Y’all, I am super, super excited to get to be a part of the blog tour for Fifteen by Amie Woleslagle! Amie and I met each other through the Young Writers Workshop Author program, and it has been great to get to know her. Seriously, you all are going to want to remember the name Amie Woleslagle. Because she is an amazing author and you are going to see plenty of books written by her someday.
But now, onto Fifteen!
First, off, let’s just admire that cover for a good long while. I mean, isn’t it simply gorgeous?!
Fifteen is a collection of poems dealing with the topic of mental health, drawn from Amie’s own experiences with mental health struggles. The first time I got to read some of the poems that make up Fifteen, I didn’t know that they dealt with mental health. But I was still struck by the rawness, depth, and heart in the poems.
Here’s the entire synopsis for Fifteen:
You’re not alone.
You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Amie Woleslagle wrote Fifteen because she deals with them as well. Not to fix your pain, but to reach out and hold your hand. To remind you that you are not alone, to ask you to stay and make the world a better place. Because the world will never be the same without you and your unique take on life. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It walks through the battle of pretending to be okay, of having people you thought were trustworthy shatter your heart, and the battle of not giving in when your brain has given up. Fifteen covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain.
Fifteen is a beautiful book all the way around. The cover is jaw-dropping. The poems are beautiful. And the pages are also decorated with drawings that Amie did herself!
Fifteen releases October 23, and if you want to snag yourself a copy, you can use the links below!
Plus, don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf!
Aside from being awesome and supporting Amie and getting a new book, you should preorder a paperback copy of Fifteen because if you do, you can get some amazing preorder goodies!
Seriously, the preorder goodies are amazing. I love mine!
If you preorder a paperback copy of Fifteen, you’ll get a Fifteen-related sticker, a hand-painted card with one of Fifteen‘s poems, an adorable mini Fifteen keychain, and an exclusive bonus poem only available if you preorder Fifteen! So go preorder Fifteen!
And now onto the interview! I am so excited to get to talk with Amie about Fifteen! So, onto the questions!
What inspired you to write Fifteen?
On the eve of my birthday, I was struggling with my mental health and the pandemic, so I texted my friend. I’m the type of person who loves projects. Projects make me happy, and help me feel fulfilled, so I told my friend to give me a project, and she said I should write fifteen poems for the next two weeks to remember the lessons I’d learned through the past year. That was how Fifteen was born!
That’s such a neat story! So what lead you to publish Fifteen?
God, to be quite honest. But He used my email list and my friends to help nudge me in the direction of publishing, along with some things He was teaching me at that time.
That’s awesome, Amie. Next question! What was the best part about writing Fifteen?
The best part was definitely seeing the alpha reader’s reactions. And it’s still my favorite part. Seeing the reviews and posts about Fifteen is by far one of my favorite things.
Well, I enjoy squealing about Fifteen, so I’m glad that you like when we are excited!
What was the hardest part about writing Fifteen?
I don’t really think there was a hard part of writing Fifteen. The hardest part was probably the fact that I didn’t pace myself and ended up getting burned out emotionally.
Hmm, that makes sense. So what has been your favorite part about indie publishing?
Again, connections. It’s been such a joy to be able to connect with other authors and with readers.
What was something that you didn’t expect during the publishing process?
*laughs* All of it? In the past I have self-published a small project, which taught me all of the things not to do. I think I’ve just been super surprised by all the people who are interested in my book.
Do you prefer writing poetry or prose?
Good question! Can I say both? My mind tends to lean towards poetic monologues, as you can see on my personal blog. As for writing projects, I tend to be serious about prose, and write poetry for recreational purposes.
Cool! And let me just tell you all, I’ve got to read some of a novel that Amie’s writing, and it’s awesome. She’s fantastic at writing both poetry and prose.
What’s your favorite genre to write, and favorite to read?
My favorite genres to read and write are the same. I love retellings, fantasy (especially urban fantasy. I’m not one for the medieval fantasy stuff), and contemporary.
We’ve got very similar tastes in genres!
So what is your favorite poem in Fifteen?
How can a creator have an absolute favorite? I love Ghosts, Lullaby, and The Book.
Well, how about your favorite poetry book?
Ahh, another hard question.
Yeah, that was kind of a mean question to ask a fellow book lover.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice?
There’s so much writing advice out there, and so many different personalities and artistic streaks and genres, so it’s hard to peg down just one. But I think my favorite might be “Just Keep Writing.”
I love that. It’s so good to remember.
And to bring things to a close, I’ve got two more questions to ask.
What is the main thing that you hope readers who struggle with mental health take away from Fifteen?
I hope people who struggle with mental health come away from Fifteen with a spirit of hope. I hope they feel less alone, and they realize that talking about the darkness doesn’t make it more real, because it’s already real in the first place.
And then what is the main thing that you hope readers who don’t struggle with mental health take away from Fifteen?
I love this question so much. When the idea of Fifteen first popped into my mind, I never dreamed that I would market it as a book that deals with mental health. The poems aren’t specially crafted just for people with mental health. They’re crafted for people who struggle. People who are humans. People who sometimes feel sad, or feel anxious, or look in the mirror and dislike what they see. You don’t need a diagnosis to read Fifteen. You just need to be human. So I want people who don’t struggle to come away with understanding and hope. To relate, to understand what lies the human mind can whisper.
That’s beautiful Amie. Thank you so much for answering my questions and sharing more about Fifteen with us.
If you want to follow along for the rest of the blog tour, you can find the schedule and links here on Amie’s blog! There is also a virtual scavenger hunt going on during the blog tour, with a chance to win a hardcover copy of Emily Dickerson’s poems!
Just so you know, only certain blog posts along the tour will have the word necessary for the scavenger hunt, so make sure you visit them all!
Plus, there is also a giveaway for some Fifteen swag and other cool stuff going on! All you have to do is preorder Fifteen! So that’s another reason why you should preorder Fifteen. To enter the giveaway, click here!
That’s all for now! Remember, to find the rest of the stops for the blog tour, look at the master schedule on Amie’s blog!
Until next time!