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Today I'm excited to participate in Alyssa Sheinmel's blog tour for her new book THE STONE GIRL that will be released August 28, 2012. Alyssa is the author of two other books, THE BEAUTIFUL BETWEEN and THE LUCKY KIND. 

I'm excited to share this book with you because it deals with eating disorders. This is an issue that sadly some teenage girls struggle with. I have a cousin my daughter's age who struggled with this last year and you may know a teen who does too.

Here's a description from Goodreads:

She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn’t hurt, because she’s not real anymore.

Sethie Weiss is hungry, a mean, angry kind of hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly. She’s managed to get down to 111 pounds and knows that with a little more hard work—a few more meals skipped, a few more snacks vomited away—she can force the number on the scale even lower. She will work on her body the same way she worked to get her perfect grades, to finish her college applications early, to get her first kiss from Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend.

Sethie will not allow herself one slip, not one bad day, not one break in concentration. Her body is there for her to work on when everything and everyone else—her best friend, her schoolwork, and Shaw—are gone.

Doesn't this sound good?  

Alyssa's going to share some fabulous advice on what to do when you have writer's block. Here's Alyssa:

I stopped writing The Stone Girl when I was about halfway through the novel.  I told myself that the story wasn’t going anywhere.  That no one would ever want to read another book about a girl with an eating disorder.  That I didn’t have anything new to say about eating disorders that hadn’t been said before, and by people much smarter than I.  It was a kind of writer’s block – the kind you talk yourself into – and it made me walk away from the story.  I stayed away from it for months.  Still, I went back to it eventually, until Sethie’s story found its way onto paper.

            Luckily, when I’m faced with writer’s block, there are a few things that always seem to help me find my way back to the computer, back to my story.  They’re not really cures – there probably isn’t really a cure for writer’s block – but these steps always help, at least a little.

  1. Walk away.  This is a tough one, because I have to first overcome the overwhelming guilt that comes with walking away from a story.  I always think that if I keep at it, just force myself to keep going, I’ll manage to get a few pages down on paper.  But the truth is, when I force myself to write like that, my writing usually stinks and I end up deleting it anyway.  But when I walk away, take a few hours, or a few days, off from a story, I find myself itching to get back to it eventually.

  1. Take Hemingway’s advice.  I’m stealing this one from Ernest Hemingway.  He wrote that you should make yourself stop writing when it’s going really well, because then when you go back to it the next day, you’ll be excited and ready to pick it back up – call it writer’s block prevention.  It’s very good advice, if really hard to follow.

  1. Read.  This is my favorite one, and the most effective.  For me, there are a few writers I can always turn to when I’m feeling stumped, a few authors whose work never fails to make me want to write.  It’s probably someone different for every author, but for me it’s Joan Didion, Alice Hoffman, and Mary Gordon.  They’re not the only three authors who work, but I know I can always count on them.  I just feel like they’re always teaching me something about writing.  Or maybe it’s just that they inspire me so much. 

  1. Let the story take the lead.  I talked myself out of telling Sethie’s story; for a few months, I didn’t think I would ever finish writing it, and I certainly didn’t think it was publishable.  But Sethie kept coming back to me: sitting on the subway, a line that I knew belonged in The Stone Girl would pop into my head, out of nowhere, and I’d have to go home and write a whole scene around it.  Sometimes I’d simply get restless, trying to watch TV or read a book, and soon I would find myself back in front of the compter, typing a new chapter.  I let the story take on a life of its own, and it found its way to being told.
Thanks Alyssa for sharing your advice. You can find Alyssa at her website.

 Alyssa's publisher, Random House, generously offered a copy of THE STONE GIRL for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by August 25th. I’ll announce the winner on August 27th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry.

