#MeetTheNewbs ~ Kelly Loy Gilbert Author of Conviction (Guest Post+Giveaway)

Meet The Newbies is a blog event co-hosted by Dana @DanaSquare and I, in which we introduce you to all of the new kids in school, the 2015 debut authors!

Meet Kelly Loy Gilbert:

Kelly Loy Gilbert is the author of Conviction (Disney-Hyperion, 2014). Gilbert’s work has appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, Shrapnel, and The Kenyon Review, where it was designated a resource for teachers. She’s led fiction workshops at UC San Diego and San Francisco State and developed a creative-writing program for teen writers, and is a visiting speaker in local classrooms. She was also recently named a Peninsula Literary Writer, a San Francisco Bay Area organization dedicated to fostering and encouraging the writing community.

Meet Her Debut Novel:

Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son’s hands; Braden is the key witness in the upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four-mile-per-hour pitch al- ready has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden’s saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.

Today Kelly shares ten behind-the-scenes facts of Conviction!

Guest Post:

Ten behind-the-scenes facts about CONVICTION

1. It was originally titled THE BATTERY, and after that it was titled CITY ON A HILL.

2. In four extremely different drafts, Braden is the only character whose core stayed the same--loyal, insecure, and introspective, trying desperately to adhere to his own moral code in the face of an impossible choice.

3. In the first draft Braden’s father Mart, one of the main characters, died before the story began.

4. None of the characters in the book are based on anyone I know.

5. The book grew out of several different what-if questions that were running through my head: what if everything you thought was true turns out not to be?  What if the people you thought you knew best aren’t who you always thought?  Where does that leave you?

6. The book was also written at a time when I was wrestling with what forgiveness meant and what redemption looked like--really looked like--in a life, and the questions it asks circle around those issues that were very vivid to me as I was writing.

7. One of the most embarrassing errors my copy editor (the fabulous Christine Ma) caught: messing up the freeways in Oakland.  As a NorCal native and current resident, I was mortified.

8. Ornette, the name of the town where Braden lives, is taken from the name of a character from a show that, for its storytelling, is incredibly important to me: Friday Night Lights.

9. Another character is named after someone from 21 Jump Street, which is one of my two favorite movies in the world.  I can quote probably the entire thing.

10. I never in my life listened to country music until I started to as I wrote CONVICTION because it’s what I pictured my characters listening to.  And it’s not country, but if I had to pick one single song as the soundtrack for the book, I’d pick Sunshine Blues by Bahamas.

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I hope you'll join us for our first Meet the Newbies twitter chat on May 22nd at 8 PM EST!! There will be prizes and lots of fun. :)

Other #MeetTheNewbs Posts & Giveaways:


  1. I was really interested in this book, and I love the facts she shared! I feel that The Battery is a more intriguing title, but Conviction is really thought-provoking as well. The fact that it came from her trying to realize what forgiveness and redemption was. I'm going through that myself, and it's one of my favorite things in books.

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! I haven't heard of this one, so I am definitely going to check it out
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. Wow, this one sounds really thought-provoking! I really like it that this book is about a test of faith as well :) As a Catholic, I've always wanted to find a book that also has God and faith involved, because that's how some of my days are like. I can't wait to read this soon.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  4. Whoa, such a cute-looking cover for such a serious-sounding book! O_O But I love the premise for this -- it sounds like it has the potential to be super emotional and maybe even one of those life-changing contemporaries, if you get what I mean.

    #4 is a first. It's true that most of the time I come across authors who base off many of their characters on real life people, so I think it'd be interesting to read about characters who are entirely from the author's imagination. Also, that's how I write my characters too, haha. None of them are inspired by real people or stuff like that! And omg, I think I might be the only person who hasn't seen 21 Jump Street... even though it's kind of like a cult classic now. I'll have to watch it soon!

    Interesting facts! Thanks so much for putting this book on my radar, Rachel. It definitely sounds interesting and I hope I get the chance to read it. :) Great post!

  5. This sounds perfect. I love stories about faith and I'm a baseball fan.

  6. When I read the synopsus of this book, two things dawned upon me: faith and feels. I seldom read books in this genre but I would like to give this a try.

  7. I definitely dream about going to this party place again. The live music at event halls in Philadelphia was an added bonus, providing a backdrop for the fun hours spent imbibing, tasting, and chatting up with the breweries and beer distributors.


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