Friday, February 22, 2019

Character Confessions: Arthur tells it like it is to his author Jo Schaffer + giveaway

Character Confessions 

I followed Arthur down a dark and winding street on the south side of St. Louis. He seemed unaware of me as he strolled casually, bowler hat cocked to the side on his head. In his weathered pants held up by suspenders and a tattered sports coat, he looked every bit the tough street kid that I wrote him to be. His back to me, he paused under a dim and flickering streetlamp and casually reached down to strike a match on the sole of his shoe. He raised the lit match to his face, orange light lining his young but hard features as he lit the cigarette between his lips. Without turning he spoke.

ARTHUR:
See anything you like? Or you just killin’ time?

ME:
Oh, hi…do you know who I am?

ARTHUR:
Do I look like a dumb bum? I know yous all right. Been followin’ me around for a while now.

ME:
I don’t just follow you… I made you up. I make you talk.

ARTHUR:
Is that what you think? Maybe I make you write. Ever think of that doll face?

ME:
I hadn’t thought of it that way before…

ARTHUR:
Course you ain’t. Swells think they make the world go twirlin’ around. But they don’t, see? It’s us. The masses… the forgettables. We make this good-for-nothing world and yous take all the credit.

ME:
I don’t want any credit for anything that’s good-for-nothing… I assure you.

AUTHOR:
Wisey, eh? Think you’re better than me? Ain’t nobody my puppeteer.

ME:
Well, you certainly have been one of my more… uncooperative characters.

AUTHOR:
Why? Cuz’ I won’t play nice with Princess Hazel?

ME:
Well, that yes, and other things. But why don’t you give Hazel a chance? Your best friend cares for her quite a bit.

AUTHOR:
Stanley’s gone soft with all of that Jesus biz. I ain’t makin’ sweet with any swell for anybody.

ME:
You’ll change your tune in book 2.

AUTHOR:
What’s that you say? Get the marbles outta your gob. Mumblin’s for cowards.

ME:
Nevermind. Look, Arthur… I know you’re full of pain and life has been hard. I just want to see you evolve.

ARTHUR:
What do you know about pain? Stay outta my business.

ME:
Everyone is in pain of some kind. Even the swells you hate so much. It may look different but everyone suffers.

ARTHUR:
Stop. You’re makin’ me wanna bawl like a baby. Please. I ain’t buyin’ that and not because I’m broke. If you’re so in charge why you lettin’ the elite crush us? Just to watch us squirm? This ain’t a motion picture show.

ME:
No, it’s a book. I just want to represent what actually happens and—

ARTHUR:
And another thing why don’t yous make Stanley quit chasin’ after skirts he can’t afford?

ME:
Stanley isn’t chasing Hazel. They have a special connection.

ARTHUR:
Ain’t that sweet as Shirley Temple’s dimples.

ME:
Could you please blow your smoke away from me?

ARTHUR:
Nah. What? Can’t breathe air like the rest of us, swell?

ME:
Well this went about as well as could be expected. I thought I could have some kind of conversation with you.

ARTHUR:
The only gum flappin’ I wanna hear from you is—Who. Is. The. Veiled. Prophet.

ME:
Back up… you’re getting too close.

ARTHUR:
Scared, sweetheart?

ME:
No. I just don’t want to do something we’ll both regret.

ARTHUR:
Yeah… I heard rumors that yous was a fighter.

ME:
Taekwondo.

ARTHUR:
Fancy. Know my style? It’s called Screw You.

ME:
Okay…well, Arthur. Despite your obvious disdain, I’m going to keep fighting for you. I want to steer you right.

ARTHUR:
Ain’t nobody steerin’ me, Shakespeare.

ME:
Wait. Before you go. Arthur… I know what they did to you. And to your mom… and I feel responsible. I’m sorry.

ARTHUR:
You wrote it down. But this stuff isn’t fiction. I was Suffering and Poverty before you gave me a name and a shape. This is the world, doll. I’m the bottom of the pile. The ones who never get a break. I’ve always been here.

ME:
Well, I just want people to know about you. And the others nobody wants. The ones considered useless and broken. Maybe if they knew you… they’d help.

ARTHUR:
Starry-eyed dreamer. That ain’t gonna happen. I got the wrong label. Nobody cares. People wanna see what makes them smile. People like me? They wanna eliminate.


Arthur flicked his smoking cigarette to the ground and stomped on it. Then without another word, he turned away and disappeared into the shadows of an alleyway where I dared not follow.


Stanley and Hazel (Book One)
by Jo Schaffer
May 15, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Month9Books
ISBN: 978-1946700650
ASIN: B07982QYX4
Number of pages: 280
Cover Artist: AM Design Studios
A great depression grips the city of St. Louis in 1934. Stanley, an orphaned newsy, lives in a poor part of town hit especially hard by the economic downturn. One night, Stanley runs into Hazel, a restless debutante-in-waiting who has begun to question her posh lifestyle in the midst of the suffering she sees. She’s out and about without an escort and against her father’s wishes.

When they discover the body of a girl with her head bashed in by a baseball bat, the very different and separate realities of the two teens inform their decision. Together they will figure out what happened to her and bring those responsible to justice.

But getting involved with each other and digging into the secrets behind this murder earns them some powerful enemies, including a secret group seeking to rid society of all they deem “undesirable.” They’ve put into motion “The Winnowing,” a plan seeking to take over the city and enforce their will.

As Stanley and Hazel’s forbidden feelings for one another grow, their investigation turns deadly. Now, it is up to Stanley and his gang of street kids to stop Hazel from becoming the next victim.


Excerpt:
Hazel stumbled down the grassy hill of the moonlit park. Stanley glanced at her from several steps ahead. “You with me, Bananas?”

“Yeah.” She swallowed back the urge to be sick. Hazel’s legs moved her forward but nothing seemed real. She was in Forest Park at night with a newsie boy she’d just met and Sandy’s runaway sister was back there, slumped against the statue of St. Louis with her head cracked open.

She couldn’t make her brain take it all in. Evelyn’s face—caved in on one side, her mouth slack, teeth showing like gravestones covered in blood. Gripped with panic, Hazel quickened her step to catch up with Stanley—her only guide in this darkness. He was a part of it. This was his world, not hers.



Book 2 just released

About the Author: 
website-FB-twitter
Snapchat: jojoschaffer 
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker and a Taekwondo black belt. She’s a founding member of the nonprofit organization that created Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the nation’s biggest conferences for teens where bestselling authors present writing workshops to nearly a thousand attendees. Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. But her favorite thing is being mom to three strapping sons and a neurotic cat named Hero. They live together in the beautiful mountains of Utah.

Tour Giveaway 
eStarbucks or eAmazon gift card (winner choice) plus one eBook of winner’s choice 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

17 comments:

  1. I appreciate you taking the time to give us a great book description and giveaway as well. Thank you so much!

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  2. Oh, I want to meet these characters so much! This sounds like quite the story!

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  3. I love these. I want to meet them now.

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  4. Sounds like a really good book and the interview with Arthur was cool.

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  5. I just finished Stanley and Hazel! Loved it! Starting The Winnowing tomorrow. Thank you

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  6. Looks mysterious and very interesting.

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  7. Thank you for having me as a guest! This was a fun one to write! =D

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