Wednesday, May 18, 2016

YA In The Alleyway~THE UNMOVING SKY by K. L. Hallam & Giveaway!

YA in the Alleyway is my revised meme to give young adult literature the spotlight it deserves. It also gives YA authors the opportunity to share their signature with the world! 
Feel free to join me any Wednesday. 

Let's give a big Alleyway welcome for my next featured Young Adult Author, K. L. Hallam - an air force brat as a young child, who moved around to more schools than she can list, gathering the stories that would connect to her heart! She also writes middle grade tales, short fiction, and anything else she hasn't tried. Her other creative endeavors include being a singer, songwriter, illustrator, and mom. And to top it all off, she's one of my publisher sisters!

Hi K. L. It's wonderful to have you here. Let's start with childhood. Did you have a favorite book or story and why? 
My mother’s first language is Greek, she spoke little English, and I can’t remember a time when she’d read books the way I do for my sons. But when my fifth-grade teacher read The Secret Garden aloud to the class, my world changed. Forever. I still recall that time, listening to her read I can almost smell the day. 

Ooh, The Secret Garden... <3 With the emotions of that story in mind, I'd like to introduce the readers to your moving story.

Goodreads | Smashwords | Amazon

THE UNMOVING SKY
by K. L. Hallam

Publisher: Leap Books: Shine Imprint
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

Description: There is nothing darker than the woods, until you meet your worst fear.

Jackson Bower has a lot on his mind lately. His younger brother hasn’t been the same since his mother’s death. His father’s drinking is out of control. Then there’s Jackson’s girlfriend and the grief that ties them together even as it threatens to drive them apart.

He distances himself, hoping for a little perspective at the family lodge. But when their father gets drunk and dangerous, he and his brother escape into the woods.

Night creeps in, and the rains come fast. Artie slips down a ravine. He’s wounded and the brothers seek shelter in a cave, only to find someone else already taking refuge there.

A desperate man with plans to destroy their town.

Jackson must get him and his wounded brother out of the cave and over the mountain to warn everyone in time. Without getting them both killed first.

Here's a peek at the book trailer: 


How did you approach the topics of parental death and alcohol use (or alcoholism) to develop these characters?
My father was an alcoholic. My mother left him when I was eight years old and my brother was five. I had to look after him a lot, while she worked. Growing up without your parents talking to each other for years, not until I graduated high school, feels like a death. I wasn’t allowed to talk about him or his new life around my mother. 

What other books do you feel are comparable to this story and why?  
Hm? This is hard. I’ve searched for stories that might be comparable. When talking with others about The Unmoving Sky, I’ve heard that it sounded like the Mathew McConaughey’s film, MUD, 2012. I haven’t seen the film, but it sounds as if there might be a few elements of similarity. Two young boys, find a drifter … etc. Maybe that’s the one similarity? 

One of my children watched that film. I believe he got the same impression. What can your readers expect from you next? 
I have a middle-grade, SFF launching with GMMG in 2017. (And a few in the hole!) I’d love to write a prequel to The Unmoving Sky. Brianna, Jackson’s girlfriend, has her side to the story. Hopefully I can complete the song of her POV and have it ready by the time TUS publishes on May 16th. Or maybe it will be a pet project. 

A prequel would be cool! I always love to learn more about a story's characters before and after. :) One last - and silly - question. You're in the mall and all the stores are closed except three of them: a kitchen utensil store, a gag gift store, and a gallery art store. Which do you patron, why, and what do you buy?
Gallery Art Store. Because I paint with watercolors and I’m out of supplies. I know I’ve used all of my blues and yellows. I might even grab more clay for the figurative sculptures I used to make. 


Sculptures...whoa. You really do dabble in all creative arenas. Thanks you so much for sharing your signature in the Alleyway, and congratulations on your release!




Readers, what are your thoughts on reading true-to-life teenage struggles such as dealing with an absent parent, death, or battles such as alcoholism?









Want more of K. L. Hallam? Find her: Website | Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter




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22 comments:

  1. Congrats to K.L. It sounds like she had a lot of difficult personal experiences to draw on in creating her characters for this story. That's sad she had to go through those experiences, but hopefully they made her story (and her) stronger.

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    1. Yeah, it sounds like both has happened. I think this is a really strong book.

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  2. She's creative in a lot of ways.
    Fortunately my father wasn't an alcoholic, but he was in the military, so I know what it feels like to move around a lot.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure moving around a lot was tough. I can't imagine it.

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  3. You know, I think it's important to address issues that many young people face, but I also crave stories with whole, healthy families. Those seem to be the ones we're lacking anymore.

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    1. Great insight. I think it's a reflection of our society. Life has changed so much since I was a kid; I'm sure you feel the same. With the intro to computers and now the insurgence of cyberspace the world is both smaller and larger at the same time. There's so much disconnect even though people are connected. :(

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  4. So happy for K.L. Her book sounds amazing.

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  5. Congratulations to K.L.! The Secret Garden was one of my favorites too. And as for surviving the night in the woods, I think I could do it. I watch Naked & Afraid a lot!

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    1. Haha! Too funny. I remember the first time my husband put that show on. I couldn't image watching it. But then, I did. The initial minutes are awkward and strange, but by the end of the show I'm always in awe of how much the people went through.

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  6. The colors on the cover are wonderful! I know lots of people who suffered absent parents or alcoholic ones (including me). Wishing KL much success on this book, its prequel, and forthcoming ones!

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  7. I love the concept of your Wednesday author posts, Sheri. It's great to hear about and support your genre and all the authors. Congratulations to KL!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! I used to be much more vigorous with these posts. For the past year or so, I've kind of eased off. I'm hoping to gear up my blogging again after the summer, though. Thanks so much for dropping by!

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  8. This is a story that's right up that alley I happen to love. Congrats to KL.

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  9. Congratulations, K. L. Great interview.
    I think it's important to have true-to-life stories. They might help a teen in similar situations deal with their troubles. Happy stories are good too.

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  10. I think it's so important for kids/teens to find 'themselves' in books. Especially kids who don't talk about what they are going through. Sometimes it's the only time they don't feel alone. Good luck K. L.

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  11. I love to see authors tackling tough subjects for young people. I think it's important for young people to know they aren't the only ones going through something.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. These are tough subjects to write about and explore, but need to be done.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. The Unmoving Sky sounds like such an intriguing read! Congrats to K.L. And kudos to her for writing about a difficult topic.

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  13. I would be scared but I would survive.

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  14. The Unmoving Sky sounds like an intense story. Nice job on the trailer!

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  15. Great interview. I just finished this novella and it was interesting reading about the author and the background info.

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  16. Background on an author always deepens my reading experience. I have this book and need to finish two before I begin The Unmoving Sky. But I'm looking forward to it even more now. Thank you for that.

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