I’m Erin Dealey, and I write books for kids. I’m a teacher, presenter, rhymer, blogger, and proud Drama Mama.

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3 Questions and a #YA Giveaway: THE ONE THING by debut author Marci Lyn Curtis

July 29, 2015

That YA novel you can’t put down?

The one you wish you had written?

The one that couldn’t possibly be by a debut YA author because Curtis seamlessly combines genuine imperfectly-passionate characters, best-made soccer plans, that guy with the guitar, and a spark of magic you’d expect from Sarah Dessen or Stephanie Perkins?

THIS BOOK, my friends.

my friends.

I received an arc of THE ONE THING (Disney/Hyperion) by Marci Lyn Curtis at an SCBWI conference a few months ago, where I happened to sit next to her agent (Shout out to Kathleen Rushall of  Marsal Lyon Literary Agency!) and instantly fell in love with characters Maggie, Ben, and Mason–as well as the intriguing premise. And let me just say that Curtis fully delivers.

FYI--Marci Lyn Curtis is not my little sister, or my daughter, my neighbor (although she did grow up in northern California), or my best friend. We are Twitter pals ( @Marci_Curtis ), but really all I know about Curtis I’ve learned from her bio:

She attended college in California and “met an amazing guy in a military uniform. Two college-aged kids and one dachshund later, she lives in Maryland, where she laughs too loudly and eats peanut butter off spoons.”

What YOU need to know is that she wrote a kick-a#& YA novel.

But don’t take my word for it:

“Funny, sweet, and hopeful.”-Kirkus Reviews

“Sometimes lost things are not truly lost, we just have to look for them in new places. The One Thing hits this important note, and the music is beautiful.”—Courtney C. Stevens, author of Faking Normal, The Blue-haired Boy, and The Lies About Truth. 

“The Thing about The One Thing is that the fresh voice, laugh out loud humor, and characters who cling to your heart make it unforgettable.” –Kristin Rae, author of Wish You Were Italian

 “The One Thing is heart-burstingly good. So smart and funny and tender and romantic! I wish I wrote this book.”– Sharon Huss Roat, author of Between the Notes.

Click here to read a synopsis.

(No spoilers, I promise.)

You might also like the playlist posted on HER BOOK THOUGHTS: AUTHOR TAKEOVER.


AND….in celebration of the fact that THE ONE THING releases Sept. 8, 2015, via Disney-Hyperion, I asked Curtis three questions…

(See below for the GIVEAWAY!)

1. What was the most surprising discovery you made while writing this novel?

This: I’m not a writer.

Probably that sounds weird, seeing that I wrote The One Thing. But here’s the deal—I don’t actually feel as though I wrote it. I feel like the story wrote itself. And whenever I got in the way of that process, whenever I tried to strong-arm the story or nudge it in a different direction, that’s when I ran into problems. So my biggest realization? I didn’t have to write; I just had to listen.

2. Which character is most like you? Mason, Ben, Maggie, Clarissa, Hilda or Mrs. Milton?

Oh, wow. There’s a little bit of me in all those characters. I wish I could say I’m exactly like Ben, because how great would that be? Ben is so…Ben. But in reality, I’d have to say I’m probably half-Maggie, half-Mason.

I know, I know. That’s cheating.

Still, though. Still.

It’s true. I’m split right down the middle: partly the quick-witted, determined Maggie, and partly the devoted, creatively minded Mason.

3.What was the most difficult scene to write?

The hardest scene for me, with every book, is always the opening scene. Dear God: that opening scene. I don’t know why, but until I have it absolutely perfect, I can’t continue on with the rest of the story. So I will spend weeks (okay, months) on it, obsessing until it’s flawless.

It’s a disease, this first-scene thing.

Now, there were some super easy scenes to write, scenes that had been with me, literally, since day one. (Yes, Marci, let’s start discussing this entirely different topic…) The scene where Maggie walks into her room the first time since she lost her sight? That one? That scene had been part of me for so long while the story built in my head that it felt like my own memory. Same thing with the beach scene—the mirror, the stars, the kiss, the crying, the everything—I couldn’t get it all on the page quickly enough.


Huge thanks to Marci for taking time for this interview. I love THE ONE THING so much, I’d loan you my arc but my daughter’s friends are devouring it now.

Instead–RT this post on Twitter by midnight, August 5th with the hashtag #TheOneThingGIVEAWAY @erindealey @Marci_Curtis to be eligible for an International/US GIVEAWAY of Marci’s very last arc. 

OR hey–purchase THE ONE THING at Barnes & Noble or  Indiebound or Amazon. 

East Coast peeps mark your calendars to help celebrate THE ONE THING’s September launch:

Saturday, September 12th, 6-8 P.M.
Barnes & Noble, Bel Air, MD.
Launch party for The One Thing.

Sunday, September 27th, time forthcoming.
Bel Air Library in Bel Air, MD.
YA panel at the Just Write. Writers Conference.

Saturday, October 24th, 5pm.
Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, VA.
YA panel with Cordelia Jensen, Sharon Huss Roat, and Jenn Marie Thorne.

Whatever you do, read slowly.

Because you won’t want it to end.

Because “circumstances don’t change us, They reveal us.”

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