Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with Tara Entwistle-Clark, Author of A Butterfly in Winter

Today, dear readers, please enjoy an interview with Tara Entwistle-Clark.

What inspired you to write A Butterfly in Winter?

Like Allison, I moved in high school and many of my experiences were similar to hers. I wanted to write this book because I had a lot of thoughts about the way young girls are taught to be in relationships. There are so many mixed messages and I wanted to show the result of the conflicting information that girls get.

How did you come up with the title? It's a great one!

I feel like high school can be nearly impossible to survive, just as winter can be for a butterfly. A butterfly is fragile and winter is harsh. The same can be said for a young girl’s psyche and for the pressures of fitting in as a teen.

Very true. What books have most influenced your life most?

My favorite author is Courtney Summers. She has managed to do in her books what I could only dream of doing in my own. I have never read a better picture of the reality of high school.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Courtney Summers, for the reason I stated.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m currently working on another realistic YA title called How Quick Bright Things. Here is an excerpt (warning: strong language):

“What are you writing, Joey?” It’s Liz. She sits next to me in study on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today is Tuesday. Liz is okay. I close my notebook, hoping she didn’t read any of what I wrote. Liz is, honestly, a nerd. She’s a little chubby, with mousy brown hair and a slight lisp. She gets straight A’s, which means she is very popular - during class. Everyone wants to be in Liz’s group when we have to work on projects, because she needs the “A” and will get one, regardless of how much work anyone else does. She sits alone at lunch, though. Liz is also in English with me. 
“My journal.”
“It’s not due until next Friday,” she says, surprised.
“Yeah, I know. I was bored. I have a game next week.” Doing schoolwork before it is absolutely imperative is only acceptable when it is done so one can play sports. 
“Which poem are you writing about? I really liked ‘Dulce et Decorum Est.’ I think I’ll write about that, because I like the whole theme behind it.”
“Yeah, that one was okay.”
Liz nods and goes back to her work. I am shocked that she does not want to continue a conversation with me and my biting wit. I don’t feel like finishing my journal entry now. I go to sit in the back, where Eric is. Eric and I are not actually friends. We have known each other since we were kids, since we grew up on the same street, and we are social, but we don’t exactly hang out. Still, it is his party on Friday, and I am bored. Besides, Eric will not make me feel guilty for something I can’t even verbalize.
“Hey,” he says when I sit down next to him.
“Hey.” He pushes a paper football at me and moves his chair. I turn so that I am facing him, desk between us, and he pushes the paper football in my direction.  It lands on my lap. Field goal time. I flick it and it drills him the forehead. Three points for me!

Eric puts the football back on the desk, gets the touchdown, and goes for the extra point. He flicks it, hard. It whooshes past me, over my shoulder, and hits Julie Ferron in the eye. Julie Ferron. Junior. Gorgeous. Brilliant. She recently painted the mural in the front of the school. The mural is up for some big high school art award. Julie is perfect by all standards of measure. However, she is not a paper football fan. She touches her eye with her finger, then leans over and picks up the dreaded paper monstrosity. Turning it over between her long fingers, she examines it as if it holds the answers to world peace. Then she stands, closes her textbook, and walks to the front of the room, depositing the football in the trash. As she walks back, she looks at Eric and me and mouths “fuck you.”

e26c1fa3141bd899b4dfd41cebf69e7026e770e9.jpgA Butterfly in Winter Blurb:

Allison Stafford is fourteen. As if that is not enough to deal with in itself, her parents suddenly move her from her small town in Vermont to suburban Michigan, all in the middle of her freshman year of high school. For Allison, there is more to learn at her new school than just finding her way around. Soon she is attempting to make sense of her newly discovered sexuality, and wondering what it takes to fit in with the "cool" people at her school. Despite tragedy and several mistakes, Allison manages to survive. This novel leads the reader through the murky depths of high school, and reminds us all of the importance of true friendship.

Available at:

Tara Entwistle-Clark is a former high school English teacher who lives and breathes books. Whether reading, writing, editing, or blogging about them, she seems to always have books on her mind. She is currently working as a freelance editor, blogger, and cover designer while writing an untitled fantasy novel as well as another contemporary realistic teen novel called How Quick Bright Things. She lives in Connecticut and loves to travel.

Visit Tara online at:

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