Skip to main content

Blog Tour: Meet Smoke!

So I'm fortunate enough to interview the actual Smoke from Holding Smoke on the blog today, so don't talk too loud in lieu of scaring him. He's sensitive to light and most people. I may've been unable to contain my thirst and he may not have cared. Anyway. Here's our interview. Remember to keep your voice down. (Thanks for having me apart of the tour, Hannah!)
John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name. 

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

Q1: Hi, Smoke! Can I call you, Smoke? Or is it, John? Well, anyway: how are you today? You look...good.
*narrows his eyes through the Plexiglass divider*
“I guess that depends on who you are. The boys inside call me Smoke. Everyone else calls me John. Since I’m in here and you’re out there, maybe that ought to clear things up for you.”

Q2: Speaking of Smoke, how exactly did that eccentric nickname originate?
*long pause while he wonders if you’re worth telling*
If you know my nickname, then you already know how I got it. But that’s not what you’re asking. You’re wondering how I do it. How I know what I know. That’s not part of the deal. Look, you want information from the outside? You’d better have something worth trading for. *taps the call receiver and darts cautious glances around the visitation room, making sure no one’s listening* All the jobs go through Martín. If the deal’s good, you’ll have your information. The better the deal, the faster you might get it. Don’t ask me how. You’ll never know.

Q3: Hmm, interesting. How has prison food been, then? I'm getting nightmare flashbacks to high school just thinking about it, so I'm sure not good.
It’s three square a day. When you’ve spent your whole life scraping food together on your own, then months sucking your meals through an IV or a hospital straw, you don’t much care how it tastes. You’re just glad someone’s giving it to you. If free food is the most you’ve got to worry about, your nightmare flashbacks have got nothing on mine.

Q4: A girl named Pink frequently comes to visit you, which is bound to raise suspicion. Would you mind telling me more about her?
*knuckles tighten on the receiver, gray eyes drilling a hole right through you*
I do, actually. She’s just a girl I knew in school. A waitress in a bar. She’s nothing to you. Stay the hell away from her or we’re done here.

Q5: So you're pretty hot–I mean, um, what–so when you're not being held in solitary or whatever – what are your hobbies? Do you read? Do you workout? Do you smoke? Ha. Sorry. Bad pun. So tell me, what do you do with your free time?
I don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Don’t get high. Wouldn’t even if I could. Reminds me of my dad. And no matter how many years I spend in this place, I’ll never… ever be like him. I read. I go to school. I do what they tell me… go to group and do chores and hit the ball courts, sometimes. I stay out of trouble. Try not to pick fights. *rubs a fading bruise on his cheek* But sometimes, I need to buy myself time to be alone.

Q6: How have the other inmates been treating you? I can only hope okay.
Mostly, they leave me alone. They’re scared of all the things I know, and how I know them. Inside here, information is king. It can buy favors and friends… the only kinds of friends you can have inside the Y. And I’ve got more information than anyone.

Q7: And do you have anything else to add today?
Yeah, who put you up to all these questions? Fine. You don’t want to tell me? I have my own ways of finding out. And Pink? Let’s just say she’s a girl who can take care of herself. But if you touch her, I’ll know, and you’ll never see me coming for you.

It was so nice to finally meet you, Smoke! Wait. John? Well, anyway, thanks for stopping by!
Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
LINKS: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

And a giveaway! I mean, come on. How can you pass this up? Such a phenomenal, mysterious, thriller-y read!



  1. Wow! Love this interview. I now have a great sense of character. I will enjoy this book very much. Thanks for this creative post!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the interview, Danielle! Thank you! :D


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blog Tour Review: Christmas In London

Anita Hughes - Christmas In London Published: October 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4.5/5

A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge's in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.

It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want L…

Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn

Marianna Baer - The Inconceivable Life of Quinn Expected publication: April 4, 2017 by Amulet Books
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?

Review: Antisocial

Jillian Blake - Antisocial Published: May 16, 2017 by Delacorte Press
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Romance, Young ADult
Pages: 256
Source: NetGalley
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Alexandria Prep is about to be exposed.

Senior spring was supposed to mean sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her perfect basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.

Then the hack…