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Monday, September 14, 2015

Blog Tour- NIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski An Interview and A Giveaway!


I am so excited to be kicking off the NIGHTFALL blog tour! I have an interview with Jake and Peter  to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway to win the book!

Haven't heard of NIGHTFALL? Check it out!



Title: NIGHTFALL
Author: Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
Pub. Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Find it: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads
The dark will bring your worst nightmares to light, in this gripping and eerie survival story, perfect for fans of James Dashner and Neil Gaiman.

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.



Now on to the interview.

Hi Jake and Peter! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! NIGHTFALL sounds absolutely fantastic and am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about NIGHTFALL and the characters?

JH:  Okay here is the basic idea in a nutshell.  The book takes place in a world like ours, only the sun operates on an epic cycle.  Day lasts 14 years.  Then night lasts 14 years.  So the two main characters are a set of siblings – twins – a boy named Kana and a girl named Marin. They were born at dawn, fourteen years ago.  It’s now sunset.  Everyone on their island is getting ready to leave, to head south, where they will wait out the night.  And then a kid goes missing.  Marin and Kana know this kid.  His name is Line.  He used to be Kana’s best friend until he started getting closer to Marin.  This has caused a rift between the siblings.  But the two of them put their differences aside to search for Line.  They need to find him before the sun goes down and everyone in the town leaves.  But it may already be too late. 

PK: All along, we kept talking about the basic elements of this book.  First, at its core, it was an escape story.  Second, it’s about being left behind.  These concepts are not unique to Nightfall, but that’s what makes them so powerful.  Everyone – at some point – has worried about how to get out of a situation, and about being left behind.  I love that even though this is a fantasy adventure, it’s also very relatable to our lives.

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

JH:  I think Kujo and I each have our own inspirations.  Kujo, by the way, is what I call Peter – it’s play on his last name, Kujawinski – an homage to Stephen King’s mad dog.  For me, Marin – the girl – is kind of inspired by my wife, Kasia.  Marin is a bad ass.  She climbs cliffs, sails boats, ventures into the dark and boldly speaks her mind.  My wife, Kasia, has a similar spirit.  She is a doctor and a triathlete.  When we lived in India together, Kasia walked to work on a jungle road.  One day, she encounters this massive twenty foot snake, slithering across the road in front of her.  Kasia calmly waited for the snake to slither on its way and then continued with her commute.  That’s my kind of girl.  She is far braver than I am.  That’s probably why I married her.  Anyway, that inspired Marin for me. 

PK: I agree with Jake – Marin’s character is based a lot on my wife.  But most of all, when we were just starting to write the book, my twin children were about a year old.  The lives of twins fascinated me then, and still does now.  It’s a great way to grow up in many ways, but it also holds the risk of each twin not being able to forge their own paths.  Thinking about my twins – Alina and Blaze – inspired my writing about Marin and Kana.  When they’re older and read the book, I wonder what they’ll think about basing characters so closely on them!


Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?


JH:  Marin.  I felt like I was writing a 14 year old version of my wife.  I never knew my wife when she was that age – we met in college – so it was fun to imagine what she might have been like. 

PK: Kana.  His evolution is so enthralling – I still think about him, even now, after the book was written.  He’s the reason I’m kind of excited to potentially write a sequel – I want to know what happens to him most of all!


What is your favorite passage/scene in NIGHTFALL?


JH:  SPOILER ALERT:  Don’t read this if you haven’t read the book.  Seriously.  I love the scene at the end, when they final encounter the monsters, and are forced to climb the walls of the canyon where the monsters live.   

PK: I love so many parts of this book, but what I loved writing most was the beginning.  Introducing this world of late evening, the sun about to set, a town getting ready to leave.  It was so deliciously atmospheric – so fun!


What kind of research did you have to do for the story?


JH:  This sounds crazy, but I did a lot of walking around in the dark at night without a flashlight.  We live in a world that is bathed in artificial light – from headlights, to store signs, to the glow of our alarm clocks.  I wanted to try to imagine, and experience, what real darkness felt like. 

PK: I just finished a three-year assignment living in Calgary, Canada.  Part of the region I covered for the US State Department was in Northwest Territories – in the polar north.  I visited 2 places: Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, where it’s so far north that they have 2 months of 24 hour sun, and a month and a half of 24 hour night.  I was up there during both of these periods, and my time there absolutely affected my writing.  It was a great demonstration of the fact that most writing – even fantasy fiction – is inspired by real life.

How was it writing NIGHTFALL together? Was is different than writing the Dormia series?

JH:  Dormia was an epic tale.  I think it was almost 500 pages.  In writing the book, the focus was in building – not just a story, or even a world – but a complete mythology surrounding that world.  It was fun, but exhausting.  With NIGHTFALL, the idea was to write a quick, fast-paced novel whose main goal to scare the living daylights out of readers.  We wanted, more than anything else, to create a mood of foreboding that just kept on building.  



