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The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author Jaye Robin Brown

Serendipity, small towns and the Appalachian trail…. Jaye speaks with us about a few of the elements that create her YA contemporary debut NO PLACE TO FALL (HarperTeen). And she reads a particularly awesome snippet toward the end!

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Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL is out now (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber)!
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The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author LISA MAXWELL

Voodoo, murder, and haunting dreams collide in Lisa Maxwell‘s spell-binding mystery, SWEET UNREST.

Lisa speaks with us about the importance of setting and research in her YA paranormal debut (Flux, 2014).

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Lisa Maxwell is the author of SWEET UNREST (Flux, Fall 2014). When she’s not writing books, she teaches English at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys. You can find her on Twitter @lisamaxwellya most days.

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Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL is out now (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).
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The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author VERONICA BARTLES

What do you do when your sister outshines you in every way, and now your crush wants your help in winning her heart? (hint: it involves a twelve-step program)

Veronica Bartles talks to us about sibling rivalry, dream guys, and her YA contemporary romance, TWELVE STEPS (Swoon Romance, 2014).

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Veronica Bartles lives in New Mexico with her husband and four children. When she’s not writing or lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, she enjoys creating delicious desserts, exploring new places, and recycle knitting. Her debut novel, TWELVE STEPS was released in March 2014.

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Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL is out now (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).
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Introducing Kate A. Boorman, author of WINTERKILL


9781419712357

Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees… 

 

Today we’re speaking with Kate A Boorman, author of WINTERKILL, a young adult alternate history thriller that releases September 9th, 2014. One author, four questions….. and go!

 

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen? 

I always want this answer to be: I started writing when I was a child and just pursued a life long dream. I mean, I wrote a kickass mystery short story in grade six (just ask my elementary school—it won an award, I remember, and why wouldn’t it? It featured death by steam room!) and some extremely bad poetry and some short stories in high school, but the truth is, it didn’t occur to me that I could write fiction until very recently.

I’d been writing for hire for several years—qualitative research/analysis etc.—and I was an avid reader, but fiction always felt like it lay far beyond me—not so much beyond my abilities, but my purpose (ie. what would I have to say?). You know those people who have “write a bestseller” on their bucket list—or if not their bucket, their Dream Big list? I always thought those people were completely out to lunch. Like, yeah, I’ll write a book and also be an astronaut and a rockstar in my spare time. I think my decision to try writing fiction was born of a combination of (old) age emboldening me, and needing a creative outlet outside my life of momosity. It was sort of like: what’s the worst that could happen? I don’t have to tell anyone I’m writing.

Very quickly I realized I loved it (also? I am obstinate and the first book I wrote went nowhere and my failure made me more determined). When life threw a curveball a couple of years ago I realized writing was also a really safe place for me. I used NaNo 2011 to finish a different book. I went to a couple of conferences, took workshops on craft, read voraciously, and revised that book. When I felt like it was finally the book I’d hoped to write, I started querying. I received offers of rep, accepted rep, revised with agent, went out on sub, and my agent sold the book in about three weeks. And that book, obviously (and surreally) is my debut that releases this September.

 

What’s your debut book about?

WINTERKILL is about a young girl living in an isolated settlement whose dreams urge her out into the forbidden woods, where the enemy lies in wait. It’s about fear—how it motivates and inhibits us—and discovery, and choosing to believe you are worthy of love.

Here’s an unofficial blurb: 

The woods outside Emmeline’s walls are deadly. Years ago, her people settled out there. Only a handful survived.

Emmeline knows she can’t go out there. She is already watched for Waywardness—the rule-breaking behavior that sent her grandmother to death. She should ignore those dreams that urge her to ask questions she shouldn’t.

But inside the walls is a marriage she doesn’t want, and a boy she can’t have.

And something out there calls to her.

 

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

Super cool: I have man-hands, which are “abnormally large hands on the end of rather stick-ish arms” (not the OED definition). The hands are very useful for playing piano (which I do) and opening jars (which I feign being unable to do because who likes opening jars?). The stick-ish arms would be useful for stabbing zombies through their torsos. Or so says my husband. I suppose I’d have to make my man-hands go rigid into something like spear-points to accomplish such a thing, but if I couldn’t get ahold of a stabby-stabby-poke-stick (which is what you’d need to fight zombies), then I’d be willing to try it. (Note: my book is not about zombies. Or man-hands.)

Less cool: I’m a terrible bike rider. Five words: pant leg in bicycle chain.

 

Why do Canadians use extra letters in their words and spell stuff funny? (colour, honour, cheque)

It’s an issue of National Security and I can only tell you if you pledge allegiance to these things: maple syrup, poutine and David Suzuki. On Canadian soil, of course.

