I am so excited to be today’s stop on THE TRAGIC AGE Blog Tour. I knew from its description that I would love this book. But until I read that introductory chapter I didn’t know just how much I would love it. In fact the writing jumped out at me so often that I actually used Post-it Notes to mark all my favorite lines and passages – something I never, ever, do. And by the story’s end, the ARC was nearly twice as thick as it was when I first picked it up. And I’m kinda sorta afraid to try and remove those sticky bookmarks in case they tear the pages.
While I don’t imagine that Billy Kinsey and I would ever have been friends, I love the way he thinks and I especially love his voice – the non vocalized one. But I imagine I would have been as enamored of Twom as Billy was. Which is why I’m stoked to have been able to ask him a few questions for my tour stop today. (Though the questions I would have loved to have asked I couldn’t or it would have revealed too much about what happened in THE TRAGIC AGE.)
This was one of those off-the-menu reads for me. And if you’d like to know what I thought check back this weekend for my review. Today, though, be sure to scroll down past the book’s description to meet Twom (pronounced tomb) and just remember not to call him Willard.
And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of the book, I’m offering one up for a quick giveaway. Because this book is spectacular and I can’t wait for its release on Tuesday so that everyone will get the chance to read it.
About THE TRAGIC AGE
Title: THE TRAGIC AGE
Author: Stephen Metcalfe
Release date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.
Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul.
With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It’s the age he’s at. The tragic age.
Stephen Metcalfe’s brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel, The Tragic Age, will teach you to learn to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world.
The Character Interview
Q&A with Willard “Twom” Twomey
Q. You definitely make a lasting first impression, and not just because of your name. But for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure, how would you describe yourself in 15 words or less?
Fearless. Not to say I’m never afraid. I just never let fear stop me.
Q. Some might say you are an enigma. You certainly don’t seem to fit into any one specific mould. Do you have an aversion to labels or is there some other reason you are the way you are? Do you enjoy standing out, being different/unique/original?
Dude, I’m just doing my own thing. I don’t like to overthink stuff. I go with the moment. What can I tell ya? – I’m a little bit of country, a little bit of rock and roll. (By way of Seattle).
Q. What did you think about Billy Kinsey when you first met him? And how has your opinon of him changed as you’ve gotten to know him?
I noticed him in class before I met him. This quiet kid with the birthmark on his face who never seemed to look at anybody. I was pretty surprised when he walked into the school principal’s office and all of a sudden introduced himself. Kinda ballsy. Definitly low key. I liked that. Course, once you get to know Billy you realize he’s about as low key as an air raid siren. It’s all just an act. Albert Einstein meets Robin Williams meets Mr. Hyde is inside, just waiting to bust out. Actually Billy’s lucky he met me. I just might redeem his ass.
Q. What has life been like for you while living with your grandmother? You have an interesting dynamic, to say the least. How would you describe your relationship?
Gramps (I call her that cause it really annoys her) is actually sort of okay for an alchoholic, chainsmoking, geriatric-wanna-be-Vegas showgirl. I mean, it can get sorta tiresome with her being one of those people who just cause they’re, like, ancient they think they’re entitled to an opinion. But you know what? She took me in when no one else was going to. She provides me with three squares a day. Sometimes evenings we sit around and watch TV together and she comes out with some pretty funny one liners that she doesn’t even know are funny. And one night when she was blasted, she actually told me she loved me. I think she meant it, so I told her I loved her too and she started to bawl and I had to hug her and everything and then she told me I was like my grandfather “who was a good man.” I can live with that.
Q. If you could have changed one thing that happened, or change one thing you did, or changed one thing about yourself, what would it be? Do you have any regrets? (And, no, I’m not asking you to reveal any spoilers.)
Big sigh, Dude. I honestly wish I’d never talked Billy into breaking into Montebello’s house. Maybe a lot of things would have been different if that hadn’t happened. Or maybe not. Maybe at the end of the day we all would have ended up in the same place anyway. Like Billy says – love your fate.
About Stephen Metcalfe
STEPHEN METCALFE wrote the production drafts for Pretty Woman, Dangerous Minds and Mr. Holland’s Opus, among others. His stage plays have been produced in New York and at theaters throughout the US, Europe and Japan.
He is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and has been an adjunct professor in dramatic writing at University of California at San Diego, University of San Diego and San Diego State University.
The Tragic Age is his debut novel.
I am offering up for giveaway a copy of THE TRAGIC AGE to ONE WINNER
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
- Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
- Giveaway ends March 3rd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
- Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
- Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
- Winner has 72 hours to respond before another winner is choen
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
A Few Other Stops on the Tour
Feb. 2nd – The Reading Date – Spotlight + Giveaway
Feb. 3rd – KellyVision – Excerpt 1
Feb. 6th – Paperback Heart – Review + Giveaway
Feb. 7th – Amaterasu Reads – Excerpt 2 + Giveaway
Feb. 9th – Xpresso Reads – Playlist
Feb. 10th – The Young Folks – Excerpt 3
Feb. 11th – The O.W.L. – Review + Giveaway
Feb. 12th – Britt’s Book Blog – Interview + Review
Feb. 13th – Unbound Books – Excerpt 4
Feb. 14th – The Bookshelf – Review
Feb. 15th – Books and Whimsy – Excerpt 5
Feb. 17th – YA Love – Character Interview
Feb. 19th – Stories & Sweeties – Excerpt 6
Feb. 22nd – Word Spelunking – Review + Giveaway
Feb. 23rd – As I turn the pages – Excerpt 7
Feb. 24th – The Young Folks – Interview
Feb. 26th – Xpresso Reads – Review + Giveaway
Feb. 27th – Fiktshun – Character Interview
Feb. 28th – Novel Novice – Excerpt 8