March 19, 2015

Blog Tour Promo Post: Ontario Teen Book Festival Presents...Michelle Levy!

at 3/19/2015 02:00:00 PM

Event Information

This FREE & UNTICKETED event is hosted at Colony High School [3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761]. The event starts at 9 AM until 5 PM. More information can be found here. The event's sponsor, Once Upon A Time, will have books, t-shirts and posters available for purchase.

Official Blog Tour Schedule
February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West -- Adventures of a Book Junkie
March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers -- What A Nerd Girl Says
March 2nd: Spotlight on Anna Carey -- The Reader's Antidote
March 3rd: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci -- Nite Lite Book Reviews
March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza -- Read Now Sleep Later
March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn -- Fearless Kurt Reads YA
March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray -- A Bookish Escape
March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger -- People Like Books
March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller -- The Thousand Lives
March 9th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross -- Kid Lit Frenzy
March 10th: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred -- Recently Acquired Obsessions
March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith -- Movies, Shows and Books
March 12th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer -- What A Nerd Girl Says
March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury -- The Consummate Reader
March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo -- The Windy Pages
March 15th: Spotlight on Catherine Linka -- Read Now Sleep Later
March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody -- The Romance Bookie
March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil -- Movies, Shows and Books
March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler -- Fangirl Feeels
March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy -- The Consummate Reader 

 Author Spotlight: Michelle Levy

1)      Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did it start?
I think I was always a secret writer. I spent many insomnia-filled nights thinking up stories and characters but I never wrote them down because I was a big, ol’ chicken. And then, just when I found the courage to write them down, I had the misfortune of having a bad high school creative writing teacher who planted the dreaded seed of self-doubt in me, and a writer boyfriend who watered that self-doubt until is was a gnarl of insecurities so thick it would take almost a decade to weed. But when I finally gave it another try, it was like something in me clicked into place and the words just started pouring out and I wasn’t sure how I had ever managed to keep them in for so long. I was thirty-three when I started (and finished) my first manuscript; living proof that it’s never too late.

2)      Can you tell us about your book, Not After Everything?
Tyler Blackwell is a seventeen-year-old running back, with perfect grades, perfect friends, a perfect girlfriend, and a football scholarship to Stanford. But after his mom kills herself, none of it seems important anymore. Not even football, which is fine, because he has to quit anyway since his abusive, alcoholic father refuses to pay for anything. Tyler is forced to work if he wants to have things like clothes, shoes, food, even toilet paper. He gets a job working alongside Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry goth girl, who hates everything Tyler has become and isn’t shy about telling him so. She doesn’t tiptoe around his feelings the way everyone else does. Tyler finds her brutal honesty refreshing. How could he not fall for her? Maybe, just, maybe, with Jordyn’s support, Tyler can learn to let go of some of the guilt he feels about his mother’s death and, once again, embrace his future. Or, after everything, is it just too late?

3)      With Not After Everything, did you plot out your story or wrote as you went?
I’m a plotter. I actually just went back to my notes to see how much I veered away from my original outline for Not After Everything, and it really wasn’t much at all. There are a few plotlines I cut in revisions, but apparently this story knew where it wanted to go from day one.

4)      Where do you find inspiration?
I’m one of those crazy writers who “hears” her characters. I first heard Tyler when I was in the shower, as you do. He was this insanely smart, extremely angry guy who was pretending he didn’t care about anything and I just had to know what made him that way. I almost always start with the characters, rather than the plot. If I have a clear idea of the character it’s fairly easy to figure out what story they want to tell.

5)      What are your plans now?
Well, my editor currently has the proposal for my next book, so hopefully that’s the plan. It’s another contemporary YA dealing with psychological issues—I’m fascinated by psychology. And after that, who knows? I’m still waiting for the magical realism pendulum to swing back. I love paranormal and urban fantasy stuff and would love to explore a few ideas there.

Lightning Round

What/Who is your favorite…?

·        Drink? Coke.

·        Guilty pleasure? I would say Teen Wolf (the MTV series), but I don’t really feel all that guilty about it.

·        Author? Just one? I can’t. John Green (obv), Jandy Nelson, Andrew Smith, Gayle Forman, ahhh there are so many!

·        Celebrity? At the moment Dylan O’Brien (see Teen Wolf above). He’s who I would cast as Tyler.

·        Book? The Catcher in the Rye. I know it’s a cliché, but I don’t care. It was the first book I read as a teenager where I was like, this is how I hear my inner voice, ya bunch of phonies.

·        TV show? Breaking Bad!

·        Technology? Everything Apple.

·        Movie? Fight Club.

·        Mode of Transportation? Car. I love road trips because audiobooks!

·        Animal? Probably some kind of cat. Either a tiger or a leopard.

·        Dish? Pizza, duh.


Michelle Levy was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, where she memorized books before she was able to read, tricking her parents into thinking she was a genius. At eighteen she moved to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in casting for film and television. In her many years of casting she has been privileged to work on projects such as Six Feet UnderDeadwoodBruce AlmightyMr. Popper’s PenguinsVampire Academy, and many more. Michelle always secretly harbored a desire to write. She spent many insomnia-filled nights dreaming up stories that she never dared to write down. When she finally set out to get something on the page, the words flew out of her until she had her first completed manuscript and she never looked back. She still lives in Los Angeles with a freakishly tall Great Dane and a giant Maine Coon cat, but desperately misses thunderstorms, and even the occasional snowstorm, so she visits Colorado quite often.

A gritty but hopeful love story about two struggling teens—great for fans of The Spectacular NowWillow, and Eleanor and Park

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?


Two Prizes/Two Winners: Each Winner will Win an Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by all attending authors. The giveaway will run from February 28th to March 20thThe giveaway is NOT international.



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