 

Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL debuts September 9th, 2014 (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).
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The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author Bethany Neal

Fragmented memories and irreversible decisions: Bethany speaks with us about her YA thriller debut, MY LAST KISS (FSG, June 2014).

 

 

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Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL debuts September 9th, 2014 (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).
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GETTIN’ LUCKY: An Interview with Brandy Colbert, Author of POINTE

Today we’re talking to Brandy Colbert, author of POINTE. You guys. You guys. This book blew me away. It’s powerful in a way that left me an emotional mess for days after I read it (but in a good way). You need to check this one out. Trust.

Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

Thanks for joining us today, Brandy! I guess the million dollar question is where did the inspiration for POINTE come from?
I’ve always been interested in kidnapping stories. When I was young, I saw a TV movie called I Know My First Name Is Steven, which was based on a true story from the ’70s/’80s. I thought about it often, and followed the case and others like it for years. I’d always wanted to write a story about a kidnapping, but there are already so many well-done books from the victim’s point of view, so I wanted to explore what happens to the friend of the abducted child, especially if that abducted friend returns someday. The ballet came later, then my brilliant editor helped me weave it all together into a coherent story.

 
Speaking of ballet, POINTE’s main character, Theo, is an elite dancer, and the level of detail with which you describe Theo’s world is impressive. Do you come from a dance background yourself or was this a product of a good deal of research?
Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that, because it’s sometimes difficult to translate something you love to the page. Growing up, I took eight years of tap lessons, and several years of jazz, and I was on my high school’s dance team. I’m more of a spectator when it comes to ballet, and have taken the majority of my ballet classes from college on, so that did require a good amount of research. When writing about a performing art, you’re trying to balance that line between being too technical and conveying the beauty of the art. (But it was also a great excuse to watch my favorite dance movies and clips, so it’s honestly the best research I can think of.)
What I love most about this book is its almost blunt sense of realism—it’s gritty, it’s raw, and it’s so believable. It does deal  with several pretty tough subjects. Was it a hard book to write, emotionally? What was the most difficult part about writing it? Conversely, the easiest part?
You know, for this book, I think I was able to remove myself from from the material while writing. There were definitely some tough parts that made me step away from the computer at times—particularly the flashback scenes, with Donovan and at the abandoned park—but for the most part, I was able to move forward without getting too emotionally invested at the time. I think part of that is also related to Theo’s character. She pushes aside everything that’s happened to her so she can focus on her dance, and so it didn’t actually feel like these really dark, intense situations were going down, even as I was writing them. As for the easiest, the scenes set at school and the parties came pretty easily, which probably says a lot about why I enjoy writing young adult books.

What was your path to publication like?
Long. I started writing for publication in 2006, and queried my first book the next year. I got an agent with that book, but it wasn’t the right fit, so we cut ties. I wrote two more books that didn’t go anywhere, but I could tell from the agent feedback that I was getting better, so I was pretty hopeful when I started querying POINTE. I signed with my agent in 2011, we sold to my editor about three weeks after going on submission, and we worked on the book for quite a while to get it right. Publishing can seem to take forever, but looking back, I wouldn’t change any part of my journey.
That’s quite a journey, and I’m so glad it all worked out in the end and that the world gets to read POINTE. (Have I mentioned how much I love your book?) Ok, one last question: What 2 or 3 books inspired you as a kid? 
Ooh, great question! I read just about anything I could get my hands on as a kid, but two that stick out to me are: A LITTLE PRINCESS by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and SIXTH GRADE CAN REALLY KILL YOU by Barthe DeClements. I loved the classics for their language and the way you felt truly transported to another world. DeClements’ books were so realistic to me, and introduced me to developed characters and fantastic stories told through spare prose.
Thanks so much for having me!

And thanks so much to Brandy for joining us! You find out more about Brandy and POINTE on her website or on Twitter or Goodreads.

Brandy Colbert was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks, has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and has worked as an editor for several national magazines. She lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her first novel, POINTE, will be published by Penguin on April 10, 2014.

Meredith McCardle headshot smallMeredith McCardle is a recovered lawyer who lives in South Florida with her husband and two young daughters. Like her main character, she has a fondness for strong coffee, comfortable pants, and jumping to the wrong conclusions. Unlike her main character, she cannot travel through time. Sadly. Her debut, THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, will be published by Skyscape/Amazon Children’s in Spring 2014. You can find her on Twitter.
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The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author Helene Dunbar

Not all scars are visible.
Helene Dunbar speaks with us about her forthcoming YA contemporary, These Gentle Wounds (Flux, 2014).

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Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL debuts September 9th, 2014 (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).