The band Level3 will be touring libraries and reaching out to readers this summer on the Reunited tour. Why tour libraries? Why talk to readers?
Because author Hilary Weisman Graham’s novel, Reunited (Simon & Schuster) is about three ex-best friends hitting the road to see, you guessed it, Level3.
If you would like to get readers involved or cover this book / band tour, please use any of the Press Materials below or contact Curious City.
Download the Press Release (Word)
Tools to Involve Readers
Download a Color Poster offering tweens & teens access to Level3 MP3s and free chapters of the book, Reunited.
Download a B&W Flyer offering tweens & teens access to Level3 MP3s and free chapters of the book, Reunited.
VIDEO! - Link to hi-res video Interviews of Hilary Weisman Graham (available for download)
VIDEO! - Link to hi-res video files of 2 Level3 music videos (available for download)
Q & A with Hilary Weisman Graham
How would you describe your book in ten words or less?
1 concert. 2,000 miles. 3 Ex-best friends
Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.
I started off my career as a filmmaker and TV producer, but writing was always a big part of my job. Even in my free time, I’d find myself participating in poetry slams or composing humorous essays to share with my friends. But for many years, I considered myself a “filmmaker who writes” as opposed to a writer.
Then, in the summer of 2007, I was selected to be a contestant on the Mark Burnett/Steven Spielberg-produced reality show On the Lot, which, if you never caught it, was like American Idol for filmmakers, and aired on Fox for only one season. The goal of the show was to find “America’s next great director,” and I’d been handpicked out of a pool of 12,000 applicants.
It was during that summer in Los Angeles, in the midst of an intense filmmaking competition, that it suddenly became very clear to me that it was the writing part of filmmaking that I’d always most enjoyed (and was best at) only I’d never realized it before. So, I guess you could say that my big “ah-ha” moment happened on live TV. After that, I made it my goal to become a working screenwriter and novelist—and I’m happy to report that dream has now come true!
Was REUNITED was based off some of your own experiences as a teen?
Yes and no. I have gone on lots of road trips in my life—backpacking through Portugal and Spain with my sister and a friend during college, driving with friends from Boston to Juarez, Mexico, wandering around the Irish countryside with four of my best girlfriends in a very small rental car. Though thankfully, I’ve never been stuck in a van with any of my ex-best friends.
And I did have a friendship break-up of my own freshman year in high school that was very hard for me at the time. The circumstances around Alice, Summer, and Tiernan’s break-up are nothing like my own, but because of my own experience, I do feel very connected to the feelings around that situation. I think for most 14-year-old girls, their best friends are the most meaningful relationship they’ve had at that point in their lives, apart from their family.
Level3, the band in REUNITED, is actually real! Tell us how they made it into your book.
Well, the secret of Level3 is that the book actually came before the band. REUNITED tells the story of Alice, Summer, and Tiernan—three ex-best friends who drive 2,000 miles cross-country to see the one-night-only reunion show of the band (Level3) they loved as little girls. And each time I found myself writing the lyrics to a Level3 song—an event that happened frequently, since lyrical excerpts open each chapter—I became aware of the fact that I was also composing the melodies to these songs in my head.
And with that realization an idea was born. Teenagers love music. REUNITED is about music. Why not actually go ahead a “create” my fictional band? So, after the book was written, I used every free, non-writing moment I had to bring Level3 to life. Today, www.level3theband.com is a place where fans can read blog posts by the band members, download two free Level3 songs, peruse photos, watch a Level3 music video and a behind-the-scenes “pop-up” documentary (coming soon), and follow Level3 on Facebook and Twitter. And Level3 is even going on tour this summer at libraries from Boston to Austin!
When and where do you write?
I write five days a week, Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 3:00pm while my son is at school. Sometimes, if I’m on a tight deadline, I’ll write at night and on weekends, too. And I’m fortunate enough to have my very own home office, complete with an elliptical machine for whenever I need to get those endorphins flowing.
In addition to being a novelist, you’re also a screenwriter. How do you balance these two careers?
A few years back, I refocused my career from filmmaking and TV producing in order to focus on writing, specifically screenplays and fiction. Sometimes, I end up juggling multiple projects, which can get a little crazy. But I really enjoy going back and forth between fiction and screenplays, and I’m constantly discovering ways each medium informs the other.
Can you tell us anything about projects you’re working on now? Right now I’m writing a movie script for The Disney Channel. It’s an adaptation of a Korean film, but the title will surely change, so I’ll keep you posted on that one.