A guest post by Emmy Laybourne:
Author of Sweet
Feiwel and Friends, June 2015
A note from Emmy:
Because SWEET crosses a couple of genres (Romance! Travel! Adventure! Horror!) and deals with some surprising issues (Body acceptance! Addiction! Celebrity!), I’ve decided to have 5 special blog posts on this tour, talking about the way SWEET plays within each genre.
Today we’re going to talk about TRAVEL and ADVENTURE with the following blog post I’ve titled:
Emmy Laybourne on luxury cruises, fictional or otherwise:
I’m glad that it was not my job to write a thoughtful critique of the cruise - because I could not find a single fault with it.
Our rooms (One for each of us - no sharing with your Dad - too weird) were luxurious and spacious. The food was fresh and delicious. The booze was free (well, included in the handsome ticket price my Dad had paid…). And the service! These were the nicest people, so kind and gracious and on the ball.
Let me tell you this - I am gluten-free and sugar-free. In other words I’m a terrific pain in the ass. By Day Two the waitstaff in the restaurants had learned I was gluten free. By Day Three whenever I sat down in one of the ship’s three restaurants, the waiter would bring me a warm gluten-free roll without me asking for it! I mean, come on!
We stopped in Key West, Belize, Honduras, and Cozumel. I planned the itinerary in the book to match the cruise my Dad and I would take - so these are the stops the fictional Extravaganza ship takes on the famous “Solu Cruise to Lose.”
My Dad and I had a purpose - we were there for research. He had read the rough draft and the both of us were taking notes on what I had gotten right, what needed to change, and what details I could use to enrich the book in general. The crew and staff, once they found out I was writing a book, were happy to share insight about how the ship functions and what their responsibilities are. I think I made them all a little bit nervous with all my questions about what would happen if everyone had to evacuate. And my question, “Now, if you were going to light the ship on fire, how would you go about it?” met with some very stern responses.
I was also fascinated with the other passengers. Some of them, it seemed, were treating themselves. These were the “milestoners” — couples celebrating big anniversaries and groups of friends celebrating birthdays ending in the digit 0. Then there were the “cruisers.” These were people who just loved cruising. They scrimped and saved all year to go on the trip and had long lists of all the places they’d been to before. Another category of passengers were what I like to call, “rich people.” They could easily afford the cruise and, men and women alike, seemed to wear large, expensive jewelry at all times, to make sure we all knew it.
I loaded all those types of people on the Extravaganza, along with a lot of B-list celebrities and reality TV
stars. Their experience starts out a lot like the one my Dad and I had on the Regent Navigator but soon departs from the luxury and glamour. No one ever did answer my question about setting the ship on fire. So in the end, I had to use my imagination to come up with the sequence of escalating catastrophes that take over the Extravagance. But oh, the research was divine!
It’s been such a pleasure to be here on The Reading Nook! Let’s keep in touch! I’m @EmmyLaybourne on Twitter and Instagram. Can’t wait to hear what you think about SWEET!
Synopsis for Sweet:
Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.
Check out the rest of the tour:
May 21- Working for the Mandroid
May 22- The Young Folks
May 23-Adventures of a Book Junkie
May 24-The Irish Banana
May 24-Exlibris Kate
May 25-Love At First Page
May 26- Ray Kay Books
May 27-Page Turners Blog
May 28-Bibliophilia Please
May 29-Reading Nook Reviews <- Hellooooo!
May 30-Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
May 31-Tales of the Ravenous Reader
June 1-Dark Faerie Tales
June 2- Swoony Boys Podcast
June 3- All the Write Notes