The Well's End: Seth Fishman Interview & Giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2013



Mia Kish is afraid of the dark. And for good reason. When she was a toddler she fell deep into her backyard well only to be rescued to great fanfare and celebrity. In fact, she is small-town Fenton,Colorado’s walking claim to fame. Not like that helps her status at Westbrook Academy, the nearby uber-ritzy boarding school she attends. A townie is a townie. Being nationally ranked as a swimmer doesn’t matter a lick. But even the rarefied world of Westbrook is threated when emergency sirens start blaring and the school is put on lockdown, quarantined and surrounded by soldiers who seem to shoot first and ask questions later. Only when confronted by a frightening virus that ages its victims to death in a manner of hours does Mia realize she may only just be beginning to discover what makes Fenton special.

The answer is behind the walls of the Cave, aka Fenton Electronics. Mia’s dad, the director of Fenton Electronics, has always been secretive about his work. But unless Mia is willing to let her classmates succumb to the strange illness, she and her friends have got to break quarantine, escape the school grounds, and outsmart armed soldiers to uncover the truth about where the virus comes from and what happened down that well. The answers they find just might be more impossible than the virus they are fleeing.
Guys, I am so excited today to feature The Well's End, an upcoming novel by Seth Fishman from Putnam Juvenile! This awesome new addition to the world of YA is set to release on February 25, 2014 (one day apres my birthday, mind you), and it promises a whole lot of mystery, thrilling adventure and maybe just a touch of terror to make you think twice about those things that go bump in the night. Seth dropped by to answer a few of my questions today....and there's even a giveaway for all of you lovelies, so stick around to the end! 

1. What inspired you to set The Well's End in Fenton, Colorado?

Hi Melissa! First of all, thanks to you and your kind readers for their time. I hope this is something interesting to you, and that I provide some vague form of entertainment for your day! This is a good question, with a fairly nebulous answer. I'm from West Texas, which means that if we wanted to go skiing, we went to New Mexico and Colorado on these long trips, so I've been there a number of times in snow and in summer, and feel a sense of teenage familiarity with the area. I made up the town, of course, but I also needed mountains, snow, and the ritz of places like Aspen and Vail nearby. So, it all came together.

2. You have an MC that's a swimmer! This speaks to me (ie: the blog title)...of all the sports in all the world, why swimming?

I'm kinda terrified that you'll read the book and be like, 'no way, swimmers don't do that...' But I made Mia Kish a swimmer for a number of reasons. One is that she fell down this well, which means she was in the dark and in/around water. So she swims to conquer her fear. Another reason is that I wanted her to swim under the ice of a frozen lake, and she has to be good to be able to do that. I interviewed my friend, Matt Block, who used to be nationally ranked in college, about swimming and learned all sorts of things I never knew, like drag suits and how you sweat tons in a pool but never realize. I hope it all works realistically!

3. Mia is terrified of the dark, and it sounds as though The Well's End might be just creepy enough to terrify your readers. What do you think might be the scariest aspect of this book for us?

Great question. I think I made a number of scenes scary (at least, to write, ha), and I hope that comes through. But specific moments aside, I wanted to tackle the idea of trauma defining a person, and how everything they do will be seen through the lens of that trauma. Creepy death, icy cold water, these things, in the book, are more than just plot points, but efforts to make Mia confront herself and her past. Getting lost in the memory of her childhood fall feels so scary to me.

4. Kate Beaton, an incredible artist, has created some brilliant illustrations for The Well's End, including fantastic sketches of your main characters. Do you think she captured their likenesses and personalities in these images? Why, or why not?

She is amazing isn't she? Sadly, there will be no interior art in the book, so these are just one offs, but I think Kate did an awesome job capturing the feel of the characters. To do so, I sent her very long descriptors of each character and we went over them a few times, her asking really smart questions and working really hard to get it right (she went way above and beyond). The physical descriptors of these characters are all spot on, but I love how she has the mood too. Mia, standing at the edge of the icy lake, is just so inside herself. It's perfect!

5. The Well's End releases from Putnam Juvenile on February 25, 2014. What about this book do you think will capture readers and get them dying for a copy as the release date approaches?

Ooh, tough to answer this without sounding to self-congratulatory! But, I'd say that I read lots of YA and I tried to write something that's a bit different. The goal, for me, was to feel realistic, to have characters you recognize and connect with, but then, suddenly, pull you out of your comfort zone and into a new place, so that by the end, you're not sure how you got there. It's a book that's hard to define via genre/category, and I think this is something that's really appealing when I read books. So there's that. But it's also fast-paced and fun and mysterious, which I hope hits you for an entirely different reason!

