Welcome to the blog tour for Brigid Kemmerer’s More Than We Can Tell! I’m excited to share a Q&A-style guest post from Brigid herself on themes, parents in YA, and gaming. Keep reading to hear from Brigid and make sure you enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of More Than We Can Tell:
MORE THAN WE CAN TELL features issues of non-verbal communication and relationships. How do you think communication shapes our developing relationships? Do you think teenagers today face different challenges with communication and forming relationships given the impact technology has on a daily basis? Why did you decide to make that a theme in MTWCT?
I’ve always found human communication fascinating, especially the idea that you can get to know someone over the internet vs. face-to-face. When I was young, I was obsessed with AOL and chat rooms and talking to strangers all over the world. When we know someone online, however, I think it’s very easy for our brains to fill in the gaps of who we want (or need) someone to be, so when we meet them in person, the reality might not always be quite what we’re expecting. While so many people are true and genuine online, it’s so much easier to deceive someone when you’re not face to face, because you’re only dealing with words on a screen. I do think it’s important for teenagers (and adults, too, let’s be honest) to be savvy and suspicious when dealing with strangers online, and to not let ourselves get carried away with who we hope someone is.
MORE THAN WE CAN TELL features some great (and not so great) parents. Why do you think parents are often absent in YA and why did you decide to include them in MTWCT?
In YA, the main character should start out seeing the world almost through the eyes of a child, where parents and teachers and other adult influencers are in control of their decisions, but should finish the book seeing the world through the eyes of an adult, where the teen has realized that their actions and emotions can have an impact on the world around them, regardless of adult involvement. It’s fine to strip adults away and tell a story just about the teens, and a lot of authors do that amazingly well. I personally like to tell a story showing how adults can be involved without robbing teens of their own ability to have an influence on their world. No matter how independent a teenager is, I always want them to know there are adults who care, and care deeply, about their success and making sure they’re okay.
One of the main characters in MORE THAN WE CAN TELL is a gamer. Could you talk a little about why you decided to have gaming be important to Emma and any research you did to create an accurate representation of being a girl in a “typically” male-dominated field/industry/hobby?
Since Rev is very introspective and thoughtful and patient, I wanted him to meet someone who was a little more … modern and intense and technology-driven. My husband and I have done some gaming in the past (he’s in IT), and I had loosely followed the GamerGate issues that have been in the media, so I wanted to delve a little deeper and put that into the story. I did a lot of reading before trying to tackle the abuse Emma faces, and then moved on to YouTube videos, watching real-time harassment. I was horrified at the level of abuse that goes on. If anything, the most challenging aspect was finding a way to show how terrible some of the abuse is, while still keeping it “PG-13” for the YA market. A lot of what goes on is too vulgar for me to even repeat, and that’s a real shame. There’s a huge population of female gamers, and we all deserve to be able to play without being harassed.
About the book:
Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.
Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.
When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.
About the author:
Brigid Kemmerer is the author of LETTERS TO THE LOST, a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER, a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.
Follow the blog tour here: