YA Reads 2015 Debut Author Bash! ~ An Interview with Carol Masciola Author of The Yearbook


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The Yearbook

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Misfit teen Lola Lundy falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library and wakes up to find herself 80 years in the past. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, and she realizes she’s seen his senior portrait in a ragged old yearbook in the storage room.

By the end of the dance, Lola begins to see a way out of her disastrous Twenty First Century life: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But major mental illness lies in Lola’s family background. Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into an elaborate, romantic hallucination based on the contents of an old yearbook?

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1) If you emptied out you purse, wallet, desk drawer, pockets, backpack, beach bag, saddle bag, or fanny pack, what would we find? OK, I’m going to actually check and tell you what’s in it. Here’s my pencil case with a pencil and a pen in it. The pencil is broken and the pen is empty, so I’m going to have to replace these, I can see. Here’s a Burts Bees lip balm, the tinted kind. Hmm. I’m rooting around. There’s lint. And my wallet with 13 Swiss francs. I still have my California driver’s license. There’s a tram ticket here that I wrote a poem on the back of last Friday: Shatter, splatter/What’s the matter?/There’s a spider/On the platter. 2) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster? I usually have a spark of an idea that includes some notion of a satisfying conclusion. But I make up most of the story as I go along. I can’t outline because the part of my brain that outlines is too rigid– it doesn’t create, it organizes. I come up with the best ideas as I’m writing and inventing. When I get stuck I get a big piece of paper, like the back of a placemat, and write down what the problem is and then throw out a bunch of ways I could solve it. 3) Describe yourself to us in five words or less: Disorganized, musical, sleepy, skeptical. 4) Can you give us a short description of your book? Lola Lundy, the main character, is a lonely 16-year-old who has had a kind of rotten life thus far. She gets drafted into helping clean up a storage closet in her school library and finds a 1923 yearbook.. She is immediately drawn to the book, and leafs through it until she gets drowsy and falls asleep in the middle of her cleaning task. When she wakes up later, she discovers that she is in 1923–in exactly the same room but in the past. Venturing into this world, she discovers relationships, including a very exciting romance with a senior from the Class of ‘23, and a pace of living and that she prefers to that of her own time. She becomes convinced that this era is where she was really meant to live and plots to abandon her modern era and live out the rest of her life in the past. But behind these events is the fact that Lola’s late mother had a major mental illness. Are Lola’s time travels the onset of a genetic mental illness or something else? 5) What are some fun facts you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it? (~2+) I took some of the names from a real 1924 high school yearbook. There really was a person called Ruby Gadd, for example. 6) Do you have a special story behind your inspiration for the book? Yes, I really do! After my grandmother’s death in 1997, I ended up with a 1924 Charleston (West Virginia) yearbook that was among her things. I’m not sure why she had it, because she was in the graduating class of 1922. I carried it around with my other books as I moved around. Some years later I looked at it and thought there was a story in it somewhere, in this disappeared society of friends and activities. The thought came to me of a girl from the present who could somehow insert herself into this yearbook world. I originally intended to do it as a screenplay, but there was so much going on inside the main character’s head that I did it as a novel so the reader could have access to all that. 7) what is your number one writing tip? Don’t make it a big whoop. Just sit there and work on it, even if it’s just a little every day. Like laying bricks. Try to at least look at it every day to keep it alive and growing in your mind..

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The Author Carol Masciola worked as a newspaper reporter in Southern California for 12 years. Her longest stint was seven years at the Orange County Register, where as a general assignment reporter she covered the mundane and the bizarre. In 1999 she won the PEN/West Literary Award in Journalism for the serial “Mr. Maxwell’s Baby”, about a 77-year-old man’s struggle to take care of a baby by himself. After that, she turned to fiction and is the author of six feature screenplays. BAGHDAD BUREAU, her black comedy about foreign correspondents in Iraq, was named a semifinalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Nicholl Fellowship screenwriting contest. The Yearbook is her first novel.

Carol is represented by Jacqueline Flynn at the Delbourgo Literary Agency. She lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband, Ibon Villelabeitia, and her sons Endika and Leonardo.

You can find Carol on her WebsiteGoodreads, and Twitter

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Disclaimer: author info and book synopsis were pulled from the author’s website, the book image is from Goodreads.

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