Please join me in welcoming Tara K Ross to the blog today to chat about her debut novel, Fade to White!
Tara K. Ross lives with her husband, two daughters and rescued fur-baby in a field of cookie-cutter homes near Toronto, Canada. She works as a school speech-language pathologist and mentors with local youth programs. When Tara is not writing or reading all things young adult fiction, you can find her rock climbing the Ontario escarpment, planning her family’s next jungle trek or podcasting/blogging at www.tarakross.com.
FADE TO WHITE is her debut novel.
FADE TO WHITE
GENRE: Inspirational YA Contemporary
PUBLISHER: IlluminateYA (an imprint of LPC)
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2020
Thea Fenton’s life looks picture-perfect, but inside, she is falling apart. Wracked by anxiety no one seems to understand or care about, she resorts to self-harm to deflect the pain inside.
When a local teen commits suicide, Thea’s anxiety skyrockets. Unexplainable things happen, leaving her feeling trapped within her own chaotic mind. The lines between reality and another world start to blur, and her previously mundane issues seem more daunting and insurmountable than ever.
Then she meets Khi, a mysterious new boy from the coffee shop who seems to know her better than she knows herself—and doesn’t think she’s crazy. His quiet confidence and unfounded familiarity draw her into an unconventional friendship.
Khi journeys with her through grief, fear, and confusion to arrive at compassion for the one person Thea never thought she could love.
A deeply transformational novel from an authentic new voice in Christian young adult fiction.
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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Hi Tara! Welcome to the blog!
Tara: Apples every time. My mom works on an orchard, so I have so many memories wrapped up in ‘eye to the sky’, the perfect honey crisp, and filling my kitchen with scents Yankee candles only wish they could replicate.
Carrie: oh i love that!!! And my mouth is now drooling at the thought of a honey crisp apple…I need to see if i have some in the fridge.
Tara: Dogcats? And catdogs? I currently own a rescue lapdog who sleeps more than any feline I’ve had and prefers to be carried over going to walks. And my first furball was a rescue cat who greeted me better than any pooch and followed us around the cat as though wanting to learn tricks. So yeah, I will firmly answer catdogs.
Tara: Tea … but mostly herbal. I have an entire cupboard devoted to my tea collection, including five separate flavours of rooibos tea and a collectors tin of London Fog tea inspired by my debut book, Fade to White.
Carrie: I have always wished I could like tea – or coffee for that matter – both seem to go so well with reading 🙂
Tara: While writing, instrumental music. While driving, audiobooks.
Carrie: the only time i can do audiobooks is on a road trip & even then it’s iffy lol
Tara: Either. I currently live in suburbia with neither and yet crave jumping waves and climbing rocks. It’s quite the predicament.
Carrie: I’m right there with you (though i don’t want to climb anything lol)
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Tara: This might sound a little cheesy, but forgiveness? I’ve been told by hubby that it’s as close to a super power as I’m getting. I avoid conflicts like kryptonite and when I do find myself in a verbal battle, ‘I’m sorry’ is my weapon of choice every time. Might be a token Canadian quality, but I like to think Jesus provided a large contribution as well.
Carrie: the world would be a better place if we all forgave more easily
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Tara: The kids section. Yes, I have children who encourage this trajectory, but I also LOVE picture books. After I’ve ogled over brilliant illustrators and elegant 200 word stories, I head over to the young adult section and become engrossed for hours. I only leave once dragged by tiny humans and their more responsible father.
Carrie: I love hanging out in the picture books too!! And I’m laughing about being dragged away by your crew – so cute!
Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Tara: Oh, I love this question, because it would reveal so much about me. My purse is a mess, which pretty much reflects my internal landscape. Along with all the things that should be in a purse, I have three masks, Costco chocolate samples and restaurant mints, swatches from couch materials and a handful of paint chips (we’re redecorating), at least five pens and mini-notebooks, and a mangled emergency tampon. Sorry … was that too much information? On the outside of my purse (and house, and car), I look fairly organized and focused, but the inside knows the truth. At any given moment, I have various creative projects and goals prancing through my mind, all vying for attention. And only those who know me well, understand what a hot mess I really am.
Carrie: LOL i love it – my purse looks much the same haha
Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote Fade to White?
Tara: So many! While I was in the drafting phase of Fade to White, I attended a few live concerts (pre-COVID) that quickly became the unofficial playlist for Fade to White. One of the standout artists was Andrew Belle. He graciously gave me permission to include a portion of his lyrics from “In Your Sleep” in the novel. You can listen to the entire Fade to White playlist HERE.
Carrie: i love that you were able to use that song in your novel!
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in Fade to White?
Tara: You mean Easter Eggs? I first heard this term after I’d already handed in the final galleys for Fade to White, but I love it and yes, there are tons of hidden details. Most of the references are subtle and related to my current home town of Milton, Ontario, but if you ever come to visit, I’ll take you on a tour to the real versions of Milk and Honey, The Cow’s Pint and even the birch tree on the Ridge. A few that are more broadly enjoyed is the references to London Fogs, which happen to be my first foray into tea drinking and a perfect visualization for how Thea’s story begins and the double meaning behind Thea’s names (Thea means goddess of light and happens to also be the name of a drama award in Ontario community theatre). Acting was my first passion before writing.
Carrie: that’s so fun!!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Fade to White?
Tara: I’d love for everyone to recognize that the inside of our purses and souls are all pretty messed up. Just like Thea and her friends and her entire family. And despite this human condition, God gives us some pretty amazing super powers, like forgiveness and compassion. If one reader can take away that even within our brokenness, He can use us for some pretty amazing things, the last five years of my life will have served an equally important purpose to sharing a cup of tea with a stranger.
Carrie: i love this. amen ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Tara: Please pray! I’m on submission for the accompanying novel to Fade to White. This next story starts out in Ridgefield with a brief cameo from Thea, but otherwise, an entirely new cast of characters tackle the beast that is social media in a northern technology detox camp. Given how much time I’ve spent on Zoom and Instagram Live for this book launch, I may need to join this Breakfast Club inspired group of teens for my own screen sabbatical. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Carrie: yay! definitely praying! Keep us posted 🙂
Tara K Ross is offering an ebook copy of Fade to White (plus a virtual hug & an encouraging phone call) to one of my readers! (Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Fade to White by Tara K. Ross?