GUYS GUYS GUYS! I am like all flailing arms and filled with excitement and joy as one can only be when one of their favorite authors stops by with a guest post for the blog! It is my absolute distinct pleasure to welcome Leila Sales to Good Books & Good Wine. Read on for her guest post and tour of her writing room as well as a chance to win your very own copy of Once Was A Time at the end.
I wrote most of ONCE WAS A TIME in my study. Writing a novel is a long process, which means that I spend a LOT of time in here. And I hate getting bored, so I filled the room with art so that I always have something to look at while I’m trying to figure out what to type next. Here’s a tour of my writing room:
For many years I competed in and then judged the world’s largest annual scavenger hunt (http://scavhunt.uchicago.edu). A couple years ago The New Yorker ran a story about the scavenger hunt, and I was so proud that I bought a print of the art accompanying the article.
My friend Emily used to live in Japan, and she studied calligraphy while she was there. She made this for me. I don’t read Japanese characters, but she tells me that these say “writer.”
This was a poster for one of my favorite dance parties: Klub Kute, in Bristol, England. I lived in Bristol for a year, and that’s why I chose it as the setting where ONCE WAS A TIME begins. It was fun to revisit Bristol in my mind and to describe Bristol landmarks like the Downs and Wills Tower through the eyes of my main character, Lottie.
The two posters on the left are from Guy Fawkes parties that I threw. Guy Fawkes Night is a British holiday in November—Lottie and her best friend Kitty in ONCE WAS A TIME definitely would have celebrated it! The two posters on the right are from Halloween parties at my company. My company throws epically good Halloween parties.
My friend Katie Gastley painted this (https://idlewildco.com/). I’ve lived in Brooklyn for nearly a decade, and my last book, TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS, had a number of scenes set here.
My friend and writing partner Rebecca Serle got this for me to mark the publication of one of my novels. It’s the lyrics from an MGMT song that means a lot to both of us.
This postcard from Florence is sort of what I imagine Kitty’s postcard to Lottie in ONCE WAS A TIME might look like.
Because I’m from Boston, and as Lottie knows, it’s important to have reminders of home.
Once Was a Time
By Leila Sales
On Sale April 5
Middle Grade Fiction
In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes
an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place?
Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.
“Rewarding and uplifting.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Will delight those who revel in the vast mysteries of time and coincidence.” —The Horn Book Magazine
“Shines in its portrayal of friendship.” —School Library Journal
“The bond between Lottie and Kitty-proves to be both tender and unstoppable.” —Booklist
“An imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.”— Middle Shelf Magazine
About Leila Sales
Leila Sales is the author of many critically acclaimed young adult novels, including Tonight the Streets Are Ours and This Song Will Save Your Life. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at leilasales.com
- CCSS-Aligned Discussion/Teacher’s Guide