Between the Notes by Sharon Roat
Published on June 16th, 2015
Published by HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.
And it isn’t pretty.
Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.
As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.
Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.
About the Author:
Sharon Huss Roat lives in Delaware with her husband and two kids. When not writing books for young adults, you might find her reading (YA of course), planting vegetables in her backyard garden, or sewing costumes for a school musical. BETWEEN THE NOTES is her first novel.
Read below for an interview with the author:
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Cats or dogs? Cats
Chinese or Italian? Italian
Celebrity Crush? Aiden Turner (as Ross Poldark in the new PBS series, Poldark)
Favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version… best almost-kiss scene ever)
Best song of 2015? I don’t have a single favorite, but I’ve been listening to a lot of the Tune Yards and Tame Impala with my 16-year-old son lately.
Favorite Debut of 2015? UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee, which is a historical novel—something I’d love to see more of on YA bookshelves!
What were you for Halloween?
A make-up artist and pastry chef. (Sadly, no costume for me this year. I painted my 11-year-old daughter’s creepy-doll face and baked a cake for my son’s birthday, which is on Halloween.) My favorite costume ever was the year I dressed as Medusa… big snake hair!
Can you tell us about your book, BETWEEN THE NOTES, in 35 words or less?
Ivy’s family loses their home and her beloved piano. She tries to keep it secret, clinging to her old life… but she’s not that girl anymore. Also: boys, overcoming stage fright, and finding true friends.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Describing it would be a huge spoiler. I can say it is a scene near the end, and there is kissing involved. I had fun writing the tension that comes from resisting something for so long before finally giving in to it.
What was the hardest scene to edit out?
My editor asked me to turn two friends of Ivy’s into one character. They both needed more development, and this was a way to create a single, more complex character. I didn’t think I could do it, because they were so different. But I did, and now I love this character and she is often named by readers as their favorite. (Molly!)
Music seems to play a huge factor in Between the Notes. Does music help inspire your writing?
I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, generally, though I did weave songs into the story. Knowing what my characters listen to helps me connect to them.
Will there be a companion novel to Between the Notes?
I have considered revisiting these characters when it’s time for them to head to college, and perhaps I will someday. But as of now, there is no companion novel planned.
What are the struggles of writing YA contemporary?
I wouldn’t call it a struggle, but in BETWEEN THE NOTES there is a mentally disabled character (Ivy’s little brother), and it was so important for me to get that right. As with writing any kind of diversity, it’s important to research and understand who you’re writing. I spent time with the family of a mentally-disabled child, interviewed his mother at length, and worked hard to make his role in the story (and how his disability affected other characters’ behavior) as authentic as possible. Another challenge of contemporary YA is to write the present in a way that won’t seem dated in a few years!
What else are you currently working on?
I’m working on my second novel with HarperTeen, a YA contemporary called HOW TO DISAPPEAR. It is the story of a girl with an extreme social anxiety who lives vicariously through social media. The book is scheduled for a winter 2017 release.
What is currently in your TBR pile?
A few of the physical books on my TBR shelf right now (there are too many to list them all) are: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven, EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU by Shannon Grognan, 5 TO 1 by Holly Bodger, and MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold.
Thanks for stopping by YaReads!
Thanks for inviting me!
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