Thursday, March 17, 2011

Interview + Giveaway: Savita Kalhan and The Long Weekend

This afternoon I'm thrilled to welcome author Savita Kalhan to the blog! Her young adult novel, The Long Weekend, was extremely surprising to me (in a good way) and left a very memorable impression, so I hope all of you get a chance to read it! Savita has been kind enough to offer up a copy of the book to one lucky commenter, so be sure and check out the bottom of the interview for entry details. If you'd like to read my full review, you can do that HERE.

Hi Jenny, thanks for inviting me here today! I’m looking forward to answering your questions.

So much of the intensity of this story is psychological–the villain isn’t always present but we feel him throughout the entire book. When reading, do you find yourself more anxious with books that are mentally taxing or books that are full of a lot of action and violence?

Oh definitely those that are mentally taxing – especially if they’re psychological thrillers! Books full of action and violence are like films that are full of action and violence – I can watch or read them without really having to do much thinking or engaging with them on a complex level. They’re raw entertainment – fun and absorbing at the time, but pretty forgettable once they’re finished.

What do you feel is the most unnerving or tense scene in the book?

For me it was the scene when Sam goes into the bedroom looking for Lloyd. He’s not sure what he’s going to find – and when I wrote it neither was I! Writing those few chapters was a very tense time because I wasn’t sure myself how far I would go until I started writing them.

Sam’s mind works brilliantly in a very stressful situation, do you think you work well under pressure?

I’d love to say yes! But honestly I’m not sure. I have worked well under pressure in the past, but this kind of pressure isn’t the kind that most people come across in their lives. This is a very different kind of pressure.

The morning The Long Weekend released, do you remember the first thought that went through your head?

Yes – “Oh my god, I’m a real writer!”

Which do you find more terrifying: the disfigured, axe-wielding, slasher movie type, or the more quiet, “normal” person-who-could-be-your-neighbor type?

Both! I’m a real chicken when it comes to horror films! Slasher films give me nightmares and I can’t watch things like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th anymore. The more quiet, “normal” person-who-could-be-your-neighbor type movies are equally as terrifying, but in a very different way. I do love watching things like CSI Vegas, and Law and Order, and thrillers, but I draw the line at horrors!

If Sam and Lloyd were to interview you and they asked why you wrote certain events as happening to Lloyd and not Sam, how would you explain your decision to them?

I don’t think I could. I would have to hang my head in shame and apologize profusely to Lloyd.

Is there a reason you chose to write this story with two young male characters as opposed to female?

No, it just happened that way. When I got the idea for the story, Sam’s character and voice arrived and Lloyd followed shortly after. But I’m so glad they did. It would have been a very different story if the characters were female, and actually there are lots of teen and YA books out there where it’s girls who are kidnapped.

Last book that kept you up all night reading? Why?

This book has been out for a long time, but somehow I only got around to reading it recently – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. The voice of the character came through so strongly, despite the fact for much of the book the character has no voice. It’s a very poignant, moving story and I absolutely loved it.

I know with just writing simple reviews, every time I re-read my work I find something to edit or change, do you find this as well with your writing? If so, at what point do you decide the book is done and you won’t change another thing?

That’s such a hard call to make! I think you get a gut feeling when it’s there. Having it read by other people who are good readers, and who are able to be perfectly honest about your work is very important. You don’t have to take any advice offered, but I find it is important to hear a few different points of view. It helps you see your work more clearly.

If The Long Weekend were made into a movie, what would the poster or voice-over tagline be?

“Sam and Lloyd, two kids who get in the wrong car.

They’re locked up in dark secluded mansion…where the monster is real.

Will either of them get out alive…?”

I’d love your followers to come over to my website, and have a look around, leave me a message on my message board and tell me what they think of The Long Weekend!

They can also find me on twitter

And on Facebook

For the international GIVEAWAY competition, I’d like your followers to answer this question in the comments section – What was the last book that kept them up all night reading? I’m looking forward to reading their responses!

Thanks so much for inviting me here, Jenny!


Thanks so much for stopping by and providing readers with a chance to win your book Savita! If you haven't had a chance to read this book yet, please add it to your list, it's an amazing story! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment answering Savita's question as well as a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway will run through midnight on March 25th after which time a winner will be chosen by and announced on the blog. This giveaway is international. Good luck everyone!


  1. I couldn't watch Nightmare on Elm Street too! :D

    The last book that kept me reading all night was The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (actually all of this author's books have the same effect on me).

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. The last book I read all night was..The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinly! A classic story I've always loved!


