Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Author Interview: Rochelle Maya Callen (author of Two Breaths Too Late)

Hey guys! I'm so excited to be bringing you my interview with the lovely Rochelle Maya Callen in celebration of her newest release Two Breaths Too Late. Two Breaths Too Late is the story of a girl who commits suicide and must deal with the after affects of this. You can check out my review for it here, check it out on Goodreads or buy it on Amazon. It's only $2.99 and a portion of the proceeds goes to the HoldOn2Hope project and Write Love On Her Arms.

The Interview:

Do you want to explain what Two Breaths Too Late is about to our readers?

Two Breaths Too Late is about a teen girl who takes her own life and then is forced to face the brokenness she has left behind. This story isn't about happily-ever-afters. It is about the millions of terrible and beautiful moments that make up a life and the hope that lives in even the darkest of places.

And what about the HoldOn2Hope campaign?

When I was writing Two Breaths Too Late I realized that I didn't want it to just be a novel. I wanted it to be a movement. The HoldOn2Hope campaign will work towards suicide prevention through education, conversation, and powerful creative projects that will be pitched to national media. To kick off the project, I will be going to schools and community centers to discuss my own personal story as well as share the warning signs of depression/suicide. I have also partnered with a photographer to do a #StillHere photoshoot to bring real stories to the public about people who were able to overcome their suicidal thoughts and live fulfilling lives.

So, obviously, I've loved your first two books (Ashes & Ice and Fire & Shadows), which are more paranormal books while Two Breaths Too Late is...not. Was it very different/difficult to go from writing Ashes and Ice to Two Breaths Too Late?

TO be perfectly honest, Two Breaths Too Late was the hardest and easiest book or work I have ever written. The novel is short. I wrote it very fast. I would sit down and the words came...there was no hesitation. The reason why it was so hard for me was because it hit me emotionally. Each time I sat down to write, I would cry. There is a lot of bits of my own experience woven throughout the story. I was emotionally spent after each writing session. Phew. Still recovering.

I know there's a story and a message behind Two Breaths Too Late do you want to tell us about it?

I wrote a flash fiction piece last year for World Suicide Prevention Day and a reader asked if it was my next novel. At first, I didn't think I could write a whole novel around the theme of suicide, but after pushing the idea away for a while, I realized I needed to write the story. When I was young, I almost attempted suicide. Several years ago, a young man I knew since we was 5-6 years old took his own life as another family friend. When I first started talking about the novel, many people started contacting me with their own stories. That kept me writing. Suicide has touched so many of us and I wanted to explore that loss.

If there's one thing that readers of Two Breaths Too Late take away from reading it, what do you want it to be?

There is hope in even the darkest of places. Hold onto it.

I've heard through your Facebook page that Two Breaths Two Late has already made quite a few people cry(including me now!), did you cry when writing it?

YES. I cried constantly.

Is there going to be a third Ashes and Ice book, is it going to be the last, and can you tell us anything about it?

Yep! It will release early next year. It should be the last one. The final showdown. Big choices. I hope I can do it justice! I have three publications that I hope to release next year. I hope they are just as fun to write!

What inspired you to write in the first place?

My mother's family valued creativity. There were poets, painters, writers. Great environment. I started writing poetry/stories very young. I started writing again when I found my old writing and remembered how much I loved it. I can honestly say that writing (and this journey that it has brought me on) has saved and transformed my life. I encourage everyone to find their creative outlet.

Have you always known that you wanted to be an author?

Deep down, yes. I wanted to be an author since I was very young, but I shoved that dream aside when I went into high school when I was 13. It wasn't until after college, getting married, and being pregnant that I found old stories I had written and re-discovered my passion to write.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Being able to fully give in to my imagination and fall in love with my characters. I also love being a part of the writing/reader/blogger community.

Do you have a favorite character to write?

I am writing a NEW ADULT paranormal novel right now about two very different sisters and I am having a lot of fun writing it because they are bring out more humor and outrageousness while still having a very dark backdrop.

What was your favorite part about writing this book(Two Breaths Too Late)?

The fact that the words came so easily made me feel like I was meant to write it. I really feel like this story is the most important work I have done.

This is one of my favorite questions to ask. If you had to pick a theme song for Two Breaths Too Late(or any of your other books) what would it be?

Oh man! I was just trying to come up with my “soundtrack”. Too Beautiful by He is We comes immediately to mind.

What three words would you use to describe Two Breaths Too Late?

Real. Devastating. Hopeful.

Thank you so much Rochelle for doing this interview! And can I just say, after having read Two Breaths Too Late, the three on.

Rochelle's Books!

Two Breaths Too Late

Ellie Walker commits suicide a week before high school graduation and is forced to face the brokenness she leaves behind.

This story is about bruises and secrets and the hope that hides in even the darkest of places.

* A portion of proceeds will be given to the #HoldOn2Hope project & To Write Love On Her Arms.

15864513Ashes and Ice
My Review
She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

​Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands. 

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough. 

LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice.

Fire and Shadows
Secrets. Silence. Sacrifice.

Jade is only beginning to unravel her own secrets. Facing fate, a murky past and a brutal inner battle, Jade must become what she fears without giving into the darkness. 

If she doesn't, the world will be devoured by Fire and Shadows.

Author Links!
Other Things On The Blog -
My New Writing Blog(look for Alex Steele)
The Night Of Writing Dangerously!

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  1. I wanted to read this one after I have seen your review for it, but boy I want it even more now. I mean the author cried while writing it! That's awesome and it promises a lot. Also HoldOn2Hope campaign sounds amazing. Great idea and great interview :)

    1. Thanks! And you should definitely read this book, it's all kinds of heartbreaking and have to.

      I loved that this author started her own campaign to go along with all that this book is about, it's definetly one of the coolest things I've seen an author do, I too agree that it's amazing. =)

    2. Tanja! Yes, I cried. Constantly. I actually waited till my husband was sleeping to write so he didn't think I was having a meltdown. There is a lot of my past in this story. I also am so desperate to somehow change the suicide statistics. We shall see what we can accomplish in the next year!