Saturday, December 22, 2012

We All Fall Down - Katlyn Charlesworth

We All Fall Down - Katlyn Charlesworth
Interview and Review
We All Fall Down

Just a little about Katlyn:

"I'm sort of a walking contradiction... I'm a spinner of tales, but forever a reader; an old soul, but young at heart; a total romantic, but a horror movie guru; a roller-coaster fanatic, yet always lightheaded. I think dogs are better than cats and I am convinced my fish has a crush on Audrey Hepburn. I think laughter is the best medicine and kissing is the best calorie burner. I think handwritten letters are better than typed ones. I think winter is way too cold, summer is way too hot, and fall is for football. And I think life is a beautiful thing..."
-- Katlyn Charlesworth

Katlyn Charlesworth is a sixteen-year-old Ohio native, who is convinced she has a more southern frame of mind, and grew up writing short stories. She also participated as a weekly columnist, reporter, and editor in her high school’s newspaper publication. Her first novel, We All Fall Down, is historical fiction, as is her newly released second novel, A Thousand Deaths. She enjoys listening to country music and wishes her days occurred in the form of a real life musical. She is a total romantic, but could spend the entire day watching horror films. If she could, she would buy a million vintage typewriters to write her novels with, as long as there was a magical, and somewhat futuristic, ‘delete’ key added in (it’s mandatory). Katlyn is working on her next novel, while being in-and-out of hospitals, due to her two chronic illnesses, (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), and is still hoping for that real life musical number! She currently resides with her parents, younger brother, and four dogs in Colorado. She was a '2012 Goodreads Choice Awards' nominee for Best Historical Fiction, Best Fiction, Best Young Adult Fiction, and Best Goodreads Author.

1. What inspired you to start writing?
A: I'm not sure if I could pinpoint exactly what it was that made me want to be an author. I think it was a culmination of things, actually. I have always been a big reader and an excellent English student throughout my school years. Writing for people was something that I knew I wanted to spend time doing, from very early on. However, being a typical teenager, I had no time to write an entire novel. When I was diagnosed with my chronic illnesses, I found myself stuck with a lot of free time on my hands because I was at home or in hospitals. Rather than do nothing, I felt driven towards doing what I always said I would do, but just never had the time for--writing. That was when I wrote We All Fall Down. Publishing my story was completely spur of the moment! I don't think I ever thought it would be published or that I would even have the courage to put it out far enough for just a couple people to read, had I not been blessed with the time to do so. In my second novel, A Thousand Deaths, I dedicated the book to Fate. Had I not been attending a doctor's appointment, I never would have found the inspiration behind my tale. So overall, I suppose you could say that being diagnosed with two chronic illnesses is what inspired me to write. :)

2. If you have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers, what would it be?
A: Sometimes a hardship can be a blessing in disguise. I always wished to have the opportunity to be an author, but I never imagined my wish would be granted in the form it has been. I have missed out on a lot because of my health conditions, but I have been so very blessed as well! I am a firm believer in Fate/Destiny. Things happen for a reason and although that reason may not be clear at times, there is a purpose for everything we face in life.

3. Who is your all time favorite author?
A: That is a very tough question! Jane Austen and F. Scott Fitzgerald are just a couple of my all time favorite authors. I have read and enjoyed plenty of novels, but there are a select few that I truly consider my favorites--in which case, I will re-read them over and over again. :) Austen and Fitzgerald's novels (like Pride & Prejudice and The Great Gatsby) fall into such a category.

4. What is your favorite animal?
A: Another difficult question! I am a big lover of all animals, but I simply adore tigers and jellyfish. An odd combination, huh? :)

5. What is one of your most cherished memories?
A: The day I got my proof copy of We All Fall Down in the mail, I was ecstatic! I had been waiting weeks for it to arrive and I was thrilled to see the brown package in the mail box, with my name on it. Before then, it never really hit me that my book was published and out there for the world to read. When I held that first copy in my hands, I think that was when I felt like a true author. It was an over-the-moon moment. :)

6. Is there any particular reason you chose the bubonic plague for a story?
A: I really try to choose events from history that are either little-known or have few literary options for readers to choose from. I discovered my story for We All Fall Down from the old nursery rhyme, which I also took my title from. After researching, it struck me that I had found an excellent topic for a novel. I had started plenty of books, but never finished a single one. They simply did not appeal to me the way that We All Fall Down had. Whether it was that haunting poem or the historical event, itself, I knew that I had found the right story to write about.

Are you currently working on any novels?
A: It seems that I am always working on new story ideas, these days! There are so many that find a way into my brain, so after much debate, I finally settled on one... or maybe two. ;)
I am in the research and early writing stage for my next novel, which is also historical fiction. I hope to have it completed sometime next year!

8. What is the number one on your bucket list?
A: I'm not sure. I have so many things I want to do in my life! But if I had to pick one, I think it would be to travel to India. I have always had an obsession with the country since I was little--its beautiful culture, music, and people--and it is a true desire of mine to travel there someday. Perhaps my future novel will take place in India? ;)

9. What do you never leave home without?
A: I always have to have a bottle of SmartWater and my salt shaker. Before everyone starts wondering if I am insane, let me explain. My health conditions require that I drink at least four liters of water a day (a lot more than the average human being) and take in a lot of sodium! So if you ever see me with my purse stuffed with a liter of water and a salt grinder--you now know why. ;)

10. Can you tell my readers where they can stalk you?
A: Absolutely!
Feel free to stalk me at any of these places:
I also encourage people to email me at anytime! :)

I'd like to give a big Thank you to Katlyn Charlesworth for being super awesome and giving YA Vixens an interview! You're amazing! I hope you all enjoy! Oh, and Go read this story! ;) 

Over the summer I was very active as a "street team" member for Katlyn Charlesworth. In return for my participation, I wound up winning a signed copy of We All Fall Down! I will tell you. The second I received this book, I started to read it!

"Ring around the Rosie
Pocket full of Posie
Ashes, Ashes,
We all fall down!"

Do you know the meaning of this well known children's song? If you don't and would like to know what it means, and be drawn into a romance from the ages, this is the novel for you[Even if you do know]!

In 14th century Europe, the Bubonic Plague(Black Plague) hit hard. In Katlyn Charlesworth's debut Novel, she takes you on a journey through the hardship of love, life, and death. This is an excellent Romance/History novel. Katlyn blends historical references, the french language, romance, and tragedy together. For being so young when she wrote this novel, I consider her very talented and can't wait for her future novels. This novel will take you on an emotional journey through grief, love, and happiness.

The main character Jemma takes you into her personal thoughts, fears, and dreams. After her older sister tells her she's leaving, Jemma ends up struggling with her mother, taking over care of her younger siblings. All she wants is her freedom. After her sister is gone, she is told by her mother that she is going to have an arranged marriage. Jemma is FURIOUS! (Who wouldn't be). Enter Henry. Oh, Henry. I fell in love with you, just as Jemma did.

The only reason why I gave this 4 hearts, instead of 5 is because of the length. I would like to have seen the story extended. However, it was well thought out, transitioned amazingly, and was an absolutely beautiful read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Like I said, my only quarrel with it was that I thought it was short.

-Beth [Vixen 2]

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