Monday, March 19, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: ANTIPODES by Michele Bacon-- Interview & Giveaway!!


by Michele Bacon
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life on her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, she’s not so sure.

Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. Years ago, a mission sounded like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?

Now Erin balks at NZ’s itchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories at a time. As she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world, she finds that when life turns your world upside down and you’re far from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from. 

Hi Michele!!  We’re so excited to have your book in our FFBC Tours, and can’t wait to ask you a couple of questions about your book ANTIPODES!!

Thank you! I’m happy to be here. 


Let me preface ALL these questions with an admission that I’m fickle about favorites. If you sent the same query a week from now, I’d have all different answers (except my favorite TV show).

Favorite Book?

I cannot possibly choose just one. In nonfiction, I return again and again to Paul Auster’s I Thought My Father Was God, and Bill Bryson makes me laugh aloud. In fiction, I enjoy everything written by Michael Cunningham (adult), Laurie Frankel (adult), Jandy Nelson (YA), Kevin Wilson (adult), and Nicola Yoon (YA).

Favorite TV show?

The Amazing Race! I love travel and games, and The Amazing Race sits in the sweet spot where they overlap. My favorite scripted television is Sherlock. Or Elementary.  And I really loved the three original seasons of Arrested Development.

Favorite movie?

The Big Chill feels like home to me. I’ve always wanted long weekends (or whole weeks...or life) surrounded by friends in a big house—cooking for each other, swapping stories, and horsing around. I’m in for heist movies, detectives, and dramas, but generally loathe comedies.

Favorite Song?

My eclectic taste includes everything but heavy metal and hard rock. iTunes suggests my favorite is “Both Hands” by Ani Difranco, but I’m not sure that’s true. Favorites include Ani, yes, but also Beck, the Dixie Chicks, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, the Indigo Girls, Keb’Mo, Queen, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and U2. I am keen to discover new music, but it never rises to the top of my to-do list.

Favorite Food?

Sushi! And baked goods. I’m a sucker for cakes and croissants.

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Hogwarts (where I’d teach potions), Ach-To (where I’d meditate and read), or the ditto world of Kiln People (where I’d be far more productive).

What were your favorite books growing up?

I loved The Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Sherlock Holmes, and Nancy Drew. I also liked early dystopian literature such as 1984 and Brave New World. I very much enjoyed sneaking books from adult shelves in our house. I distinctly remember reading Erich Segal’s Love Story in the third grade.

Favorite Quote?

“Not all those who wander are lost” –J.R.R. Tolkien

What are your fandoms?

Harry Potter, Nerdfighteria, Sherlock, young adult books, and board games. 

What recent book would you recommend to our YA fans?

Regardless of what other nonfiction you read, Martha Brockenbrough’s Hamilton, Revolutionary is not to be missed. In fiction, I loved E. Lockhart’s Genuine Fraud.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about ANTIPODES?

Ambitious American teen, Erin Cerise, finds her life imploding around her seventeenth birthday. While studying abroad to improve her Ivy League prospects, Erin finds that when life turns her world upside down and she's far from home, every move takes her closer to where she came from.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of ANTIPODES.)

#Carabiner #NationalChampion, and #SouthIsland

Besides reading, writing, and blogging, I love fashion!!  What would Erin wear on a typical weekend day?

In New Zealand, she’d wear shorts, tramping boots, a tank top, a hat, and sunblock. If she were going out, she’d wear a cute designer top, her favorite jeans, and chic sandals.

What are 3 cool things people who aren’t familiar with New Zealand should know about it?
  • It is densely gorgeous—mountains, oceans, beaches, boulders, rain forests, lakes—condensed into a country the size of Colorado under blue sky as far as the eye can see.
  • Hitchhiking is safe and commonplace.
  • Most places in New Zealand are very near the sea—the Pacific Ocean, the Tasman Sea, or Cook Strait—and the furthest inland spot is a mere 74.5 miles from saltwater.

Tell us your favorite quote from ANTIPODES.

Two unidentifiable girls sat, lip-locked, on the hall window seat, all arms and legs and hair and slurping.” 

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

Most of this book was fun to write. The rock climbing scenes were difficult for me, because I wanted to include eveyrthing. I love rock climbing, especially outside, so I had to curb my enthusiasm. I rewrote several rock climbing scenes and edited them down. Erin used to have far more rock climbing adventures.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for ANTIPODES– Which one would you pick?

No Mermaid” by SinĂ©ad Lohan

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read ANTIPODES (specific music, snacks…)?

How is this answer not cake? The answer is always cake. For Antipodes, I’ll say cake and your passport, because you’re going to want to travel. Stat.

What’s next for you?

I have quite a few irons in the fire right now. I’m working on a contemporary YA manuscript about a girl who struggles with others’ perceptions of her being misaligned with her own self-image. I also am writing for younger children: a few picture books and an early chapter book series. I’m having more fun with writing than I’ve had in years!

Thanks so much for chatting with us!!

It has been wonderful. I’d love to chat any time. Connecting with readers and writers is my favorite aspect of author life!

ALSO: If you're in the Seattle area, Michele is having a launch party (with excellent cake) at Secret Garden Books on April 3rd-- Details are here:

Michele Bacon writes novel-length fiction for young adults and older adults. When she’s not writing, she’s skiing, playing tabletop games, traveling, or dreaming of travel. She lived in Christchurch, New Zealand for over a year, and is eager to return. Today, Michele lives in Seattle with her partner and three children. She is also the author of Life Before.

  • 1 copy of ANTIPODES by Michele Bacon
  • US Only
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  1. This was my dream in high school - to travel somewhere else which I thought would be infinitely more exotic and far more worthy of my talent! I'll look forward to reading this.

  2. I love the setting and hope to visit in person someday. For now, I have to read this exciting book. On my must read list.