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Genre: Contemporary with a splash of ghosts.
THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE
Manny O’Donnell revels in his status at the top of his high school food chain. He and his friends party in the mountains on a blustery night, sharing liquor and lame ghost stories around a campfire. The next morning, as a wild fire rages in those same mountains, Manny experiences doubt. He was the last of the drunken crew to leave the cave, and he’s uncertain if he extinguished the flames. Within hours, he becomes the number one arson suspect.
Santa Ana winds + matches = disaster. You’d think he would've learned that the first time he started a fire.
As he evades a determined arson investigator, Manny, a modern-day Scrooge, is visited by ghosts of the past, present, and future. He’s forced to witness the fate of his inadvertent victims, including Abigail, the scarred beauty who softens his heart. Manny must choose between turning around his callous, self-centered attitude, or protecting his own skin at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE
- What was the inspiration for this book? Real life. We almost lost our home to a California wildfire a few years ago. I wondered, who started the fire? If it was a child, would they ever know the damage they’d done? Once I had the “spark” for this story, I looked to real life when creating characters. My husband is half Mexican and 1/4 Cuban, so that’s what inspired the latin influences with Manny’s family. One of my sons was a burn victim. I drew on those experiences when it came to Abigail, the burn victim who captures Manny’s heart.
- What is your favorite thing about this book? Definitely the love story. Manny and Abigail are both scarred, but in different ways. Abby’s scars are on the outside, visible to everyone. Manny’s scars are buried deep, beneath a confident exterior. Abby should hate Manny; Manny should fear Abby. Together they create something special.
- Who is your favorite author? What are your favorite books? So many greats to choose from, but here are some of my absolute faves: “Just Listen” by Sarah Dessen, “19 Minutes” by Jodi Picoult, “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah, and “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. I gravitate toward books about family, friends, and love, with a strong emotional pull.
- You decided to self publish your book. What made you come to that decision? How did you know you were ready? Passion. Not only my own passion for this story, but my agent’s passion. She believed strongly in this manuscript. Also, the passion of a certain editor who came “this close” to nabbing the book. That’s when I knew I’d take matters into my own hands and get this story out there. I hired a freelance editor and cover designer, and never looked back.
- Any advice you can offer other writers? Take your time. Write from your heart. Believe in your work. Edit like crazy. Choose your own path. Enjoy the ride.
Julie Musil writes Young Adult novels from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her novel THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE is available now. For more information, or to stop by and say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Click to visit Julie's website HERE, her Goodreads book page HERE, her Goodreads author profile HERE, and her Pinterest page HERE.
LINKS to purchase THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE
Amazon ebook ~ Amazon paperback ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords
Thank you, Julie! It's great to get to know you better, here on my blog.
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