Find Seth on:
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And now, the giveaway! Thanks to the extreme generosity of Putnam Juvenile, one lucky winner will receive an advance e-galley of The Well's End, as well as a piece of original art from Kate Beaton. Be sure to check out more of her character work for the book HERE. This giveaway is open to US/Canada only...simply fill out the Rafflecopter to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

  1. I just saw another interview with this author on Alluring Reads! I must say, I'm really interested with this book. I like the Mia is facing her fear by doing it straight-on. It shows that she's a strong MC - something we look out for in books, no? :) Too bad I don't live in the States, otherwise I would totally enter the competition. Awesome interview, anyhow!

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    1. So sorry, lady! Those are the terms from Penguin. If I had my way...I'd open it to everyone! I'll have another great international giveaway really soon. Promise!

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  2. I haven't heard of The Well's End before but argh I just know that i'll love it! The first few sentences of the summary had me sold ;)

    And oh, I was so excited about the giveaway and I realized that it was for US/Can only AFTER I entered... sorry about that!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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    1. Not to worry, Ellie! Sorry about that! I'll have another international giveaway soon!

      Doesn't the story sound awesome though? I'm so, so excited :)

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  3. I'm intrigued by the story line in this book! I love a strong female character that isn't trying too hard to fit into a male world.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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    1. Right?! It's rare in YA, so I'm excited to see a female MC take the reigns! And you're quite welcome! :)

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  4. never heard of this one before, but it sounds really good. Does look really thrilling :D going to have to add this one to my list.

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  5. Yay for swimmers! So, did he write swimmers realistically, Melissa? (After that research, I'm figuring he did.) I like that this is set in a smaller town because that makes solving the mystery of what's going on all the more important to the MC because she knows those people better than if she lived in a big city.

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    1. I think Seth did his due diligence, Mary...I can't wait for this book :)

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    2. I certainly tried! But if you find any problems, let me know and I'll make sure to do what I can to change.

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  6. This book sounds amazing - different and thrilling, I can't wait to read it. Great interview as well!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Hannah! Doesn't it sound totally unique? That, alone, is a selling point!

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  7. I'm going to be reading this book for 2 reasons : Colorado and swimmers.
    I live in Colorado, so I have a soft spot for the place and I absolutely love swimming.
    It also helps that the plot seems completely unique and it sounds like Seth did a lot of research. There's no way that this would suck.
    And yes, that illustration you shared is gorgeous.
    Now let's hope I can win this advance galley so that I don't have to wait until February to be able to read this!
    Thanks for sharing, Melissa. :)

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    1. Oh and the author's twitter handle is wrong in your rafflecopter! Just thought you should know. :)

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    2. Eeeeep! Thanks for letting me know, Nick! I corrected it :)

      My fingers are crossed for you. I can't wait for this one!

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    3. thanks, Nick! and I hope my Colorado isn't going to drive you crazy (I took some liberties in a fictional town)

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  8. Wow, this sounds awesome Melissa! And how cool is it that she's a swimmer? WIN! I've been seeing this book around a lot lately, and every time I read something about it, the more I want to read it. Why must February be so far away? *stares longingly at calendar* LOVED the interview:)

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! Doesn't it sound so freaking awesome though? And seriously...Seth is awesome. This book is going to be MUCH anticipated!

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  9. This sounds amazing! I have not really read any books where the MC is a swimmer. I'm definitely intrigued. :D

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    1. I'm intrigued, too! Doesn't it sound so great?!

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  10. I don't know if there's something specific I'm excited for. It sounds like a great concept overall. It makes me think of the Baby Jessica deal years ago, which I remember from the news. And I'm interested at how she becomes a swimmer to kind of conquer her fear.

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    1. I love the idea of her conquering her fear by swimming, as well, Alison. It's a promising concept to have such a strong female MC.

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  11. I love the fact that the MC is a swimmer, that rocks!

    "The goal, for me, was to feel realistic, to have characters you recognize and connect with, but then, suddenly, pull you out of your comfort zone and into a new place, so that by the end, you're not sure how you got there." - Great answer! I hadn't heard of this this book before, but it's definitely going on my TBR list now. Fantastic Q&A!

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  12. Oh loved the interview.

    Oh she is a swimmer? Cool! So perfect for the blog. :) I also love it is set in CO. I usually have a fondness for those set in the state. It makes me even more curious! :)

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  13. This sounds thrilling and frightening at the same time! Being stuck in a well would definitely make me afraid of the dark! The thought of a dangerous virus scares me because it's something that could really happen! Wonderful interview Melissa and Seth! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

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  14. I love books that take place at boarding schools and this one sounds like it has an interesting twist to it!

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