Rummanah Aasi
  As part of the Teen Book Scene Don't Breath a Word Tour, today I would like to welcome Holly Cupala, the author of Tell Me a Secret and the recent released novel Don't Breathe a Word. Before I let Holly take over the blog, I wanted to let you all know about the great giveaway that is accompanying this tour!
   HarperTeen has generously given Holly enough copies of DBaW to do a prize per day of the tour! There will be one book given per day, drawn weekly. Everything entered by Saturday night will be put into a drawing on Sunday. The points do accumulate, meaning entries put in for week one are still going to count for the drawings in weeks 2 and 3. This giveaway is open to all addresses provided that The Book Depository delivers to your country. Please check with The Book Depository for more details. Want to enter? Simply complete this form and follow it's requirements. Giveaway ends 1 AM EST on Saturday, January 14th. Good luck!

Now that I got all the information out of the way, let's return our attention to Holly. I found these secrets about the book really interesting and I hope you do too. Thank you Holly for stopping by my blog. It's all yours!


Thanks to Rummanah for hosting me and the Don’t Breathe a Word tour! 

10 Real-Life Secrets in Don’t Breathe a Word: 

1. Don’t Breathe a Word started out as an idea for a girl who fakes being homeless (she was going to be maybe a cheerleader by day, and spend time on the streets after school). It was sort of a ridiculous idea, but when a friend of mine who was a youth pastor was looking for donations (socks, toiletries, etc.) to take to homeless teens in Seattle, I suddenly had a picture of a girl who runs away for real. 

2. Unlike Joy, I don’t have life-threatening asthma—but I talked to a lot of people who do to understand what her life would be like. Any errors are mine alone! 

3. I actually went to the “For the Birds” zoo fundraiser party (and I do think flamingos are kind of mucky)—it was sort of a surprise when that party landed in my book. 

4. While I was writing DBAW, a friend of mine told me about someone she knew who had gone for a year without buying any new clothes. "Maybe you should do that for your research," she said. (Me??) But...I decided to try it. I wasn't really a sock girl before, but I was amazed how important they became once they'd all suddenly sprung holes. My experience could never compare to that of my characters, but it gave me a new appreciation for them and their conditions. 

5. I did see the Black Eyed Peas guy at a movie premiere, and he really did have a safety pin man-purse! 

6. There are real-life crow researchers at the University of Washington who are dive-bombed, exactly as Asher says. They wrote a book, In the Company of Crows and Ravens, and I have a signed copy. 

7. In my head, May’s voice sounds exactly like this electrician girl who rewired much of our attic. She was sassy and funny and rode in motorcycle races—no wonder she ended up a character!

8. I really hate having my blood drawn. The story Creed tells about the horse and the ocean was actually told to me by a doctor who was trying to keep me from freaking out. It worked—I was spellbound by the story and asked if I could steal it. 

9. There is one character who was supposed to die, but then I couldn’t do it. So someone else died instead. 

10. Where did Asher come from? Once upon a time I had a real Asher in my life, and I wrote about my experience in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories

Stop by the rest of the Don’t Breathe a Word tour for more secrets, swag, and lots of chances to win signed books! Thank you, Rummanah, for inviting me to your blog, and thanks to readers for all of the support of Don’t Breathe a Word! I hope you love it. 

Thanks again for stopping by, Holly. If you would like more information about Holly and her book, be sure to check out these websites:


Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
9 Responses
  1. Missie Says:

    Art imitading life! Those are the best stories. And I love the effort so many authors put into Dear Bully.

    Thanks for sharing those secrets. I hate having my blood drawn too. As soon as that red stuff starts filling that little tube, I feel nasuated.


  2. Jenny Says:

    LOVE this post, it's so much fun to get behind the scenes info! I really hate having my blood drawn as well, I absolutely hate the tourniquet and the alcohol swab. Surprisingly, I'm okay with the needle part, it's all the anticipation and prep leading up to the needle that pushes me over the edge. I think I would like to hear this horse and ocean story!


  3. Really loved this interview, Rummanah! I've had my eye on this book, and I am really looking forward to reading it, esp. after all the references in the post.

    I HATE having blood drawn/donating - I get queasy. Everytime I tell the nurse, "Don't tell me when you do it, just do it." Like Jenny, the anticipation is the worst, so I look away.


  4. Love the little tidbits about the book! So fun! Now, having blood drawn doesn't bother me as long as the Phlebotomist is good. :D Now, I have to go buy socks. :D


  5. Great post! I like the sound of this book. Being an asthmatic, I can relate.


  6. I hate having my blood drawn. In fact, I've fainted a few times. Now I have an extra person come in to hold my hand and remind me not to hyperventalate. Usually the nurses are snickering..."hee, hee, her husband's an anesthesiologist." (anesthesiologist's start IVs when the nurses can't get them). I laugh too b/c I get the irony.


  7. I love seeing where authors get their ideas and inspirations from.

    I used to hate getting shots or anything like that. Lol, I cried like until Grade 6 and only stopped because we had to get a shot with the entire class and I didn't want anybody making fun of me like they did with another girl. Now, I I just have to look when they're poking me and it's not too bad.


  8. holly cupala Says:

    Thank you to Rummanah for inviting me to your blog and for all of the readers commiserating about blood!I hope you all enjoyed the DBAW secrets. :D


  9. melannie (: Says:

    And NOW I want to read Dear Bully!

    I haven't finished but I'm ABSOLUTELY loving DBaW! and when I read someone dies I was like WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! LEMME GO BACK TO READING, so here I go


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