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Title: Being Henry David
Author: Cal Armistead
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.
First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today!
Thanks so much for letting me drop by!
1. Describe Being Henry David as a tweet (140 characters or less)!
Traumatized teenage boy with amnesia finds his way home with help from friends, music, nature and Henry David Thoreau.
2. If you could re-title Being Henry David what would you call it and why?
I wouldn’t! I think the title sums up the book perfectly. First, the lead character finds a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and figures it must be a clue to who is he. Since he has amnesia and doesn’t know his real name, he takes the name Henry David from the book cover. When he finally discovers who he really is, he has learned to love and respect Thoreau and wants to emulate him. Hence, being (like) Henry David. I can’t think of another title that would describe this better.
3. What inspired you to start writing?
You mean in general, or this book, specifically? If you mean in general, the thing that first inspired me to start writing was…uhh…just basically existing! Ever since I was a kid, it’s just what I was compelled to do. It’s in my DNA or something.
4. What kind of research, if any, did you do for Being Henry David?
First, I read Walden, cover-to-cover, and walked around Walden Pond a gazillion times. (Talk about fun research!) I also visited Penn Station in New York City, where I took notes and chatted with the transit police. Also, I had a number of interviews with Richard Smith, a real-life tattooed Thoreau interpreter/historian in Concord, who has become a good friend. He helped keep the details about Thoreau accurate, and also helped flesh out the character of Thomas, the tattooed Thoreau interpreter/librarian/historian.
5. Do you have a specific place where you write?
I just recently converted an upstairs guest room into an office, and I love it! It’s the first time I’ve had a room of my own that’s completely and exclusively my office, and not a guest room/office combo. That makes a bigger difference than you’d think. But when I’m really “in the zone,” it doesn’t matter where I am. I tend to float, from my office, to the kitchen table, to the local coffee shop. If I’m really focused, I can even write in the family room with the TV blaring and kids and dogs running all over the place. But my favorite place is my office, with soft music, a scented candle, and a view of the woods out my window.
6. What are you reading right now?
I have books all over the place (in my bedroom, living room, office, car), so I tend to read more than one at a time, given my mood and the book closest at hand. Some are adult fiction, some are young adult. At the moment, I’m reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Paper Towns by John Green, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson, and I just finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
This or That...
Ebook or Real book?
That’s easy: REAL BOOK. No contest, no hesitation. But you have to understand, I work at a small independent bookstore (sadly, a vanishing breed), and I’m fiercely protective of its existence. Plus, I just personally prefer the physical presence of good ol’ paper and binding. The thrill of actually holding my first solid, real published book in my very own hands was such a visceral experience—looking at my e-book on a screen could never measure up to that!
Twitter or Facebook?
I’m a Facebook girl—it’s too hard for me to keep things short.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Both. Chocolate candy for sure (I’m addicted to Hershey’s kisses)…but I prefer vanilla milkshakes.
Past or Future?
I’ve got to say “both” again. I have so many wonderful memories from the past, and I’m also so pumped about the future, there’s no way to choose one over the other. Yes, I feel very blessed.
And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now?
Dog treats and lollipops. Layla and I get the munchies when we’re working!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
It has been a pleasure—thanks for hosting me!
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Thursday, February 21-Kristen ♥
Guest Post and Giveaway
Guest Post and Giveaway