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Wednesday 14 October 2015

ℚ♫ Barren: Barren [1] - Elizabeth Miceli

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Barren (, Swoon Romance, 167 pages) a New Adult novel, with mature content, dealing with rape.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Elizabeth, welcome and thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

Before we start with the interview, Elizabeth Miceli has shared with us her music playlist for Barren - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Barren?

"When I was in high school, it was very clear to me that there were generational issues that were affecting teenage women.  Issues that no one wanted to talk about.  These topics were also in my areas of interest and tied right into my fields of study now, Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology.  I was compelled to write the book because I wanted women that were dealing with these issues to be able to read something that told them they weren’t alone.  It was rare to find novels about these hard-hitting issues that affected a large number of individuals . I wanted to change that."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The protagonist, Stacey, and I do have some things in common.  The main things are her family life (2 sisters), the fact that she’s a singer in a band, and her struggle with her weight.  I lost a lot of weight in high school (in a healthy way) and it is definitely something that shaped my life and parts of Stacey’s character.  That definitely guided my writing in certain ways.  Everything else about Stacey is purely fictitious."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Barren - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My cover was designed by Paper and Sage and I can’t even explain to you how obsessed I am with it.  My cover really embodies the premise of my book.  The woman on the cover seems so stressed and it shows us that Barren has intense themes as soon as you look at it.  I love that you can almost feel what she’s feeling on the cover.  That’s exactly what I was looking for."
Why should we read Barren and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"You should read this book because the topics discussed in Barren are happening all around you.  If you are a parent, you should read this book so you understand what it can be like for some teen girls now a days.  If you’re a young woman, read it to get educated or to understand that you’re not the only person that struggled their way through high school.  My book is unique because it doesn’t shy away from the tough topics.  It’s honest and raw and focuses on hard-hitting issues that affect this generation of teenage girls and have been affecting women for years."
Can you tell us something quirky about Barren, its story and characters?
"The character Stacey was originally Casey.  I had written a book in middle school dealing with similar issues (eating disorders, mental health).  I ended up putting that book aside and rewriting some scenes from Casey’s story and putting them into Barren."
Who would you recommend Barren to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Barren is recommended for ages 16+.  This book handles very intense and unsettling issues.  There are scenes involving sexual assault, drug use, risky sexual behavior, purging, self-harm and mental illness.  This book is not for the faint hearted but that being said, it is definitely a worthwhile read for anyone whose ever struggled through these issues or known someone who has."
If you could / wished to turn Barren into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Director: Catherine Hardwicke (Director of Thirteen)

- Stacey: Amy Lee from Evanescence (ten years ago and less gothic).  But, she definitely embodies Stacey’s curves and her pale skin and dark hair.
- Devan: Cam Gigandet from Twilight.  His hair would of course have to be dyed red and he’d need an edgier look.
- Andrew: Logan Lerman with a little edgier look (band t-shirt, tight jeans).
- Eli: Nick Santino from A Rocket To the Moon with contacts in to change his eye color and highlights that made his hair a lighter brown.

Locations: The place I’d want to film is something I’m not sure about. I do know it would need to be somewhere in suburbia."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I usually end up writing about tough topics like mental illness, fertility, or domestic violence.  That being said, I do have one novel that is different from the rest—it’s more “boy get’s the girl” than any of my other books.  It’s a very sweet, sappy love story.  I have been exploring different genres including Young Adult Romance, Adult Romance/Erotica and also Thriller.  At this point, I am positive that I love to write romance and about hard-hitting issues but I’m looking forward to exploring my writing style more.  Romance, New Adult and Young Adult are usually the genres I read."
What is your writing process?
"I wrote the Prologue for Barren in the middle of the night and when I woke up the next morning, I wrote a solid five chapters.  I took a break for about a month, let it marinate, and then I fit scenes from an older book into this new piece.  I took another longer break and a few months later, I came back to the book and finished it.  Once that was done, I handed the book off to a teacher.  She gave me feedback and I started to rewrite.  By my fourth draft, a year had passed and I was ready to start sending it off to publishers and agents."
What is in store next?
"What comes next in the Barren series is the sequel!  Barren’s sequel, Consumed, will be released in 2016!  In Consumed, Stacey tackles college and a whole new set of problems.  As for other novels, I’m sure I’ll be working on getting my Young Adult Romance novel published and working on finishing my fourth and fifth novels."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I don’t have a pet! My dog, Petunia, passed away a few years ago and my family and I haven’t wanted to replace her."
Thank you, Elizabeth! :-)

Barren - available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from find on Goodreads

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