As part of the Kindle Indie-pendence Day celebration (and giveaway...see below!), I'm featuring a series of interviews with indie authors. First up is Shana Norris, author of the popular young adult novel The Boyfriend Thief.
Book title: The Boyfriend Thief
Author: Shana Norris
Avery has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class. The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah, her biggest competition for valedictorian, makes an offer: If Avery can make Zac break up with Hannah, a check for five hundred dollars is hers. But within Zac's chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, Avery's total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. Just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?
When did you know you wanted to be an author? I've been making up stories ever since I was a little kid, but it wasn't until I was around age 11 that I realized authors were just normal people who loved to write like I did. So from that point on, I decided that I wanted to become an author one day.
Why do you Indie publish? I love being able to get something new out to readers on my own schedule and connect with new readers online.
What inspired you to write your book? The Boyfriend Thief is one of those "book of my heart" stories. I had worked on it for years, and it started from my need to explore feelings of isolation and having to grow up really fast. I moved away from my parents during my senior year of high school, 700 miles away, and a lot of the feelings of loneliness that Avery has in the book came from my own experiences. I also wanted to write about the complexities of relationships within family and friends, and what draws people to each other or pushes them apart.
What are three things you want people to know about you or your book?
#1: I really did work at a locksmith shop for a while, just like Zac does in the book.
#2: I have never dressed up as a giant hot dog (thank goodness!).
#3: Avery's best friend Molly was originally a character in my first published book, Something to Blog About, although she was eventually cut out of it. Then she went through a big makeover when she reappeared in this book.
What advice do you have for parents to encourage their kids to read more? Find books on subjects that your kids already enjoy. A lot of times a kid might say they hate to read just because their only experience with reading is the things they have to read for school, which don't always interest them. If your kid likes aliens, find books about aliens. If they like horses, find series about kids who ride horses. Start with shorter books on things they already like, and then let them gradually move on from there at their own pace.
Thank you, Shana! If you'd like to see more interviews, stay tuned. In the meantime, check out author Sybil Nelson's site to enter the Kindle Indie-pendence giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle, a Kindle Fire, or several other great prizes.