  3. The last book I read kept me up until 2:30 this morning, Die For Me by Amy Plum. It was a really, really good book.


  4. The Last Sacrifice and the False princesses

  5. I definitely want to check out this book. Melissa's love of it has totally convinced me.

    I'm also a big scaredy cat for horror films. Most of the time I don't even watch them.

    The last time I was up quite late reading was for 'Five Flavors of Dumb' ... I was intrigued and the book just flowed so well. But the last book that I literally forced myself to stay awake and finish because it was THAT AMAZING was 'The Sky is Everywhere' -- I adore it so, so much.


  6. Great interview!! All of your questions where unique :)

  7. The last book that kept me up was Leviathan:) Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Lol...that never happens anymore with my family (if I don't get sleep I'm in big trouble) although I would love for it to! The last book I absolutely couldn't put down no matter how hard I tried was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.

    erikadlugoAT yahoo(dot)com

  9. The last book that kept me up simply because I wanted to read it was "Come Together". :)

    The last book that kept me up because it totally started to freak me out was "And Then There Were None". :P

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

  10. mine was for sure the forest of hands and teeth!!

    americangirlie1991 AT yahoo DOT com

    gfc follwer

  11. Wow.. The book looks really spooky, but awesome :P
    And now to ansewering the question.. The latest book who kept me awake was Stray by Rachel Vincent :) But before that there have been many :P There are just so many amazing books out there :) Luckily..

    Please count me in for the giveaway:

  12. A very thoughtful interview from this author. I feel the same that sometimes there is more terror and suspense what is implied and you have to think about it. Right now I can't turn the pages fast enough on J.R. Ward's series,The Black Dagger Brotherhood. A special blogger turned me on to them!!!!!! thanks

  13. The last book that kept me up all night to finish was Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams - very spooky atmosphere and the villian creeped me out! :-)


  14. That's an easy one! Hell House by Richard Matheson. Scary, scary, scary!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Heh... that's been a while. Mostly b/c I have a dog that gets me up quite early so I end up falling asleep if I want to or not. However, you have made me want to read Speak which I admit *hangs head* I have not yet.

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  16. I hate horror films and thrillers too... I just shudder at the thought of watching one. I don't mind reading them, as I can at least imagine what it would be like on my own, and not watching someone else's interpretation of it (which will probably be a lot scarier than mine!). (Hope that makes sense!)

    The last book that kept me awake all night reading was Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. It wasn't exciting or anything, but it was so well written that I just couldn't stop reading!

    Great interview and thanks for the wonderful giveaway!
    funnywool [at] live [dot] com

  17. Oh I love horror films, books, tv shows anything its amazing!! Great interview and I am really excited to read this book!


  18. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann. LOVED IT!


  19. Angel by James Patterson was the last one that kept me up all night, all though it wasn't technically all night because i ended up finishing it pretty quickly.

    great interview and thanks for the giveaway!


  20. Just the other night I ended up staying up past midnight (without realizing it) reading I Am J by Cris Beam.

  21. I'm reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah right now and it has caused me to lose many hours of sleep....great book!

  22. Great interview. I love the tag line. Very creepy.

    The last book that kept me up all night was Die For Me by Amy Plum.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran. Awesome book!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  24. The last book that kept me up all night was "Afterlife" by Claudia Gray. It was the last installment of the series and I've been waiting for it for a long time so when I had bought the book, I started reading it and never stopped until it was finished.

  25. The last book that kept me up all night? The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa! :) Fab interview!

    Thank you for the chance!

  26. I'm a new follower. This book looks really interesting. The last book that I stayed up all night reading was Shoots to Kill by Kate Collins.

  27. the last book to keep me up was the Hunger games series. I read the first one because a friend bought it for me, then fell in love, went out and bought the next two, and locked myself in my room for the next 2 days :D

  28. When I got Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead. I got it the day it came out (May 18th 2010) and didn't get to start it till about 7:30pm and ended up staying up to about 5am reading it. Soooo worth it but I was pretty much dead the next day( + I had school T.T)

  29. The last book to keep me up all night was 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins. I've had the whole series on my shelf for ages and my friends kept telling me to stop putting it off and start reading. I've only read the first book so far but I started it after work one night and read right through to the wee hours of the morning, (fortunately) into my day off. At least I'll know better next time, and not start 'Catching Fire' late in the evening! :-)


  30. The last book that kept me up all night was Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. Because I can't get enough of Jay!

    Before that, Die for Me by Amy Plum. I'm recommending it to everybody!

