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Wednesday 13 April 2016

ℚ♫ Under My Skin - Laura Diamond

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Under My Skin (, Swoon Romance, 232 pages), a Young Adult Contemporary Romance.

"Under My Skin is a moving book about a difficult topic. The writing has a nice flow which makes it easy to read and that gives the reader more time to process what the story is all about. I think Laura Diamond found the exact right tone of voice for her story. It's sensitive, honest and real. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns as well. The ending is surprising and gripping and it made my head spin. I think Under My Skin is a fantastic book with impressive main characters." - Goodreads reviewer

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

A very warm welcome to Laura Diamond; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Under My Skin?

"In UNDER MY SKIN, I wanted to see how two seemingly opposite people approach the same problem: how to live life while facing death.

Adam has heart failure and needs a donor heart to survive, but he feels guilty about someone else having to die so he can live.  He’s a thinker and tends to spend a lot of time in his head.  As a result, he hesitates and doesn’t really know how to live.

Darby, on the other hand, is snarky and outspoken, the underdog to her perfect twin brother, Daniel.  She struggles with dyslexia, bullying, and disappointment from her parents.  When her brother dies in an accident, she’s left with trying to figure out how to fill in the void her brother left behind.  And when Adam and Darby meet, the contrast between them leads to a lot of sparks."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As a psychiatrist, I am drawn to characters and their psychological makeup.  Adam, for instance, is a pensive fellow, internalizing all of his conflict.  It expresses itself in a fair amount of depression and suicidal thoughts.  Darby, with her dyslexia and low self-esteem, tends to overcompensate by acting first and thinking later.  This makes her appear impulsive and caustic.

I couldn’t NOT have a therapist in the book, and Dr. Shaw does her best to help both Adam and Darby.  She tends to have some…unorthodox treatment regimens—something that you’ll see if you read the book.  I must say here, she and I are nothing alike.  Ahem. ;)"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Under My Skin - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover was designed by an artist from the Georgia McBride Media Group and Swoon Romance.

The title is centered in a heart—apropos, considering Adam needs a new heart—and the rain in the background captures the tone perfectly.  The book takes place during fall in upstate New York, a time of year that can be very beautiful, but also extremely dreary, with blustery, damp, and overcast days.  This is all captured by the cover."

Why should we read Under My Skin and what sets it apart from the rest? 

"UNDER MY SKIN is reminiscent of The Fault In Our Stars in a lot of ways—teens dealing with life threatening illnesses and situations—but also unique in that Adam is dealing with heart failure (not something I’ve seen too much of in young adult fiction) and Darby has to navigate being a twin with dyslexia and a chip on her shoulder.

Because of my background in mental health, I’m able to provide fairly accurate examples of therapy and processing of trauma."

Can you tell us something quirky about Under My Skin, its story and characters?
"Adam really loves reading classics.  Two in particular have cameos in the book.  First, Adam fears he will become Frankenstein’s monster when/if he gets a new heart.  He even likens his surgeon to Dr. Frankenstein himself.

Later, Adam gloms onto The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham and how the main character sheds societal conventions to strike out on his own path to finding out what life is and should be."
Who would you recommend Under My Skin to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This book is written for teens/high schoolers, but I have to say it can appeal to adults too. There are strong psychological elements in the book, including depression, suicide, death, and relationship conflict."
If you could / wished to turn Under My Skin into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"The team who brought TFIOS did a great job and I’d be honoured if they took on UNDER MY SKIN."
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’m a paranormal/fantasy/scifi girl at heart.  This is my first contemporary work.  Adam and Darby’s voices were so compelling that I couldn’t ignore them.  They basically forced me to write their story.  I don’t regret it one bit."
What is your writing process?
"It depends.  I draft mostly on my Macbook, but sometimes I’ll write scenes out long hand, or I’ll use my iPad mini, especially if I’m on the go, at the bookstore, or on a break at work.

I’ll have a general outline to go by, but sometimes the characters take over and steer the story in a different direction.  I have to listen to them; it’s their lives I’m trying to capture, after all."
What is in store next?
"I have a YA scifi dystopian duology coming out soon by Curiosity Quills Press.  It was formerly titled ENDURE and EVOKE, however, the story has developed significantly and is quite different than it was before.  The first book in the series is titled: IMMORTAL ALIENS: DAWN OF THE VIE.  It’s due out in October 2016.  Part two, BLOOD RUSH, is coming in 2017.  I.  Can’t.  Wait."
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 have several cats.  They are my fur babies.  I am their minion.
Ah, I know exactly what that entails - I have seven little monsters :-)  (used to have 13 but they all passed away... the last one was 22yrs old...)

Hello Benny, Lillie, Callie and Mahli!  Cat treats and rubs for you!

Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Laura, and we look forward to reading Under My Skin.  Have a great release week!

Under My Skin
Available NOW!

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Unknown said...

Thank you so much for hosting me. Buoyed our chat!!!

BooksChatter said...

hi Laura, thank you for popping by! Loved your kitties ... and really want to read your book!!!!

All the best