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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Author Interview featuring Rachele Alpine & Giveaway

I'm so excited today to bring to you, the author of Canary. Please give a warm welcome to Rachele Alpine! Canary is due to release at the beginning of August and published by Medallion Press. Rachele has been kind enough to let me share a giveaway with you so be sure to check that out!

Rachele Alpine is a lover of sushi, fake mustaches, and Michael Jackson. One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. By day she’s a high school English teacher, and by night she writes with the companionship of the world’s cutest dog, Radley, a big cup of coffee, and a full bag of gummy peaches. Rachele lives with her husband in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there.

1. In Canary, Kate struggles with serious and difficult issues at times. Did this effect your emotions at all?
Yes!  My husband hates when I’m writing difficult scenes, because they pull me down too!  I feel like my characters are a part of me, they’ve been living in my head for so long, so when I have to put them through hard times, I really feel for them. I’m affected by what they are going through too.   I also like to listen to music when I write, so that doesn’t help, because my soundtrack is always sad and depressing songs.  I think I need to go see a comedian or funny movie after writing a hard scene!

2. How long did you have the idea for Canary before you put your thoughts onto paper?
The idea was sparked when I was in undergraduate school, and my teacher had us created a multi-genre paper.  The project required us to research a topic that occurs in schools (I was an education major) and present it in a creative way using narratives, poems, song lyrics, and art.  I chose sexual harassment in schools, and the story of Kate started from some of the early pieces I wrote for that project.  In fact, one of the poems in CANARY is a poem I wrote for this project.  It wasn’t until about five years later that I actually took these ideas and started to write CANARY.

3. What was the hardest part of Canary to write?
When I was writing my first drafts, there was a struggle with what Kate (my main character) was really feeling and what she was hiding  (even from herself).  I felt like she was withholding stuff, but I didn’t know how to express it.  I had all these poems/anecdotes/creative structures of narration that weren’t a part of the story, but helped me define who Kate was.  It wasn’t until a few drafts in, that I realized I could use these pieces in the book.  That’s how the dual narration was born…most of the book is written as a narrative, but there are sections of poetry where Kate writes down her deepest and truest feelings that she doesn’t even always share with herself.  Once I made these part of the story, I was able to understand who the real Kate really was.

4. Did you think of changing any of it?
The biggest change that happened during drafting was making Kate to a strong character throughout the whole book.  In my early drafts, she was very passive and allowed things to happen to her.  That’s not the type of person I felt like she was.  Once I gave her a backbone, she started to stand up for herself and I loved who she was so much more.  I got that weak stuff outta there! 

5. If you got to choose one celebrity to read Canary, who would it be?
This is a great question (and one I have never really thought about until now!).  I always like seeing pictures or reading articles about what Barrack Obama’s girls are reading.  I wouldn’t call them celebrities, but I think it would be really cool if they read CANARY.  Or Ellen Degeneres!  I have fantasies that she’d read the book, love it, and then I’d get to go on her show and dance!  I’m a bit obsessed with dancing!

6. Sunny days or thunderstorms?
Sunny days for sure…I HATE rain!  It’s probably on my top five list of things I hate in life (right next to waking up early!). 

7. What's something that most people don't know about you?
When I was in high school, I lived with an Amish family for three weeks as part of my senior graduation project.  I was the only outsider ever let into their community, and I had to fully integrate myself into their lives and live/dress exactly like they did.  It was such an amazing experience, and afterward, I got to talk to groups of people about it and published an article in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.  I kept in touch with the family through letters for years, until they moved away to Pennsylvania.

8. What's something you feel strongly in? (Feel free to go into detail)
I feel very strongly about the power of words.  Words can do so much…they can tear down a person when it’s comes to bullying (both cyber and face-to-face) or help a person see how incredible he/she really is.  I’ve seen words destroy a person and save a person.  I try to stress to my students how important it is to think about what they are saying to others and the affect it may have on them.  I also constantly try to push books into their hands, because I believe words can save a person sometimes.  I’m so fortunate to have a book coming out that speaks to some subject matter that I think is so very very important.  

Follow Rachele Alpine

and don't forget to add Canary to Goodreads!

Now for the giveaway...
One winner will receive an awesome swag pack!
Rachele will be putting something special in there for the winner! 

US Only
Winner must respond within 48 hours

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is the first I have heard of this book, but it sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I heard about it when the cover was first reveleaed!

  3. Here, and it seems pretty cool indeed xD

    Me and my imaginary unicorn friend called Zelda thank for the giveaway! <333

  4. Here and sounds cool.


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