Thursday, August 6, 2015

Blog Tour - The Invisibles by Ceciia Galante (with exclusive author interview & excerpt!)

The Invisibles: A Novel
By: Cecilia Galante
Releasing August 4, 2015
William Morrow


In the vein of Meg Donohue and Jennifer Close, comes Cecilia Galante's adult debut about the complicated and powerful bonds of female friendship--a compelling, moving novel that is told in both the present and the past.
Thrown together by chance as teenagers at Turning Winds Home for Girls, Nora, Ozzie, Monica, and Grace quickly bond over their troubled pasts and form their own family which they
dub The Invisibles. But when tragedy strikes after graduation, Nora is left to deal with the horrifying aftermath alone as the other three girls leave home and don't look back.

Fourteen years later, Nora is living a quiet, single life working in the local library. She is content to focus on her collection of "first lines" (her favorite opening lines from novels) and her dog, Alice Walker, when out-of-the-blue Ozzie calls her on her thirty-second birthday. But after all these years, Ozzie hasn't called her to wish a happy birthday. Instead, she tells Nora that Grace attempted suicide and is pleading for The Invisibles to convene again. Nora is torn: she is thrilled at the thought of being in touch with her friends, and yet she is hesitant at seeing these women after such a long and silent period of time. Bolstered by her friends at the library, Nora joins The Invisibles in Chicago for a reunion that sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will change each of their lives forever.
The Invisibles is an unforgettable novel that asks the questions: How much of our pasts define our present selves? And what does it take to let go of some of our most painful wounds and move on?


“Shit, Norster, I can’t believe I actually found you! Monica told me she thought you still
lived in Willow Grove, but . . .”
“Monica?” Nora interrupted. “Our Monica?”
“Har-Monica!” Ozzie said, using the nickname they had given her back in high school after Monica had started whistling through her teeth. “Who is doing great, by the way. She has a place in Manhattan now—a penthouse, actually, which I’ve decided not to hold against her. Or the fact that she’s managed to snag herself a billionaire to live there. Can you believe it? Harmonica, living with some Bill Gates guy?” Ozzie laughed. “Anyway, she told me that she thought you still lived in Willow Grove and worked for the library, but she couldn’t be sure. When’s the last time you talked to her, anyway?”
Nora blinked against the sudden onslaught of information.
“Who, Monica?”
“Yeah. You two talk at all?”
“No.” Nora paused. “Why, do you?”
“No.” Ozzie sounded disappointed. “And I haven’t seen her in forever, either. Not since .
. . God, I guess not since we all left.” She paused. “What about Grace? You talk to Grace at
“No. Not Grace either.”
But that had been the deal, hadn’t it? They were all going to go and live their own lives and forget everything that happened. Put it behind them. Leave it in the past, Ozzie had said, where it would get smaller and smaller until one day it would just disappear altogether. Except that it hadn’t. At least not for Nora. Twice, just this past summer, she had gotten up in the middle of the night and walked over to the old house with Alice Walker, just to stare at it, to try to remember—or maybe make sense of—all the things that had happened behind those walls. It was an abandoned building now, the yellow paint old and curling off the sides like an old skin, the front porch split in two. But it had once been Turning Winds, a group home for unwanted girls, the temporary residence for Ozzie and Grace and Monica and Nora throughout their last two years of high school, a place that, for a while at least, had afforded them the only sense of safety they had ever known.

After graduation, Nora had been the only one of them to stay in Willow Grove. She hadn’t wanted to leave, hadn’t felt the tug and pull of the outside world the way the others had.
Some nights, though, she wished she had. Some nights she wondered if her life would be different if she’d cobbled together the courage to strike out in a similar way, to carve her own path through the vast unknown. What things would she have seen? What would she have done? Who would she have turned into, aside from the wrong person?

Link to Follow Tour: 

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Author Info

Cecilia Galante is the author of several middle grade, young adult and adult novels. She
also teaches 8th grade English at Wyoming Seminary Prep School, and teaches
creative writing in the MFA program at Wilkes University.

