Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Tour: Cheryl Rainfield Interview & Giveaway!

1. In what ways do you relate to Kendra and what she went through?

Kendra is a LOT like me—except I think she’s feistier than I ever was. Like
Kendra, I was sexually abused from a very young age, my abusers threatened
to kill me if I told, and I had a strong need to face the abuse and get
safe. Like Kendra, I used self-harm to cope with the abuse, for all the
reasons that Kendra did—to get relief from unbearable emotional pain; to
keep from killing myself; to silence myself; to escape or suppress abuse
memories; to punish myself; and sometimes to cry out for help (even though
I kept the wounds and scars hidden.) Like Kendra, I also used art (and
writing) to try to cope, to heal, and to get out emotion. I knew as a teen
that I was queer, and I had a girlfriend, though older than me. I also had
a good therapist help me deal with the abuse memories and their effects.

There’s a lot of me in Kendra, including some of her responses and ways of
coping. Like Kendra, I didn’t have healthy love or a good family, and I
needed to create my own family of friends. I was also always looking for a
good mom figure, like Kendra was.

Despite all those similarities, Kendra is not me—she is a character I
created. But I relate to so much in her, and I know there’s a lot of me in

2. If you could befriend Kendra with any other YA character who would it be and why?

I think I’d befriend her with Tamora Pierce’s Alanna, for her girl power
and protectiveness and strength; with Suzanne Collins’ Katniss, for her
fierce ability to survive, her loyalty and protectiveness, and her
inventive ways of fighting back against oppressors and authority; and LM
Montgomery’s Anne for her intense love of life, creativity, and imagination.

3.Is there a specific message you hope readers of Scars take away with them?

I want readers to know that you can come through deep pain and horrific
abuse, and still find happiness, hope, and safe love. And I especially want
readers to come away from Scars with more compassion for, and less judgment
of, self-harm—understanding that for some of us, it is a way of coping with
trauma or extreme emotion. And also aware that being queer is a positive
thing. For those readers who’ve used self-harm—I want them to know they’re
not alone.

4. What is one book you wish you'd written?

How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson. That book has SO much
depth and emotional truth. I utterly believed in the characters, cared
about them, and rooted for them. Beautifully woven from character to
character, and beautifully written.

5. You've written both short stories and novels, what's the main difference between writing the two?

I’m not sure if I’m the best person to ask; I am much more comfortable
writing novels. I like how much you can explore in a novel. In short
stories, you can’t go into as much depth for the characters, the
relationships, the plot events. I’ve always loved reading and writing
novels better than short stories—though some short stories are incredible
and moving.


Thanks so much, Cheryl!

Click here to visit Cheryl's website!

Thanks to The Teen {Book} Scene for arranging this tour!



I have one signed hardcover of Scars to giveaway to one lucky winner, along with two bookmarks.


US Only

Ends October 3

Fill out THIS FORM to enter!


  1. This is one of those books I really want to read, but at the same time I am scared to do to read...I have self harmed myself before, so - I think I might relate and that scares me but it also makes me want to read it - gosh crazy!

    Anyway, loved this interview - It's an amazing thing to want readers to come away with more compassion, I know how it is to get looked at like your "sick" because of the scars. :)


  2. It's so brave for a writer to take on their own horrific experiences. I applaud Ms. Rainfield for that!

  3. It's so brave for a writer to take on their own horrific experiences. I applaud Ms. Rainfield for that!

  4. I can't believe that the author is comfortable talking about her past problems like that! I don't think I'd ever have the guts, but I respect her for it. This book reminds me a bit of Willow by Julia Hoban, which I loved, so I'm definitely going to give it a shot!

  5. I love these kinds of books. Not because I'm morbid or am pro-abuse, but because I can really connect fully to the character, and because the story is so real and raw. It's not your typial ya book, and I love that.


  6. I love stories like this. The emotion and pain make it so easy to connect to the characters. I know I can relate in many ways. A definite must read for me.

  7. I would like to read this book, I know it's probably going to be an emotional read, but I would still like to read it.

  8. Wow, really refreshing to see someone so open about their past! Kudos to her for being this brave.

  9. I have a friend who really needs to read this book. There's a lot of misconception of self-harm. Most people assume it's suicidal gesturing, but those of us who know about it understand it's a coping mechanism. I'm glad there are authors like you willing to tackle the issue openly.

  10. This is a great topic because there aren't a lot of people who are aware of these types of problems. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. This book looks amazing, it will hit close to heart for me because I sturggled with self-harm for quite a bit. I've never read a book by that author, so I would love a chance to read this one.


  12. This is a topic that really touches the heart. True experiences do add weight too. Great interview...will have to read this one.

  13. Thanks for hosting this author on her blog tour. I wasn't aware of this book, and am anxious to read it. I like how you asked about Kendra befriending another YA character. It is interesting to think about how they would interact and what one could gain from the other.

    I also want to agree with Cheryl Rainfield, How to Buy a Love of Reading is an awesome book. I loved the writing, the plot, the depth and the emotions it stirred in me as I read it.

  14. I read Willow by Julia Hoban earlier this year and it dealt with same subject matter of self-harm. It was a very intriguing read. This one looks like a very thought-provoking and raw story as well. The message she wants readers to take because it's so important.

  15. I've really been wanting to read this book ever since I heard of it. I admire the author for her strength, and I think I read somewhere the author's arm is on the cover, which I think is cool that is was okay with doing that.

  16. Cheryl is so brave. I applaud her with smiles and tears for sharing herself and her book with the world. Children need this.

    Also, I much prefer writing novels to short stories myself! Apparently I don't squish my stories into small spaces very well.

  17. I really enjoyed this interview, Cheryl seemed like she really put some well thought out responses.
    Interesting that she calls herself a queer obviously she doesn't take herself too seriously.

  18. I find it absolutely amazing that she was strong enough to write about this.
    Sorry if that sounded too brief of silly, but it's what I think.

  19. I am really excited or maybe scared to read this book. It seems to speak to things most people don't want to look at too closely. Thank you for the giveaway.

  20. Really intriguing book and fantastic interview :D You made me want to read this book!


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