Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

HI EVERYONE! I am SUPER excited to be launching the blog tour for Leila Sales’ Tonight the Streets Are Ours today. Now, I’ve not read it yet because I adhere very strictly to my reading schedule and my September stack is the height of a mountain, but I absolutely loved This Song Will Save Your Life, her prior novel. If you’ve not read that one yet, DO THAT. It’s one of the books that’s had the strongest impact on me ever, and I only wish my high school self could have had it.

First up, Leila and I ask each other some questions, both about the book and less so. Then, I’ve got some more information on the book for you. Finally, there’s a giveaway all the way down at the bottom. Let’s do this thing!

The Interviews

For ease of reading, my text will be in orange, and Leila’s will be in blue. My questions for Leila come first.

1) When you were a teen, if you could have blogged, what would your blog have been about?

If I were a teen today, I’m pretty confident that I would want to be a book blogger. You  guys seem to have such a fun and vibrant community, and I would want to be part of that.

I actually kept a blog for a number of years as an adult called The Leila Texts. I wish I could do it still, but I stopped getting random strangers’ text messages all the time.

2) What is one of the best experiences you’ve ever had with one of your readers?leila sales

So many fantastic experiences came to mind as soon as you asked this! One time I did a bookstore event in California and a reader I’d never met gave me a box of delicious chocolate truffles and a really good mix CD. That sticks with me because the thought and care she’d put into that was so kind.

I get emails from readers telling me that they’ve had experiences similar to Elise in THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE: they’ve been bullied, or contemplated suicide, and they tell me that my book helped them see there was a way out. Hearing that from real teenagers out there in the world, living in places I’ve never even visited… it’s the most amazing experience. There’s nothing like it.

3) Do you have any favorite writers (of blogs or books) you’ve yet to meet and hope to track down (in as non-creepy a way as possible) someday?

Mallory Ortberg! She is such a talent. But I don’t even know what I’d say to her, really. I’d be like, “Hey, you’re really funny and smart,” and she’d be like, “Yup.”

I have over the years had the pleasure of meeting (often creepily) many bloggers and authors whose work I’ve admired. I met Dave Barry when I was a teenager and could barely form one sentence because I idolized him so much. I met Zilpha Keatley Snyder at a book conference once and burst into tears. I tracked down Brendan Jay Sullivan before he’d published a book and I’d just been a fan of his blog, and we are actual friends now. So it can happen!

4) In your books, you write a lot of great friendships. Is there one that reminds you most of a relationship you have with one of your friends? How?

All the friendships that I write draw inspiration from my real-life relationships. I have been lucky to have some extremely powerful and transformative female friendships over the years.

The one that comes most from my own life is the friendship between Violet and Katie in MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS. Their shenanigans are so much like what my high school best friend Allie and I used to do. (And still do. We haven’t outgrown anything.)

5) Tonight the Streets Are Ours involves a road trip to track down a favorite blogger. Can you tell me a little about a favorite road trip you’ve ever taken and what made that one so much fun?

One time the aforementioned Allie and I went to Tuscany. We rented a car for a day and drove through the Italian countryside. We drove down to Chianti and got the most delicious pizza and a glass of Chianti because, uh, what else do you drink in Chianti? We kept going through this gorgeous farmland to Siena, and then we drove back to Lucca. The scenery was beautiful, and I love Allie to death, and I surprisingly did not crash the car, so overall I consider that road trip a success.

leila and friend

(Here’s me and Allie with some Tuscan countryside behind us. Probably the car had just stalled out so we thought it would be a good moment to get out and take a photo.)

And now the tables turn and Leila interviews me. *gulps* SO MUCH PRESSURE.

1) Who’s your favorite blogger to read, and why?

Welp, this is already hard because I love a lot of blogs/bloggers. This is sort of like asking me for my favorite book. Hrrrrrm. *scratches chin*

Being asked for just one, I guess I have to go with Gillian Berry (Writer of Wrongs), though I also could easily have said Debby (Snuggly Oranges) or Meg (Cuddlebuggery) or Jessie (Ageless Pages) or I guess you get the idea, and I’m totally cheating. Anyway, Gillian’s reviews are fun to scroll through even if I’m not particularly interested in the book because she’s hilarious and always has A+++ gif game. It’s her little arguments with herself that often make my life. This girls knows pop culture impressively and wields it with a wit of which Jane Austen would approve. She also runs a sweet art tumblr/Society 6 store, and honestly it’s exhausting how talented she is.

2) TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS is about a girl tracking down her favorite blogger in person. Have you ever met your readers in real life? If so, what happened?

Since I’ve been to BEA four times now, I’ve totally met readers in real life. You know, it sort of varies, but people are generally super awesome and much bookish nerdiness ensues and occasionally awkwardness because I am a deeply awkward human if you didn’t know that already. Obviously meeting bloggers is great, and we have a wonderful foundation for starting a conversation.

