In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the U.S., we decided it might be better if we posted this week’s Musings of Eternal Dreamers today, once everyone is starting to calm down and relax for the rest of the weekend. Sorry for the late notice! This week we have an amazing debut author whose book is being published by Simon Pulse in January of the new year. You may have already even heard of this phenomenal writer and her book… Please help us welcome Emily Martin, author of The Year We Fell Apart!
Why I Will Always Love Sia Furler
By Emily Martin, Author of The Year We Fell Apart
I’m the kind of writer who needs music, especially to help me power through early drafts. And while I drew inspiration for THE YEAR WE FELL APART from all kinds of places, it was a song that changed everything.
“Breathe Me” by Sia.
This song, you guys. If you’ve never heard it before, give it a listen. I’ll wait.
It’s just so honest and aching and full of want and regret. Exactly the emotions I wanted to capture when I sat down to write the first draft of THE YEAR WE FELL APART. And it affected me the way I hoped my work might one day affect someone else—it made me feel less alone.
Over the next few weeks, I must have played this song a hundred times. And each time I heard it, Sia’s lyrics and her beautiful, raspy voice brought visions of a girl haunted by the choices she’s made. A girl desperately searching for a way to undo her past. I saw this girl punishing herself for all her mistakes, especially when she can’t seem to stop repeating them.
So I started asking myself questions. Why might someone feel this way? What could have happened between two best friends to cause this kind of regret? To make a young girl believe she’s no better than her bad decisions? And perhaps most importantly, what would it take for her to find a different path?
This song helped shape Harper’s history and her many flaws. It also provided the foundation for the first scene I ever wrote—an argument between Harper and her childhood best friend, Declan. This scene comes late in the book (who says you have to start at the beginning?) and in a way represents everything they’ve been through together—and apart.
This song is more than just a song for me. It’s a friend to fall back on when I need support. It’s the inspiration I turned to when I lost sight of the heart of my story. And because of this (and for so many other reasons), I basically worship the ground Sia walks on.
Find me on Twitter @thatEmilyMartin and let me know what inspires you!
Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored.
Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016 from Simon Pulse.
Her work is represented by Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary.
The Year We Fell Apart
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.
Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.
In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.
That’s it for this week! A huge thank you to Emily for being so wonderful and flexible this week during the holiday season! You’re incredibly awesome.
Another huge thank you, as always, to everyone who has participated or will participate in this feature. We appreciate all of your time spent giving new writers advice and sharing your stories and love of writing with people who need it. Your kindness doesn’t go without gratitude!
We hope you all had an amazing holiday week (for those of you in the U.S.), and an amazing week, nonetheless, wherever you may be. Stay tuned for next week’s Musings and some really awesome events happening here at Live, Love, Read. =)
❤ Kelly, Melissa, and Lauren