Posts Tagged: Emily Wing Smith

Photography Friday- Emily Wing Smith Release Party

29 Apr, 2011 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

YA contemp author Emily Wing Smith unveiled her second book Back When You Were Easier to Love last night at The King’s English book shoppe. I have to say she is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met and her speech left me a little emotional. She spoke of determination, acceptance, finding who you are and spending time with the things that bring you the most joy. Which, by the way is the name of her latest protagonist. After having us laughing with her stories of writing on random bits of paper and obsessive teenage love, she broke out into song with the “Barely Manilows”, also known as “the six”–a group comprised of her critique partners and other YA authors including Brodi Ashton-Everneath and Bree Despain-The Dark Divine, Kimberly Webb Reid, Sara Bolton, and Valynn Nagamatsu. Among the crowd of supporters were local writers James Dashner, Sara Zarr, Kris Chandler, and Matthew Kirby.

What a pleasure it is to know Emily. She is truly an inspiration! Check out her blog at be sure to pick up Back When You Were Easier To Love.
All photos copyright Heather Gardner Photography.

Back When You Were Easier To Love

25 Mar, 2011 by in penguin 5 comments

by Emily Wing Smith
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2011
by Dutton Childrens Books
ISBN 0525421998
4 stars

What’s worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you’ve been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan’s former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy’s story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

I should mention if there is one thing I love first and foremost about this book it is the author. Emily Wing Smith is one of the most down to earth, kind and honest people you’ll ever encounter. She has overcome some major life obstacles plus has a master’s degree and two published YA novels. If you ever get the chance you’ll want to meet her. When she called to ask if she could swing by my home to deliver an ARC of Back When You Were Easier to love I was both delighted and touched. How many authors do you know that find you as a fan and bring you their book? Really!? Emily Wing Smith simply rocks.

Joy is your typical teen who is enamored and a bit obsessed with her first love…bordering on stalker status. Having only lived in Haven, Utah for six months she is attracted to Zan’s bookish nerdy allure. He knows the Dewey decimal system, can speak several funky foreign languages and wears his grandfather’s loafers. The two of them decide that Haven is just too conservative and happy for their style so they set their sites on Joy’s hometown colleges in Claremont, California. Things are plunking along quite nicely until Zan decides to get his GED and head to Cali without her. Leaving no number, no address and no plans for their future, Zan is gone and Joy wants closure. Here’s the plan…surprise road trip back to her roots and to find Zan. The only problem is all of Joy’s friends aren’t too hip on Zan or on the trip and there’s only one taker on the idea, Zan’s ex-best friend Noah.

Noah is the epitome of what Joy is trying to avoid. He’s a “soccer lovin’ kid” …as nice and popular as they come. He’s decided that Joy is going to be his friend whether she wants to be or not. How the two end up alone together in his Saab 900 heading from Utah to Cali we’re still not quite sure. But there’s plenty of Sprite and Barry Manilow tunes to keep the silence from getting too thick. Both Joy and Noah are in for the big surprise that awaits them on their UEA adventure.

Back When You Were Easier to Love explores the harsh reality of the loss of first time love, the dangers in setting up stereotypes and the struggles of those with the desire to live outside of cultural expectations. So much of it I could relate to in my experience moving between high schools and then colleges in Utah and California. Whether you are of Joy’s faith as a Mormon or not there is a huge amount of culture shock between these two states. Emily does a wonderful job of teaching that we are all just people, not above or below each other. My only hesitation in content is that a lot of the book is told from Joy and Zan’s viewpoint…looking down. In the process of the storytelling, the very stereotypes Mormons try to avoid may be reinforced in the minds of others reading about us for the first time. Emily differentiated between belief and culture beautifully in the chapter titled “This I Believe” on page 106-107. LOVE loved it.

Main character Joy learns she has lost so much of herself trying to be what Zan wants her to be. As teen I think we all made that mistake in one relationship or another. So though sad, Joy’s realization of self and the way she comes to it is realistic.

The last 1/3 of the book is definitely my favorite. Noah and Joy are on their way home and take a little detour through Las Vegas. It’s fun and such a hopeful way to end. Joy’s favorite sights in Las Vegas include the Pirate/ siren show at Treasure Island, the mini- Eiffel Tower at Paris and the Statue of Liberty at New York, New York. Noah’s are between TI and the Mirage and M&M world (pages 266-267)

So, our Photography Friday post below is a series of Vegas photos from Heather Gardner Photography. They will give you a little taste of the fun to be had in the last chapters of Back When You Were Easier To Love. We are giving away 5 photo postcards of prints from our galleries in honor of the Vegas chapters. Simply comment on the post naming your favorite photo to be entered. Giveaway ends April 25, 2011 and is open internationally.

A million thanks to author Emily Wing Smith for the sneak peek. Here’s her fab trailer just released yesterday on You Tube.

