Friday, September 30, 2016

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Hi guys! #CelebratingDebutantes2016 is coming to an end. We still have a lot of giveaways ongoing so don't miss out! Today I'm interviewing Caleb about Last Seen Leaving. Stick around for the giveaway!


Can you tell us about your writing style?In writing LAST SEEN LEAVING, I really wanted to create a main character whose voice would be recognizable and relatable to teenagers. Writing a contemporary teen in the first person meant I could make the narrative relaxed and conversational when it felt appropriate, which was great. It was important to me that the tension keep building throughout (it IS a thriller!) but that it also be balanced out with plenty of humor, so I tried to keep those objectives in mind throughout.

Do you have a writing ritual? Could you tell us about it?I don't have any rituals, per se, although I do tend to wait until later in the day to get started. I do a lot of plotting and problem-solving in my head when I exercise, so I prefer to work out before sitting down to do any writing. Sometimes I listen to a white noise app while I work, and always, always, always I need to have something caffeinated to drink, but that's about it!

You travel a lot. How does this contribute to your writing, in any way? Do you also write while traveling?I love to travel, and the past five years (in particular) have been filled with some really amazing adventures. I've seen places that have been on my bucket list forever (Rome, Monaco, Iceland), and visited ones I knew almost nothing about prior to getting there (Slovenia, the Faroe Islands). I find that I don't generally have the energy to write while I'm traveling, but every trip I go on provides inspiration; every new place I see becomes a possible backdrop for a new story idea.

You mixed the elements of mystery - missing girlfriend - and exploring sexuality. The former tends to lead to a fast-paced chapters, rendering readers palpitating while the latter tends to be (based on my experience as a reader) a luscious contemporary that savors and examines every moment. How did you write the novel and mix these two? How did you find the balance? This is a really interesting question! I definitely like for my thrillers to move quickly; but when digging into a topic as personal as a character's struggle with their sexuality, there also needs to be space for readers to slow down and appreciate the significance of what that character is going through. In the abstract, they might seem like objectives that shouldn't work together, but I have found (both as a reader and a writer) that the introspective personal beats allow readers a chance to breathe in between the big cliffhangers of a good suspense novel -- and that using one mood as a counterpoint to the other can greatly enhance both.

A lot of people commented on Flynn's voice. It seemed to me that while he is struggling with his sexuality, and while he suspected that he might be gay, he was also very much in love with January. He was in between of some sort. How did you establish his voice, to further cement his situation as "in struggle"? A lot of gay and lesbian teenagers who struggle with self-acceptance have relationships with someone of the opposite sex before they're ready to come out. It's a topic that most LGBT youth can relate to, I think, and one that I had a lot to say about. It was very important to me that readers understand that Flynn's relationship with January was not all "fake" or one-sided -- that he truly cared about her very much. I tried to bear that in mind throughout the crafting of the narrative, and to make it clear how deeply Flynn valued his friendship with her, regardless of anything else, and that his affection for her is part of what drives him to search for her when she goes missing.

Did you struggle with any scene or part in specific? How did you handle it? This is a hard question to answer without getting into spoilers, but I'll give it a try! There's a scene where Flynn finds himself alone with January's parents right after they've received some shocking news; this scene was probably the hardest to write, because I had three characters reacting very strongly -- yet very differently -- to the same set of circumstances at the same time. Choreographing these reactions, trying to balance them against each other and keep them real, was tricky. In the end, I essentially had to write the scene three times, once from each character's POV, and then integrate them.

Thank you for sharing, Caleb!

About the Author:

Caleb Roehrig is a writer and television producer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. A former actor, Roehrig has experience on both sides of the camera, with a résumé that includes appearances on film and TV—as well as seven years in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality television. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich.

Find Caleb: Twitter | Goodreads | Website |

Book Description:

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.


What's up for grabs: Copy of Last Seen Leaving
Scope: US!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent book. It was a great read, well paced and challenging to try and follow the characters as the story unfolded. Look forward to future works by Caleb Roehrig.

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