Monday, April 3, 2017

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting by Justine Prado, Illustrated by Jenn St-Onge @yaboundtourspr

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting
Justine Prado
Illustrated by 
Jenn St-Onge
Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Release Date: January 2017
Emet Comics

Summary from Goodreads:

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting is a graphic novel about Molly Sanchez-Talebi, an unemployed art school grad who hesitantly starts catsitting to pay the bills. She dreams of breaking out of suburbia and her artistic rut, but she has a lot of self-discovery to do before that happens. The comic follows her funny misadventures as she learns that maybe these (sometimes) friendly felines are just what she needs to get her life on track. 

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Guest Post:

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

Before I even wrote the first page of Finding Molly, I had an idea of who all the main characters would be. I wanted to set up a world that anyone could relate to, but especially a young artist. It all started with Molly (actually, it all started with the cats, but I’ll get to that later). I wanted to write a story about a young, modern woman who is trying to figure herself out. When I think about my peers, or people Molly’s age, we’re faced with so much uncertainty. I wanted to convey the freedom and fun of being in your early twenties, but also the scariness and desperation that comes with that. This is especially true for young artists; there’s no one path that’s going to get you to your goals, so you have to figure it out for yourself. In Molly’s case, that path starts with cat-sitting. Cat-sitting leads to creating her own webcomic about the damn cats. And then things start falling into place for her, little by little.

To make things even harder for Molly, she’s surrounded by people who are sure they know what’s best for her. Her parents are old school (Mom is Mexican-American, Dad is Persian), and they have this fantasy that Molly is going to live a more traditional life. They’re not shy about telling her what she’s doing wrong, or what she should be doing. But they’re also supportive, and are rooting for her to realize her dreams as an artist. There’s part of me that thinks if you’re surrounded by too much support, as an artist, you’ll never create anything magnificent. I’m sure that’s not true, but we all need something to rebel against, and Molly’s parents fill that role for her.

Her friends are the opposite - they’re sure Molly’s going to make it. They all have already, to some extent, so why shouldn’t she? And they all have ideas as to how she can do that. Her BFF Sarahh has a cool artsy job at a movie studio. Mateo is a art scene darling, selling paintings left and right. And Rome is a secretly famous street artist. This crew gives her hope, but also makes Molly feel super insecure. Like, why hasn’t she made it like them? What’s wrong with her? But every artist has to take their own journey. And she’ll realize you can’t look at your life or career as a race. That’s not how it works.

The cats are, in my mind, the real stars of the show. Their behaviors are all modeled after my own cat, Thriller, who terrorizes me on a daily basis. But, like Molly, he inspired me to create something I’m really proud of. Each cat in the story yields some kind of lesson for Molly - she needs to grow up, or, she needs to try new things. First, I would think of what I wanted Molly to learn or realize, and then I would think of what kind of cat could help her get there. Once I had the cat, I would know what kind of character to create for the cat’s person. People are so weird and obsessed with their cats (myself included), so these were the most fun to create. And seeing what Jenn (the artist) would come up with based on my descriptions was always the best part.

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Audrey Stewart said...

I love this! I have a rescue shelter for elderly cats.

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