Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop in the TABULA RASA byBlog Tour hosted by Egmont USA. Today on my stop we have a Guest Post + an awesome Giveaway! 

Tabula Rasa 

Tabula Rasa
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller 
Published: September 23rd, 2014

The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.

Character Profile: 
It’s a strange and challenging thing to write a story about a person who doesn’t know who she is.

As Tabula Rasa opens, my main character, Sarah, knows next to nothing about herself. Not her last name, not her age, not even what she looks like because there are no mirrors in the hospital where she’s being treated. The patients only have limited, supervised contact and are strictly forbidden to ask each other questions about their appearance.

When I was trying to imagine what it would be like for someone in that situation, I started by quite literally put myself in Sarah’s position. I stood in front of my desk and looked down at myself. I may or may not have contorted my body into assorted weird positions, trying to look at the backs of my knees and tips of my elbows. Basically I wanted to figure out what I could see if I could only use my own eyes and nothing more.

Now, maybe it’s just that I’m not that flexible or perhaps I was worried about causing myself some injury that I’d then have to explain to giggling family members who wanted to know, “But how did you end up in this position in the first place?” but the point is, there’s not that much to see.

You wouldn’t know what your hair looked like—assuming you had hair. Sarah and the other patients in the hospital do not have hair. She’s undergoing a series of brain surgeries after all, and hair would just get in the way.

You also wouldn’t know what your eye color was. Obviously you can’t see your own eyes. Or your own face. So you can’t get any cultural clues from those things.

The one thing you would know, however, is the color of your skin. Sarah looks at herself and realizes something pretty obvious—she’s not a white girl. Based on that fact, she makes some guesses about her appearance but her skin color is the only thing she can know with certainty. (In my mind, I pictured a younger version of Zoe Saldana when I was picturing Sarah, although obviously Sarah didn’t know that’s how I imagined her.)

But even though Sarah can’t see herself, she can’t help wondering who she is and what she looks like and since the doctors and other staff members at the hospital discourage such contemplation, she’s left trying to fill in the blanks. And she does. She attempts to build some sense of herself based on people’s reactions to her. I think this is a pretty common thing that we all do, especially as teens. We build an image of who we are, based on the messages that are bombarding us all the time and a lot of those signals are confusing.

In Sarah’s case, she senses that the staff members in the hospital are wary of her and from this she concludes certain things about why she’s there. What she decides is that she must be a bad person to have landed where she is.

When she finally does get the opportunity to see her reflection, she avoids it. She’s afraid to know what she looks like, just as she’s afraid to find out what information is in her patient file. She’s in a very fragile mental state, trying to survive, just starting to rebuild a sense of who she is. She struggles with the question at the heart of the story, about identity and finding a way to balance the mistakes of the past and the hope for the future in a way that encourages growth instead of derailing it.

Of course the one thing that really defines her turns out to be her actions and while that’s true for all of us—actions speak louder than words and all that—it was a really interesting experience to strip a character down and make that ALL that defines her for the first third of the book. Readers have to make up their mind about her using the same limited information she has about herself.

So what did I say in the beginning? That writing a character like this was strange and challenging? Yes, but in the best possible way. I think it’ll probably change the way I write from now on. It’s a great exercise in putting yourself into your character’s shoes—or rather, slipper socks and hospital gown.

And for the record, I CAN see the tips of my elbows, but I’m not going to elaborate on anything else I might have seen. I encourage you to try it for yourself, and if I may make a suggestion, try to look at your own lips. That’s a fun one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://mail.verizon.com/webmail/driver?nimlet=download&fid=Tours%20Materials&mid=345&disp=inline&partIndex=2I’m a mom of four, a practicing geek, a holder of many opinions (which I’m more than happy to share with you—really, just ask). I earned my MFA from Columbia University. My debut YA thriller, Tabula Rasa (EgmontUSA), Fall 2014, is about a girl whose memory is forcibly stripped from her and so naturally she must kick everyone’s butt in retaliation. I live with my husband and merry band of misfits in Arlington, VA.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Curling Up with A Good Book
Q&A and giveaway

YA Outside the Lines
Guest post and giveaway

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Review and giveaway

The Hiding Spot
Review and giveaway

Jean Book Nerd
Q&A and giveaway

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Write Path
Review and giveaway

Amie Borst
Q&A and giveaway

The Book Beacon
Guest post and giveaway

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Dream within A Dream
Review and Giveaway

Jump Into Books
Guest post and giveaway

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Read Now, Sleep Later
Q&A and giveaway

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rockin Book Reviews
Review and giveaway

Adventures in YA Publishing
One question round-up and giveaway

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Children’s Book Review
Guest post and giveaway

Live to Read
Review and giveaway

Pamela Thompson’s Blog
Review and giveaways

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Bookish Escape
Review and giveaway

Bookaholics Anonymous Online
Guest post and giveaway

Friday, September 26, 2014

Not Yet Read
Guest post and giveaway

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Adventures in YA Publishing
One question round-up

Larkin’s Book Bloggers
Q&A and giveaway

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Best Books Ever
Review and giveaway

Pinky’s Favorite Reads
Q&A and giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Book Cellar
Q&A and giveaway

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

****  Addicted Readers ****
Guest post and giveaway

Event Organized By:


I love meeting new people through comments, and I always try to comment back! Thanks for stopping by! :)