandon.

I should probably thank my lucky stars that no one had made a video of me yet. That happened once to a girl at my school. It hadn’t been anything serious like a sex tape, but she was now forever linked on the internet to the guy she’d been talking to. I couldn’t imagine myself forever linked to someone.

Except maybe with Will.

“What the hell kind of question is that?” Will asked, sounding irritated next to me. He only used that tone when seriously peeved, and I glanced at him before looking back at Mike, whose back straightened slightly as Will glared at him with one of those unblinking, challenging stares guys do with each other.

The silence continued until even TJ turned from the television to look between them.

“Missy knows I’m joking,” Mike finally said from his cross-legged position on the floor, shrugging as he turned to the movie.

I turned to the movie, too, even though I had zero interest in what we were watching. Cable sucked. (16-sentence exert)


1.     Does it connect the reader with the protagonist? Yes. We find out her name is Missy.

2.     What is happening? Yes. She’s sitting around watching cable TV with 3 others.

3.     Is it dramatized? Yes. It’s played out before our eyes with dialogue.

4.     Does the action move the story forward? Yes. They are talking about the rumors being spread and the issues in high school associated.

5.     Does what happens have consequences? Yes. If her friends are still bugging her about the rumors being true though they aren’t, she could have an uphill battle. Plus, they are drinking beer and are underage. Questions on whether or not parents will catch them.

6.     Does the protagonist do something? Yes. Missy disputes the rumor

7.     Does the protagonist desire something? Yes. Someone she can connect with.

8.     Is the action current? Yes.

9.     Is there enough setting? Yes. We know it’s a bunch of kids watching TV drinking beer.

10. Does what happen raise a story question? Yes. Missy is confused about her virginity status. Either she is or isn’t, why is it confusing? This points to a deep plot full of emotion.

I give the start of this story a full 10 points because all questions were answered with a yes. So, what do you think? Is this a story that you’d like to read? I’m intrigued myself and want to know how it ends. Below is the Novel name and a short summary as well as the Author Bio. The author, Callie James, has offered a free Kindle version of this story to anyone who leaves a comment on this review with their email address.

Hope you enjoy my review,
Philisha Byrd Stephens




INNOCENT by Callie James
Will Moore has been Missy Jamison’s best friend for years, and until recently, she hadn’t considered going "there" with him for fear of losing the only relationship she trusts. But senior year is almost over and dating other people hasn’t worked out, not with Missy’s crazy home life constantly pushing her further into Will’s safer world, making her attraction to her BFF more difficult to ignore.

When a forgery incident at school lands Missy under house arrest and banned from spending time with Will, she’s unable to ignore her dysfunctional home life any longer. In a desperate attempt for self-preservation, Missy finds herself back with Will and this time things are different.

But the direct violation of her mother’s edict proves the perfect catalyst to push her pill-popping mother over the edge and Missy’s home life past the point of no return. Now her only chance for normalcy will require Missy to ask herself if staying silent for so many years was truly about protecting herself from her past, or more about protecting a mother who never protected her.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LT8RX6G

3 comments:

Cari Hislop said...

I own a copy! :)

This is a beautifully written, very uplifting story. It has a romance in it, but it's more of a coming of age story...the main character aligning with her true self, healing and spreading her wings. I was so impressed by this book. The main character is dealing with some difficult issues (parental abuse etc), but it's all handled so well. I would recommend this to any young person (or person of any age) who's been abused by family members! It's that good!

Callie James said...

Thanks, Cari! :)

Ali Hubbard said...

Wow! Hooked me! I definitely want to read it. And I love the idea of interviewing a book!!!