moonsistersWe’re thrilled to welcome author Therese Walsh to The Debutante Ball today. Therese’s second novel, THE MOON SISTERS, released in hard cover on March 4th, 2014. Booklist gave it a starred review, saying “This magical, moving tale is not to be missed.”

About The Moon Sisters: After their mother’s probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz attempt to move on with their lives. Pragmatic Jazz takes a job in the same funeral home that handled her mother’s body, while spirited, strong-willed Olivia—who can see sounds and taste words—wants to travel to the remote setting of their mother’s unfinished novel to see the will-o-the-wisp lights that she’d written about. A reluctant Jazz agrees to go with Olivia, and as they journey toward the wisps, their acceptance of their mother’s death becomes as important as their journey to understand each other and themselves.

Therese will giving away a copy of The Moon Sisters to one lucky commenter. Details at the end of this post!

Welcome, Therese! We have some burning questions to ask you, Therese. Tell us…

What three things would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

I’ll assume I can’t bring people. Non-people bring-alongs would include my dog Kismet, a Swiss army knife, and the biggest pack of matches I can find. If I can’t bring my dog, I’ll bring my Alphasmart. The batteries last forever. Really, they do.

Do you have any phobias?

Sort of. I am uncomfortable with the idea of ghosts or spirits hanging around and watching as I fumble through my life. I joke that I have a “spirits, hush” sign that I use at all times—meaning, “If you’re about, fine, but I don’t want to know it.”

What’s your next big thing?

I have two story ideas, and I’ve worked on both a little bit but not enough to be committed. I’m playing hard to get on purpose. I want to be wooed. Also, I’ll spend a good deal of the spring and summer preparing for the first Writer Unboxed live event, to take place this November in Salem, MA. Exciting stuff.

Has anyone ever thought a character you wrote was based on them?

Yes, people who know my sisters (Aimee and Heather) see a little of each of them in the Moon sisters (Olivia and Jazz). Aimee is a free-spirited, spontaneous adventurer like Olivia. Heather is more practical like Jazz; she’s very family centered and also more likely to drop an f-bomb than anyone I know. In my family, we find it funny that Aimee sees herself in Olivia but that Heather doesn’t see herself in Jazz.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Try not to be offended by critique of your work. Criticism is simply someone taking the time to point out where things might be improved. Don’t take it personally. Take it professionally. Lean into it. Hunger for it. Learn from it.

GIVEAWAY! Comment on this post by noon EDT on Friday, March 21, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of The Moon Sisters. Follow The Debutante Ball on Facebook and Twitter for extra entries—just mention that you did so in your comments. We’ll choose and contact the winner on Friday. Good luck!

abouttherese2About Therese Walsh. Therese’s debut, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, was named one of January Magazine’s Best Books of 2009, was nominated for a RITA award for Best First Book, and was a TARGET Breakout Book. Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a site that’s visited daily by thousands of writers interested in the craft and business of fiction. She has a master’s degree in psychology. Aside from writing, Therese’s favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids, and their Jack Russell.

Find Theresa at: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Author: Heather Webb

Heather Webb is the author of BECOMING JOSEPHINE, her debut historical (Plume/Penguin 2014). A freelance editor and blogger, she spends oodles of time helping writers hone their skills—something she adores. You may find her Twittering @msheatherwebb, hosting contests, or hanging around as a contributor to the Editor's Posts. She is also the Twitter mistress for the popular Writer Unboxed. She loves making new reader and writer friends. Stop on by her website, Between the Sheets!

35 Replies to “Guest Author THERESE WALSH + Giveaway of THE MOON SISTERS”

  1. Welcome, Therese! I love it that you need to be wooed into committing to your projects. Something eventually grabs us and won’t let go — I love that feeling.

    I can’t wait to read THE MOON SISTERS!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! Yes, having ideas is never an issue; I always have a bunch, and I’ll bet you do, too. But finding that ONE idea that you’re not only excited over but willing to dedicate yourself to for a few years takes a little time. Well worth it, in my opinion!

  2. Hallo, Hallo Ms. Walsh!

    I quite literally spied your lovely novel “The Moon Sisters” as an upcoming inbound new release at my local library YESTERDAY! I promptly added my name to the queue and am thrilled to bits I will be amongst the first to read it! 🙂 One of my favourite things to do is seek out all the lovely new books arriving through my library’s catalogue! I love seeking out new-to-me-authors as much as I love discovering new wordsmiths who enchant my imagination! Ms. Webb tweeted about this particular post and I sat here thinking, isn’t that one of the author blogs you’ve been meaning to visit frequently!? Why yes, came the reply!

    I even think I spied Ms. Sylvester on tour with TLC Book Tours! 🙂

    I love novels which challenge perception and evoke a sense of awareness about ourselves and about the characters within the story. I thought it was interesting about how Ms. Walsh would prefer to be in the dark on the spiritual realms past the veil of our world! In some ways, I can sympathise with her choice, but the curious heart of mine is always thinking,… what if!? I have no issues with the idea of benign ghosts and spirits co-habitating alongside us; but the spirits who evoke a sense of ill-will!? Now that gives me the willies for sure! Yet. I always remember the stories of those spirits who even still stand guard & have an aura of protection about them! (like the ghost who walks with sword in hand somewhere along the coast near the Outer Banks & Wilmington!?)