  31. Awwww, fun interview, Jenny! I love your questions! Don't enter me, but the last book I read that had me up all night was Shadowfever by KMM! Oh, you know what I'm talking about ;)

  32. Thanks for a nice interview.

    The last book I read through the night was a Molly Paynter Brown.

  33. The Left Behind Series and Twilight series. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  34. That was a great interview and now I really want to read the book... :P

  35. Savita's answers are SO good, and I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the book so much! It's truly a powerful read, eh? Awesome, Jenny :)

    SO sorry I've been blog slacking lately :/

  36. Great interview! The last book that I stayed up all night to read was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness..can't say enough about it!

    Kelsey O.
    kopsahl48 AT gmail DOT com

  37. It sounds good and great interview!

    I'm ashamed to say that I've never spent all night reading...


  38. I'm a real chicken when it comes to horror films too. But I've noticed they aren't made the same way anymore. They aren't terrifying, just gross.

    Awesome interview, but now I'm fearing the worst for poor Lloyd.

    The last book that kept me reading all night was Demonglass! Loved it. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    missie at

  39. PASTWORLD by Ian Beck, freaky but great book!

    Awesome Interview by the way, I'm looking forward to reading it :)

  40. Great interview, looking forward to reading The Long Weekend.

    Most books keep me up at night--it's rare for me to not finish a book in one night (or else it's a really long book). The last book I read that kept me up past my bedtime was Scars by Cheryl Rainfield.

  41. Great interview ;)

    Huuuh, Shadow Kiss? 'n' also The Passage by Cronin.
    Book looks great, 'd love to read it.

    dayenleah (at) gmail (dot) com

  42. The last book that kept me up all night reading was Skipping A Beat by Sarah Pekkanen. It was so good!

    Thank you for the awesome giveaway!


  43. Great Interview Jenny! I love to learn more about the authors. This one might be one of those that I read the end first. Or it might be one that keeps me up at night even after I've finished it!! I don't read scary books so nothing has kept me up for that reason ever. But the last book I stayed up to finish (and couldn't) was Immortal Beloved.


  44. I'm not entering the contest, but I couldn't help chiming in... the last book that kept me up all night reading was Bumped by Megan McCafferty.

    The most memorable book that I stayed up all night reading was the time I was reading Coraline while on a camping trip. Something about being out in a tent made everything (especially the button eyes!!!) even SCARIER. *shudder*

  45. This sounds great. I don't really stay up at night reading books. I think the last time I did that was with the last Harry Potter book. :)

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

  46. It's not unusual for me to get so engrossed in a book that I end up reading all the way through the night. Harry Potter's probably the last one.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  47. Awesome interview! I really want to read this book. As an aspiring screenwriter, I like her movie taglines!! Last book I read that kept me up all night was...The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder. Though not suspenseful, it was hilarious and I wanted to know the end. I haven't posted a review yet. I'm behind, very behind. LOL Thanks for the giveaway :)

  48. The last book that kept me up all night was The Devouring by Simon Holt. Loved it!

    clderwee at gmail dot com Thanks for the giveaway!

  49. Great interview, Jenny! I love the tagline for The Long Weekend but if it was turned into a movie and that was the tagline, I might be too scared to see it since I refuse to watch horror movies.

    The last book that kept me up all night reading was probably Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead. These days I'm reading for fun in the morning and doing my schoolwork at night because that's when I'm most productive. Thanks for the giveaway!

  50. Most recently it was Julie Kagawa's The Iron Queen. I just kept telling myself "One more chapter. I can't stop now!" and before I knew it the book was finished and I was frantically looking for the next book (please hurry up November 2011!)

    imagesandwords at optonline dot net

  51. This book looks great! Almost any book will keep me up all night reading. Two nights ago it was Wither by Lauren DeStefano.

    rebekah at roscoehill dot org

  52. I often stay up reading at night too, but a recent and favorite one was My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison. Such a funny book.

  53. The last book that kept me up late was About a Boy by Nick Hornby. Such a fantastic novel!

    the (dot) zealous (dot) reader (at) gmail (dot) com

  54. The last book that had me reading late into the night was The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Larsson.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  55. The last book that kept me reading all night was Darkest Mercy, by Melissa Marr... Looooooved it!!!! ^^

    gabrielameti [at] hotmail [dot] com

  56. Wonderful interview. I so want to win this book!

    I just finished Cryer's Cross and read it in one sitting, although, technically it wasn't overnight. Does that count?


  57. Better late then never. The last book that I was up all night reading was Shadowfever! I typically stay up pretty late reading daily but i was litterally up ALL night to finish that book!

    Thank you!