This Song Will Save Your Life Blog Tour: Interview & Giveaways

I am super excited to be one of the stops on the THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE blog tour. This book completely blew my mind and has made me a devoted Leila Sales follower through and through. When I got the invitation to join this blog tour to celebrate the paperback launch of this amazing novel for April 14th, I got super excited. I mean...check out this awesome cover and Leila's even cooler interview below!

Also, don't forget to tell us about the songs that saved YOUR life with #SongsThatSavedMe.


Original Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Paperback Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Girouz
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
~*~Q&A with Leila Sales~*~

Why is music so important to you? It's obviously very important to the plot of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE and I am wondering where your passion came from!

I’ve always loved music. My father introduced me to early rock ‘n’ roll when I was a little girl: Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson, the Supremes, all of that. I think that’s part of why music is such a strong bond between Elise and her father, too, in the book. I love media in general: books and music first and foremost, but also dance, architecture, photography, etc. I love the way art can take everyday human experiences and elevate them so they become poetic and cohesive and beautiful. 

Do you have any fun writing rituals that you'd like to share with us? 

I type using only my index fingers. And I won’t eat without access to a LOT of chocolate chips. 

How did the writing process for TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS differ from THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE?

THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is all told in one voice: Elise’s first-person perspective. TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS is mostly narrated in third person—a close third on the main character, Arden—but that's interspersed with first-person journal entries from the writer whom Arden is obsessed with. So the process of developing the voices was very different for both books.

In a way, I had opposite experiences writing these two. For THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, I knew exactly how it was going to start, but I rewrote the last few chapters a zillion times before I figured out how Elise’s story would end. For TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS, I knew clearly where all these characters would wind up, but I had much less of a sense of where they would start from.
Share with us the most interesting thing you had to Google in the name of book-writing research.

Oh, geez, I don’t even know. I google so many things as I write. How were novels even created prior to online search engines? It seems like it would have been a lot more work. Um… I had to look up a lot of song lyrics, obviously. That’s all that’s coming to mind. 

I am a current publishing industry intern, and I was wondering how unique your experience is since you are both a published author and publishing industry professional editor?

I feel really lucky to get to do both. Working in publishing is a delight: my colleagues are so smart, my work is creatively rewarding, and I get the joy of helping writers improve their work. I think (I hope!) that being a writer myself makes me a little more empathetic to what my authors go through, and the challenges they sometimes face. And I think that working in publishing makes me a little more realistic about my expectations as an author. There are a fair number of YA authors in my position who still work or used to work in publishing: Lauren Oliver, Jess Rothenberg, Lindsay Ribar, Jill Santopolo, Jennifer E. Smith, Anne Heltzel, Jocelyn Davies, Anna Jarzab, John Cusick, Seth Fishman, David Levithan, Lexa Hillyer… I could keep going, but you get the point: there are a lot of us 

Which of your characters would you say you relate to the most and why?

All of my characters have a little bit of me inside of them. Even the side characters. They all need to have motivations or feelings that I can somehow tap into, even if the ways they express those motivations and feelings are different from me. I relate a lot to Elise, but probably Violet from MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS is most like me—which makes sense, since that was my first published novel. I’ve heard that your first novel is usually your most autobiographical. I think that’s probably true in my case. 

Can you share with us some of your favorite songs right now?
I’m digging the new Belle & Sebastian album. The RAC album that came out last year was one of my favorites—I love the song “Tourist” on there. It’s so beautiful. “Shut Up and Dance,” by Walk the Moon. “I Wanna Get Better,” by Bleachers. Michael Marotta, who used to DJ once of my favorite Boston dance parties, recently started a streaming radio station ( and I’m finding a lot of songs to fall in love with there.

Bringing it back to the "Leila Texts"...Do you happen to have a favorite text that you've received due to this wonderfully entertaining iPhone glitch?

I am always delighted to bring it back to The Leila Texts! For those of you who aren’t familiar with them: from 2007 to 2012, I got text messages from strangers all over the U.S. who were trying to reach their other friends named Leila. I kept a blog about them, called The Leila Texts. It’s one of my favorite projects of my life. I got so many amazing random texts over the years, but if I had to choose a favorite I’d have to go with this one:
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog, Leila! It was wonderful to have you. Continue on to check out the awesome giveaways.

Both giveaways are open to the US and Canada, but you must be 13 years or older to enter. You can enter to win an ARC of Leila's next release: TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS as well as a THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE mix CD! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And, while you're at it, don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!
April 2- Paper Riot
April 8- The Book Cellar
April 11- Jenuine Cupcakes
April 14- MacTeen Books

Thanks for stopping by, and thank you to Macmillan for having me on this amazing tour. <3 


  1. I loved this book so much, and the new paperback cover is GORGEOUS!! I'm so excited for Tonight the Streets are Ours! <3

  2. I saw the synopsis for Tonight the Streets are Ours on Goodreads and it looks soooooo good. Plus the cover is just so pretty, so I am really excited for this book :)

  3. Ah, Tonight the Streets Are Ours looks so, so good! I am really excited for it! As for a song that saved MY life... none have, yet. A lot of songs have inspired me to WANT to make changes, but I just haven't taken the plunge and done anything about it yet. Maybe one will inspire me to do so, or maybe I will just get the guts on my own, someday :)