    Wicked interview! Happy to have become introduced to the author!

    Thank you for offering the bookaway!

    Nearly fainted a bit thinking I had *missed!* it whilst watching the Gold Medal game for Team USA in sled hockey! I saw ‘by Friday at noon’ and thought, seriously!? Laughs. Even if I had missed out, just being able to drop back made me smile! 🙂

    Following you on Twitter as @JLovesAStory! 🙂

    1. What a fun response, Jorie, thank you!

      Yes, I am weird with spirits. It’s both comforting to imagine that my grandmothers are out there, watching over me for real, and also a little disconcerting. I can’t help wonder for example if they’re disappointed that the inside of my microwave oven looks like someone melted wax all over it. 😉

      I’m glad you’ve signed up to read The Moon Sisters, and I hope that you love, love, love it. Happy Reading!

    2. Jorie! How fun to see you here 🙂 I recognized your name and avatar before I even read your comment. So glad you stopped by. (And yes, you’re correct about TLC book tours; I’m very excited to be working with them!)

  3. I just picked up a copy of The Last Will of Moira Leahy a week or two ago and can’t wait to finally sit down with it after a very long period of pining over it. The very lovely Catherine McKenzie had recommended it years before so I’m looking forward to reading both that and The Moon Sisters back to back. Thank you for that opportunity 🙂

    I follow on Facebook as Tiffany Drew

    1. Tiffany, I would love to hear from you after you’ve read them, especially considering you plan to read them back to back. They’re similar but very different tales. Happy Reading, and thank you for your support!

  4. SO thrilled to have you as our guest, Therese! *pulls up a chair, brings you a cup of tea, hopes you’ll stay a bit.*

    I have The Moon Sisters on my nightstand and can’t wait to read it. I loved, loved The Last Will of Moira Leahy and funny enough, read it when I was first dipping my toes into the Twitterverse. I remember it was one of the first books I ever tweeted about, and the fact that you responded blew my mind! I told my husband that day that a real author interacted with me! Such is the amazing power of social media 🙂

    Which is all to say, thank you for your words and the wonderful community you’ve created. I couldn’t have dreamed four years ago that we’d all be interacting like this. I’m so excited that there’ll be a live WU event…I’m so there 🙂

    1. Aww, what a great story and memory! Thanks for sharing that with me, Natalia! And I’m thrilled you enjoyed The Last Will of Moira Leahy. Like The Moon Sisters, that was a story that required quite a lot of re-thinking and re-writing. Fingers crossed that a third book comes forward more clearly.

      Congratulations to YOU and your upcoming novel, which looks stunning. (The cover might have been the cover for The Moon Sisters, honestly!) And I can’t wait to meet you “IRL” at the WU Event in November.

      Thanks again for your generosity in hosting me here!

  5. I loved the interview it’s always nice learning more about the author. I’m really looking forward to reading The Moon Sisters. All of the reviews I ‘ve seen have been great so I can’t wait to get my hands on this. I follow on twitter

    1. I’m glad to hear that the reviews you’ve read for The Moon Sisters have been good ones. It means a lot to a writer after working on a novel for several years that, when it’s finally released, people connect with it in the way you’d hoped. Happy Reading to you!

    1. Lauren, thank you! I don’t think there was ever any doubt about Jazz’s name, or her sister’s name, Olivia, for that matter. I still remember the day I learned their mother’s name, though, which I hadn’t locked down. I was typing along and the name “Beth” danced its way from my fingers and onto the page. “Oh, so that’s her name,” I said aloud, and my daughter, who’d been sitting nearby asked what I was talking about. Beth had told me who she was, and that was that. 🙂

  6. Ha — I love that Heather doesn’t see herself in the fictional character, Jazz. I once asked a writing instructor if it was dangerous to base fictional characters on real ones (we know this is so, obviously, when the ‘real’ person is painted too similarly to the fictional). But she said something that really stuck with me and speaks to Heather’s reaction, perhaps. She said, “Don’t worry about. People rarely seem themselves as they are. They’ll never know it’s them.” That’s not meant as slam to anyone. I think the point is that we often just don’t KNOW how we come across to others. That point was brought home at the Tucson Festival of Books by author T. Greenwood last weekend, who said her father always claims, “That’s me! You’re writing about me!” And yet … she never has. Ha ha. While others she has modeled characters after just don’t even know they served as the “mold.”

    PS – Yes, I follow you ladies on Twitter, as well. Would love to win Therese’s book since I SO enjoyed THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY.

    1. It really is funny, Melissa! She now acknowledges a slight similarity, and I think that particular thread of enlightenment has reached its limit. 😉

      Good luck; I hope you win! I’m so eager for people who read and enjoyed Last Will to read The Moon Sisters.

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