Here's Alyssa's complete blog tour:

8/1—AlyssaSheinmel.com Introduction
8/2—Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf Interview & review
8/3—Literary Rambles Guest post & giveaway
8/6—YA Romantics Review
8/7—The Book Addict’s Guide Interview
8/8—Book Club Chic Review
8/9—A Tale of Two Bookies Guest post
8/12—The Teen Book Guru Interview
8/13—The Teen Book Guru Review
8/14—Itching for Books Guest post
8/15—Random Acts of Reading Guest post
8/16—The Children’s Book Review Guest post & giveaway
8/17—Isabel Bandeira Mini-interview & guest post
8/20—YA Romantics Interview
8/22—Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Review & giveaway
8/23—Confessions of a Bookaholic Guest post & giveaway
8/24—The Compulsive Reader Guest post & giveaway
8/27—Almost Grown Up Interview
8/29—Letter Blocks Interview
9/1—Distraction No. 99 Guest post
9/2—Literary Escapism Guest post (for School’s In)
9/3—Dear Teen Me Guest post

Here's what's coming up next:

On Monday I'm super excited to interview C.J. Redwine and give away an ARC of her debut book DEFIANCE, a fantasy/dystopian book I loved. I'm only giving away my ARC because I plan to buy a copy for myself.

The following Monday, I'll be taking off. My mom, uncle, and aunt will be visiting and I need to be a good hostess and enjoy being together. I'll be back Friday that week with a big Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop. I've got an awesome selection of books for you to choose from.

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Anonymous said...

That is some excellent writer's block advice! Thanks for sharing, Alyssa. (story sounds fantastic, too.)

Angela Brown said...

Sometimes, a touchy subject may need a new angle and THE STONE GIRL sounds like it is giving the content of eating disorders another due light on the matter. Wishing Alyssa the best with this novel and appreciate the advice. I tend to eat chocolate as well as read if I feel a blank/writer's block moment coming on :-)

Steve MC said...

Sounds like a powerful story.

And great tips - never could follow that one from Hemingway, but that is a great feeling when you can't read or watch TV 'cause you got to get something down.

Congrats on not listening to those doubts!

Beth said...

I really loved this interview, especially the third comment about reading. More and more, I'm trying to restrict my reading to really good writers. What goes in comes out, and I want to be inspired by the very best!

Barbara Watson said...

I haven't heard it put quite the way Hemingway stated, but I have heard to quit writing in the middle of the action...

Sounds like an super story.

Sayomay said...

Awesome! I loved Wintergirls so im sure im gonna love this book too!
I follow via GFC Samantha Deen
And i tweeted about it! https://twitter.com/Ocedday/status/231407949510221825

Ann Finkelstein said...

Great writing advice. Have fun with your family.

Rachna Chhabria said...

The writer's block advice is super. I too feel walking away from our story for a few days is a great way to get back into the groove later.

Ciara said...

Since I use to be a dancer, I knew plenty of girls who suffered from this disorder. That blurb is powerful.

cleemckenzie said...

She reminded me of some things I needed to be reminded about. Thanks and good luck to her on her launch.

Olívia said...

I'm in a stage with one of my novels where the story, as you put it, found its way to being told, and it feels amazing.

Good luck with your launch and thank you for sharing your tips. :)


Vivien said...

Wow this book sounds really heavy. Definitely intrigued and it has a great cover. I used to be a dance major so this will hit close to home.
GFC: Vivien

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

theartgirl said...

Reading Alice Hoffman always helps me too.

Robin said...

Interesting book. I'd love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

Natasha said...

Sounds like a really good read! Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Kris @Imaginary Reads said...

Thanks for sharing your great advice on writer's block, Alyssa!

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/ImaginaryReads/status/231627438227075074

ali cross said...

Wow, what a powerful blurb. I love the emotion it evoked just from that--I'll be picking up this book! Thanks Natalie!

Linda A. said...

Great topic. I love how the main character compares herself to a character in a fairy tale which leads to convincing herself that she isn't real. Powerful! So glad you took your time on this book for young readers. Excellence can't be rushed. Please enter my name in this drawing. landersen74@yahoo.com

Nancy West said...

Great tips, Alyssa. I look forward to reading The Stone Girl!

Nickle said...

