Giveaway & Interview: Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Welcome Back to Author Holly Cupala.

Holly Cupala wrote teen romance novels before she ever actually experienced teen romance. When she did, it became all about tragic poetry and slightly less tragic novels. She has worked with the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, been a readergirlz diva, and now serves on the board of the University of Washington Writing Program. When she isn’t writing and making art, she spends time with her husband and daughter in Seattle, Washington. These days, her writing is less about tragedy and more about hope.


What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I’ve known since I was a little kid that I wanted to be a writer, but the movie Romancing the Stone was what cemented my dream to be a novelist. Specifically one who made people cry triumphantly at the end of the book! Not sure if I succeeded, but I know I burst into tears when I finished writing my first novel in eighth grade. That has to count for something!

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
I keep a notebook for writing down ideas, and one day I wrote, “girl who fakes being homeless.” Maybe she was going to be a cheerleader by day and fake being on the streets after school—silly idea, but I still wrote it down. Then one day my friend Jack, a youth pastor, was putting out a call for socks and toiletries and backpacks to take to homeless kids on Capitol Hill in Seattle, and suddenly the idea for DON’T BREATHE A WORD hit me, about a girl who runs away and lives on Capitol Hill for real.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Street powers are pretty important in DON’T BREATHE A WORD. Joy thinks of herself as having the ability to hide in plain sight, and she meets a cast of characters with other powers—May has the power of disguise, Santos can talk his way out of anything, Creed can see into people’s souls. If I had a street power, or for that matter a superpower, I would want teleportation. Handy for all kinds of applications…
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Of course there are my favorite writers—Laurie Halse Anderson, Ellen Hopkins—but truly I’d love to sit down and co-author a book with my best friend, Amy. She always helps me through the hairiest dialogue scenes in my books. We’ve been friends since high school and have been talking about it forever.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Don’t be too hard on yourself! As my friends Kirby Larson and Randy Powell say, “Write through the bad stuff.”
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m working on another contemporary YA, sort of like TMAS and DBAW on steroids—very emotionally charged and suspenseful and hopeful. Four voices, four terrible secrets, one explosive murder that will connect them all…

Action or Drama?
Meaningful drama with a fast-paced plot.

City or Country?
City, except there’s this house we’ve fallen in love with in the country…
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
A little of each—I usually have the big ideas in place and like to be spontaneous in between.
Shoes or Sandals?
Barefoot. On a beach. 🙂
Favorite quote from a movie?

“You keep using that word…I do not think it means what you think it means.”

What is your guilty pleasure?
Free classic novels on my Kindle app. Recent reads: A Princess of Mars, Phantom of the Opera, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a really big silly streak. Just ask my friends or family! My books are on the serious side, but sometimes a little of it comes out, like that scene between Joy and Creed at the music museum…my favorite!

Don’t Breathe a Word

Joy Delamere is suffocating…

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words – tender words, cruel words – until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe… if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Don’t Breathe a Word
Open to US only
Ends 2/20/12

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