Monday, June 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Body in the Woods

How many books will there be in the Point Last Seen series?
I'll keep writing books as long as the publisher will have them. Book Two, with the working title Blood Will Tell, is turned in but not edited. I'm starting on Book Three.
Very nice! I'm so looking forward to reading this one!

If you had to, could you track someone?
In mud and if they were the only person who had walked through it, then yes. Realistically, no way. You have to be so detail oriented and focused. A really good tracker has been doing it for years and will pick up on things like two grains of sand on a twig. I'm sure I'd be like a hyperactive dog: "Squirrel!"

Do you use your kung fu training in your books?
For The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, I had my kajukenbo instructor drag me around the floor with his hands under my arms and we figured out how I could fight back.  (Kajukenbo, a mixed martial art, is what I took before I started my kung fu training.)  I'm thinking of having a character in the series take a kung fu class, because it would really come in handy in fighting off bad guys. 

I love kung fu!  I spar, grapple, and take a special weapons class.  Once we even practiced with a "live" (AKA real) knife. 

What's the most exciting or scariest thing you've done to research an idea for your books?
Last year I took a class on how to fight back in close quarters. I signed up. The other dozen students were male cops in their 30s who were all SWAT team members at various agencies. (It was definitely a “One of these things doesn’t belong here” moment.)

At the very end of class, you sat in your own car and someone sat behind you with a training gun, a training knife, a length of rope, and a plastic bag. They attacked you with these one by one and you had to fight back using what we had just learned. For example, if a plastic bag is ever placed over your head, what you do is suck it in, bite it with your front teeth, and stick your tongue out the hole. You still have a plastic bag over your head, but you can breath.

The first time, I panicked when I felt the plastic clinging to my face. I sucked it into my mouth, but then I tried to gnaw it with my molars. Not only did I not succeed, but I started to get pretty low on oxygen, which raised my panic level even further. The second time, though, I remembered my training.
Impressive! Sounds fun, and yet a little terrifying 

Do you have a favorite library moment?
When I was a kid, my dad took me to the library every Saturday. It was a magical place for me. I loved words and books so much.

At the time, the Jackson County library had a rule that you could only check out six books at a time. Six! That was not nearly enough. And luckily for me, the children's librarian, a woman named Myra Getchell, said the rules did not apply to me and I could check out as many as I wanted.

When I turned 16, I got my first job at the library. I still remember what I bought with my first paycheck: a half pound of caramels, a basket, and most importantly, red-striped Adidas so I could look like all the other kids whose parents could afford red-striped Adidas.

I worked in the children's department, and I was so young, I used to hide in the stacks when I should have been shelving and read Judy Blume books. So young I once slipped and called my boss, whose name was Pat Blair, "Mom." I can still feel the blush on my cheeks!

Love this story

What's the last book you read that you think everyone else should read too?
I think every adult should read Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. Sublime. It's a great book for a writer to read, to think about the choices she made as she told the story. It's a great book for a human being to read, to think about the meaning and purpose of life.

For middle grade, teens, and adults, I would recommend Wonder by RJ Palacio. I loved that book. I bought my 78 year old mom a copy. I talked it up to strangers at Costco. Moving and beautiful.

Thanks April for chatting with me! I just wanted to mention this:
I LOVED the story on your website about Roald Dahl and how he made you a writer! Everyone- check it out.

Body in the Woods sounds great right?
Check out the first chapter

Author Links/Info
·         Follow April Henry on Twitter!
·         Read an excerpt of The Body in the Woods on the book page.

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Pat Esden said...

Love the plastic bag story! I got to read an ARC of Body in the Woods and can't wait to read the next one in the series (and to read this one again).

danielka said...

I enjoy all your books. Great to booktalk to middle school students.

KatieHighland said...

I haven't read any April Henry books yet, but I'm really looking forward to this one!

KatieHighland said...

I haven't read any April Henry books yet, but I'm really looking forward to Body in the Woods!

Alethea Allarey said...

I have GIRL STOLEN but alas, have not yet read it! Soon.

Vivien said...

I have not read any of April Henry's novels.