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Monday, December 14, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Pucked by Rachel Walter

I'm so pucking (teehee) excited to have author Rachel Walter here today to chat about her new young adult title, Pucked...

by Rachel Walter
Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present.  If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life.  He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations.  Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held.  With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.  

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her?  When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul?  Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

Pucked has been reader nominated for an award in Young Adult Fiction with Cybils Awards!

amazon: US UK AU CA

What three words best describe your novel, Pucked?

Hockey, trust, and friendship

Grab a copy of Pucked and answer the following:
I’m giving answers from a paperback, so I’m not one hundred percent sure how it would translate in ebook fofrmat.

favorite chapter? Chapter 28
favorite page? Page 74
favorite setting? At the mall
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:  “The play is yours to make. Don’t fake, don’t fail, and don’t give up.”

What inspired Pucked? How did the story come to be?

I’m not sure I can answer this. I was doing dishes one day when the first thought of this came to me. It was more of a scene. The first kiss scene, how the book got its name, is what came first. I sat on my kitchen floor to process the thought for a bit before I dried my hands and took a bunch of notes. I ended up writing the first three chapters in three weeks. Then I began doing research on the differences in NHL rule and high school ice hockey rules. It wasn’t until I wrote the eighth chapter that I realized this story would be much deeper than I thought. At that point, I did more research on Parental Alienation. I was already aware of it and its effects, but I wasn’t comfortable in my personal knowledge of it. I needed to know more, to understand as much as I could to write Riley to the best of my ability.

Can you tell us a bit about your main characters Riley and Audrey? What sets them apart from other YA characters and what do you love about them?

Audrey is sweet and witty. She grew up with three older brothers and parents that are happy and together. Her favorite place to be is on her ATV in the mud. I would call her a “Positive Polly” because she tries to look for the positives in everything. Her outlook on life is almost poetic, as she sees love in everything. I love that Audrey isn’t the “typical” teenaged girl. She’s not worried about appearances and what others think of her. She sees that being true to yourself is what’s important.

Riley is more cold. His lifestyle is different from Audrey’s. His parents split when he was 11 and since then his mother wasn’t much of a mother. She made some awful decisions for herself and her children, and that forced Riley into an adult at a young age. He became the caregiver of his little sister who was only one when their parents split. He had school, his sister, hockey, and jobs over the off seasons to pay for his hockey equipment and car. He didn’t believe in love, he thought it only brought pain because of the life he had. He didn’t see the unconditional love from his parents, so he didn’t see it when it was shown to him. One of my favorite things about Riley is his passion. When he’s passionate about something, love becomes natural and pure. He doesn’t recognize it as love though, because the love he’s experienced wasn’t pure. It’s a learning experience for him.

Who would you cast to play Riley and Audrey in the Pucked movie?!

Oh wow. I haven't  thought about this, ever. I did loosely base Riley’s appearance on Beau Bennett of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don’t keep up with actors and actresses, but for Audrey, maybe, Lily Collins or Amanda Seyfried. I’m not sure if they’re young enough though. I would try for an unknown actor and actress if that could be done.

You deal with some heavy issues in Pucked, involving different types of important was it to you to capture and explore these issues authentically and realistically?

This was extremely important to me and to Riley’s character. I wanted to shine a light on a possible scenario in the realm of Parental Alienation, but from the child’s view. I cannot tell you how many people I spoke with that went through P.A. to some degree and on each side of the problem. Those were the most painful discussions I’ve ever had, completely heartbreaking. 

What do you hope readers will walk away with after reading Pucked?

I just want to remind the reader that sometimes things aren’t what they seem. I want them to hold on to what they believe in. If they’ve been through any form of Parental Alienation, I hope they know they aren’t alone. 

What other writing projects are you working on and/or are excited about?

I’m currently working on the third installment of my young adult paranormal series: Twisted Destiny (The Soul Mate Series). In the series, each book features a different character and this book is an all new character. She moved into Lupiterra at the end of book two, Soul Promise, so she isn’t in the original core group that books one and two have centered around.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at _making hockey sticks out of pipe cleaners for my 6yo’s My Little Pony figures__.

I’m really embarrassed to admit _that I cannot cook bacon properly_.

The last great book I read was _Thicker Than Blood  by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C Riley and Traded by Rebecca Brooke__.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Pucked, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

I think I’d make two. Mostly because I like the sounds of them both, haha.
First, I’d use a devil’s food cake chocolate cupcake and top it with chocolate icing that’s been whipped with chili powder, and topped with shaved dark chocolate and crushed pretzels. I’d call it Pennsylvania Mud.

For the second cupcake, I’d put some coloring in butter cream icing to make it turquoise and then chill it. I would use a vanilla bean cupcake this time, and then pipe the chilled icing on top. I would top with shaved white chocolate and a dark chocolate coated cream cheese mint shaped like a hockey puck. This one would be named Frozen Silk.

Thank you so much for giving me one of the hardest interviews I’ve had. It was so much fun!

You're so very welcome, Rachel! And thank YOU for stopping by :)

Rachel is a wife and mother from Central Pennsylvania. Her favorite season is fall, for hockey, changing leaves, and bonfires often. She’s also a coffeenista with an insomnia problem. When Rachel isn’t playing with the people inside her head, making her family believe she belongs in the loony bin, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, species confused cat (he believes he’s part dog, love him), and finding new books and music. blog * twitter * facebook * instagram * pinterest * amazon * goodreads

Win an ebook copy of Pucked!
Rachel has generously offered up one e-copy for one winner.
-open to anyone who can read ebooks
-ends 12/21
please read all rules below

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