Welcome to my stop on the Blue Sky Virtual Book Tour! Today I have for you an Author Q&A and a Giveway!
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Women’s Fiction / Coming of Age
Date Published: October 6, 2015
With their turbulent past firmly behind them, Belinda and her daughters are ready to live happily ever after. But before long new threats emerge and things spiral out of control as Belinda fights like hell to keep her teenagers on the straight and narrow. The tighter she pulls the reins the harder they rebel until secrecy, addiction, and wounds from the past send the Morrow girls hurling down unexpected paths.
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Welcome to my blog and thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
1. Could you briefly describe your book for the readers?
Blue Sky is like 3 coming of age stories in one. You’ve got 3 sisters who’ve really been through a tough time and have been living apart in different foster homes. Now they’re reunited with each other and their mother, stepfather, and younger sisters. So, it’s very much about a family coming back together but it’s also about them trying to deal with what tore them apart in the first place. And they’re young women, making all the mistakes that most young women make but there’s this extra layer on top of it because they have these wounds that haven’t healed completely.
2. Is Blue Sky inspired by personal experiences?
Eh. Not really. This one is more fiction than fact. Really, the only part of me that makes it into the novel is in the beginning there’s this scene where Mya Morrow is sitting in a corner off to herself, reading a book. That’s me. And then I think it’s in the third chapter, where she goes to a house party with her sister, who’s a social butterfly, and Mya ends up leaning against a wall reading a book. That’s me too.
Although, my family’s experiences definitely informed the novel. My mom’s generation especially dealt with separation a lot. We sort of had self-imposed foster care in our family, where one household would take in one or more children from another household because something was going on. My great grandmother had this open door policy. If you were a blood relation, you were welcome for however long no questions asked.
3. Tell us about the main characters.
Well, you already know a little about Mya. She’s the quiet one. She ends up playing referee to Nikki (the prude) and Jackie (the social butterfly). Mya’s sin is that she’s extremely proud. Too proud to admit she’s wrong or ask for help. Nikki and Mya were fostered by a reverend and his wife, who couldn’t have kids of their own. And Nikki really takes to their way of doing things. So, Nikki’s sense of morality comes from the bible. But her sin is that she can’t deal with any ugliness. She sort of whitewashes it and pretends like it didn’t happen or like it didn’t bother her. Which doesn’t jive at all with Jackie who’s more bold and forthright. And whose viewpoint is more secular. Jackie’s a thrill seeker. She does everything she can think of to find some happiness in life. You tell her not to do something, and you can bet she’s gonna do it. And then there’s their mother, Belinda. The first book really dealt with Belinda and her story. The girls’ father, Ricky Morrow, was abusive to her. And in that book she…well, let’s just say she dealt with him. So, now she’s got all this life experience under her belt and she’s trying to prevent her girls from making the same mistakes that she did.
4. Do you have a favourite? Who and why?
Well, I have two favorites. Jackie and Mya. They make for great fiction. They’re the onions in the group. Lots of layers. Very strong personalities. Especially as adults, if one of them walks into a room, you can bet the room is gonna take notice.
5. Could you share a favourite quote from the book? Why is it your favourite?
I’ll give you a snippet.
“Oh, Mya, Mya, Mya…” She grinned at the plain white ceiling above us. “You’re my favorite, you know that?”
I did. It wasn’t hard to figure out. Nat and the twins were too young, and she couldn’t stand Nikki. That left me.
“Girls don’t like me.” She confided with a smile. “I don’t know why. I’m cool. Right?”
“Yeah.” I nodded and got into bed next to her. “I need to talk to you about something.”
“But wherever I go they don’t like me. I want a girlfriend. Do you have a girlfriend? That girl…what’s her name? The one with the braids. Asia or Africa or something.”
“Right. I want me a China. Boys are only temporary, but girlfriends, they last forever. You could be my girlfriend.”
“I’m your sister.”
“You are, aren’t you?” She smiled dreamily and gently pushed my hair off my face. “You’re smarter than me. And prettier.”
“Stop that.” I shook my head against her pillow, trying to keep her from fondling my face.
Jackie giggled. “Mya’s sooooo pretty.” She swiped her finger against my nose playfully. “I got me the prettiest sister there is.”
“When we grow up you can be the model, and I’ll handle all the money.”
“A little,” she admitted, still smiling. “I’ll be your manager. We’ll go all over the world.” She yawned.
She began twisting and turning, cozying up to me. Her hair stretched out behind her as she buried the left side of her face in her pillow and stretched one arm over my stomach. I probably should’ve tried harder to look after her. Jackie liked to think she didn’t need it, but she did.
6. Did you have difficulty with writing a particular part or writing about a character? If so, why?
Nope. This novel came to me pretty easily.
7. Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I’m working on books #3 and #4 in the series. Three follows adult Mya and four follows adult Jackie. I’ll just say Mya ends up as far from a model as physically possible. And Jackie doesn’t really change, she just gets older.
Thanks so much for having me! For all the readers out there interested in the Morrow girls, check out www.themorrowgirls.com.
About The Author
Bryant Simmons is an award-winning author and pens realistic fiction that straddles the line between art and social commentary. She is currently hard at work on The Morrow Girls Series, a family saga that spans three generations of women. Simmons incorporates meaty topics, such as domestic violence, addiction, and mental illness into her fiction. She believes novels can act as agents of change and hopes that her writing will inspire and empower women.
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