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GCC Author interview: Teri Brown


This week the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit welcomes Teri Brown, author of  the enticing YA debut,  Read My Lips (Simon Pulse).

The Book:


Popularity is as easy as a good secret.
 

Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school.  But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well—even across the busy cafeteria.  So when the popular girls discover her talent, there’s no turning back.   

From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena’s identity has done a 180…almost.  She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she’s not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet.  But she is rising through the ranks in the school’s most exclusive clique.   

With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more.  Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop…. 

The interview:

Stacy:       If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?
Teri: I’m kind of doing that right now, too… I work part time with underprivileged youth at a community center. If I were dreaming big, I would probably run a non-profit that promoted literacy in our area. I know, not as glamorous as being a TV producer or editor in New York, but my dreams have changed as I’ve become older.  And I read blogs by people who do that and it’s almost as good as living it. Not quite, but almost.

Stacy:       What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?

Teri: I wish I had a good story here! But mostly, just how interested people are in what I do. They think there is some mystique to it, when in reality it’s hard work. Oh, I guess I should leave the mystique, Huh?!

Stacy:       What are you working on now?

Teri: I have several proposals started but at the moment,  I’m working on a book that’s very different and very special. I don’t think I’m going to say anything about it right now except that it is really stretching me as a writer.  Which is a good thing…sometimes.

 

Stacy:       Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?

Teri: I had a few favorite teachers (and many more I couldn’t stand!) but very few ever knew I could write. I kept my writing very private and destroyed a lot of the stuff I did write.  Which was a little hard explaining when an assignment was due!

Stacy:       What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Teri: Oh dark! Absolutely!  Oh, and there is this one kind of chocolate at Moonstruck Chocolates here in Portland that included a pepper from South America. Wow.


The Author:

Teri Brown turned to writing in a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds. Fortunately, she's been successful, and her debut young adult novel, Read My Lips (Simon Pulse), came out June, 2008. She is also a contributing editor for iParenting Media, and her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, Women’s Health and Fitness, Dog Fancy, and Oregon Coast Magazine, among others. Teri lives with her husband and children in a dilapidated 1969 ranch style house in Portland, Oregon. Visit her website or her MySpace page to find out more!


GCC Author interview: Eileen Cook









This week the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit welcomes Eileen Cook to talk about her latest lovely book,
What Would Emma Do? (Simon Pulse, December 30, 2008).










The interview
:


Stacy: If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?

Eileen: I’d love to be an actress. I was a big drama geek all through high school and am still a big film and theatre junkie. Tragically, I am not very good.

Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?

Eileen: That the world kept spinning along just like it always did. There were no trumpets, no parade, and Oprah didn’t call. I have wanted to write as long as I could remember and it had been such a journey to publication that it seemed that life should somehow be RADICALLY different when it actually came true. The truth is that I still spend most of my days writing in a stretched out sweatshirt and drinking gallons of tea.

If anyone wants to organize something- I am still very open to the idea of a parade.

Stacy:  (I hear there's a fun parade being organized in D.C. for next week! )
What are you working on now?

Eileen:  I’m working on another YA, which is currently called Black and White.  (Stay tuned the title may change.) It is a story of revenge, classic movies, friendship, and love. I’m having a lot of fun coming up with all sorts of evil plots for the revenge part. Turns out I have a very evil side.

Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?

Eileen: My biggest impact on my reading habit were my parents. They were both huge readers and weekly trips to the library were a family tradition. I was lucky enough to have a couple great English teachers, Mr. Lulek, Mr. Trapp and my drama teacher Ms. Beauchamp. All of them encouraged me to be creative and take chances.

Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Eileen: My favorite chocolate is whatever is the closest. If I can pick- then I like dark chocolate the best.

About the book:  

Thou shalt not kiss thy best friend’s boyfriend…again…. 

There is no greater sin than kissing you best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time. Especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else….and especially because she maybe kinda wants to do it again.  Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go. 

Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself. 

What others are saying: 

“Sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time, this book made me laugh out loud.” – Meg Cabot author of the Princess Diaries  

“Not since Judy Blume’s Margaret introduced herself to God has there been such a funny, geuine, conflicted,  wanna-be-sort-good-maybe-later girl as Emma. Eileen Cook’s tone as she takes on the big ones – life, love, faith and friendship is pitch perfect.” – Jacqueline Mitchard author of Deep End of the Ocean and Midnight Twins 

“Smart and fun and full of heart.” – Sarah Mlynowski author of Bras and Broomsticks 

About the Author: 

Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. When she was unable to find any job postings for world famous author, she went to Michigan State University and became a counselor so she could at least afford her book buying habit. But real people have real problems, so she returned to writing because she liked having the ability to control the ending. Which is much harder with humans. 

