Wednesday, June 12, 2013

JKS Presents Shattered by Kathi Baron Blog Tour Stop


Teen violin prodigy Cassie has been tiptoeing around her father, whose moods have become increasingly explosive.After he destroys her beloved and valuable violin in a sudden rage, Cassie, shocked, runs away, eventually seeking refuge in a homeless shelter.

She later learns that her father, a former violinist, was physically beaten as a child by her grandfather, a painful secret he's kept hidden from his family, and the cause of his violent outbursts. With all of their lives shattered in some way, Cassie's family must struggle to repair their broken relationships.

As Cassie moves forward, she ultimately finds a way to help others, having developed compassion through her own painful experiences. 

Written in lyrical prose, SHATTERED tells the moving story of how one girl finds inner strength through music.


My Review

5 of 5 Shattered

Shattered is an amazing book! I have never read a book that has so much emotion in it. I have to say that from the minute I started reading it I did not want to put it down and I am so glad I didn't because it was an amazing read about love, abuse, and forgiveness.

Cassie is a brilliant accomplished Violinist. She is what everyone in the music world would call a prodigy. She can play the violin like no one's business and when she is playing she is in another world. She leaves all her troubles in the past. See when Cassie is not playing she is hiding from the world because her father physically abuses her. She does not want anyone to know what he does so she hides from the world. Until one day her father goes to far and hurts her really bad and she runs away.

Cassie runs to a homeless shelter where she thinks she will be safe. She is upset that her father broke her prized possession her violin. As we see Cassie struggle with what is going on around her we get to see why her father is the way he is and what lead him to do that.

I have to say that this is a must read story for all teens because it is inspiring as well as heart wrenching!

Interview With Kathi
Today we have a very special guest on A Diary Of A Book Addict. Please help me in welcoming Kathi Baron author of Shattered. Kathi let me start by saying Shattered is a BRILLIANT read and I could not get enough. I absolutely loved loved it! I am a music girl myself and when I saw that this book was about a violinist I just had to read it.

Thank you for reading my book and for your kind words! It’s exciting to me that you enjoyed it.

In Shattered you deal with a few issues that really are at the forefront of a lot of teenagers in this day and age. Abuse is never an easy thing to write about but you pulled it off and then some. You also did it in lyrical prose.

Can you tell us if writing in lyrical prose is hard?
Abuse is a heavy thing to write about. I was working on this novel during my first 2 semesters while studying at the Vermont College MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. When it came time to create my study plan for 3rd semester, I talked with my advisor, Author Kathi Appelt about feeling drained and needing a break from it. She encouraged me to focus on writing poetry and she was a great guide, supporting me to experiment with writing a picture book and poetry. I ended up writing the first draft of a poetry novel that semester, too. From this “detour,” I discovered that writing poetic gives me a sense of safety that then frees me to go into the difficult parts of the story. When I went back to writing SHATTERED, I decided to revise it and write more lyrical, partly because of this. Also, since Cassie, my main character, is a musician, I thought she’d view the world in a poetic way. So actually, writing in lyrical prose is a delight and comes easier to me than other kinds of writing.

Was Shattered inspired by true events?

SHATTERED is all made up. But it was inspired by the abused teens I worked with as an occupational therapist. They experienced some pretty difficult trauma, and yet they worked hard to transform their lives. SHATTERED is my tribute to them, to that kind of resilience.

Do you play any instruments? If so which ones do you play?

I don’t. In high school, I played clarinet and bass clarinet, badly.

Is Cassie inspired by someone close to you?

No. Cassie is all made up.

What was going through Cassie’s mind the night she ran away?
She wanted to get far away from her dad. She wanted to be safe. She was worried about her cat, Calliope that she might return home and be subjected to more abuse by her dad. She was beginning to understand how her life as a violinist was disrupted by her dad’s acts of violence. But mostly, she was in shock.

What was Cassie’s father feeling the moment he smashed her violin?

Shame. He regretted it right away and he understood the size of the damage he caused .

Why didn’t Cassie’s father tell his family about his abuse?

He thought it would all go away if he didn’t acknowledge it. Plus, it’s especially hard for men in our culture to discuss their abuse. He felt he ought to be able to deal with it on his own.

Can you give us 7 random things about Cassie we did not read about? 

Cassie wants a purple beanbag chair for her room but her mom said no because it doesn’t go with her “French Country d├ęcor.”

Her shoe size is 6 ½.

She makes awesome homemade mac and cheese.

Her dream is to do a duet with Joshua Bell at Orchestra Hall in Chicago; and/or in Vienna.

She can’t wait to drive a car.

