Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway: Barbara Morgenroth, author of Bad Apple

Today we have an interview with Barbara Morgenroth, author of the mature YA contemporary Bad Apple. Barbara is also kindly giving away of an ebook copy of Bad Apple just for our readers, so make sure to scroll to the bottom to enter to WIN! Here's a synopsis of Bad Apple:

When 15 year old Neal Marchal finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. While Paul took an interest in Neal’s musical education and taught her how to play the fiddle, he took her fatherless stepbrother, Joe, under his wing and all that implies. Joe’s rage has always been barely beneath the surface and years ago, he pushed Neal under a tractor as a warning. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.

While Joe was gone for five years, Neal made music a private and central part of her life. Now she has an opportunity to sing and perform but the threat remains even if Joe is a thousand miles away. Neal finds refuge in the family of the young man who wants her to join his band. It’s like a dream to live with people who love each other. Neal blossoms. She has everything to live for—music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.

Then Joe comes home. Neal knows it’s just a matter of time because she told. Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m intrigued by people--why they behave the way they do. I learned more about people from my horse, Spark, than any human. I have two dogs who are great teachers. Photography is endlessly fascinating and I think whether with writing or photography, it’s all about seeing and understanding what you're seeing. You can compare the way the camera sees the world to the way the human eye does and it’s rarely the same, although often close. The camera is able to pick up detail we miss. In my life, I don’t want the details to get by me. Focus is important.

Describe Bad Apple in one sentence.

Like a bottle of spilled ink, one act of evil can spread through years and lifetimes, impacting many people as the darkness leaches outward in an ever widening pool but repair is very possible.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I decided that?

I guess I did. I always knew I would begin serious writing once I had all my adventures out of the way. After being a photography major in college, I had a stable and was teaching horseback riding when the owner decided he wanted to use the property for something else. With nothing else to do, my timeline was massively compressed. What I thought I would do later in life, became what I would do right then.

I know that Bad Apple is loosely based on an event in your life. Why do you feel that it's important, as an author, to share the truth with your readers, even when that truth might be unpleasant?

Great hurt, pain and violence are things any of us can be confronted by at any time. The lesson to be learned from experiences so disturbing is to keep living. The main character in the Bad Apple series, Neal Marchal, was not only abused physically but emotionally. By finding her true self, not the label or facade of “Damaged Girl”, her talents, her kindness and the affection possible for those around her, are revealed and encouraged to grow. It’s not that life is ever the same again or that it’s easy, but fighting back is more sensible than giving in. Finding joy in life is the greatest antidote to pain.

What is your favorite line from Bad Apple and why?

My favorite line is actually the last one but that would give away the ending!

So I’ll go with a line from a song Neal is coerced into singing. There’s a repeating motif regarding what Neal and Truly sing and whether or not it’s about them. Tru brings her the song “Distant Fires” and she doesn’t want to do it. Neal doesn’t believe she has a good enough voice for it and she does believe, thematically, it is about them. Tru persuades her that their careers will be stalled if she avoids confronting songs that get too close to her emotionally and Neal decides to sing it.
With smoke from distant fires filling my eyes
The farther you go, the smaller we get.
These lines reflect Neal’s fear of further loss. The distant fires represent the ever-present threat she lives with and Neal knows that her relationship with Truly has become the crucial element in her life. Their present and future depends on each other. Should they grow farther apart, the smaller they will become. It’s now obvious to Neal that the closer they grow, the more vital and more powerful they become. For Neal, the potential for loss is enormous and in the face of that fear, she presses forward. Very brave. A triumph of the human spirit.


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For more about Bad Apple check out these sites!


  1. I prefer my YA fiction with hard edges and suspensful plots. However, I do like some adult fluffy romances, for a change!

  2. I prefer YA fiction, on a sliding scale, from middle of the road to the edgy side. Too fluffy and I get bored.
    Bonnie Hilligoss/

  3. "like a bottle of spilled ink" -- great imagery! And I like the categorization of this as a mature YA contemporary rather than the "new adult" thing that's going around.

  4. I really like the sound of this book, especially the fact that it was based on an experience that occurred in your life. It sounds like you put much thought into this book, and that it won't go off into awkward tangents.

    Angie @YA Novelties

  5. I actually like my YA both. Sometimes I just really need that fluffy and light YA Contemporary. Sometimes its not enough and I need it darker, edgier. It mostly depends on my mood and how things are in my life, as reading's my refuge :]

  6. Barb, this is a great presentation. Your book sounds fascinating!

  7. I like it edgy and hard-hitting. This book sounds really compelling and I would LOVE to read it.

  8. Truly I like both but I guess I tend to like edgy a little more:) Thanks for the chance to win! Looks like a good book!

  9. Love the interview. Plus the cover looks like a movie a poster. :D Thanks for sharing :D


  10. I like both kinds of YA, but lately, I've been more into edgy stuff. I think it gives a really good kick and just adds something strong to the reading. This book looks sooooo good. I really want to read it. Thanks for this opportunity! (:

  11. Thank you all for your very interesting responses. I like edgy, but sometimes I like to laugh. Often I like to do both in the same book! I hope whoever wins the copy of Bad Apple will let me know if they liked it.

    I can always be found at

    Barb Morgenroth


We love to read them. :)

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