Shari Maurer is the debut author of Change Of Heart which is available now from WestSide Books!
KBB: Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you picture yourself doing?
SM: As I kid, I probably went back and forth a lot. My ambitions ranged from cake decorator to lawyer to psychologist. In college I did a lot of theatre and film public relations and assumed I’d do that. On a whim, I had written a screenplay and on a bigger whim, submitted it to NYU. Much to my shock, I was accepted, so my path was altered.
KBB: Why did you decide to write a novel for young adults?
SM: I probably decided on YA because I enjoy reading those novels so much. And my daughter had just ventured into these books and I wanted to write something she’d love to read. My hope was that I’d be published before she graduated high school and I’m happy to say she’s finishing her sophomore year, so I did it!
KBB: What do you consider the hardest part of writing?
SM:I think for me, it’s often just coming up with a new idea that I love enough to want to spend a year on it. For the book I’m writing now, I had many months of trying different stories and getting discouraged or losing interest until I hit on this idea. And even then it took a while for me to find the angle that made me want to push forward.
KBB:Do you have any must-haves while you are writing?
SM:I’ve become a huge coffee drinker. Sometimes I think it’s my caffeine buzz that does the actual writing. I recently bought a netbook and love to take it out of my house or to somewhere different so I can focus better. While I’m writing, I always have a notebook and automatic lead pencil next to me to jot down thoughts and things I want to come back and address.
KBB:Do you have a favorite character from your book? If so, why that one?
SM:Isn’t that like asking me which one of my children is my favorite? (In our house, it’s the one that’s sleeping!). Anyway, I think that there’s something I admire in each of them. Emmi finds a strength and patience she never knew she had. Sam and Becca are (mostly) wonderfully supportive during a time where it would be easy for kids to bail on each other. Abe is very genuine and true to himself, with passionate interests and a sort of sad backstory.
KBB:Do you have anything in common with your main character, Emmi?
SM:Yeah, we both have the same knotty, curly, looks-crappy-in-most-weather hair. And we both love sushi.
KBB:Can you tell us anything about what you are currently working on? Any more YA novels in the plans?
SM:The book I’m writing now takes place at summer camp, which is where I met my husband when I was seventeen and where my daughter leaves her heart at the end of every summer. I was intrigued by the strong feelings summer camp can engender, so I decided to set the new book there. Then I started thinking about the question: “When is okay to lie?” and that brought the plot to a whole new level.
KBB:Do you have a favorite young adult book that you would recommend? It can be an upcoming release, new release, or even an older release.
SM:I’ve had a lot of fun this year reading the books from my classmates at the Class of 2K10. They’ve pushed me to read genres I don’t always seek out and I’m in awe of their talent. Since the Class of 2K10 is full of debut writers, I get to look forward to all of their future books, too.
I am a huge fan and admirer of Sarah Dessen and have enjoyed all of her books. I think she’s publishing a new book in 2011, so I’m excited to read it.
KBB:Thanks so much for the interview, Shari! I am super excited to read Change Of Heart and your work-in-progress sounds great too.
Readers if you want to know more about Change Of Heart or Shari, you can check her out around the web.