An Interview with Maggie Ann Martin. Author of To Be Honest: A new YA release by Swoon Reads ***Giveaway***

To Be Honest 
Maggie Ann Martin
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.

An Interview with Maggie Ann Martin

Welcome to Character Madness and Musings. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi everyone! *frantic waves* My name is Maggie Ann Martin and I love fangirling about fictional characters.

Tell us about your newest book.
To Be Honest follows Savannah, a seventeen-year-old who is stuck at home alone with her mom who has just gotten off an extreme weight-loss reality TV show. Senior year becomes a little bit more bearable with the help of her best friend, Grace, and Grace’s cousin/ the new kid she’s tutoring in pre-calc, George. She and George get much closer as the year goes on, confiding in each other about their insecurities and their fears about the future.

Is it available now?To Be Honest is out August 21, 2018 from Swoon Reads!

Have you published any others?
Yes! My debut, The Big F, came out last August. It follows Danielle, who fails her senior year English class and doesn’t get into the college she thought she would go to. Determined to get her life back on track, she decides to make up the failed class at her local community college, gets a job at the local bookstore, and starts dating her childhood crush. It’s really about finding yourself and what you want to do with your life, and how life goes on after failure.

How long have you been writing?
I think I’ve been writing since I was in diapers. I have embarrassing journals scattered all around my parents’ house filled with stories I wrote growing up. The first book I ever actually finished was in eighth grade and it’s equal parts cringy and amazing.

What inspires your stories?
I like to think that I’m inspired by everything I observe. Anyone who knows me can see little kernels of my real life reflected in all of my stories. Usually things are more dramatized in story-form, but if you know me well enough, you can see the pieces of me that I leave behind in each.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing.

Is theme an important concept in your stories? If so, is it personal for you, or something you feel strongly about?
I always want to write about characters who are complex and real. I generally have more than one theme that I try to weave into my stories, and each of them are important to touch on. Especially in To Be Honest, I wanted the theme of body acceptance to be front and center. There are other themes about taking risks, growing friendships, and accepting help from others, but they all come together to make the heart of this story.

What do you look for most in a book when you’re reading, and how do you incorporate that into your own writing?
Real, complex characters. I also always applaud books that can strike a humorous tone while still covering serious topics. Becky Albertalli is the shining light in that respect for me.

What can we expect to see from you in the future, any books on the backburner?
Nothing is official yet, but I fully intend to keep writing fat characters in YA. We need to keep giving diverse, complex, fat characters their voice in YA, and I’m excited to be a small part of that movement.

Is there anything you want to add before we close our interview?
I would just end this by telling every writer out there that is reading this to write the stories that you’re scared of. Write the characters that you wish you’d read when you were younger. Because there are people who want to see themselves in those characters, too.

Indeed. Thank you for being with us today. Good luck with To Be Honest.

Author Bio

Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.

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