Today Team Novel Teen is reviewing Interrupted by teen author Rachel Coker. I can’t think of anything cooler than a traditionally published teen author. There are so many reviewers talking about the book, and you can visit those links at the bottom of this post. But I thought it would be fun to talk with Rachel, so I asked her some questions. I’ll post my review of Interrupted tomorrow.
I can definitely say that the last few months have been some of the most exciting of my life. It’s just been a whirlwind of interviews, radio shows, giveaways, talks, and even a few book signings! The most surreal thing to happen so far was when I got the chance to fly to Philadelphia to sign books at the Public Library Association Conference. Shaking hands with so many people and getting to share my book with them was just an amazing experience—I was smiling the whole time!
I bet! Have you received any emails from readers? Would you tell us about one? How did it make you feel to get that feedback?
Yes, I get emails from readers on an almost daily basis! Each one is so special and unique and they almost always make me want to cry. Happy tears, that is! It’s an amazing feeling to know that other teens from all over the country (and even a few international emails from places like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada!) are hearing about my book and are being inspired by my story. Every time someone tells me something like, “I never thought it was possible to get a book published in my teens, but you have given me faith and confidence to go out there and try to get my book published,” I feel like it’s my birthday, Christmas, and National Pie Day all wrapped up in one!
Tell me more about this National Pie Day… Kidding! Have you ever gone to a writer’s conference? Would you be interested in teaching a class at a conference? If so, what topic might you speak on?
No, I’ve never been to a writer’s conference, although I would love to go to one! I do have several speaking engagements lined up to talk to teenagers interested in writing at different schools and libraries. I have this great workshop prepared called “How to Live Like a Writer” as well as talks on practical fiction writing advice. And of course I love to talk to teens about how to go about getting their work published!
I want to take your workshop! Not that I’m a teen, but… What do you consider one of your biggest life adventures?
While I have experienced a lot of amazing things, I really hope that my greatest life adventure hasn’t happened yet. I have so many dreams of seeing the world, meeting new people, and embarking on many great adventures. I just pray that I’ll get to see some of those dreams realized one day!
Well, Interrupted is a wonderful story. Here is the back cover copy:
Can love really heal all things?
If Sam Carroll hadn’t shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie’s heart from hardening completely.
But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.
Not all life adventures are fun. And your story deals with some tough subjects. Allie has to take care of her sick mother. Do you have any advice for teens that have a parent that needs care?
Oh, this is such a tough topic. One of the most difficult aspects of writing Interrupted was forming this relationship between Allie and her mother. Because Allie’s mom suffers from a brain tumor and begins losing her sanity, their traditional mother-daughter roles are reversed and Allie turns into her mother’s nurturing, maternal figure. It’s always hard when life throws us curveballs and we have to face difficulties that we didn’t think we’d have to deal with until we were well into our adult years. But I think the only way that anyone with difficult circumstances can cope with tragedies and hardships is through praying. We have a God that promises to supply all our needs and give us the strength to carry on and make those hard decisions. It may have taken Allie several years to realize that, but all along it was God’s strength that supported her.
That’s wonderful advice, Rachel. Thanks for sharing that. What new fictional adventure are you working on now?
I’m putting the final touches on my next novel, which due to release in March 2013. I’m really excited about this one! The story revolves around a teenage girl named growing up in Georgia during the 1960’s. Her younger brother has autistic tendencies, but because so little was known back then about mental disabilities, everyone just regards him as a freak. Scarlett encounters so much turmoil and stress as the world changes around her, and so many things threaten to tear her family apart. But in the end, she has to learn what’s really important in life. It doesn’t matter what other people consider normal or acceptable. What’s important is to be true to yourself and to look after those you care about. I can’t wait to share more details as the release date grows nearer.
Wow! I can’t wait to hear more! It sounds like a powerful story. Congrats on the new contract and thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today.
Find out what the other bloggers are saying about Interrupted!
Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Interrupted by Rachel Coker by clicking on the links above, and check out www.NovelTeen.com for more information about Team Novel Teen.