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com.  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.  

Buy the Book

 

GCC Author interview: Carrie Jones

This week the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit welcomes author, Flux buddy, and fellow New Englander Carrie Jones (carriejones ) as we celebrate the publication of her newest YA novel, Need (Bloomsbury, Dec 2008).



Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

The audio rights to Need have been purchased. Need will be released in Germany in 2010.
 
It is an IndieBound Next Pick for 2009.



THE INTERVIEW:

Stacy: If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?

 

Carrie: I’d like to be a human rights attorney. Or a martyr.

 

I have issues.

Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?
 

Carrie: That people have read it! YAY! Thank you people for reading it.


Stacy: What are you working on now?
 

Carrie: I’m working on a sequel to NEED; a nonfiction picture book; and a super secret horror project. Yes! Horror! I know. If you meet me, like Stacy has, it’s kind of hard to imagine me writing horror. (S: Yes and no. Carrie's imagination is well-suited, I think!)


Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?
 

Carrie: Mr. Joseph Sullivan is a guru or writing teachers. He is the best writing teacher in the universe. He has made many a junior at Manchester West High School into a writer.


Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Carrie: I am not a big chocolate nut, but I do get cravings for brownie sundaes with hot fudge sauce. I think it’s the hot fudge sauce that makes me have the yum-yum yearning. (S: Brownies AND hot fudge sauce definitely qualify as legitimate chocolate.)


 NICE THINGS PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT NEED:

"Jones easily wins readers to Zara’s side, portraying her as a funny, globally conscious teen who also 'collect[s} fears like other people collect stamps' (obscure phobias serve as chapter titles). Genre fans will enjoy the sizzle between Nick and Zara as well as the paranormal cast.” Publishers’ Weekly

“It was a fun read, and I can’t wait for more from Carrie Jones…I’m definitely adding Need to my shelves due to the romance, suspense, and monster element. This goes on the list for those who loved Twilight and “Need” more. I have decided that Carrie Jones NEEDS to continue to write about these characters and add more since I already miss them after finishing Need.” – Diane Chen, School Library Journal

“I finished Need by Carrie Jones and definitely recommend it! It takes place in Maine (my homestate!) and has pixies and weres. The jacket recommends it for folks who like Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr, but I like Jones’ style better than both.” – E. Kirsten Anderson, book seller.
 
"Here is a bright new writer who was going to set the world of young adult letters aflame.” - Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist

“Carrie Jones is the real thing: a talented author. Her detailing is exquisite, her powers of observation, superb.” - Tim Wynne-Jones

Learn more about Carrie and her books at:

Her website

Her Facebook page
 
And of course her Livejournal blog.

GCC Author interview: Laurie Faria Stolarz

DEADLY LITTLE SECRET (A TOUCH NOVEL)

BY LAURIE FARIA STOLARZ

Hyperion Books for Children

ISBN-13: 9781423111443

$15.99 



I'm so pleased to feature my friend Laurie Faria Stolarz (lstolarz ) and the debut of her latest YA novel, Deadly Little Secret (Hyperion).

Laurie has built a base of dedicated and creative fans who produce their own trailers and videos of her books. What could be better than that? Take a peek at a few, linked at the end of this post.

The interview:

Stacy: If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?
 
 
Laurie: I think I’d want to be a holistic nutritionist.  I’m all about living a healthy lifestyle, and I love the idea of helping people find what’s healthy for them. 
 

 
Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since the publication of your book? 
 
 
Laurie: I’m lucky to have so many devoted fans.  Their support and enthusiasm means the world to me.
 

 
Stacy: What are you working on now?
Laurie: I’m working on the edits of DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the second book in the TOUCH series.  I’m also working on the edits and graphics of BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS, the fifth book in the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series.
 

 
Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?
 
 
Laurie: Yes, MaryKay Mahoney.  She was my writing professor at Merrimack College (and still teaches there).  When I was in business school, she told me that I owed it to myself to pursue my passion for writing.  When she said that, something inside me just clicked.  Writing/becoming an author was just so huge to me, growing up.  I never imagined this for myself.  I’m so grateful to her.
 

 
Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?
 
 
Laurie: Dark – the darker the better.  I love bittersweet.  And, if there’s almonds in it, that’s just a plus

DEADLY LITTLE SECRET (A TOUCH NOVEL)

BY LAURIE FARIA STOLARZ

Hyperion Books for Children

ISBN-13: 9781423111443

$15.99 
 

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary. 
 
Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.
 

Advanced Praise:

"A boy to admire from afar, a girl you want to befriend, a novel to keep you turning the pages because you won't know who to trust. Laurie Faria Stolarz's DEADLY LITTLE SECRET is a blend of mystery, chills, and forbidden touches--one captivating story you have to experience." - Kelly Parra, author of INVISIBLE TOUCH.

“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT   

To listen to a recording of me reading the first chapter, click here:  http://www.supload.com/music/Deadly-Little-Secret-download-NX6I68QENRQ2.html 

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILERS!

This one was made by the students at the University of Texas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fzMpVMy2fQ

And this one was made by the fabulous and talented :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x63FGdfksFY 

A DEADLY LITTLE CONTESTIn celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE SECRET, the first book in the TOUCH SERIES, I’m launching a very exciting contest, the winner of which will have a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the second book in the TOUCH SERIES, named after him or her.  There are other prizes, too.  Please see the official rules in the NEWS section of my website: www.lauriestolarz.com/news.html

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the bestselling author of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series, which has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. The series comprises Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, Red is for Remembrance, and the forthcoming Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz's titles have been part of the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list, the Top Ten Teen Pick list, and YALSA's Popular Paperback list, all through the American Library Association. Also the author of Bleed and Project 17, her most current work, Deadly Little Secret, the first book in the TOUCH series, is due out in December 2008. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, visit Laurie’s website at www.lauriestolarz.com. 
 


GCC Author interview: Kelly Parra

Do you believe in fate?

Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be -- compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.

Because Kara has a gift -- one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she's been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she's been warned about -- until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it's her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it's too late...or lead her even further into danger?


The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit welcomes Kelly Parra and her newest YA novel, Invisible Touch, from MTV Books.

The interview:

Stacy:  If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?

Kelly: If I couldn't be a writer, I'd be a film maker. :) After books, my second love is watching movies. It's the stories and the characters that I really love so if I couldn't write about them, I'd direct them!

Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?

Kelly: Most of my surprises have been for Graffiti Girl, my first book. Invisible Touch is still so new since it hit shelves last week. My biggest surprise with Graffiti Girl is having the book added to High School/Middle Grade reading lists and teachers discussing the book in the classroom. Its been surreal and wonderful discovering this.

Stacy: What are you working on now?

Kelly: I'm actually dipping more into the young adult sci-fi genre. I haven't sold the project so I can't say much about it, but it's a new world and a big challenge to write, which is very cool.

Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?

Kelly: No one I could think of, but there have been a couple of teachers I will never forget. Mr. Feldman who was a big jokester and the coolest PE teacher around. And Mr. Torrance who tossed candy bars to students who answered geography questions correctly. :)

Stacy: I'd totally get A's in Geography class. Speaking of which, what's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Kelly: Hot Fudge chocolate on top of ice cream. Yum! :)

Stacy: A girl after my own chocolate-loving heart.

Praise for Invisible Touch:

"A magical blending of mystery, romance, and deep and dangerous secrets. Kelly Parra's Invisible Touch is an action-packe coming-of-age novel, sure to keep readers turning pages and begginf for a sequel" -- Laurie Faria Stolarz, bestselling author of Blue is for Nightmares and Deadly Little Secret.

"Readers are going to delight in th is fast-paced, gripping story, and be kept spellbound until its surprising finish" -- Tina Ferraro, author of How to Hook a Hottie.

"The Gold Award of Excellence! An amazing, touching novel that deals with big issues in an original context" -- TeensReadToo.

"Five out of five gold pens for Invisible Touch" -- The Salinas Californian.

Check out the Invisible Touch book trailer!

About the author:

Kelly Parra is the author of Graffiti Girl, a double RITA nominee and a Latinidad Top Pick, and the contemporary paranormal, Invisible Touch. When not pulling her hair while writing her current novel, she likes to play with her abundance of websites and feed a serious television addiction. For excerpts visit www.kellyparra.com or follow the Secret Fates blog at secretfates.blogspot.com

Thanks, Kelly, and congratulations again!


GCC Author interview: Linda Gerber

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit welcomes Linda Gerber, author of the brand new novel Death by Latte (Puffin).

Following on the heels of this summer’s killer YA mystery, DEATH BY BIKINI, DEATH BY LATTE (Puffin Paperback; September 18, 2008; $9.99) is a modern-day romantic mystery/suspense in the tradition of Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr.

