Leila Sales is here at the blog today chatting about The Song Will Save Your Life, her new book, which released this week! I’ve loved every one of Leila’s books, but I think this one was my favorite! I really identified with the main character, loved the music elements, and felt that it sent a really great message about individuality and overcoming bullying. Check out my review, here, read my review with Leila, and, of course, enter to win my copy of This Song Will Save Your Life and the playlist that accompanies the book!
Did you have trouble writing any of your characters or specific scenes within the novel? Or, were any characters or scenes particularly easy to write?
The ending was particularly challenging. By “the ending,” I mean the last 50 or 60 pages. And especially the last paragraph—I must have rewritten that twenty times before my editor and I were both satisfied with it.
Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?
I sold it with the title The Last of the Famous International Party Girls, which is a take-off of a Morrissey song that I like. My editor didn’t love that title and so she announced it as My Suicide Playlist. Then we decided that was too dark, did a lot of brainstorming, and finally came to This Song Will Save Your Life.
What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?
Dave Barry. He is my favorite humor writer, and much of what I know about comedic timing, I learned from him.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?
Camp counselor, historical re-enactor, bookseller, babysitter… but most of my adult life I have worked as a children’s book editor, which I love. It’s good for my writing because it places me firmly in the world of stories every day.
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
I’m going to give you a favorite phrase instead: “a lingering penumbra.” I get really excited when there’s a penumbra around the moon because then I get to talk about how lingering it is.
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
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