Guest Post by Tiffany Brooks, Author of Reality Gold: Where the idea came from and how the theme plays into the idea and story. **Giveaway**
Published by: Dunemere Books
Publication date: May 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
“There are only two ways to survive Internet infamy: drop offline and play dead or give everyone something bigger and better to talk about. I’ve tried the first strategy. Now it’s time to try the second…”
A year and a lifetime ago, Riley Ozaki was just an ordinary high school junior in San Francisco, stressing over boys and grades. But an ill-conceived editorial in her school paper brought her an internet avalanche of public-shaming and ruined her life.
Now Riley’s on a helicopter dropping into a deserted island with nineteen other teens, to star in a reality show that will be her redemption. She has no other choice. National attention was what got her into this mess, and only the same level of exposure can get her out. Besides, Riley has a few tricks up her sleeve.
With a cast of vivid characters who will stop at nothing to win the show, a cursed island setting, and a priceless treasure waiting to be discovered, Reality Gold will drop readers right into a scheming web of lies, love, and betrayal.
Guest Post from Tiffany Brooks, Author of Reality Gold
Where the idea came from
And how the theme plays into the idea and story
People always ask me if the characters in my book are real, or if any of the events happened to me, and the answer is no—but I always add even though I’m not “in” the book, my fingerprints are all over it. I live in San Francisco, and Riley, the main character, lives there, too. Riley’s got a big internal life filled with worries about how she comes across to people and that’s me, too—more so when I was younger, but I can still relate to that feeling. Another aspect from my own life that made its way into the book in a big way is that I’m constantly wondering about how things can be interpreted depending on a person’s viewpoint. What makes something true? Is anything ever really true, or will every situation always be colored by a participant’s personal lens? There was a time I was obsessed with the book Rashomon, a story told through in separate parts through the point of view of each participant, so this kind of thing was something I often thought about. Over the past few years, though, with the term “fake news” becoming an important issue, I thought about this concept even more—what is news, and what is perception? Who gets to decide? I had all those things on my mind when I started writing Reality Gold, and I wanted to see if Riley would start looking at her situation differently if she was exposed to a different experience that made her think about herself differently. I think we all think of ourselves in a certain way, and I wanted to see what it would be like for this girl to wonder if she’d been looking at herself all wrong, and realize that she was making her own situation worse by holding views of herself that might not be accurate. In the beginning of the book, she feels wronged and shamed and feels like the entire world is against her, but I wanted her to open her eyes a bit and think about what if none of those things were actually “true,” but she had focused on them so much that they’d become her truth. For the first few drafts I tried desperately to bring in a Rashomon effect and the story unfolded through different viewpoints of some of the main characters, but it kept falling apart and eventually I realized this was Riley’s story to tell.
About the Author
Tiffany Brooks lives in San Francisco with her family and a bunch of pets, who luckily don’t object to being featured on her Instagram. The best thing about living on the west coast is she can find out what happens on Game of Thrones three hours ahead of air time. That, plus not having winter weather, means she’ll never move back east, although that doesn’t stop her New England family from asking when she’ll be moving “back home” to NYC or Connecticut. Reality Gold, her debut novel, kicks off the Shifting Reality Collection, a YA trilogy.
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