                                           
DEATH BY LATTE Aphra Connolly, who had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turns up and steals her heart… and provides information that leads her to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom, Natalie, doesn’t seem happy to see Aphra, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he had given her that summer. At least Natalie’s good-looking neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her. . . .


Stacy: Food-obsessed as I am, I love the title. If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be? Taste-tester?
Linda: I'd love to work in a bookstore or a library or someplace I could read books every day and get paid for it.

Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?
Linda: Finding my name on Tyra Banks' blog site was a huge surprise! Never thought I'd see that in my lifetime.

Stacy: What are you working on now?
Linda: I just finished the final edits for the third book in the Death By series, DEATH BY DENIM. It comes out in May. And now I'm digging into my upcoming paranormal about two sisters who share cryptic premonitions.

Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?
Linda: I had several favorite teachers who encouraged me to keep writing. One of them was my HS English teacher, Mrs. Anderson, who enjoyed my short stories. I used to write more than what was assigned because it felt so good to know someone truly liked what I had created.

Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?
Linda: Godiva bars are heavenly, as are Lindt dark chocolate balls. Also a fan of Toblerone. Ritter chocolates from Germany are crazy good... oh, and and Droste Pastilles from Holland. In Finland, my favorite chocolate bar was Geisha by Fazer. Right here in Ohio we have London Mints. The dark are the best. Um, yeah. I kind of love good chocolate.

(Stacy: Note to self: Plan chocolate- shopping trip to Holland and Finland.)


Praise for DEATH BY LATTE:

 Great characters, plot twists, and non-stop action and excitement.”  --
YA Books Central

 Full of action, suspense, and mystery, Death by Latte is a thrilling edition to the Death by series!” --The Story Siren

 An entertaining Seattle joy ride that… teens will appreciate.” --Genre-go-Round Reviews

 Death by Latte is a compelling read for those who like mystery, action, and adventure with a little romance and humor thrown in for good measure.”

Purple Pens Reviews

 Enjoyed quite thoroughly!” --  Critical Mass

 

This exciting installment features non-stop thrills and leaves you guessing right up to the end.” -- Presenting Lenore

 High action and suspense.” --Library Thing

 
Praise for the DEATH BY series:


Will capture mystery fans.” -- G. Engberg - Booklist
 

Strong writing and plenty of plot twists.”  -- The Providence Journal

 Fast-paced, fun, and maybe just a little scary.” -- YA New York

 
Just “the right amount of intrigue, suspense, humor and romance.”
--
Flamingnet Book Reviews

 
Five enchantments.” -- Enchanting Reviews

 
Refreshing read.” -- Simply Books

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Linda recently returned to life in the Midwest after four years in Japan, where she served as the Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She currently lives and writes in Dublin, OH, blissfully ignoring her husband, four kids, and one very naughty puppy.

Here's where you can learn more about Linda and her books:

Website:  http://lindagerber.com

Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=518643863

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/gerbsplace

Blogger: http://lindagerber.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/gerbsan

 


GCC Author interview: Stephanie Kuehnert



This week the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit introduces Stephanie Kuehnert and her debut novel, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone (MTV Books).




The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.
Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back.
Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?

"...An empowering new twist on a girl's coming of age..." - Los Angeles Times

"...Irresistible.....Acidly incisive and full-out entertaining..." - Booklist


Welcome, Stephanie! I like you already, because that's my sister's name. And I love your cover! Congratulations on your debut!

Stacy: If you couldn't be a writer, what would your dream job be?

Stephanie: Oooh this is a toughy because being a writer is my dream job. Right now, I'm trying to transition to working part-time so I can write more and the dream is to write full-time. If I couldn't be a writer, I'd wanna be a rock star, but I don't have musical talent. So if not that, then the only thing I could really see myself enjoying doing is being a librarian because I'd still be surrounded by books and encouraging people to read. Oh and I have a secret fantasy about being a soap opera writer. That's writing-related I know, but totally different than writing books and I think it would be so much fun!




Stacy: What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?

Stephanie: Um, having fans. I know that's weird to say, but it's weird for me to have people like me and think I'm talented and cool. I'm just used to being the outcast girl since grade school, so to have people coming up to me so excited to meet me. And people send me emails and MySpace messages and stuff and are surprised when I write them back. I will always do my damndest to write people back. It might take me longer than I'd like, but I try!


Stacy: What are you working on now?

