{Streaks of Blue}-{Interview}-{Ebook Giveaway}

{Streaks of Blue}-{Interview}-{Ebook Giveaway}Streaks of Blue by Jack Chaucer
Published by Amazon Digital Services on August 30, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
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Adam Upton and Thomas "Lee" Harvey are plotting the next big school massacre at their New Hampshire high school. Nicole Janicek, who knew Adam in elementary school, tries to reconnect with the damaged teen at the start of their senior year. But will Nicole’s attempt to befriend the would-be killer disrupt the plot and turn Adam’s life around before the clock strikes 12:14?

Half of the proceeds from this novel will be donated to the Newtown Memorial Fund.

Image1{Interview with Jack Chaucer}

Q: What made you want to become a writer?
A: It all began when I was 7 and I launched a little Chaucer Drive (hence my pen name) neighborhood newspaper in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, that we wrote by hand and passed around to all the parents at the block party every August. I think we did that from 1979 through 1984 and I still have the copies somewhere in the house. I also still work at a newspaper (in Waterbury, Connecticut)! It seems I’ve always liked writing creatively and trying to tap into my imagination.

Q: What books/authors have you read that have influenced your desire to write?
A: Mark Twain (“Tom Sawyer,” “Huck Finn”), Harriet Beecher Stowe (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”), Ken Follett (“Pillars of the Earth”), George R.R. Martin (“Game of Thrones” series) and Harry Nicholson (“Tom Fleck”) have all inspired me and influenced me in some way.

Q: What books do you recommend be read at least once in a lifetime?
A: The books I mentioned above certainly qualify. A few other noteworthy ones that come to mind are “Lord of the Flies,” “The Shining,” “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” and “Sparrow Migrations” by Cari Noga.

Q: What came first? Your novel or the title?
A: Great question. I was trying to figure out the title as I was writing the first draft. A couple of my early title ideas included “12:14” and “Clique, Click … Pull,” but eventually I came up with “Streaks of Blue” because it fit better with the tone and theme of the book. I didn’t want the title or the cover to be too bold or sensational given the delicate subject matter.

Q: What made you decide to write a book in memoration of the past school shootings?
A: The Sandy Hook shooting literally hit way too close to home — not very far from where I work and live. I have twin 2-year-olds who will be going to school fairly soon. If I was going to write anything in the wake of that tragedy, I had to take that topic head-on and try to turn something horrific into something positive in my own small way. We all felt helpless after what happened so here is my attempt to help. Half of the proceeds from “Streaks of Blue” go to the Newtown Memorial Fund, whose motto is “Hitch Your Wagon to a Star.” Well, the little girl Star who appears to Nicole in a dream in Chapter 2 of my book is inspired by Emilie Parker, one of the first-grade victims. The teacher who warns Nicole is inspired by Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung. Those brave angels, in turn, inspire Nicole and help guide her as she tries to prevent the next tragedy. And I think that’s their message to all of us. We all have to be like Nicole. We all have to get involved, pull people up who are on the edge and get them moving in the right direction again. Otherwise, this seemingly endless cycle of violence will continue.

Q: What do you want readers of your book to take with them once they have completed it?
A: One teen in Georgia (formerly Russia) told me she reconnected with former friends after reading “Streaks of Blue.” Another teen, from India, told me she wanted to read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild,” one of Nikki’s favorite books, and go mountain climbing. A mom in New York told me she squeezed her little son much tighter. These are amazing examples of what I hope readers will get out of “Streaks of Blue.” I hope it makes them think more deeply about what’s really going on in their schools, communities and country, and inspires them to make a positive difference in the world.

Q: If you could spread one message to today’s youth; What would it be?
A: Don’t label, judge and reject others. Try to include, accept and embrace others, especially those who are different or struggling in some way.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share? About yourself? Upcoming projects?
A: I used to climb the White Mountains with my father when I was a kid, so it feels great to channel those great memories into a meaningful novel like “Streaks of Blue.” As far as upcoming projects go, after four novels in four years, I’m taking a break for a while. I need to recharge my creative engine. But I would like to tackle a trilogy at some point. I want to do something involving the dualistic power of water and how, with the effects of global warming really ramping up and being unleashed over the course of the 21st century, this critical source of life could, in the end, literally drown us. The best novels and characters involve great change. Well, Earth is about to undergo huge changes and, as a result, so are we. I have a feeling there’s a “Mammyth” story for me to write about this subject at some point and I look forward to it when the time comes.

Now I have a question for you, Annie.
Please rank your three favorite moments, scenes or conversations from “Streaks of Blue.”

It is really difficult for me to just choose three. I fell in love with the book from start to finish. I think the most important scene in the entire book is when Nicole decides that she is going to go out and find Adam. That night she goes out to find him thinking the worst but doesn’t let her courage falter. The outcome isn’t what I had expected but her courage and bravery helped to show that one person can make a difference in the lives of others.

{my review of Streaks of Blue}


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