FFBC Tours: The Yearbook by Carol Masciola + Giveaway

The Yearbook
by Carol Masciola
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: October 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
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Misfit teen Lola Lundy has every right to her anger and her misery. She’s failing in school, living in a group home, and social workers keep watching her like hawks, waiting for her to show signs of the horrible mental illness that cost Lola’s mother her life. Then, one night, she falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library, where she’s seen an old yearbook—from the days when the place was an upscale academy for young scholars instead of a dump. When Lola wakes, it’s to a scene that is nothing short of impossible.

Lola quickly determines that she’s gone back to the past—eighty years in the past, to be exact. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, because she’s seen his senior portrait in the yearbook. By night’s end, Lola thinks she sees hope for her disastrous present: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But is it real? Or has the major mental illness in Lola’s family background finally claimed her? Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into a romantic hallucination she created in her own mind, wishing on the ragged pages of a yearbook from a more graceful time long ago?

Carol Masciola got the idea for her novel The Yearbook (Merit Press, Nov. 2015), after inheriting a 1924 yearbook that had belonged to her grandmother. She is a former newspaper reporter and winner of the PEN/West Literary Award in journalism. Two of her screenplays, THE FIERY DEPTHS and THE UGLY STICK, are in development.
She is a graduate of Oberlin College.



  Favorite Book?
 This is so hard. I know this isn’t a very original answer, but I periodically re-read The Great Gatsby because I just love it. It’s one book I can read over and over and never get tired of.

  Favorite TV show?
 All the Columbo episodes from the 1970’s, especially the ones with Jack Cassidy as the villain, wearing a leisure suit. I have strange attraction to 1970’s detective shows. Kojak. Mannix. Banacek. Especially the office furniture and the awful orange curtains.

      Favorite movie? 
Sunset Boulevard. (1950) A down-on-his-luck screenwriter becomes the boy-toy of an aging silent film star whose fall from fame has affected her sanity. If you haven’t seen it, you must!

   Your Favorite Song?
 I really don’t have a favorite song, although I am sort of musical. I play the piano.

   Favorite Food?
 I like most everything. Maybe I should tell you what I don’t like: sardines (too bony), lamb, gross organ meats like liver. I don’t like to encounter those even from a distance. Oh, and I hate chutney, although I’m rarely presented with it.

    Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 
I’d definitely like to attend one of the Great Gatsby’s roaring lawn parties. I’d like to go inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and lick the lickable wallpaper. And I’d like to go to Pippi Longstockings’s South Seas island and swing around in the coconut trees.

    Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend? 
I’ve always thought Captain Nemo was pretty hot. All that brooding nautical genius, and the dashing uniform. Although he is completely insane. And I don’t like his freaky organ playing. I might need more time to think about this question.

       Favorite Quote? 
“The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” It’s an old Arab proverb, particularly relevant now in this age of instant news and social media. Even the hottest news is instantly forgotten the day after it happens.

     What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?
 Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. I love the way she combines the ordinary with the highly disturbing. Although she’s dead, so I can’t actually stalk her or anything. I have thought of going to visit her grave, since it’s in Switzerland. (I’m living in Geneva at the moment.)

  If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? 
Maybe I’d like to meet Lord Byron, the British romantic poet and scandalous degenerate. His name is carved on old plaques all over Switzerland. He slept here, he slept there, he slept (apparently with everyone) everywhere. And next to all these plaques, modern life is now taking place, presenting a juxtaposition of past and present. I read somewhere that Lord Byron was very interested in science and technology, and it would be fun to bring him to 2016 and show him my iPhone, and maybe drive him around in my Peugeot station wagon. I can’t imagine what kinds of observations he’d make. He died in 1824.

Something to say to our Book Addicts? 
I’m just happy to be here and visit with you and I hope you’ll check out The Yearbook. And please put up a review on Amazon if you liked it! I also like to hear from readers. Don’t be shy about writing to me.


Hello Carol! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about The Yearbook? The Yearbook is about an unstable 16-year-old girl, Lola Lundy, who finds a 1923 yearbook in a storage room in her school library, and before she knows it, whoosh, she’s in 1923 at a dance. She decides she likes the 1923 version of herself better than the 2016, and, moreover, she’s met a very exciting senior guy from the class of 1923. She vows to stay and live in the past. But can she? The time portal is fickle and she can’t control it. There’s also the matter of her mental state. Her late mother had schizophrenia, so there’s the possibility that she’s hallucinating the whole thing.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing? 
I inherited my grandmother’s 1924 yearbook from Charleston High School (in Charleston, West Virginia) and looking at it gave me the idea of a girl who somehow enters the lost world of an old yearbook. A novel that somewhat inspired The Yearbook was the British classic, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. It’s a time-travel story involving an adolescent boy. I highly recommend it.

Tell us your favorite quote from 
The Yearbook. In Chapter 11, Lola goes to a bonfire with some other teenagers in 1923. You really see the difference between teen life then and now. They play the ukulele and sing to make their own entertainment. Eating was very different, too. There were no convenience foods, (pizza was unknown) no paper napkins, no plastic silverware, no plastic at all, in fact. Prohibition was on, so they were always trying to figure out how and where to get beer. Here’s an excerpt:

Thumbtack and Hershel spread a picnic blanket smack in the middle of the action and unpacked the food: forty-eight chicken legs, four pies, an enormous meatloaf, a basket of buttermilk biscuits, a crock of butter, a bushel basket of apples and half a dozen thermoses. There were hand-painted tea cups and china plates, real silverware and linen napkins and little aluminum cups that popped up like telescopes out of little leather cases.
“Wow. Where’d you get all this food?” Lola marveled.
“Whaddaya mean where’d we get it?” Ruby said. “We cooked it of course.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  
Let me tell you what was the HARDEST—writing about the love relationship, and the romance, between the two main characters, Lola and Peter. It’s so easy to sound corny or ridiculous when you talk about love. I rewrote the love scenes over and over and over so they wouldn’t sound like Valentine’s Day cards. The thing is, romantic love is such heavily trodden ground. You can’t expect to find something new to say about it.

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters? (It can be anyone – famous or not)
For the part of Lola, how about Chloë Grace Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld or Shailene Woodley? And for Peter, Josh Hutcherson, Alex Pettyfer or Evan Peters.

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read The Yearbook (specific music, snacks…)? 
Snacks? Popcorn, because you know, popcorn is timeless and goes with everything. Music? Definitely “The Charleston.” Or any dance music from the 1920s.

What’s next for you?
I have a novel in the works about a scandal involving a classical music trio in their freshman year of college. We’ll see how it goes. I also have a number of screenplays I’m marketing right now. One of them is a teen fantasy called The Ugly Stick that I think is a lot of fun—a bit “Revenge of the Nerds” meets “Mean Girls”.

Thank you so much for everything, Carol! You’re so welcomed. Thank you right back.

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Win (1) of (3) copies of The Yearbook
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  1. Great interview! Fantastic book! Carol is endlessly creative and entertaining. I very much enjoyed reading her answers to your questions.

  2. Such a great book! Thanks for the interview!

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