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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

About the book:
Blurb: Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

About the author
Tiffany McDaniel is an Ohio native whose writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist. The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel. 


First of all, I absolutely adore the author. She has been one of the warmest persons I have been fortunate to come across through my years of blogging. And she has written a book that makes it to the list of the most creative ones for 2016, so there's that too.
What I especially like about the book is that it such a bold plot, and to think that it is a debut!

I have never done this before in any interview, but I would like to thank her right away for giving me this opportunity to firstly, read her book, and now to interview her.
And while, I am at it, may I tell you I am also in love with her artwork, especially 'And so we burn'. It's on her website!!!
(Oh, and she also clicked a book photo, may I boast, exclusively for me? Scroll a little further to have a look at it)
Here we go with my questions:

Kritika: Let's begin with the most obvious, cliched question: When did you decide you'll be a writer? Was it a conscious choice?
Tiffany: I never decided to be a writer.  Writing is the earliest thing I remember doing without being told to do so.  As a kid I would pick up that crayon and just scribble what was in my head.  As so many authors will say, I was just driven to write by that internal gear.  In the elements that make me, there’s that something that drives me toward story.  I want to read story.  Create story.  Live with story.  I’m lost without writing.  It’s my compass home.   

Kritika: One thing about writing you absolutely love?
Tiffany: Falling in love with the characters.

Kritika: One thing about writing you kind of hate?
Tiffany: Trying to get a foot in the publishing door.  I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen.  I wouldn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine.  It was eleven years of rejection and fear I’d never be published.  This is the narrative so many authors have.  The road to publication can be heart-breaking and discouraging.  That’s what I’ve hated.  

Kritika:   How is the publishing process like for a debut author?
Tiffany: I will say one of the surprising things about the publishing process is how long it takes to move a book through the publishing house.  On average it takes about two years.  Waiting seems to be a major theme of the process.  You’re always waiting for someone to read.  Waiting for someone to review.  Waiting for the pass pages, the galleys, the publishing date itself.  Waiting is a major part of the process and to a debut author especially it seems like waiting is all there is. 

Kritika: When did you decide you write this book?
Tiffany: I was twenty-eight when I wrote the novel.  It was one of those Ohio summers that was so hot I just felt like I was melting.  All of myself just giving up to the heat and melting to a puddle on the green summer grass.  And thus the title was born, which means so was the book itself.

Kritika: Why did you write around the theme of devil?
Tiffany: I didn’t set out to write about the devil.  I always start writing a new novel with two things.  The title and the first line.  These two things lead the rest of the story.  So while I never set out to write about the devil, the first line determined I would.  I never outline or plan the story out beforehand.  I like for the story to evolve as I write it.  I always say I’m surprised myself how the story turns out.  I meet the characters and themes as I go along.  In this case, I met the devil page by page…

Kritika: What was it like to sketch the character of the devil?
 Tiffany: The devil is a character that is interesting to develop because the devil is universal.  Every culture has their version of the devil.  What I didn’t want was the stereotypical devil of red-flesh, horns, cloven feet, and forked tongue.  We’ve already had that version of the devil.  I wanted to explore the devil within ourselves.

Kritika: Did you jot down the plot first, or did you keep writing as it came? What part did planning play in this insidious plot?
Tiffany: I never jot the plot down beforehand.  To me writing an idea down can cause that idea to rot and lose its essence.  Planning for me isn’t the key to my stories.  If you plan too much you can domesticate the story and I like to preserve the wild life because in that wild, spinning chaos, you can learn so much more about the story and characters.

Kritika: The world wants to know: Why the name Autopsy? Why!
 Tiffany: World, I will tell you.  I always say the characters know their names before I do.  It’s my job as the author to pick up the hints the characters are leaving for me.  The more you develop a character, the more hints there are.  One day I had seen the word autopsy.  It’s as simple as that.  I looked up the definition to learn the word’s origin and knew that this was Autopsy’s name.  This was his truth.  I saw that much for myself…

Kritika: Tell us something about yourself as a person? Any quirk? Any secrets?
Tiffany: Writing is really the most interesting thing about me.  I wish I could tell you something exciting like I wrestle alligators or swim with sharks, but aside from writing, I’m pretty quiet and boring
Kritika: (to herself) Ah she is anything but boring.
Tiffany: Thanks again for doing this interview.

And, here is your chance to win two eBooks and read the amazing work by this woman:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

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  1. very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.

  2. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.


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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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