Friday, January 17, 2014

Blog Tour: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

Published January 14th 2014 by BenBella Books
So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

4 More Fun Facts about The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

Factoid 1: Anne’s dad Stanley is based loosely on my dad
Stanley Merchant is a quiet mortician – and my dad was a lively French teacher. So they’re not exactly the same dude. But, without question, Stanley was inspired by my dad, whose middle name was Stanley.
One of the best compliments I’ve had about the book came from my sister Sarah, who, after reading a scene featuring Stanley, called me and said it felt like she now had a new memory of my dad (who passed away nearly a decade ago). Stanley’s big, burly and a great hugger – just like my dad was.

Factoid 2: I wrote the book from a spot overlooking Port Angeles, of Twilight fame
I live at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, and, while writing the first draft of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, I lived in a house with a view clear across the water to Port Angeles.
This is important to me because, in truth, reading Twilight opened my eyes to the possibility of writing something that was purely fun and not too serious. So seeing Port Angeles from my window during those late night and early morning writing sessions was like a daily reminder to have fun with it!

Factoid 3: I first wrote about Cania Christy nearly 15 years ago
 In university, I took creative writing classes – which were my favorite. I mean, it hardly feels like you’re going to school when the assignment is either to read a story or write one!
In my fourth year, I wrote a story called “Prep School Boys Last Chance to Dance”, about the first-world problems that a group of prep school boys face the night before their graduation. The school was called Compton Christy. It never really left my mind.
When my agent and I were editing the book, he noted that Compton is a particularly bad part of LA; given that Anne comes from California, we thought the presence of Compton in the school’s name might act as a red herring for readers, so I modified it.

Factoid 4: The story’s original setting was not Maine
 In the first draft, Anne went to school in Cape Ann, Massachusetts (north of Boston). I set it there primarily because I was in love with this snippet of Anne Sexton’s poem “The Truth the Dead Know”, which features a cape:
We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.
Eventually, when the story transformed to a point where it was clear the school would have to be somewhere more isolated than Cape Ann, I ‘relocated’ everything to the fictional Wormwood Island, Maine.
Joanna Wiebe is the author of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, now available in bookstores and online. Amy Plum called it “deliciously dark”, and VOYA said it’s great for fans of Anna Dressed in Blood.

15 finished copies of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant up for grabs.
Giveaway is open to US/Canada." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE these snippets of the true story behind the story world:) It's so cool to see another author who loved Twilight and is proud of it and inspired by it :)

  2. I love the cover and synopsis.

  3. I love the sound of this book! And how cool that the author based Ann's dad on her own dad! What a cool guest post, too, I really enjoyed reading it :) Thanks so much for sharing!

    Evie @Bookish

  4. Nice post & blog.. thanks for sharing...

    Free Online Article


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