Hi, lovelies! I’m super excited to be hosting Mia Siegert, author of JERKBAIT, for an interview as part of the blog tour. I’ll be sharing my short review of the book and then the interview. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
Jolly Fish Press | May 3, 2016
Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.
Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.
As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?
I read this book in one day. It is compulsively readable, exciting, horrific, emotional, not at all an easy book, but easy to read.
I really love books that have flawed characters because they are real, and everyone in Jerkbait is flawed, multi-dimensional, and I really appreciated that. My favorite character is probably Tristan, the narrator, because he’s never really had a chance – following in his twin brother’s shadow. But Tristan’s growth throughout the novel is gradual but powerful. But then you have Robbie, his twin brother, who is such a sad character. He’s tormented by who is he is and he feels he must decide between that and his hockey career. I just wanted to reach in and hug him.
I think my only complaint is that the novel felt rather predictable at times and I figured out the overall story pretty easily, but in the end, I still really liked the book and I think it handles its many serious topics well and with sensitivity. I think the fact that the book not only deals with sexuality but also the struggles that teen athletes and teens in general face is what makes this book important.
Describe yourself in 6 words.
Ambitious, workaholic, competitive, intense, loyal, literal.
Describe your book in 6 words.
Intense, relentless, far-reaching, scary, mixed resolution
What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?
Oh jeez, pick a hard one, why don’t you? J Honestly, it’s hard to say the absolute best, but definitely getting the email from Travis Pennington (my agent). I had 208 rejections over three years on three manuscripts, so that just… meant everything.
Tell us something interesting that we won’t find out in the book about each of your MCs, Tristan and Robbie.
Before getting into musicals, Tristan listened to a lot of old school rap and R&B because of the storytelling.
Robbie actually really enjoys reading but, because of hockey, he doesn’t really know what’s out there. A few of Tristan’s books might have ended up in Robbie’s room.
I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book?
ONCE YOU GO BACK by Douglas A. Martin and LORD OF MISRULE by Jaimy Gordon.
Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?
It’s hard to say because fictional characters run across so many medians and there are so many great ones. From a book, probably Clarice Starling from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris. For anime, General Cloud Nine from D.Gray-man and Amano Ginji from Getbackers.
Favorite hockey team?
Number one favorite hockey team: New Jersey Devils (as if that wasn’t obvious!!!)
For western conference, I’m a fan of the Anaheim Ducks.
I also like any team who beats the Rangers. [/Obligatory Trash Talk]
Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?
JERKBAIT was my first attempt at writing first person or YA. I wrote the story because I needed to, but I knew very little about the genre as I concentrated on literary fiction. It’s been a steep learning curve, but really enjoyable, and I’m thrilled to find a place where I can somewhat belong since I got a lot of crap from folks for my decision to do something more mainstream and accessible.
Mia Siegert received her MFA from Goddard College and her BA from Montclair State University where she won Honorable Mention in the 2009 English Department Awards for fiction. Her debut JERKBAIT will be released May 2016 by Jolly Fish Press. Siegert has been published in Clapboard House, Word Riot, The Limn Literary & Arts Journal, as well as a few other small presses.
Siegert currently works as an adjunct professor and a costume designer. She enjoys training horses and watching hockey.