Little Peach by Peggy Kern
Published by Balzer & Bray
Published on March 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Social Issues, Young Adult
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What do you do if you're in trouble?
When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.
Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.
But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.
This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.
I am so absolutely honored to be able to take part in the blog tour for Little Peach. I will admit, when Hannah recommended this book to me, I was skeptical about reading it. The subject matter wasn’t something I was comfortable reading about; I didn’t know if I could bring myself to even finish it. But I’ll tell you what: I’m so glad I sucked it up, and cracked this book open.
What. A. Book.
I read this 208-page book in one sitting. I couldn’t STOP reading it. I both hated myself, and loved the author at the same time as I read. This book packed a serious punch…and it hits you right in the feels.
This book touches on some very important and heavy issues (child trafficking), but it is a story that everyone should read. It’s powerful, impactful, and phenomenally written. This book will open your eyes to a dark edge of society that seems to get lost and forgotten; but it is important for us to be made aware. Even though this book will take you out of your comfort zone, you’ll understand the significance of the message that the author is trying to convey.
After finishing this, it will give you pause, and make you flip your world’s axis. Not all issues can be swept under the rug. Just because we don’t talk about child trafficking doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen every day. Little Peach was an eye-opening experience for me, and it’s a story that will stay with me for a long time.
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?
In the case of Little Peach, I’d say the last line was most difficult. It just broke my heart to leave Michelle. I never wanted to leave her. I’ve never loved a character so much.
Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of you story? (Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?)
Content come first, always. And I’m usually three-quarters of the way through before I know what I’d like the title to be.
Let’s talk character names. How do you go about selecting names for characters in your book? Do the names you pick have any significance to you, or do you ever feel inspired by a name?
In Little Peach, names are very important. In the opening chapter someone asks Michelle what her name is, and her response is, “That’s not an easy question.” One of the weapons used against Michelle – AKA Peach – is that her name is taken away from her. She’s renamed by Devon, and literally tattooed with her new identity, thus erasing who she was. So, I chose “Michelle” because I wanted her to have a typical name –l ike any American girl. And then I renamed her Little Peach (and the other female characters with similarly sweet names like Baby) because that’s exactly the sort of name pimps give the girls they sell: adorable names that make them sound happy.
How do you plot your books, do you write it down on paper/index cards/etc, or do you write on the fly? Do you ever find that your plot changes as you write, or does it stay pretty close to how you planned it?
I usually start by writing on the fly, then end up using a chalk board or some such to plot out the chapters and major events, just to keep it all straight and keep myself on target.
I’ve definitely had the plot change on me, or had a character do or say something I wasn’t expecting. That’s the good stuff! That’s when you know you have real characters on your hands, because they rebel sometimes and do what they want. So, yes, I find that the plot adjusts as I write, regardless of what I had in mind. BUT. I always have a point, or target event, that I’m trying to get to as well. So I end up where I planned, but I’m never exactly sure how I’m going to get there. That unfolds as I write.
What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, Prozac?)
Disclaimer: My survival kit for Little Peach was a bit extreme. I was researching while I was writing, so it was – well. Intense.
-Protein shakes with banana to sustain your body and help you keep working when the truth of the story makes you so sick, you can’t eat much.
-Caffeine through the night. You push until your mind/body won’t let you anymore.
-Music music music. I had very specific songs and playlists to keep me connected to the mood and the characters.
-Benadryl to sleep (Prozac would have been a wiser choice)
-One or two select friends who understand the story you’re working on, who are willing to let you cry, rage, whatever, and who will also make sure you don’t lose control of yourself.
Do you have a favorite place to write? Tell us about it!
The city is my favorite place to write. Preferably at 2 a.m. in an inexpensive hotel room where I can make a bodega run for coffee and a bagel.
If you could use 3 words to describe your books, what would they be?
Ferociously honest. Loving. (I hope.)
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Blue cheese burgers.
What is something you never leave home without?
What is your favorite movie?
Currently Florence + The Machine, though that will probably rotate next week…Missy Elliot and Lorde, also on heavy rotation, as is D’Angelo’s Black Messiah…
What are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself?
Warrior. Witness. Woman.
This or That?:
Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset. Always. I love the night, and those who live in it.
Sunrise only wins if I see it as I’m about to go to sleep – after a long, wonderful night of writing.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee! I was born in New York!
By Land, or by sea?
By land. Water makes me nervous.
Half-empty or Half-full?
Half empty. But not giving up.
Autumn or Spring?
Autumn. It’s such a witchy season.
Summer or Winter?
Summer. I’m a recent transplant to New England and any love I had for winter was destroyed by the sub-zero conditions-only-fit-for-climate-researchers nonsense going on up here.
E-book or Print Book? (Preferred reading)
Print book. But as long as the words reach the readers, I don’t care how they get there.
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