Thursday, May 05, 2016

Blog Tour: Ask Me How I Got Here Guest Post + Giveaway

When I was given the chance to be on the blog tour for this book, I was so excited! I used to read books in verse in middle and high school all the time but it went down as I entered college. Finding Ask Me How I Got Here was a great surprise! I'll have my review up once I've finished with school but I'm so excited to share the guest post Christine! 

Ask Me How I Got Here is a very different novel about pregnancy than we've seen before. Since it's ultimately about choices and trying to understand how to cope with them and is very feminist novel. Was this soemthing that you always wanted to write about or did it develop as you wrote the book?

The book didn’t start out as a novel; it started as a series of poems inspired by my Catholic upbringing. I was thinking a lot about the Virgin Mary and imagining how she might have felt about the things that happened to her, starting from when the Angel Gabriel popped into her bedroom and said, “Surprise! You’re pregnant and, oh, by the way? Your child will be the son of God.” For starters, I wondered, what if she had said, “Gee, I’m flattered, but no thanks?” At one point the manuscript was even called The Virgin Mary Files, which sounds like a crime show, doesn’t it? (On the dark streets of Nazareth, one woman and her miracle womb combat the forces of evil…)

Eventually I changed the name to Catholic Girl and combined the Mary poems with a bunch of other, secular poems that dealt with the experience of being female in our culture. An editor—I didn’t end up working with her, but I’m grateful for her advice—pointed out that I had multiple themes going on and should perhaps focus on one or two of them to make an effective book. So I separated out the poems on body image and eating disorders and the beauty industry. That collection grew into Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty.

But what to do with Mary? I knew that I wanted to continue to examine the intersection of religious faith and women’s bodies. After a while I realized that the best way to do that—or one way—was to create a character, Addie, who makes a choice that goes against what her religion has always taught her and is thus forced to reevaluate her beliefs. Some of the poems Addie writes throughout the course of the novel are reworked versions of my Mary poems. I guess you could say that I took my own journey of discovery and gave it to her.

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places.
Christine Heppermann writes fiction, poetry, and criticism. Her books include Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty (2014), City Chickens (2012), and Backyard Witch (with Ron Koertge, 2015). She currently reviews young adult books for the Chicago Tribune.

Christine grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended an all-girls Catholic high school. As an undergraduate she studied philosophy and literature at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Christine lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her two daughters, two cats, and one husband.
LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
5/2: Ex Libris
5/3: Such A Novel Idea
5/4: Novel Ink - Review
5/5: Life According to a Bibliophile (You are here!)
5/6: Actin' Up With Books

Week 2:
5/9: Who R U Blog
5/10: The Irish Banana Review
5/11: Resch Reads & Reviews
5/12: Don't Fold the Page
5/13: Bookmark Lit

3 Finished Copies of ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is such an intriguing guest post! I can't wait to read this book!

  2. This guest post is super interesting! I really like how Christine brought out aspects from her personal life into this novel!