Go Ahead, Inhale the Latest Novel from April Henry: TORCHED

I’ve never seen the show Weeds with Mary-Louise Parker. Once we got DVR, we realized we didn’t need much more than basic cable to be satisfied (we record everything). So Showtime and HBO got the boot.

However, I imagine that if Parker’s character were to be arrested, one of her family members could end up in a scenario quite similar to TORCHED. GCC Member April Henry answers the question: if you found out your parents were hippy pothead marijuana farmers, how far would you go to save them? I don’t know the answer, but I’d definitely like to find out.

So everyone please welcome April to the blog to discuss TORCHED, which just debuted through Penguin Putnam this month.

As always, here’s a little bit about her book to get you hooked:

When Ellie’s parents are busted for growing marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover—particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can’t stop thinking about—the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family—even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

And watch the book trailer here.

Here’s what April had to say:

Q: In AMOR AND SUMMER SECRETS, Mariana discovers a hidden family secret. Are you a good secret keeper?

April: I am good at keeping secrets, if it’s clear they are not mine to tell. But I love gossip. Sometimes there is a fine line.

Q: What is the favorite place you ever traveled to, and what was the coolest thing you saw/did there?

Two years ago, we went to Italy, France, and England on a vacation we had saved for years for. Our favorite places was the Cinque Terra [in Italy] – five little villages of layers of sherbet-colored houses leaning over the Mediterranean. You can currently see it in a camcorder commercial that quotes Fitzgerald and runs in movie theatres.

Side note: My brother-in-law and his wife are going to Cinque Terra in a couple of weeks. The photos remind me of Oia in Santorini.

Q: I often tell the story of how a psychic once predicted that I would go on to write children’s books. Have you ever visited a psychic?

I would love to visit a psychic, and my daughter and I are talking about going together. I’m thinking I might be able to right it off as research

Q: My character Mariana spends her summer in Puerto Rico connecting with her father’s heritage. Have you ever researched your family tree?

My great-great-great grandma was rumored to be Cherokee. I also think there might be some African American blood mixed in our family someplace. I think it would be fun to get a DNA test to see if we can learn more. At my old job, there was someone with the same last name as my grandmother’s maiden name: Satterwhite. Our families both had the same story about brothers coming over from England in the late 1700s. Only in his version there were four brothers. In mine there were three. Even though his family is all a bunch of blue-eyed Catholics and mine a bunch of brown-haired Protestants, I’m sure we are related. We call each other Cuz now.

Q: Where were you when you found out that your book was going to be published?

April: I was at work, the place where I learned nearly all my good publishing news, until finally I got the best publishing news of all – that I had an offer good enough that I could risk quitting my day job. (My agent calls it sailing your boat out into the middle of the ocean and setting it on fire.)Since this was seventh published book, no photos, but I do have this photo of the impromptu party my old coworkers threw me in 1997 when I got my first contract.

That is the greatest analogy of quitting your day job I’ve ever heard! I may have to borrow that.

Thank you, Amanda! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!

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