Shari Maurer's debut novel, CHANGE OF HEART, is due out from WestSide Books this summer. It is Contemporary YA for ages 14 and up.
Welcome, Shari! Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?
Love, soccer, worry, invincible (or not), heartache
Invincible or not - love that! Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your debut novel and why?
Abe. This is the guy Emmi meets at the hospital and who gives her support through her waiting for a transplant, etc. He loves old rock bands and is really comfortable in his own skin.
Sounds like a great guy. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?
I'm a big Duke basketball fan (can you say National Champs?!), I love old rock bands (which I gave to Abe) and I try very hard to be an optimist. When a friend comes to me with a problem, I'm always the one seeking the bright side.
I'm a bright-side-seeker too! Maybe that's why we get along so well. What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far, Shari?
How much I've enjoyed my debut groups. I'm a member of the Class of 2K10 and the Tenners and I had no idea how important it was to have a community.
Amen to that. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Find a critique group that's not afraid to tell you something stinks (as long as they say it nicely and in a constructive manner). I have a two amazing writers I work with and they push me to make my mediocre drafts far better than I ever could on my own.
Wonderful advice! Are you swept up with promotion for your debut book right now or can you give us a sentence or two about something new you're working on?
I've been working hard to juggle promotion with writing a new book. The book I'm working on right now is set at summer camp (I love summer camp and met my husband there when we were 17) and it examines the question: "when is it okay to lie?"
Oooh, very intriguing. What did you write when you were a teen, Shari? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
I don't think I wrote much as a teen. Maybe a little journaling. I did adapt the sixth grade play from my favorite book, "Cheaper By the Dozen" (no relation to the Steve Martin movie), but I was only 11, so not sure that counts toward teen writing.
Oh, it counts all right. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
Can I cheat and name two? "Twenty Boy Summer" by Sarah Ockler and "The Sky is Everywhere" by Jandy Nelson. Both dealt with grief and coping in two very different but beautiful ways.
Both of these are on my TBR pile! *bumps them up the list*. If readers want to find out more about you and your writing, Shari, where should they look?
My website: www.sharimaurer.com, My Facebook: www.facebook.com/shari.b.maurer, My Twitter: http://twitter.com/sharimaurer
Awesome. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, Shari, and all the very best with your release!