Sunday, January 26, 2014

Get Lost with Author Joelle Charbonneau

Get Lost in a Story Readers, I am pleased to present New York Times best selling author Joelle Charbonneau  ~ Donnell

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say?

But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?  

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it.  But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies – trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose:  love without truth or life without trust.
Praise for The Testing

The Testing is a chilling and devious dystopian thriller that all fans of The Hunger Games will simply devour. Joelle Charbonneau writes with guts and nerve but also great compassion and heart. Highly recommended.” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Rot & Ruin and Flesh & Bone

“Trained to rely on her wits, Cia must survive on her courage and trust her instincts, even when it means following her heart ever deeper into danger. A surefire favorite for dystopian fans, The Testing crackles with suspense, passion and betrayal set against a scarred and brutal world.” –Sophie Littlefield, author of Unforsaken and Hanging By A Thread.
DONNELL:  Joelle, welcome back to Get Lost in a Story.  It's been a long time!  Congratulations on hitting the list of the New York Times for book one in the Testing trilogy.  What went through your head when you hit #8 on such a prestigious list?

JOELLE:  Ha!  I value your friendship far more than any NY Times best selling label, although I have to admit the label is pretty darn cool.  But strange.  I admit that I haven’t a clue what went through my head when I got the news that we hit the list the first time.  All I really remember was shedding a bunch of tears.  The emotions – shock, thrill, joy, terror (don’t ask…but it’s in there) –were really overwhelming.

DONNELL:  You write other series as well as your YA trilogy.  Your Skating series published by St. Martins and your Choir for Hire series published by Berkley.  Do you walk into walls and spend a lot of time talking to yourself because I sure would?

JOELLE:  Is that how I got those bruises?  Huh…who knew?  I guess I should pay more attention to where I walk.  Or just sit down more!

DONNELL:  In addition to writing, you have a small child, and you just returned from a book tour.  I’m a little concerned that you’re not applying yourself.  Seriously, are you meticulously organized?  Should we be concerned you’re taking too much on?

JOELLE:  The kid is tons of fun and the book tour was a wild experience.  I’m glad I’ve gotten to do so many things that I’d never dreamed of doing since I started writing.  And while I try to stay organized, I admit that lots of things fall through the cracks.  At the top of the list is sleepJ

DONNELL:  Dumb, dumb question:  Do you have any hobbies?

JOELLE:  Deep sea diving….kidding!  I love to cook, which is great bonding time with the small person in my life since he loves cooking, too.  I’m also a big fan of all sports (are the Olympics here, yet?) and reading.  The last is probably a given, but hey – I needed something else to make me sound well-rounded.

DONNELL:  You visit a lot of schools as a result of the book, The Testing.  I assume your fans ask you lots of questions.  What is a question you were asked that surprised you?

JOELLE:  School visits are the unexpected and possibly the best part of my job as a young adult author.  The question that surprised me the most was when a student asked how I stayed motivated through all the rejection and if I had advice for them on how to survive rejection as well.  I was so impressed that the student (whom I’m told by a teacher has incredibly high grades and great test scores) was already thinking ahead and accumulating tools to face any difficulties she might face in achieving the future she is dreaming of. 

DONNELL:  I heard a rumor you can carry a tune.  True/false?

JOELLE:   My masters degree claims this to be true!

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

JOELLE:  You do realize that I’ve been out of town for 2 weeks right?  Milk and chocolate milk (just bought yesterday), some cheese and eggs.  Oh – there was a bottle of prosecco, but we opened that to celebrate INDEPENDENT STUDY’s appearance on the Times List.  I would have offered you a glass, but you live too far away.  The bubbles would have fizzled by the time you got it.

DONNELL:  It's the thought that counts.  Thanks.  Joelle, it’s your turn to ask the readers a questions.

JOELLE'S QUESTION FOR READERS:  Okay – here’s one I’m dying to ask – have you ever tried to figure out how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a Toosie Pop?  If so – how many?  I’ve never been patient enough to figure out the answer.

And I’m happy to give away a signed copy of either THE TESTING, INDEPENDENT STUDY or A CHORUS LINEUP.  Reader’s choice!

Facebook -

Twitter – @jcharbonneau

Joelle Charbonneau has performed in opera and musical theatre productions across Chicagoland.  She now teaches private voice lessons and is the author of two mystery series:  The Rebecca Robbins mysteries (Minotaur Books) and the Glee Club mysteries (Berkley).  Joelle’s also the author of New York Times Best Selling THE TESTING trilogy.   Learn more at,, or find her on twitter at @jcharbonneau. 


  1. Congrats on your book!

    Nope. . I am not the patient type either and I end up eating it rather than licking it.

  2. welcome back, Joelle to GLIAS. Your career has taken off like a semi-out-of-control freight train. So glad to see this happen to someone who works soooo hard and is nice besides. My answer to the tootsie pop question is 4. 4 licks and then chomp.

  3. Nice, fun interview. I appreciate these blogs so much where I can become acquainted with authors I might not otherwise be familiar with. I'm eyeing A Chorus Lineup.
    In answer to your question, I'm going with the owl in the commercial who took 3 licks, I believe, to get to the center of the tootsie roll pop. I don't have the patience either to go any further than 3 licks.
    Congratulations on the success of your book.

  4. Brilliant interview! I must add this author and her work to my to-read list, as they sound amazing.

    I would love to be entered for the above giveaway if possible. x

    {Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk }

  5. No, I haven't

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Loved the interview!! The series looks like an amazing, and I can't resist a good dystopian novel.
    Would love to be entered for the giveaway if it's open internationally!
    blackcapballistics AT gmail DOT com