What’s weirder for me is meeting an author and them going “oh, right, I totally read your blog.” First instinct: to reply “surely not.” Second instinct: to go SQUEEEEEEEEE at top volume. Third instinct (and what I usually end up doing): *cringe because I’m afraid they think I’m a mean bitch because of my Cover Snark feature or some negative review I wrote* Nothing bad has ever happened though.

I’ve had amazing experiences with both authors and readers, and I hope to have more when I’m at Dragon*Con this coming weekend!

gif love you awesome nerds pitch perfect

3) What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking of starting their own blog?

I’m going to assume the blog in question is a book blog because, aside from the WP versus Blogger question, I don’t think I have any insight into that at all.

If someone came to me wanting to start a book blog, I would tell them to do it for themselves and not for fame or free books or whatever. At best, there is minimal niche fame involved lbr, and the free books are not guaranteed and often take a while to start coming to you. It’s a hobby and unless you’re super into it for yourself, you might be better served just having an active Goodreads account.

Join Goodreads and Twitter, if you haven’t already, and follow some of the influential people. When I first started blogging, I didn’t know about the bookish internet community and it’s the best thing about book blogging most days. Talk to people (politely), read reviews, and enjoy how much everyone cares about fictional characters.

When it comes to reviews, it’s all about your voice. The popular book bloggers have a voice and lens that is their own. Let people know your personal preferences and be yourself. Don’t try to fake a literary critic style if that’s not your thing; don’t try to force gifs or jokes if you’re not into them. Write YOU because that’s the one thing no one else can do.

gif be yourself

4) What’s one thing you wish all your readers knew?

*tilts head* Hmmm, this is a tough one. I guess I wish that all my readers knew that all my opinions were honest reflections of how I was feeling at the time I wrote the review. I wish they all knew that when I rip a book or its cover apart, I have absolutely nothing against the author or the publisher or the cover designer. I wish they all knew that three stars means I liked it, even if, yes, it means I could have liked it more. So, basically, it appears that I wish for all my readers to get what this blog is about.

5) What’s your favorite comment you’ve ever gotten?

Oh geez. I’m one of those people who loves quotes but doesn’t really remember them. My memory is terrible, so I can’t remember a specific comment per se. My favorite comments are the ones that are novel-length and that turn into conversations someone, like the one with Gaby (Bookish Broads) on my Losing It review. I don’t do many personal posts, but I do find that they get the sweetest, most wonderful comments. Posts like that are where I connect with readers and realize I’m not as alone or strange as I think I am.

Also, I adore when readers take the time to comment on multiple Cover Snark covers and point out things I missed. Those always make my day. Gillian and Ashleigh (The YA Kitten) leave great ones when they have time.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours

Tonight the Streets Are Ours - Leila SalesFrom the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven’t met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

Add it on Goodreads! Preorder it at Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository, or Books of Wonder.

Join in on social media with #Joyride.

Find Leila on her website or Twitter!

Plus, a challenge!

On Saturday, September 19, starting at sundown and going as late as you want, do something fun, make a record of it, and share it with the world. Using the hashtag #TonightTheStreetsAreOurs, instagram or tweet whatever happens in your night. If you’re going to a party, aimlessly driving around with friends, or watching a movie alone in your PJs, we want to hear about it.

Here’s why: We’re celebrating the launch of Leila Sales’s novel TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS, the story of a 17-year-old girl who goes on an epic all-night road trip to NYC with her best friend in pursuit of her favorite blogger. It’s the sort of night where anything can happen, and almost everything does.

Now it’s your turn. Whatever you’re doing with your night, wherever you live, however old you are: you’re invited. Leila will be livestreaming her own nighttime adventures so you can join her remotely HERE. Or just do your own thing and post it online. We are all in this together.

The Giveaway

Thanks to the lovely folks at Macmillan, I’ve got a giveaway copy of Tonight the Streets Are Ours, which you totally want because Leila Sales HELLO. The giveaway is open to US/CAN readers only (sorry!).  Easy entry in the Rafflecopter below. Cheers!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 responses to “Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales”

  1. Cayla says:

    I’ve heard about this book and it’s really interesting! Can’t wait to read it!

  2. anne says:

    I enjoyed this lovely post and especially your photo of the Tuscan countryside which is is picturesque. A road trip that was memorable took us through Colorado to Aspen and Leadville which I loved and thought was meaningful and memorable. Thanks for this great feature and wonderful giveaway.

  3. Autumn says:

    Love the premise of this book! Unfortunately I’ve never met any of my fav authors or bloggers, but I did meet my childhood crush, Corey Haim, and it was awesome!!

  4. Emma A says:

    About every other year my parents and I would take a road trip somewhere, whether it be to visit family on the other side of the state or up to Canada. I loved the quite time where I could read my multitude of books that I would bring and the other moments where my parents and I would play car games.

  5. Sarah J. says:

    The best road trip I’ve ever been on was this trip my color guard took to the Woodlands in Texas. I have motion sickness, but my medicine kept me feeling energized and awake. It was a lot of fun!
    Sarah J. recently posted…Ten (and a Short Story) Favorite Reads of This SummerMy Profile

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