I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi. See below for details about the book, and to read a guest post by the author!
Title: JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY
Author: Kim Turrisi
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
It’s just a normal Tuesday for sixteen-year-old Kai, until suddenly it’s anything but. She’s received a letter from her beloved older sister, Jen, a letter that begins, My very bestest sister, Kai, if you are reading this, I am already gone. From that moment on, Kai’s life will never be the same, as she is forced to deal with the shock and horror of losing Jen to suicide.
Consumed with grief, Kai looks for answers, lashes out at people who love her and eventually turns to excessive drinking and drugs, all with disastrous results and no relief from her suffering. Struggling with their own sorrow, Kai’s parents realize she needs more help than they can give, and they enroll her in the Tree House, a “grief camp” for children. Though reluctant to go, once she’s there, Kai finally finds others who truly understand her loss. No longer alone, she’s able to begin dealing with her pain. And to see light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Kim Turrisi’s beautiful, wrenching young-adult novel sheds a much-needed light on the subjects of mental illness and suicide. Using the unique idea of a grief camp, Turrisi lays out a process for healing and moving forward for readers who have been touched by loss. But this book’s appeal reaches beyond that. With combined elements of tragedy and romance, compellingly told in Kai’s authentic voice, this ultimately hopeful story will be an unputdownable read for any teen.
A graduate of Florida State University, Kim Turrisi began her career in film and television. After a year of on-set production (getting coffee, wrangling actors and taking lunch orders) Kim segued to the development side of the business. First working as a development executive at Columbia-Tri-Star and eventually shepherding many projects in family entertainment for Disney, Viacom and Hallmark.
Kim created and wrote an online web series for which she won a Daytime Emmy. She wrote for ABC Family’s webisode series, PRETTY DIRTY SECRETS, an internet companion piece to smash hit PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.
While she’s always been a voracious reader and writer, she never thought about writing for teens until she immersed herself in the children’s publishing world as the Director of Special Projects for the Society of Book writers and Illustrators. There, reading children’s literature is a big part of her job.
Her debut Young Adult novel JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY is loosely based on the author’s own experience, the debut YA novel follows 16-year-old Kai as she struggles through the emotional aftermath of her sister’s suicide. Kai spends a month at grief camp, discovering a roadmap to piecing her broken heart back together.
One of Kim’s favorite parts of the writing process is to create playlists for her characters that she listens to when she writes. When she revises her manuscripts, she’s generally in mismatched plaid and her desk is riddled with junk food. She collects Chuck Taylor’s, Van’s, and has a killer sock collection.
Born in Hawaii, she credits her love of travel to her life as an Air Force brat moving every two years. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found obsessing over her dogs, Riley and Rocco.
Represented by Tricia Lawrence at EMLA
3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY & swag including a bookmark, magnet, & temporary tattoo, US Only.
1 winner will receive JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY swag including a bookmark, magnet, & temporary tattoo, US Only. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.
Author Guest Post
I asked Kim if there was anything in particular that prompted her to write Just a Normal Tuesday, because there have been several novels dealing with teen grief lately. Here is her response!
I was writing an entirely different book and nothing was working. I was talking to another YA writer, Aaron Hartzler, about my writing struggles. I had no idea what to write next. I just knew that I had to start fresh with a new idea. He asked me a simple question that triggered my brain and a whole lot of feelings. “Did anything out of the ordinary happen when you were fifteen?” I blurted, well my older sister killed herself. His response was quick and simple, THAT IS THE BOOK YOU HAVE TO WRITE FIRST.
I had never seen myself in a book when I was a teen. Books are where teens (and adults) get lost and also where they go to find themselves. I didn’t think there was anyone like me growing up and that can be very isolating. I wanted kids who shared this experience to see themselves in a book and feel less alone
I can’t put into words how difficult it was to tackle something so close to me and still make it fictional. Some days of writing were darker than others but I felt compelled to write this story. Suicide is a leading killer of teens and I think it’s important to erase the stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Talking about your feelings is sometimes hard yet it is essential as we all walk through tough times.
I wanted to take my readers through the journey that Kai went through. Out of profound darkness can come light. I believe that. The theme of grief is a universal one and one many teens can relate to whether it be the death of a sibling, parent or friend. This book is about the journey back from a very dark place to find hope.
4/24/2017- BookHounds YA– Interview
4/25/2017- The Candid Cover– Review
4/26/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Guest Post
4/27/2017- Angel Reads– Review
4/28/2017- A Gingerly Review– Excerpt
5/1/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
5/2/2017- Margie’s Must Reads– Guest Post
5/3/2017- The Bookworm Central– Review
5/4/2017- Literary Meanderings – Interview
5/5/2017- Just Commonly– Review