Every night she sleeps in the batting gloves that Nick gave her.

She has her old violins in their cases on the top shelf of her closet and when she meets the child that is meant to have them, she will pass them on.

What would you tell someone who is going through an abusive relationship with their parents?

“Talk to an adult you feel safe with, like a friend’s parent or a teacher or coach, IMMEDIATELY, or go to this link: and contact one of these agencies to talk to a real person RIGHT NOW.”

Kathi thank you so much for stopping by and sharing Cassie with us. This book was such an emotional book on one hand and such a breath of fresh air on the other that I laughed and I cried and I shouted at the kindle but when I was finished I was speechless because it was EPIC!

WOW, thanks for saying all of that! And thanks so much for hosting me and for your interest in my book.

Where to Purchase My Book:

About The Author:

Author Q & A: Fill in the Blank

Full name: Kathryn Maxine Anne Brenneman Baron

I was born in: Fairbanks, Alaska on May 23rd

I grew up in: Orrville, Ohio

Where I live now: Oak Park, Illinois
Occupations: Part-time Occupational Therapist, Young Adult Author, Mom-24/7

Favorite subject in high school: creative writing with Mr. McDaniels

Educational Background: MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College; MS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago; BS in Occupational Therapy from Ohio State University 
Favorite color: periwinkle

Top 3 characteristics I need in a friend: laughter, honesty, and availability to go shopping

What I'm into when I'm not writing or working as an occupational therapist: baseball, visiting ballparks, scrapbooking, watching movies, reading, taking walks, hanging out with my guys and my cats.

Someone I’d like to spend a day with: Tina Fey. I’d like to know how she comes up with her wacky, funny scenes for her show, 30 Rock. I’d like to ask her a million questions about writing.

Favorite food: Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate.

A person I’d like to have lunch with: George Harrison. He wrote 2 songs that I absolutely love: Here Comes the Sun and Something. I’d like to say thank you for those. I’d like to ask him to talk to me about the relationship between spirituality and creativity.

Where I’ve been and would like to return: Definitely to Fenway Park, beautiful home of the Boston Red Sox. (I am sort of a big fan). Jon Lester, the pitcher, is a big inspiration to me.

Top 5 all around favorite songs: Build Me Up Buttercup, Natural Woman, Here Comes the Sun, Cowboy Take Me Away, How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You
Favorite animal: The cat, definitely. I'm in love with our family cats: big boy, Leo and (Darling) Clementine. Love, love, love them!
A peak experience I've had: Sitting in the 5th row with my husband at a Dixie Chicks concert--a surprise birthday present. I could see the grain in Martie McGuire's violin, that's how close we were to the Chicks. 

If I was given $10,000 to donate to charity: I’d give it to the Oak Park Food Pantry. They are thoughtful, focused and creative with their resources and do a good job of serving. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in need right now. 

A place I've never been that I would like to go: I'd love to visit Missoula, Montana and see the "big sky" and meet some of the authors who participated in the Montana anthology, The Last Best Place.
Favorite Board Game: Yahtzee

Authors who inspired me during the writing of Shattered: Laurie Halse Anderson, Kathi Appelt, Joan Bauer, Elizabeth Bluemle, Shelly Dickson Carr, Carolyn Coman, Sharon Creech, Sharon Darrow, Kate DiCamillo, E. R. Frank, Sundee Frazier, Louise Hawes, Lynn Hazen, Josanne LaValley, Norma Fox Mazer, Angela Morrison, An Na, Robert B. Parker, Louise P. Simone, Connie Van Hoven, Tim Wynne-Jones, and Ellen Yeomans

Why I write: Creating stories and poems makes me feel fully alive and focused. And I like feeling a connection with the Creator. 

Words I live by: “Live with intention.” ~ M. A. Hershey 

Why I wrote it: 

I didn't set out to write this story. What I thought was, I love the violin in the Dixie Chicks' music. And gee, it would be interesting to write about a teen character who is a violinist. And Cassie was born. 

Shortly after that, I was taking a shower, and there it was in my mind, her dad throwing her violin. A poignant image of her violin: crashing, shattered. I wondered why would Cassie's dad do that? And discovered his past by writing and writing in journals, trying to call out his story, which is also Cassie's. 

Even though Cassie's experience is all made up--it struck me that her story was the culmination of all the voices of the abused teens I had worked with in the past as an occupational therapist. 

Eventually, I realized this is a story about resilience. The teens I had worked with had shared their trauma with me, but also their capacity for transformation. Which was truly inspiring. And Cassie became a resilient young woman, too, giving me the ending to this book.

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