32 SECONDS Blog Tour: Guest Post with Johanna Pitcairn + Giveaway
I am thrilled to be a part of the 32 SECONDS Blog Tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring. I have a fabulous guest post with author Johanna Pitcairn in which she talks about the symbolism in the story, especially that of Julie's trip to The Underworld and the number 32! I'm so excited Johanna agreed to talk about it because it such a fantastic part of the story!
If you haven’t yet heard about 32 SECONDS be sure to check out its intriguing description and gorgeous cover below. 32 SECONDS will be available for free in eBook format from June 15th through 19th. The tour runs for three weeks with some great author questions, guest posts, and reviews. There’s a fantastic giveaway for ten eCopies of the book. Don't forget to scroll down to the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win.
About 32 Seconds
To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.
So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.
With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?
What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.
A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.
32 Seconds | Johanna Pitcair | Young Adult | Contemporary Paranormal
380 Pages | November 16, 2014 | The Manicheans |
Guest Post with Johanna Pitcairn
Symbolism plays a very important part in my stories. I’m very sensitive to the use of images and symbols, or numbers inside a story, and the reason why I feel this way is very simple: because it’s like hunting for a treasure. For those of you who are fans of 2001 – A Space Odyssey, or Prometheus, and I’m only referring to two movies, but there are many out there that did the same thing, symbolism is omnipresent in these stories. There’s actually so much symbolism, that these movies are studied, and dissected, and even then, the imagery used is sometimes so cryptic, it’s hard to understand what the director meant unless you go and ask them yourself.
I tried not to be too cryptic with 32 Seconds, but my use of symbolism is omnipresent. A few examples: Julie runs away from home, thinking she can run away from herself. But the truth is, she’s stuck, and until she finally admits her past mistakes, and forgives herself for hurting others, she won’t move on. Her journey to redemption takes her to the Underworld, which in Greek mythology, is the place where the dead go and spend eternity. It’s not a horrible place at all. It’s not hell, with fire, and endless torture. It feels more like a miserable dream, full of shadows, desolate, barren of hope. The Underworld is a joyless place where the dead fade into nothingness. I used the Underworld in my horror stories, because to me the Underworld is a place of darkness and fear. And I took Julie there because deep down, she’s fearful. She’s not living life like she should. She’s stuck in the past, and harbors way too many resentments. Her anger makes her miserable, and controls her in every way. She doesn’t know how to be a happy seventeen-year-old girl. And her escape from home won’t change any of that. She’s dead inside, and her journey logically transports her to the Underworld, where she will remain until she makes the conscious decision to change for the better, and live again.
I used the number 32 to represent the number 5, which in numerology has a strong meaning. Just to name a few characteristics of the number 5, they are energetic, adventurous, daring and freedom-loving. They’re versatile, flexible, curious, witty, courageous and wordly. The downside is that number 5 are also unstable, chaotic, self-indulgent, irresponsible and careless. The number 5 represents Julie. Therefore, the title 32 Seconds has a double meaning: 32 Seconds means the pause between a thought and a decision, and 32 Seconds also refers to Julie, and her metamorphosis from chaos to order.
The friends Julie makes in the Underworld all share a deep bond with her. Evan is a guide, the voice of reason, the gut feeling she and we all experience on a day to day basis. Similarly, the other characters relate to different facets of her personality.
The ocean and water are being referenced throughout the book, to represent serenity, rebirth, change. Breaking the surface, drowning, learning how to swim, and surf, taming the waves, all these analogies refer to Julie’s internal struggle to overcome her challenges.
And finally, the light in everyone’s eyes is just a wink to a classic superpower most heroes have, or a variation thereof. The eyes are powerful because they help us see, but they’re also the mirror of the soul. It’s also a common saying to refer to the eyes as the gate to a loving or heinous heart. Look into someone’s eyes and you can read what they feel.
So Julie is taking two journeys – one literal, away from home, to an unknown destination, and one more introspective within herself, and her memories… Both help her grow, and become a powerful character with a strong, positive evolution.
I certainly didn’t intend for 32 Seconds to be dissected like Prometheus, but if you have any questions regarding symbolism, please don’t hesitate to ping me. I love feedback. I hope you enjoy 32 Seconds and Julie’s journey! Thank you for having me!
About Johanna Pitcairn:
Johanna K. Pitcairn has dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood--authoring her first novel at the age of nine, and countless poems, stories, and screenplays by the age of seventeen. Later, rather than pursuing a career as a director and screenwriter, she decided to go to law school, driven by her father's opinion that "writing does not pay the bills."
Ten years later, she moved to New York City, which inspired her to go back to the excitement, wonder, and constant change of being a writer. Pitcairn is a huge fan of psychological-thriller novels and movies, and delves into her hopes, fears, friends, enemies, and everything in between in her own writing.
Johanna is generously offering up eCopies of 32 SECONDS to 10 lucky winners! Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open internationally.
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