The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith

11 Feb, 2010 by in book review, the way he lived 3 comments

published November 1st 2008 by Flux

details Paperback, 240 pages

isbn 0738714046

Synopsis From Goodreads Six stories. Six voices. One reality.

Monday’s Child has just lost her brother, but that’s not why she’s crazy. Tuesday’s Child is a star and wishes she wasn’t. Wednesday’s Child is obsessed with getting revenge. Thursday’s Child is on a quest to find herself. Friday’s Child is in love with a dead guy, and Saturday’s Child is in love with a guy in gray sweats–who isn’t her boyfriend. And the child born on the Sabbath day is the one to set it all in m

When sixteen-year-old Joel Espen dies of thirst on a Boy Scout hiking trip, it shakes the small town of Haven, Utah to its socially conformist foundation. And the six teens who were closest to Joel start to view their community–and themselves–in a new light.

From Amazon
With his uncanny sensitivity and boundless heart, Joel made people love him. Now that he’s gone, the ones he left behind are coping with their immense loss. His older, “crazy” sister pours her grief into a blog, while his younger sister runs away to New York. One friend is consumed by anger and revenge, while another discovers who she really is. Two learn to be true to their hearts–and all question who they are and what they’ve become.

Told from six heartbreaking perspectives on love, loss, and faith, this is the poignant story of how the life–and death–of one teen can have a profound effect on the lives of many.

When sixteen-year-old Joel Espen dies of thirst on a Boy Scout hiking trip, it shakes the small town of Haven, Utah to its socially conformist foundation. And the six teens who were closest to Joel start to view their community–and themselves–in a new light.

I first met Emily at the Beautiful Creatures release party and what struck my how outgoing and welcoming she was. A couple of days later we ran into each other at the local craft store. Since then it seems we run into each other a lot! She is part of a group of local writers called “The Six” who support each other’s events and signings. After meeting Emily I really wanted to read her book. I bought a copy at last weekend’s Authorpalooza, then sat down to finish it in 24 hours.

What intrigued me about the story is that it is written from six different points of view. Emily leaves questions swirling in your head after reading bits and pieces of Joel’s life told from others’ perspectives. The book seeps into your veins. I lost a couple of very close friends to accidents in High School so I related to the hole that someone leaves when they die, and the empty ache as well as the wondering. I give it four stars for handling a tough subject in a captivating manner. I am excited to read her second book.

Visit Emily’s website:
Emily signing my book at Authorpalooza

Bree Despain’s Launch Party

04 Jan, 2010 by in Heather Gardner Photography, Matthew Kirby, paranormal YA fiction, the Dark Divine, the king's english, The Six, utah authors 2 comments

Bree and I…she is just beautiful!
Saturday Bree Despain hosted her launch party for the Dark Divine at The King’s English bookstore in Salt Lake City. I arrived at 3:05, five minutes late, and had to wait in line two rooms away from where Bree was reading. They finally let us in and we found a seat on the floor where it was standing room only…and we still didn’t all fit! Spotted in the crowd were Sara Zarr, author of “Once Was Lost,” Brodi Ashton author of “Echo,” Emily Wing Smith author of “The Way He lived”, AmyO administrator of TwilightMOMS, Bree’s writing buddies “the Six”, Bree’s husband and two sons as well as Matthew Kirby of the 10-ers.
Bree read to us all from The Dark Divine where Grace tells her family she accidentally ran into Daniel, the dark main character of the book. She explained to us how she named the book with the help of her six writing friends’ vote after originally pondering the title “Daniel Divine.” She shared writing and editing tips with fellow aspiring authors in the crowd and updated us on how the sequel is coming along. It is obvious from Bree’s reported life schedule that her family comes first and her husband is very supportive of her writing.
After the reading we all filed in line for purple frosted crescent moon cookies and a chance to get our purple Dark Divine nail polish. Bree was kind to each of her guests and personable. She is very approachable and friendly. The owner of the King’s English, Anne Holman congratulated Bree saying “We have hosted a lot of very famous authors here at the store and Bree just blew them away!” They sold out of all copies of The Dark Divine to guests at the signing. Congratulations to Bree on her great launch! Pick up the Dark Divine, you won’t be able to put it down. Scroll down on the blog for our five star review as well as TDD journals and jewelry.

Brodi Ashton and Cam Ballou, guests and friends of Bree

Here are Bree’s upcoming events as listed on her website

“1. On January 5th, I will be the special quest on the “Book and a Chat” show on You can listen online, and even call in and ask me questions.

2. On January 6th, is hosting a group chat in honor of TDD. Come chat with us and ask me your questions.

3. I’ll be doing a reading and signing at the West Jordan (Jordan Landing) Barnes & Noble on January 16th at 2pm.

4. I’ll be participating in an Authorpalooza at the Sandy B&N on February 6th. This is a great opportunity to meet several local authors at once, and pick up great V-day gifts for your friends and family.

5. On February 13th I will be signing books at the Orem B&N. Come get a signed TDD for the special someone in your life–just in time for Valentine’s day.”