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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teen Author Tuesday Presents Angie Smibert and MEMENTO NORA!

I'm excited to welcome another Class of 2k11 author to the blog! Angie Smibert's debut novel, MEMENTO NORA, releases April 1, 2011 from Marshall Cavendish. It is science fiction, YA, for ages 13 and up.

Welcome Angie! Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?
near-future science fiction dystopian "thriller" (for lack of a better term)

Sounds great! Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your debut novel and why?
Winter Nomura. She's a manic artist who builds a kinetic sculpture garden in her backyard.  She was fun to create, and she would probably be fascinating to hang out with in real life.

Can you tell my readers a little bit more about yourself?
I was born in Blacksburg, a once sleepy college town in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. I grew up thinking I wanted to be a veterinarian; organic chemistry had other ideas. But I always had stories in my head. Eventually, after a few degrees and few cool jobs—including a 10-year stint at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center—I wrote some of those stories down. I’ve published many short stories, for both adults and teens. Memento Nora is my first novel.

What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far?
I've been extraordinarily lucky.  I sold Memento Nora after attending a regional SCBWI conference. One of the great things about those conferences is that editors and agents typically allow attendees to submit directly to them for a short time. I sent the manuscript to three of the editors there, one of them being Marilyn Brigham at Marshall Cavendish. And, she eventually bought it.

What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Go to SCBWI conferences. (See #5). Oh, and if an editor asks you if you'd be willing to revise and resubmit, do it!

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?
On top of all the promotional stuff, I'm working on the sequel to Memento Nora.

What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
In high school, I was on the school newspaper and in honors English, but I didn't write any fiction. For some reason, it never occurred to me as a teen to write stories. 

What's the last book you read that you really loved?
Right now, I'm reading the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It's especially good as an audiobook since Death is the one telling the story.

Yes, I loved that one too! If readers want to find out more about you and your writing, where
should they look?
My website:
My book website: www.
My Facebook:,,
My Twitter:,
I blog every Thursday at the League of Extraordinary Writers:

Thanks so much for visiting today, Angie, and all the very best with your debut!


  1. Great interview! So cool that Angie worked at NASA. (It reminds me of one of my favorite shows growing up: I dream of Jeannie.)

    Happy Book Birthday week to Memento Nora. I'll look for it!

  2. Great interview! I love reading about success stories from authors in my state--go Virginia! :)

  3. I finished Memento Nora last week. It one that will stay with you, for sure.

  4. Thanks for a great interview Dawn and Angie! I always love to hear the behind-the-scenes stories of an author's path to publication.

  5. I really want to take Angie out for (insert caffeinated beverage here) and listen to all the awesome NASA stories. Thanks so much for the fabulous interview!!!

  6. I LOVED Memento Nora! Great interview :)