Monday, November 18, 2019

Interview with Miranda Asebedo for A Constellation of Roses

A Constellation of Roses

by Miranda Asebedo
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.

Can you briefly describe your novel A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES and the characters in it?

A Constellation of Roses is about Trix McCabe, a drifting teenage girl with a gift for petty theft. When Trix is arrested for an unrelated crime, she’s given the choice to go live with her deceased father’s long-lost family in rural Kansas, or face prosecution. It turns out that Trix’s new family is also gifted with magical abilities. Aunt Mia bakes pies that can cure all woes from loneliness to heartbreak. Ancient Auntie can read fortunes. Sixteen-year old Ember can read the darkest secrets of anyone she touches. Trix also finds a friend (and a crush) in town golden-boy Jasper Ruiz, who delivers pies for the family bakery, but it seems like he’s got secrets of his own. While Mia wants to welcome Trix with open arms, Trix is wary of letting anyone into her life. Through a series of flashbacks, readers begin to piece together exactly what happened to Trix and how she came by her mysterious scars. It’s very much a story about deciding if you’re going to let your past shape your future for better or for worse. And of course, family and magic pie! 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Trix is my favorite character. I had so much fun writing Auntie’s witty one-liners, but Trix really had my heart from the beginning of this story. She’s been through some very traumatic experiences, and she has moments where she’s ready to give up, but she keeps holding on. Even when her life is truly ugly, she finds beauty in simple things, like sketching an old couple holding hands on the bus. And I hope that somewhere out there, a reader discovers Trix and finds inspiration in her. Trix’s life is far from perfect, and she’s done some things she regrets, but in the end she chooses to let go of her anger and her guilt, and move toward a brighter future. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

A Constellation of Roses started out with the idea that every scar tells a story. For Trix, her scars tell a sad story, and they’re a reminder of a very dark period of her life. She struggles with how visible the marks are to other people, and the idea that others feel that they have a right to know how she got them simply because they’re visible. The story really started with Trix’s character, this very guarded and lonely girl, but as it expanded, the theme of scars kept coming up with other characters as well. Some of them have physical scars, while others carry around invisible ones, marks of guilt or trauma they’ve experienced in their lifetime. Trix’s main conflict is whether she’s going to let her scars rule her life and her choices, and ultimately, she chooses to rewrite the story of her scars, to see them as beautiful rather than destructive, and let them be an inspiration for good. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

I think if I could choose one song to describe A Constellation of Roses, it would be Tenille Townes’ “Somebody’s Daughter.” It’s about seeing a young homeless woman who’s panhandling at an intersection, and the singer wonders who the girl used to be before she was reduced to only being “that girl by the stoplight.” She wonders about the young woman’s life before this point, when she was a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a first love. And I think that’s an important theme in A Constellation of Roses. It’s about realizing that we’re more than just our struggles. We have worth and value, and even though we might be going through a tough time, we still deserve compassion and kindness.

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

I haven’t found my perfect Trix yet! But when I was working on character art and trying to find comparisons for how I pictured my characters, I did find a few ringers. I think Zendaya would be perfect for Ember. Not only does she look like how I imagined her, but Zendaya is so talented and creative, which fits in well with Ember. Zayn Malik would make an excellent Shane. He’s got that great devil-may-care smile that is Shane’s trademark as Trix’s first love and the story’s bad boy. And I think Tyler Posey would make a perfect Jasper. He’s a golden-boy with a dark secret, and I think Tyler could pull it off. Betty White definitely has the comedy chops to do justice to Auntie’s many one-liners. But I haven’t found my Trix yet, so maybe some readers can help me cast her! 

Winter is around the corner and we love to go find our perfect spot and enjoy a good book. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A large part of A Constellation of Roses is set in the McCabe Bakery & Tea Shoppe, the family business. So I think the perfect drink for this book would definitely be a cup of hot tea, liberally laced with honey. It would be best enjoyed at home, wrapped up in an old knitted afghan, preferably in an obnoxious color, the sort of blanket which makes more than one appearance in the book, as well! 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES?

I would definitely recommend my debut, The Deepest Roots, which is set in a neighboring town where the girls are all born under a mysterious curse that gives them strange abilities. Careful readers will note that Jasper Ruiz, Trix’s new love interest, is the nephew of Deputy Ruiz from The Deepest Roots! Emily X.R. Pan’s The Astonishing Color of After would also be a good fit!

What’s next for you?

I’m hard at work on the next book!

Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal. 

Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda's not writing or reading, she's most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.

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Happy Monday, beautiful bookish people! I find that I always need coffee ☕ in my life to keep me going, but everyone in my office prefers tea 🍵. So let's sort this out guys, are you a coffee or a tea person? . I have been keeping this book in my shelves for a while now and I am so excited it is now available in stores: #AConstellationOfRoses by @mirandawritenow and I love this quote Miranda shared on Trix's profile: “I never felt so visible in my life, as if the universe was telling me, There you are, Trix McCabe. Abandoned. Thief. Drifter. We see you now.” Honestly, this book is amazing and it focuses on very hard topics beautifully and in a way it makes you feel part of the story and you end up loving each single character. . Thanks to Wunderkind PR, Miranda and HarperCollins, we have the opportunity to offer you a copy of Miranda Asebedo's new novel. See below to enter the giveaway and remember to check our tour (link in @theffbc bio). . ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Follow @theffbc & @whatmakespatri ▪︎Follow the author @mirandawritenow ▪︎Follow the publishing house @epicreads ▪︎Comment (to let us know you are participating!): what powers would you like to have? Also, coffee or tea person? . . EXTRA ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk & @artsyreadergirl ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let us know on the comment section who did you follow). Check everyone's Instagram handles below: @sirenareader @kagunderman @book_rambler @novelknight @shelflifechronicles @L.M.durand @sometimesleelynnreads @booking_belle @confessionsofayareader @thecleverreader @onemused @fortheloveoffictionalworlds @its_a_she_revelation @hollymbryan @MorganVegaWrite @love2dazzle @anewlookonbooks @lifeofemilyxo @thereadingcornerforall @avdreaderblog @jessicabeckett @theheartofabookblogger @wishfulendings . GIVEAWAY IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. ENDS ON DECEMBER 2nd 2019. Winner will be announced on @theffbc. . Go to my site to enter our rafflecopter giveaway in order to win another copy of the book!
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  1. This book is already on my TBR. I love the small town setting.

    1. Same Danielle! :) also, the pretty cover had me at first sight!

  2. Jailtime or going to live in Rocksaw, Kansas--it would be a tough decision!

  3. Sounds like a good read, will be adding it to my tbr!

  4. Sounds like an interesting read and I like the cover. I am adding this on my to-read list.

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