Today I’m delighted to be a blog tour stop for Taylor’s Bennett’s novel, Porch Swing Girl.
I haven’t been able to read Porch Swing Girl yet, but I can’t wait, because I love the sea, and since this is set in Hawaii, I bet I’ll get a lot of it.
You can order Porch Swing Girl here.
Can I just say that that cover is cute, adorable, and needs to be framed.
What if friendship cost you everything?
Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.
With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.
But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.
Want to see more of Porch Swing Girl? Click here to see the full list of blog tour stops.
~ Interview ~
When did you first realize that you loved writing?
I honestly don’t know!! I’ve always written, in one form or another. For me, writing is just as natural as breathing. I’m constantly spinning a story in my head and creating characters and scenarios. Even before I knew how to read, I had a constant desire to tell stories. I’d scribble gibberish on pages and call it a book, I’d dictate tall tales to my parents. When I got to be a little older, I’d write as much and as often as I could, and creative writing was by far my favorite.
I got serious about writing—and publishing—when I was thirteen. By then, I’d written my first attempt at a novel, and I was ready to see my story in print. Not surprisingly, that novel was a “practice run,” not fit for publication, but I learned a LOT through the writing/querying process that helped me get Porch Swing Girl published.
Do you write by hand or on the computer?
I actually started out writing by hand—I loved the idea of having one or two notebooks filled with my words, sitting on my shelf, ready to be edited and perfected. When I thought things through a little more, and realized that I’d have to type all of those words up before I could ever begin pursuing publication, I switched over to writing on a computer.
Is your writing inspired by other authors?
Absolutely! Especially my favorite childhood authors. There’s something so comforting and timeless about the works of writers like A.A. Milne (he wrote Winnie-the-Pooh) and Jeanne Birdsall (she wrote The Penderwicks) and I long to evoke a similar feel with my work. Authors like Ruta Sepetys (she writes bone-chillingly realistic WWII fiction) inspire me to create multifaceted characters that readers can’t help but fall in love with. I could go on and on…
Where did you first come up with the idea of Porch Swing Girl?
I first came up with the title—or, more accurately, it popped into my head one morning and I couldn’t ignore the urge to find out who this girl was and why she was on the porch swing. After a morning of brainstorming, I’d uncovered a story that I was absolutely in love with. I knew the girl on the swing had to be upset—grieving a huge loss. But she wouldn’t stay that way—not for long. Something else would happen to her that would put everything in perspective. She’d meet a few quirky characters to help her along…
I decided to set it in Hawaii because, while it’s one of my favorite vacation destinations, there aren’t many books written that take place in this beautiful location.
How long did it take you to write Porch Swing Girl?
It took me nine-ish months, though that really isn’t very accurate. When I started writing Porch Swing Girl, it was more of a hobby than a serious pursuit. Halfway through the first draft, my family went through a really rough time, and I often didn’t have the time/energy to write. I can (and usually do!) write a lot faster than that. It really depends on where I am in “life,” though 😊
Do you have a favorite character?
My favorite character from Porch Swing Girl is Olive, my main character. She’s been described as stubborn and snarky, but I absolutely adore her. When I’m writing from Olive’s point of view, I write things I would never dare say in real life (Olive can tend to be a bit opinionated 😉 ). But, when they’re coming out of Olive’s mouth, they just fit. I love looking at the world through her unique filter and coming up with quirky ways to describe even the most commonplace items/situations.
Thanks for stopping by Taylor! I enjoyed having you on the blog.