EXCLUSIVE! Interview with Cecilia Galante

1. Tell me about The Invisibles, how did you come up with it?

I had an unusual childhood, born into and raised for the first fifteen years in a fanatically religious cult in upstate New York. Children were separated from their parents at six months old, which meant that I was raised for the first three years of my life in a mass nursery with other children my age. Needless to say, the bonds I formed with these children – most of them girls – were as strong as any I’ve ever shared with anyone in my life.
The cult leader died when I was 10 years old, and the cult itself finally dissolved when I was 15. This lead to families and parents scattering all over the country, taking their children – and my soulmates – with them, some of whom I never saw again. I spent years wondering what had happened to these girls and what might happen if we ever saw each other again, and this became the inspiration for The Invisibles. What might happen at such a meeting? What kind of people might they have turned into? How similar were they to the people they once were? And what, out of all the memories they shared, were they going to be able to come to terms with? To forgive?
2. What kind of research did you do for this book?
Some of the research I had to do was actually quite unnerving. Since I’ve never had an abortion, I knew I was going to have to get as educated as possible on the actual process of it – especially when it came to how I planned to present it in the novel. I found much of the information online to be rooted in either guilt, ignorance or just plain hatred. It was upsetting. I scheduled an appointment with my OB-GYN instead and explained the whole scenario to her. She was incredibly gracious, answering all my questions as candidly and objectively as possible. I couldn’t have done it without her.
I also had to research things like legal issues and sentencing options regarding certain crimes. This proved to be even more difficult than the abortion research, as the possibilities were endless!
3.What's a typical working day like for you?  When and where do you write?  Do you set a daily writing goal?
Since I teach full time and have summers off, I actually have two writing processes. During the school year, if I am working on something new – especially a first draft that my editor hasn’t seen yet  - I get up at 4:00 am and write steadily until 6:00 a.m., when I have to stop and get ready for school. (Lots of coffee here!) If I am at the point of editing something during the school year, I won’t adhere to such a rigid schedule. I believe the first draft of a new book needs to come quickly and fluidly, which is why I discipline myself to a daily, two-hour morning time-frame. Editing on the other hand, is a much more relaxed process for me, since most of the framework is already there.
During the summer, as you might imagine, anything goes. My kids go to camp, so I have loads of time to myself, but I definitely don’t waste it. I’ll spend half the day writing and the other half walking, thinking, and basically ruminating about what I’ve just written. It’s really the best time I have to get a leg up on new projects. Still, when it comes time to go on vacation with my husband and kids, I put my pen down and go. The books can wait. I’ll never get that time back with my family.
4.What's the best thing about being an author?
I love hearing from people who have read something of mine and related to it in some way. It’s thrilling to connect with someone that way. But I think the best thing about being a writer is that even when the words don’t come and I have no idea where the book is going to go next, I still know that there is no other way I’d rather spend my time.
5. What are you working on now?
I’m working on two very different books right now, which could be confusing, but isn’t, because the subject matter is so disparate. It’s actually sort of fun!
6. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
1. Read!!! Read everything you can get your hands on, even the stuff you don’t particularly like or admire. The best writers out there will be your greatest teachers, and there is just as much to be said for learning how not to write.
2. Commit to a writing schedule, even if it’s just an hour a day. It’s impossible not to improve on the things you spend time on, and the discipline you acquire will be immeasurable.
3. Get used to the word no. I got 43 rejections on the first book I sent out for publication, and I thought I was done. Finished. Kaput. Then I wrote The Patron Saint of Butterflies. Two publishers rejected it the first week my agent sent it out. The third made an offer, and I was off and running. Remember, it only takes one yes, but you’ve got to push through the no’s to get to it.
7. Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Oh, this question is so hard, because there are so many! I’ll limit myself to five here because of lack of space, but I’m not happy about it!
Favorite authors: Alice Munro, Elizabeth Berg, Frank McCourt, Elizabeth Strout, Jennifer Egan
Favorite Books: Olive Kittredge, Talk Before Sleep, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Angela’s Ashes, and A Visit from the Goon Squad

***Special thanks to Cecilia Galante for answering my questions!  I am truly honored!

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three Print Copies of THE INVISIBLES)