Hello and happy Monday, everyone! I’m so excited to kick of the Gray Wolf Island blog tour with this Q&A with author Tracey Neithercott! Find out more about this mysterious new YA adventure below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
About the Book
Title: GRAY WOLF ISLAND
Author: Tracey Neithercott
Pub. Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.
With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.
As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.
From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.
Q&A with Tracey Neithercott
1) Congratulations on your debut novel! What has been your favorite part of being a 2017 debut author?
When I dreamed of selling a book all those years ago, I imagined it’d be followed by months of celebration and permanent rainbows, or something equally as ridiculous. In reality, it’s pretty overwhelming. I might’ve shriveled up in stress if it weren’t for my fellow debut authors. Getting to know so many kind and talented writers has been a highlight of my year.
But ask me again once I’m holding my book in my hands, and I might have a different answer for you. 😉
2) Gray Wolf Island has such an incredible cast of characters. Which character was your favorite to write and why?
As much as I love my group of treasure hunters, and as much fun as I had writing (almost) all of them, they weren’t quite as fun to write as Doris Lansing. She’s old, she’s sassy, and I laughed the entire time I wrote her. Gray Wolf Island is told in two POVs, and I loved writing her from the perspective of these two very different characters.
Incidentally, Doris’s granddaughter, Anne, is one of my favorite characters in the book—and was my least favorite to write. It was a torturous process that involved many drafts and exclamations like, “Then write yourself if you’re so smart!”
3) Having a mysterious treasure map is such a fascinating story element. Do you have any favorite books or movies with hidden treasures in them?
Goonies probably tops the list for me. I grew up watching it and hoping one day I’d find my own treasure map. (This has yet to happen.) I also really love stories of supposedly real treasures. Gray Wolf Island was inspired by the legend of Oak Island, which sits off the coast of Nova Scotia and is said to hide a treasure.
4) What was the most challenging part about writing Gray Wolf Island for you?
The treasure map! As I began plotting the treasure hunt, I read about Forrest Fenn, a millionaire who hid a treasure in the Rocky Mountains and created a poem to lead people there. To this day, nobody has found his treasure. I loved the idea of a treasure poem, and decided to create one for Gray Wolf Island. But hiding a treasure map within a poem was harder than it sounded. And because the poem guided the treasure hunt, I found myself easily boxed into corners: This stanza says to cross the valley but the next says they’re beside the mountains! It was time-consuming to get it all to work, but in the end I love how it turned out. (And I’m so glad the book will include a map so readers can follow along!)
5) What is the single best piece of writing advice that you’ve ever received?
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s end.” Or something like that. I can’t remember the exact words or who said it, or if it was talking about writing at all. But it stuck with me because I struggle so often with comparing my rough draft to finished novels. “Look how easy she made it look,” I think. “Mine is terrible compared to that!”
What I don’t think at the time, because I’m too busy wallowing in self-pity and filling myself with angst, is that those books went through dozens of revisions. I try to remind myself of this often. Like when I start worrying I’ll never get there. Or when my draft looks particularly messy.
My first book was written by hand and illustrated with some really fancy colored pencils. It was highly acclaimed by my mother. Now, I write YA stories of friendship, love, murder, and magic. (None of which I illustrate—you’re welcome.) I live in Massachusetts with my husband, who suggests improving my novels by adding Star Wars characters.
I’m the author of Gray Wolf Island, a YA novel about the truth, a treasure, and five teens searching for both. Coming fall 2017 from Knopf/Random House.
Enter the Giveaway
2 winners will receive a finished copy of GRAY WOLF ISLAND, US Only.
Follow the Blog Tour
Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour! Be sure to check out their website here as well as the other amazing posts on this tour!
9/25/2017- YAandWine– Interview
9/26/2017- Arctic Books– Review
9/27/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
9/28/2017- Smada’s Book Smack– Review
9/29/2017- Bookish in Texas– Interview
10/2/2017- Omg Books and More Books– Review
10/3/2017- Falling For YA– Excerpt
10/4/2017- NovelKnight – Review
10/5/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
10/6/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland– Review
What are some of your favorite books or movies that involve a treasure map of some sort? What are some of your favorite 2017 debuts?