Thursday, October 26, 2017

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Chasing Nirvana by Ellyn Oaksmith @EllynOaksmith @yaboundtourspr

Chasing Nirvana
by Elyn Oaksmith
Genre: YA Coming of Age Romance/LGBTQ
Release Date: October 2017


Fran Worth is just another girl trying to make it through senior year at Weatherwax High in Aberdeen, Washington. But it's 1993 and Fran is gay. Her comfortably off the radar life turns vividly public when a student nominates Fran for prom queen. When confronted by angry parents Fran refuses to back down, promising to deliver her hometown heroes in hopes of winning prom queen votes.
Fran heads out on a 24 hour road trip to Daily City, California with four friends, including her crush who may or may not be gay.  Their plan? To sneak backstage to ask Kurt Cobain and Nirvana to come home and play prom. No problem. Unless something goes wrong.

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**Want to check out a sample of Chasing Nirvana? Download a three chapter sample here:

Interview with Ellyn Oaksmith

What inspired you to write Chasing Nirvana?

In the 1990’s I read a newspaper article about a gay girl who was nominated for prom queen in rural Washington State. The parents and students who objected organized an alternate prom. I loved the idea of a school and a town divided on such a symbolic night. The story just wouldn’t go away until I puzzled together a plot.

Can you tell us a little bit about the next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m finishing up a book called Stealing Baby X. It’s set in 1927 and was inspired by my 19 year old Canadian Nana kidnapping an orphaned baby from a Catholic hospital because it was going to be adopted out for farm labor. I’m drafting a young adult series called Holly Parker Goes to Prom about an Asian American teen in such a hurry to grow up she ends up faking her age to take a job at Google her senior year. The second book, Nick’s Gap Year, follows Holly and her boyfriend to Liberia as he goes on quest to find his birth parents.  The final book follows Holly to New York City after her younger sister runs away from boarding school to become a model.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Chasing Nirvana?

Fran, the main character, is a senior in high school. She’s gay. She doesn’t like attention and has a sarcastic, biting sense of humor. She’s out of the closet because of a slip of the lip in 6th grade. Her best friend Nikki is a high octane girl who loves an argument or cause. She’s in love with Paul. Paul is a star high school soccer player who is insecure. He dates a gorgeous girl who is demanding and annoying but he puts up with her because her attention feeds his ego. Allison is a Japanese American girl who relocated from San Francisco and hates Aberdeen. She has a demanding mother who wants her to be something she’s not. Fran has a crush on Allison.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Maya Angelou. She wrote about her entire life in a series of books that touch my heart. They’re autobiographies but they read like poetic, powerful fiction. I’m not a huge reader of poetry but her poems move and inspire me.

If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular period?

I’d probably go back to 1908 on Prince Edward Island because LM Montgomery was one of the first authors I fell in love with through Anne of Green Gables. Her vision of Prince Edward Island is idyllic. I recently re-read those books and felt swept away into the magic of Anne’s world. She’s the ideal heroine: hot tempered, impulsive, damaged, brave and deeply principled.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

Yes. I have a much beloved 11 year old rescue dog named Lucky who recently survived massive cancer surgery after which he had a horrible reaction to Fentanyl. We drove him at 1:00 AM to the emergency vet. While recovering, Lucky cut two paws during a short walk. We thought we’d have to add “un” to his name but he’s a survivor. He’s doing wonderfully now. My cat is another rescue animal. An obese polydactyl named Forest. His Instagram account is @Forestthefatcat. He’s handsome and hilarious.

About the Author
I graduated from Smith College and have a very expensive MFA from The American Film Institute. Some writers will tell you that their MFA was a waste of money. I won't. It gave me great editorial skills and colorful, crazy experiences working as a screenwriter in LA. Cooking on fishing boats in Alaska paid my tuition. Screenwriting and working in the middle of the Bering Sea have a lot in common: hard work, unpredictability and occasionally both make you want to scream.
Besides my family and friends, I love rescue dogs, cats, cooking, baking, open water swimming, kayaking and reading, reading, reading, reading. Did I mention reading?

Author Links:

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Anyone who comments on any of the blogs during the tour is eligible to win one of 30 e-book copies of Chasing Nirvana.

Anyone who signs up for the Author’s newsletter during the blog tour at this link:  will enter to win one of 5 signed copies of the paperback.

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