Stephanie: Right now I am anxiously awaiting the revision notes on my second book, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, which is a novel about a teenage girl who finally finds a group of friends at this park where all the misfits hang out , but she and her friends are all dealing with some serious issues and without adults to turn to, life begins to spiral out of control. I know that's vague. I'm horrible at elevator pitches, but you can read more (including the first chapter) at www.stephaniekuehnert.com/backstage.html

While I await those notes, I'm toying with third book ideas. I have one proposal finished about the daughter of a fictional dead rock god and the twin brother of a girl who recently committed suicide trying to figure out why the girl killed herself. But now another idea is taking my attention, about a teenage girl who runs away with one of her best friends only to learn that he is dealing with schizophrenia.


Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?

Stephanie: Oh, I've had many. Teachers and school librarians are some of my favorite people. My absolute favorite teacher was a professor I had in college, Randy Albers. He's the chair of the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago and I first took a class with him when I was an undergraduate. There were all these grad students in the class and I was soooooo intimidated, but Randy really coaxed me out of my shell. He is the one that taught me how to revise and rewrite and really polish my stuff. He was one of the biggest reasons I stayed on at Columbia for grad school. He became my thesis advisor and when an agent expressed interested in IWBYJR when it was only half-finished he worked with me to get it into shape in a few months even though he was supposed to be on sabbatical. I would not be the writer I am without that man.

  
Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

Stephanie: I'm a dark chocolate girl. Always have been, but particularly for the past 10 years because I'm vegan so no milk chocolate for me -- except when I cheat, which happens on occasion because I have such a weakness for sweets. But dark chocolate and peanut butter, it's heaven on earth.


Check out I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone at your nearest indie bookstore!
And visit Stephanie at her website, her LJ (writerstephanie) and send her a MySpace message. She'll write back!

Girlfriends Rule!

I'm thrilled to post my first interview as a member of the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit, blogtour brainchild of Karin Gillespie.

Today we're visiting with Megan Kelley Hall, author of Sisters of Misery (Kensington), her debut novel just released on July 29.




"What happens when a hazing prank goes terribly wrong and a young teenage girl goes missing? The debut suspense novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, brings us inside a small, seaside town near Salem, where Maddie Crane, the teen protagonist investigating her eccentric cousin’s disappearance, ignites the wrath of the Sisters of Misery – a powerful high school clique, whose activities mirror the witch hunts of the seventeenth century. Fans of Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult and Stephenie Meyer will be haunted by this story of three generations of women and their struggles against each other and a town ruled by fear."

Stacy: Sounds deliciously creepy, Megan. What's the most surprising thing to happen since publication of your book?

Megan: The most amazing and surprising thing for me was signing across the row from Barbara Walters at Book Expo America in Los Angeles. I'm sure that I didn't even register as a blip on her radar, but it was an incredible moment in my life. Even more incredible was when she noticed my five-year-old daughter walking around with my book saying, "My mommy wrote a book! Come see my mommy who wrote a book!" I wasn't aware of this at the time, but I was told later that Barbara looked at my daughter and said she was precious and adorable.


Stacy: What are you working on now?

Megan: I'm working on the second book in the SISTERS OF MISERY series. It's called THE LOST SISTER and will come out in August 2009.  I'm also playing around with a nonfiction memoir describing how I overcame major health setbacks (open heart surgery two years ago) to fulfill my dream of being a published author. Additionally, I am a partner in Kelley & Hall Book Publicity, an independent literary publicity company (www.kelleyandhall.com) that I started with my mother and sister. It's a challenge to keep authors (especially fiction authors) in the news, but we've worked with some great authors – NY Times bestselling authors to self-published debut authors – and it never gets boring.


Stacy: If you couldn't be a writer (or a publicist), what would your dream job be?

Megan: I've had a lot of jobs—advertising, radio, public relations, trade show and event planning.  And I've found a way to incorporate writing into all of them. So, whatever the job would be, it would have to include some form of writing….maybe writing for movies or television? Being Johnny Depp's personal biographer, perhaps?  :)

4S  Stacy: Did you have a favorite teacher who encouraged your writing/reading habit?

5.    Megan: While I was at Skidmore College, I studied under Steven Millhauser for a few semesters in his fiction and creative writing courses. This was before he won the Pulitzer Prize for Martin Dressler. He was pretty inspiring and very supportive, but I didn't realize at the time that I was studying under such an incredible writer.

     Stacy: What's your favorite kind of chocolate?

M     Megan: Dark chocolate, especially Godiva!!

Thanks for stopping by, Megan. Congratulations on your debut, and here's to a long and illustrious career!


 

Th


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Stacy DeKeyser ~~ Author of books for teens
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