I’d Like to Introduce You to Apple Yengko

My writer friend Maria DeVivo tagged me in the Meet My Character Blog Tour. (Thanks, Maria!)

The Meet My Character Blog Tour gives writers a chance to highlight the main character of a recent work. For my post, I’d like to introduce you to the main character of my debut novel Blackbird Fly, which is scheduled for release in April 2015. (Thanks, HarperCollins/Greenwillow!)

Settle in as I make introductions.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Her name is Analyn Yengko, but people call her “Apple.” Apple is Filipino, and Filipinos are known for bestowing unusual, funny, and/or awkward nicknames on unsuspecting youth. My mother called me Peanut, because I was shaped like one when I was born. Analyn was nicknamed Apple, because her father said that was the shape of her head when she was a baby.

Although she feels very real to me, Apple is fictional.

2) When and where is the story set?

Present-day, in the fictional smallish Southern town of Chapel Spring, Louisiana.

3) What should we know about her?

Apple is twelve years old and she loves the Beatles. Her favorite Beatle is George Harrison. (Second favorite: John.) She was born in the Philippines, but has lived in the States most of her life. Her father died when she was little, so she lives alone with her mother in a yellow house. Her mom’s name is Glo.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

Apple is trapped between two cultures, which can be a very difficult place to be, especially when you’re the only Asian in your school. She’s embarrassed of he1677609_origr background and wants to be a “real American.” She’s had this inner struggle for most of her life, so it doesn’t help when the boys vote her the third-ugliest girl at Chapel Spring Middle School. Even worse, her fair-weather friends concerned with their own social statusquickly side with her tormentors, who bark at her when she walks down the hall and spread rumors that she eats dogs for dinner.

Apple has only one escape: The Beatles, whom she idolizes. Apple devises a plan to get a guitar, run away, and become a musician like George, her idol.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

To become a “real American,” and to make music like George Harrison.

6) What is the title of this novel and where can it be found?

The title is Blackbird Fly. It will be available in all major bookstores after its release in March 2015. 

Who Tagged Me: Maria DeVivo is a New York native who has had a lifetime love affair with the pen. Her debut YA Dark Fantasy, The Coal Elf, was published by Twilight Times Books in November 2012. (An excellent book, by the way).

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