Sophomore Spotlight: Tiffany Schmidt

I'm very happy today to have the lovely Tiffany Schmidt here for Sophomore Spotlight! She's here to chat about her sophomore novel, Bright Before Sunrise.

First, a bit about the book:
Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt.

Published: February 18, 2014.
Published by: Walker Childrens.

Goodreads Synopsis:
When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

Sounds great, right? Here's Tiffany with more to get you excited!

Jess: Thanks for joining me, Tiffany! First off, describe your sophomore novel, Bright Before Sunrise, in 5 words or less.
Tiffany: One night changes everything.

J: What, to you, are the most endearing qualities about your main characters, Jonah and Brighton?
T: Brighton is the most empathetic character I've written. She truly wants everyone around her to be happy.
Jonah is loyal and adores his baby sister. Despite the fact that she's the reason his life has been turned upside down, he doesn't ever resent her and he sings her sweet rock lullabies.

J: Those are definitely fantastic qualities. Jonah sounds like he'd be pretty adorable around his baby sister. 
If you could introduce one of your characters from Bright Before Sunrise to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
T: I'd love to introduce Brighton to Mackenzie Bishop from Victoria Schwab's THE ARCHIVED. The two girls are very different, but Mac has also experienced loss and knows what it's like to hide truths from her family. Mac is such a strong, resilient character, I think she'd be a great friend and influence on Brighton.

J: Oh, I adore Mac! I think Mac can teach a lot of us about staying strong, but hopefully Brighton would help teach Mac to take better care of herself! 
How did the journey for this book differ from that for your debut, Send Me a Sign?
T: I stayed with the same publishing house and editor, so that aspect of the process was much easier and smoother. The other big difference was this time around I had to balance promotions and events for Send Me a Sign with the revisions and all the things that went into making Bright Before Sunrise a finished book.

J: What is the best part of already having a book out in the world?
T: I get giddy and giggly whenever I meet readers. I'm still so tempted to respond "really?" whenever I hear that someone has read Send Me a Sign or is looking forward to Bright Before Sunrise. I treasure all the emails and letters I've received from readers, especially those who related to or said they received courage or encouragement from Mia's story.

J: That's wonderful! As a reader, it's so nice to hear that the authors do love those emails we send. :) 
Both of your books so far have been contemporary (which is undoubtedly a well loved genre by many). Are you interested in writing a different genre in the future?
T: After Bright Before Sunrise, my next book is the start of a non-contemp series. Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family Book 1) will be out winter 2015 and is a crime family retelling of The Princess and The Pea, in which the crime families traffic human organs. While the book definitely has a contemporary feel, it's also got elements of a thriller.

J: Oh, interesting! I love the sound of that and it certainly does seem like a bit of a departure for you. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more about it! 
Do you listen to music while you write/edit? If so, can you share one song you listened to a lot while working on Bright Before Sunrise?
T: I need silence while editing, but I crave music while writing! Some of the songs from the Bright Before Sunrise playlist are:
"These Streets" - Bastille
"You Will Leave a Mark" - A Silent Film
"It's Time" - Imagine Dragons
"Enchanted" - Taylor Swift

J: You have great taste! I'm definitely a Bastille fan as well. 
Can you share a favourite quote from Bright Before Sunrise?
T: "Maybe loneliness is an acquired taste, or maybe it's like plunging your hand in ice water--it hurts like hell in the beginning, and then you go numb."

J: In keeping with our theme here, are there any other sophomore releases you've either loved recently or are looking forward to?
T: Well, I mentioned The Archived above, which is Victoria's sophomore book and one of my all time favorites. A.C. Gaughen's Lady Thief, and Jessica's Spotswood's Star Cursed are both brilliant. I'm also really excited for Elisa Ludwig's Pretty Sly, and Cristin Terrill's next book.

J: More proof that you have excellent taste! :)
Can you share anything more about your next project?
T: HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH, which will be the first book in my Once Upon a Crime Family series comes out Winter 2015. It's a retelling of the fairy tale The Princess and The Pea that centers around crime families. And the crime families are involved in the trafficking of human organs. You can find out more or get updates here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584521-hold-me-like-a-breath 

J: Sounds great! Thank you so much, Tiffany, for taking the time to answer my questions! 

Are you excited for Bright Before Sunrise? What interests you most about it?

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