~ Refer to Book Nerd Tours for the complete Goodbye, Rebel Blue blog tour schedule!
About the Author
I’m a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and restaurant reviewer. These days I write smart, funny novels for teens and big, edgy romantic suspense. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, I live and love in Arizona with my family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. When I’m not behind the keyboard, you’ll find me baking high-calorie, high-fat desserts and haunting local farmers markets for the perfect plum. Hugs!
An Interview with Shelley Coriell!
~ What inspired you to write Goodbye, Rebel Blue?
The dedication for Goodbye, Rebel Blue simply reads, to the three who died. Now here’s the rest of the story. Warning: Sadness ahead.
In November of 2010 I lost my father in a horrific accident. He died in a fire. One month later the twenty-six-year-old director of my daughters’ dance company died of lung failure while waiting for a lung transplant. Picture a ballerina strapped to and dancing with an oxygen tank. Three months after that a sixteen-year-old girl at my daughters’ very small, close-knit school died unexpectedly of Valley Fever. Sixteen. Years. Old.
These three deaths—so close together and so intensely personal—profoundly changed my life and the lives of those I love. In the aftermath of these deaths came big, existential questions: Why do bad things happen to good people? Is there life after death? Are our lives controlled by chance or choice? Does God exist? And ultimately…if I had limited time on this earth, am I living the life I truly want to live?
~ What authors have had the most profound effect on you and your writing?
I have so many influences, but I’ll pick the two biggies in contemporary young adult. Number one is E. Lockhart who writes wonderfully messy characters with breathtaking and painful honesty. Close behind is Sarah Dessen who writes characters who stick with me long after I reach THE END.
~ What is your favorite book?
You’re kidding, right?
~ How long did it take you to write Goodbye, Rebel Blue?
Three months for the first draft, a raw, messy “discovery” draft. Eleven months in the writerly dungeon. Two months of brutal revisions. As an interesting aside, this was initially Kennedy Green’s story, written in Kennedy’s POV with Rebecca “Rebel” Blue supposed to die at the end of chapter one (hence the title), but Rebel showed up in detention and would have none of that.
~ Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write. Edit. Repeat. I wrote seriously for five years and wrote five manuscripts before I sold to New York.
~ What would you like readers to take away from Goodbye, Rebel Blue?
Warning: Cliché ahead. Live…and love…like you are dying.