Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blog Tour: THE WINNOWING by Vikki VanSickle

Hello, friends!

It's an exciting day here at Lost at Midnight Reviews because I'm participating in the blog tour for THE WINNOWING! Released on September 1st through Scholastic Canada, THE WINNOWING is the newest novel from Canadian Middle Grade/Young Adult author, Vikki VanSickle.
Vikki VanSickle is an incredible author and overall amazing human and I could not be happier than to help her celebrate her new release. Check out the cover and the description below!

Marivic Stone lives in a small world, and that’s fine with her. Home is with her beloved grandfather in a small town that just happens to be famous for a medical discovery that saved humankind — though not without significant repercussions. Marivic loves her best friend, Saren, and the two of them promise to stick together, through thick and thin, and especially through the uncertain winnowing procedure, a now inevitable — but dangerous — part of adolescence.

But when tragedy separates the two friends, Marivic is thrust into a world of conspiracy, rebellion and revolution. For the first time in her life, Marivic is forced to think and act big. If she is going to right a decade of wrongs, she will need to trust her own frightening new abilities, even when it means turning her back on everything, and everyone, she’s known and loved. A gripping exploration of growing up, love and loss, The Winnowing is a page-turning adventure that will have readers rooting for their new hero, Marivic Stone, as they unravel the horror and intrigue of a world at once familiar but with a chilling strangeness lurking beneath the everyday.
Doesn't that sound amazing? I can't wait to dive in to my copy! 

In celebration of her new release, Vikki is writing "Winspiration" guest posts to discuss just what inspired her to write THE WINNOWING! Without further's Vikki VanSickle!

Up until a few years ago if you asked me if I ran I would answer, “only when being chased,” and then laugh at my own joke.  But in a fit of spring fever I decided to try running as an affordable means of fitness. I liked the idea of running outside,  but soon found I’m too easily distracted. Look, a butterfly! Look, a cat! Look, a great new window display! *posts photo on Instagram* My wandering eye plus a tendency for Toronto to get stinking hot in the summer thwarted all my attempts to run outside, so I signed up for a gym and tried a treadmill.

At the gym I had nothing interesting to look at. I could blast my music and not be concerned with drowning out oncoming traffic, a kid on a skateboard, or the tinny warning bell of a cyclist. I could set my speed, my time or distance, and then just go for it. After a few red-faced, laboured sessions I found I wasn’t checking the clock to see how much time I had left. I wasn’t reducing my speed to ‘power-walk’ every few minutes. It was easier to find my rhythm and then stick with it. I was…enjoying myself. I liked finding that meditative space, staying there as long as I could, and feeling how every system in my body was working. I loved the deliciously stretched feeling my muscles carried with me for the rest of the day. I loved how well I slept at night.

At the same time I was working on The Winnowing. In the book, the kids in Darby develop strange abilities (called Imps) around puberty. Speed wasn’t one of my original Imps, but it wormed its way into my story when my protagonist, Marivic Stone, despite years of being ‘a champion couch potato’, develops superhuman speed. Marivic learns to love running at the same time I did. It should be noted that Marivic’s ability is superhuman; her strength and speed is remarkable and sets her apart from her peers. I will never win a race, nor do I care to. For me running isn’t about setting and achieving goals. I have no interested in beating ‘my time’ or running a half marathon, a 10K or even a 5K. I just like the way it makes me feel.

Not all stories reflect the experiences or beliefs of the writer, but there are little glimmers of me in all of my work. In the Clarissa and Benji books I’m present in Clarissa’s adolescent outrage and the ease at which she becomes disgruntled; in Summer Days, Starry Nights it’s Reenie’s love of summer and how she feels that being a teenager, that ‘learning the language,’ is always just out of grasp. Even in my picture book If I Had a Gryphon, my love of mythology and animals (not to mention my deeply ingrained practical side) collide.  In The Winnowing you see me falling in love—er, maybe like—with running.
Thank you so much, Vikki! 

The last stop on THE WINNOWING blog tour is at Bookmarked on September 22nd! If you've missed any of the other stops, click on this link to catch up. Make sure to add THE WINNOWING to your TBRs! Buy links, as well as links to Vikki's website where you can check out her other amazing books, are posted below. 

Happy reading!

Vikki VanSickle is a devoted member of the Canadian children’s book industry. She is the author of the acclaimed Clarissa books, including WORDS THAT START WITH B (CBA Libris Awards Children’s Book of the Year Finalist), LOVE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD (Indigo Kids Best Book of 2011), and DAYS THAT END IN Y (Best Books for Kids and Teens selection). Frequently referred to as “Canada’s Judy Blume,” Vikki’s novel SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS, has been called “Summer reading at its best” and was a finalist for the 2015 Red Maple award. IF I HAD A GRYPHON (shortlisted for the Blue Spruce Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award) is her first pitcurebook.

After obtaining an MA in Children’s Literature from UBC, Vikki’s career began in bookselling at The Flying Dragon Bookshop, which earned her the 2011 CBA Young Bookseller of the Year award. She is a popular children’s lit blogger and is frequently called upon to speak about kids’ books for radio panels, conferences, and as Lainey Gossip’s YA mentor! Currently she balances writing with her duties as the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Random House Canada.

- Ciara (at Midnight)

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