PK: I agree with Jake – the Dormia trilogy was so engrossing, in terms of world building.  It was great to do, and I feel in some ways we needed to do that type of book before we could turn to a book like Nightfall.  For this, we wanted something taut and intense, the kind of book that you start reading and miss your train/stay up late/ignore the boiling water on the stove - in order to finish! 

Lightening Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?  

JH: Right now I am reading a nonfiction book called Dispatches by Michael Herr about the Vietnam War.  Next up is the novel Killing Mister Watson: Peter Matthiessen.

PK: I’m reading Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, and loving it.  Great narrative, super suspenseful.  On my TBR is Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir as well as Blood and Salt, by Kim Liggett


What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

JH:  Ravenclaw

PK: I’ll be controversial and say Slytherin

What inspired you to write YA?

JH:  Because I get to spend my days, hanging out with my best pal – Kujo – acting and thinking like a 14 year old boy.  

PK: Ditto!  Except I’d go with 16 years old.  At least then I get to drive.

Twitter or Facebook?

JH:  Honestly, neither.  Instagram is the coolest. 

PK: He’s just saying that because he doesn’t understand Twitter or Facebook.  J

Favorite Superhero?

JH:  Green Lantern.

PK: Spiderman, of course.

Favorite TV show?

JH:  Rome on HBO.

PK: Walking Dead.

Sweet or Salty?

JH:  Salty.

PK: Salty

Any Phobias?

JH:  Snakes and flying in heavy turbulence.

PK: None until recently.  Now I’ve got a fear of heights.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

JH:  Fireball by Pitbull.

PK: Open a Door, Celia Rose.  My wife Celia Rose just came out with a new album – Zig Zag - and I can’t get the last song in that album out of my head.  http://www.celiarosemusic.com/music

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?

JH:  Everest.

PK: the new Star Wars

Thanks so much Peter and Jake for answering my questions! I can’t wait to read NIGHTFALL!




About Jake:
Jake Halpern is an author, journalist, and radio producer.  His first book, Braving Home (2003), was a main selection for the Book of the Month Club by Bill Bryson and was one of Library Journal's “Best Books of the Year.”  His next book, Fame Junkies (2007), was the basis for an original series on NPR's All Things Considered and portions of  the book were published in both the New Yorker and in Entertainment Weekly.  Jake’s most recent nonfiction book, Bad Paper (FSG), was excerpted as the New York Times Magazine and it was chosen as an Amazon "Book of the Year."  Jake’s debut work of fiction, a young adult trilogy, Dormia, has been hailed by the American Library Association's Booklist as a worthy heir to the Harry Potter series.  In September of 2014, Jake signed a two book deal with Putnam / Penguin for two more young adult novels.  As a journalist, Jake has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Sports Illustrated, The New Republic, Slate, Smithsonian, Entertainment Weekly, Outside, New York Magazine, and other publications.  In the realm of radio, Jake is a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and This American Life.  Jake's hour-long radio story, "Switched at Birth," is on This American Life's "short list" as one of its top eight shows of all time.  One of Jake's stories is the basis for a new movie being produced by 20th Century Fox and Heyday Films (which made the Harry Potter movies).  Last, but not least, Jake is a fellow of Morse College at Yale University, where he teaches a class on journalism.  He recently returned from India where he was visiting as a Fulbright Scholar.  



About Peter:
Peter Kujawinski is an author and diplomat born in Chicago. His first fictional work, Dormia, was co-written with noted journalist Jake Halpern. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2009, Dormia was hailed by the American Library Association's Booklist as the next Harry Potter. The second book in the series, World's End, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2010. The third book in the Dormia series is tentatively titled The Shadow Tree. He also works for the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. His assignments as a diplomat include US Embassies in Tel Aviv, Paris, the UN Security Council in New York City, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In addition to his fiction, his nonfiction commentaries have been published in the international edition of the New York Times.


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed hardcover of NIGHTFALL. US Only.





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the tour schedule!

Two Chicks on Books – interview - 9/14
In Wonderland – Would You Rather? - 9/15
Forever Young Adult – guest post - 9/17
The Starry-Eyed Revue – Top 10 list - 9/18
The Social Potato – guest post - 9/21
Once Upon a Twilight – Book Playlist #1 - 9/22
The Passionate Bookworms – 25 Random Things - 9/23
Lili’s Reflections – interview - 9/24
The Young Folks – review & giveaway – 9/25
Readers in Wonderland – Book Playlist #2 - 9/28
The Book Cellar – interview - 9/29
Winterhaven Books – interview - 10/1

A Reader Under the Sea – review & giveaway – 10/2







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