Meet the Newbies: Heather Smith Meloche

June 14, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway 16

Meet the Newbies

This event is hosted by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books!
You can view the whole tour schedule here.

Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts!

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Author Most Likely To Say Something Totally Random and Awkward to a Stranger:
Heather Smith Meloche
( Website | Twitter | Facebook
| Tumblr )

heather smith

Nickname: She who has too many names
First Day of School: September 20, 2016
Homeroom: Penguin Putnam
Grade: Contemporary
Extracurricular Activities: Running, yoga, kickboxing, basically anything active, and reading, READing, READING!
Favorite Class: Language Arts and Fine Arts
Favorite Quote: BREATHE!!! I have this on a necklace I never take off. I even have it tattooed on my wrist! Because when the world gets crazy — and the world ALWAYS gets crazy — you’ve got to remind yourself to relax and stay focused.


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If you had to convince people to read RIPPLE in one sentence what would you say?

RIPPLE is about the compulsions that drive two high school students — Tessa, who feeds off her hook-ups with boys, and Jack, who grooves on jerking around authority — and the story shows how they wrestle with these destructive habits to find each other as well as the best parts of themselves.

Where did you get your inspiration for the novel?

Like Tessa, I struggled with searching for love and validation in all the wrong places when I was a teen and young adult, and Jack is, in many ways, based on my husband, who I knew in high school. With some perspective now, we can clearly see patterns of addiction and self-destruction created by our parents and grandparents that in many ways filtered down to us.

Did you have to do any research?

There is a huge mental health aspect to RIPPLE, so I relied heavily on my sister, who runs a mental health facility. I wanted to make sure that the actions and reactions of my characters were accurate when it came to depression, paranoid schizophrenia, and addiction.

What was your favorite scene to write? Most challenging? (No spoilers, please!)

ANY scene with Jack makes me giddy and generally makes me laugh at some point during his presence on the page. But I also like the scene where Jack and Tessa break into an abandoned mental health hospital. It was such a meaty scene to write with so much of the characters’ history.

What message do you want readers to leave the book with?

I want readers to realize addiction comes in many forms, some much more subtle than simply drugs or alcohol, and the reasons for addiction are often ingrained in the very DNA of a person as well as in generations of upbringing. However, I never wanted RIPPLE to be a book about blaming parents since have the intelligence and power to change and direct their own lives. Instead, I wanted to show the realistic starting points of two teens and how they fight to figure out how to affect and alter things so they find their own sense of peace.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers what would it be?

Patience. Have it. Don’t lose it. The publishing biz is a frustrating one for aspiring writers. Publication rarely happens overnight. It usually takes years, sometimes decades of working on the craft of writing, learning how the business works, reading, networking, researching, conferencing. But in the end, if you stick it out, it is so worth it. Your words are given a chance to live in the world outside your writing space. That’s powerful stuff.

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About the Book:

RIPPLE by  Heather Smith Meloche
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Penguin Putnam
Pages: 320
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult

When their too-adult lives lead them down self-destructive paths, these broken teens find a way to heal in this YA novel perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins.

With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she’s finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she’s done.

Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he’s powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.

As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them.

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1 Pre-Order or Finished Copy of Any Debut Novel Featured on Meet the Newbies!
Open Internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships to your country)

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16 Responses to “Meet the Newbies: Heather Smith Meloche”

  1. Elle

    Great interview! Wow, this book cannot be accused of being all fluff. It’s great how more YA books are tackling mental health issues. The inspiration certainly is close to home; did that make it harder to write about some things? Looking forward to the release!

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I’m loving these interviews Alise, they’re short and sweet and really give nice perspective on books I’d never heard of before…and probably never would have! I think this one might be a bit too heavy for me but I’m still curious about it – *heads off in search of some reviews*
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #45

    • Alise

      Thank you so much! I really tried to think of some good questions. I know what you mean, it’s not often there are contemporary novels with a deeper plot so I’m definitely interested in this one :)

    • Heather Smith Meloche

      Shootingstarsmag, thanks for noticing how much care I tried to take with the mental health issues. They are near and dear to my heart, and I did loads of research to make the characters as believable as I could. Mental illness and all those who suffer from it, directly and indirectly, need as many voices as possible shouting for more help, more resources, and an end to the stigma. There, I shouted it again ;) XO

  3. Agus Z

    This book sounds really interesting. I’m adding it to my TBR. Can’t wait to know more about Jack! Great interview!

  4. Heather Smith Meloche

    Thanks, again, Alise, for the interview! I love the characters in RIPPLE so much, and I love that they get some moments like this to introduce themselves to the world!

  5. Rae Welch Johnson

    I am so looking forward to getting a copy in my hands! I’m on the waiting list.

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