Blog Tour & Giveaway: Nicole Maggi & Ontario Teen Bookfest

Crushed on by Christy Jane, on March 25, 2020, in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Giveaways / 0 Comments

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Nicole Maggi & Ontario Teen Bookfest

Ontario Teen Bookfest was set to go out with a big bang, celebrating 10 years as a staple for teen book festivals. Unfortunately, the world had different plans, postponing the long-awaited event. Sad for those of us who couldn’t wait and the authors we wanted to support! Luckily, we can still celebrate authors. Nicole and I wanted to chat about how we are coping (can you believe it’s only been just over a week since all this happened!?) and what we are reading. Plus. you can support the indie bookstore that sells for the festival and win a copy of one of Nicole’s books!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Nicole Maggi & Ontario Teen Bookfest

What They Don't Know

by Nicole Maggi
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
on October 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult

Three secrets. One decision. A friendship that will change everything.
Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter. But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice―a choice she must face alone.
Lise stands up―and speaks out―for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her...all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.
Told through Mellie and Lise's journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie's struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

Coping during the Pandemic with Nicole Maggi

Well, we were supposed to see each other in April for Ontario Teen Bookfest but the world looks a little different now. How are you coping right now?

I’m taking things one day at a time. My husband and I are both working from home (I’m writing, he’s a film editor) and we’re tag-teaming childcare and homeschooling our daughter. And frankly, there’s a reason why I chose not to homeschool her in the first place: because I suck at it. There is a lot of iPad and Nintendo time, but we’re trying to keep up some semblance of a routine. As far as writing, it’s challenging. I’m finding it hard to settle in and lose myself the way I usually do. A lot of that is anxiety and the overwhelming urge to just curl up on my couch and watch reruns of The Office on Comedy Central. It’s hard to stay creative and keep my mind sharp when I give into that urge. I’m trying to do little things to keep my spirits up: a 10-minute guided meditation, a 20-minute yoga video, cook or bake something fun (I am so, so grateful for our well-stocked pantry and fridge right now), Zoom meetings with my writers group, a brisk walk around my neighborhood (keeping 6 feet away from everyone I encounter). Some days are better than others, and I think I just have to accept that that is just the way it’s going to be for the duration.

I’m reading a lot of graphic novels and comics right now. Reading seems tough, and I normally read close to 300 books a year. What books or types of stories do you turn to when you need comfort? What are you reading right now? 

Wow, 300 books a year?! That’s impressive! I am not that prolific; my reading time is generally confined to 20-30 minutes before bed. Just before everything went insane, I was steadily working my way through the books by the authors on my Ontario Teen Book Fest panel and had just finished (and thoroughly loved) Laurie Halse Anderson’s CHAINS. When the book fest was cancelled, I set aside that “homework” and returned to a book I’ve been reading on and off over the past several months: A GAME OF THRONES. So, I was a huge fan of the show (except for the last season *angry face*) but I had never read the books. After the travesty of the last season, I decided to read the series. I’ve been working my way slowly through the first book, alternating between that and FIRE & BLOOD (the history of the Targaryens). I know that Westeros isn’t exactly a warm and fuzzy place to escape into, but there is something comforting about it because as terrible as it is, it’s not THIS terrible world. GRRM writes so beautifully and with such incredible worldbuilding that it’s easy to lose yourself, and the fact that I know what’s going to happen takes away the anxiety but leaves the magic.Next up on my TBR list is a memoir: ROUGH MAGIC: RIDING THE WORLD’S LONELIEST HORSE RACE by Lara Prior-Palmer. I love memoirs by strong, tough women and I think I could use a story of perseverance and overcoming odds right about now.

It’s easy to feel the pressure to be extra productive or work around the clock, especially for those of us working from home. Many people are also balancing childcare, homeschooling, intense emotional responses and lack of focus due to trauma, and setups that don’t promote productivity. What would you recommend to people struggling with internal and external pressures?

Well, as someone dealing with ALL of those elements – childcare, homeschooling, intense emotions, routines & set-ups out of whack – I can say that it is really hard to hold everything together. And what I would say is that, you don’t have to hold it all together, not all the time. Have a meltdown if you need to. Go in your bedroom, shut the door, and cry if you need to. Eat carbs. Drink wine, smoke a bowl, scream into a pillow. It’s ALL allowed right now.I think the only thing that’s not allowed right now is to beat yourself about anything that you feel like you should or shouldn’t be doing. I have a lot of creative friends right now who seem to be creating all over the place and it’s hard not to feel inadequate when I can barely write 300 words a day. This crisis is going to look different for everyone, and there’s no wrong way to survive it. And I think that just getting through each day, whether you wrote 10 pages or barely managed to defrost some chicken nuggets for your kid, is a huge victory. So instead of beating yourself up for what you didn’t accomplish at the end of the day, spend some time celebrating the fact that you actually survived the day. Chuck Wendig had an amazing tweet about this (I <3 him so much) that I think I’m going to print out and tape up on my mirror.

We love Chuck Wendig, too!

Many thanks to Nicole, for hanging out with us and many hopes we get to do it in person when OTBF is rescheduled!


Your pick of Nicole’s books! We will attempt to get it signed (if we can!).

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