Great interview! Really interesting. :)

GFC: Nickle Love
email: nicklelove at gmail dot com
tweeted: https://twitter.com/nightowlreads/status/231769360346267650
FB: https://www.facebook.com/NightOwlReads/posts/510051939020850

Author A.O. Peart said...

I love Ernest Hemingway's advice. I will try to implement it as an exercise, although I know it will be hard!

Wonderful interview. I'm adding The Stone Girl to my TBR list on Goodreads :-)

alicia marie said...

This sounds like a book I'd really like to read! Thanks for the great interview and I'll definitely be adding this book to my tbr list : )

ame1184 at gmail dot com

warisha_jayanti said...

The cover looks lovely.
Very interested in this book.


katja9_10 said...

I am a GFC follower (katja9_10). This is a really good interview...really interested in reading the book.

katja9_10 at hotmail dot com

Jamie Leigh Martin said...

I read so many tips about writing, and I always remember this one, "A year ago, you'll wish you'd begun today." I'm itching to write, and I have my story, but I'm scared. This was a good list of tips; thanks.

Jamie Leigh Martin said...


LTM said...

WOW! What a powerful excerpt! And maybe I'm out of the loop, but I can't think of that many books that deal with this topic. It sounds amazing and powerful!

I love those writing tips, too. Esp. Hemingway's. How smart is that? Stop when you're feeling good. But it's brilliant. Trick the ole brain! :D

Thanks for stopping by and hosting. It's always awesome to read about new books. TSG is on my TBR pile~ <3

Veronika said...

Thank you for the post! I love the advices! The cover is so pretty!
verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

Reading Mind / The Loyal Book said...

Such great advices! I love the one you stole from Hemingaway, even if it seems very hard!

aliasgirl at libero dot it

Christina Kit. said...

This sounds like such a great book:)

Awesome post - very meaningful:)

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Tweet https://twitter.com/christinafiorio/status/236382759650729984

Ruth said...

This story sounds right up my alley!

Michele said...

Thanks for the chance to win!!

GFC Michele Luker

jmluker at vhtmail dot net

ZaraAlexis said...

I love books from Random House! Count me in! I follow your blog via email.

I shared this giveaway on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zgarcia.alvarez

I'm not on Blogger, so you can contact me with: zgarcia(dot)alvarez(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks as always!
Zara Alexis @ The Bibliotaphe's Closet

Anonymous said...

This looks really good!
I follow on GFC as Tia

Darlene said...

I was a tween when Karen Carpenter died, and it was really big news of a celebrity who died of an eating disorder. I've always been drawn to the psychological aspects of why people develop eating disorders. It certainly is a tough topic to read about, but I enjoy it.

Thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

+1 for tweeting:


Leanna said...

The cover and title just seem call, thank you :]
TWITTER POST (+1): https://twitter.com/leannaBF/status/236743026561671169
E-MAIL: leannaBF@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Great interview and great advice. It will really help the next time I get stuck with writer's block, which happens often. Thanks!

EMAIL: Jadzia.Brandli@Visucomm.net

Monica said...

Great advice! I hope to read the book soon! :)

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman said...

GFC Martian Girl
Interesting cover... makes me think of the twilight girl, what's her name.


Christina Kit. said...

GFC follower Christina Kit.

email subscriber ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Angie said...


ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

Psyche said...

I am a GFC follower: maly

The cover is really interesting. I would love to read the book. Thanks for the chance.

Adriane said...

GFC Rockygirl1

adriane dot marshall at gmail dot com

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Juliana Dias said...

Those are some great advices for writer's block. I don't write fiction, but it does happen to me when I'm writing a paper for school or a book review. I'll try those, definetely

GFC: Juliana Dias

a reader who reads said...

awesome giveaway!
GFC: mckaykelly
EMAIL: kpoo18@gmail.com

mary ann(RunOnce828) said...

Another book to be released on my b-day!(Aug.28) Yay!!

GFC-Mary ann
mail-maryanngacayan at yahoo dot com

Thanks for the lovely giveaway :))