The ASHES, ASHES Plague and Pestilence Blog Tour! Author Interview with... Jo Treggiari

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I'm incredibly honoured to be helping kick off The ASHES, ASHES Plague and Pestilence Blog Tour today with an author interview with the one and only... Jo Treggiari! The Canadian author's YA novel, Ashes, Ashes, was released earlier in the month and it's a post-apocalyptic adventure you definitely don't want to miss! 

1) You're traveling underground on the subway when the ground seems to awaken and shudders beneath the rails. The train suddenly sways and screeches to a halt. There is a loud rumble as the lights overheard flicker and sputter before completely dying. Was it an earthquake? Did a building collapse above? You don't know yet. How do you get to safety once again?

You know I was living in the Bay Area in 1989 when we had the big, big earthquake. A freeway collapsed pretty close to my house in Oakland and I remember riding my bike down and looking at those tons of concrete and the crushed cars as the fire department tried to dig people out. I worked in San Francisco and used to take the subway to work (the train went under water for most of the twenty-five minute journey) but it was at least a year before I could force myself to get on that train again. So my answer is: I don’t like subway trains and usually find alternate methods of transportation.

However if I had to, I would crawl out through the emergency window and then make my way along the tunnels to safety. I would of course have a high powered flashlight in my purse, a cell phone and a large knife in case of subterranean zombie attack.

2) Who was your favourite character to write about in Ashes, Ashes? 

It’s a toss-up between Grammalie Rose and Del. I mean, I love Lucy and Aidan too, and Sammy and Henry and Leo (obviously) but writing about an elderly woman was really fun. Grammalie has lived a long time. She’s fierce and sarcastic and she has an amazing spirit. And Del is interesting because she is strong-minded and loyal but conflicted too. I felt sorry for her having to make some really difficult choices when she knew they would not win her any friends.

3) If you had a playlist for the novel, what songs would definitely be on it? 

  • China Town by Jets to Brazil 
  • Sea Anemone by Jets to Brazil 
  • The Cave by Mumford & Sons 
  • My Body is a Cage by Arcade Fire 
  • It’s Oh So Quiet by Bjork 
  • All is Full of Love by Bjork 
  • Lust for Life by Iggy Pop 
  • Speak, Oh Heart by American Steel 
  • The Blood Gets Everywhere by American Steel 
  • Ball and Biscuit by The White Stripes

4) In the book, Lucy is able to save a survival guide and her old yearbook. If you were living in a post-apocalyptic world, what two novels would you try to save at all costs? 

That’s a hard question for me to answer. My house is filled with shelves and shelves of books, but I guess I would say The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson.

5) When I first saw the cover for Ashes, Ashes, I'm sure my jaw must have dropped because it's so stunning! What was your reaction when you first gazed your own eyes on it? 

I loved it! I don’t know if many of you know, but the author of the book doesn’t really have any say in what the cover looks like. My editor is awesome and she kept me in the loop and asked my opinion but it comes down to the publisher to make the decision. I think it’s unique and really stands out. And I like that Lucy and Aidan look equally strong and purposeful.

6) What do you have in store for your readers next? 

I just finished a punk rock, road trip, coming- of -age book set in 1983 California featuring two amazing teen girls, and I’m working on a fish-out-of-water urban fantasy with great white sharks, and of course I have a ton of ideas for another book set in the Ashes, Ashes world.


Thanks so much to Jo Treggiari for stopping by! My review of Ashes, Ashes will be posted tomorrow and there may just be a giveaway for a copy too for my fellow Canadians... so I'm sure you won't want to miss out on that!

Here is the full schedule for The ASHES, ASHES Plague and Pestilence Blog Tour organized by the lovely folks at Scholastic Canada:

Lavender Lines - June 15
21 Pages - June 16
YA Book Shelf - June 17
Shelf Elf - June 18
Book Madam YA - June 21

Each stop on The Plague and Pestilence Tour will involve, in some form, asking Jo Treggiari what she would do when faced with a natural or unnatural disaster so I think it will be tons of fun to see what answers she'll come up. Plus, I'm sure you'll be able to find more Q&A's, reviews and giveaways too!

Looking for more ways to learn about Jo Treggiari and Ashes, Ashes? Why not visit her website, "like" her facebook page, or follow her on Twitter! Or you can listen to the first chapter of the Ashes, Ashes audiobook or an author interview on YouTube.

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  1. The punk rock road trip novel sounds awesome!

    Can't wait to read 'Ashes, Ashes' -- that cover alone is fabulous.

  2. Awesome interview/post! Really cool! This novel sounds really great! Definitely going to follow the tour :)

  3. I loved both Grammalie Rose and Del too. I don't see a lot of YA books set in the 80's so I'm interested in learning more about it.