November 12, 2012

Exclusive Interview with author Danielle Sibarium

Today I have the pleasure of interview the lovely Danielle Sibarium, author of the YA novels HEART WAVES and FOR ALWAYS. Danielle will also be interviewing me over on her blog HERE so be sure to check it out. We'll be holding giveaways on both blogs for one ecopy of my novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, and one copy of her novel, HEART WAVES. 

Description: "Jenna Kingsley has a gift. She knows things. With a simple touch she can pick up personal information from jewelry or objects. While at a neighbor’s party, a voice mesmerizes her. Jenna is momentarily frozen as a ring is placed in her hand. White electricity surges through her and a dire prediction is made. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to break my heart.”  From the moment they meet, Jenna is enchanted and entranced with Reece Walton. She’s thrilled to learn he’s spending the summer two houses away from hers. Every moment they spend together is magical. But she can’t get the prediction out of her mind. As the summer draws to a close and secrets are revealed, can Jenna get past the fear of being left with a broken heart to live in the moment with Reece or will her fear of being hurt fulfill the prophecy?"

Thanks, Danielle, for taking the time to talk with me today! 

1) What inspired you to write your first book?
For Always was a story that screamed from my soul. I dealt with a lot of death growing up. A lot! I wanted to write about someone like that, a protagonist who must overcome obstacles of chance and her own self-doubt. A girl who internalizes the negative things life has to offer and doesn’t see her true potential. I wanted to show how those experiences help her find a reserve of perseverance and strength. And how the having the right person believe in you can change the life path you are on.  

2) How did you come up with the titles of FOR ALWAYS and HEART WAVES?

I had two requirements for my titles. First, I wanted a catchy title something people would remember easily. Second, they had to be two words long. I tried to make sure the titles reflected the books, so I played with pairs of words until it felt right and hinted at the story.

3) Do you have any specific pre-writing rituals?
In lieu of lighting mood candles, burning incense and summoning an unearthly force to power my finger tips with divine knowledge, I try to find a quiet place and write. It’s a bit chaotic right now because I change places so the kids won’t find me. Sometimes I retreat to my office, other times it’s the spare bedroom. But, I always go back a page or two to try and get back in the moment from where I ended.

4) Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. Believe in yourself, in what your heart knows to be true. In For Always I’d add to that, everything happens for a reason. It may take years or decades to figure out, but whatever event, no matter how devastating or trivial it may be, it happens to enrich your life, to give you some lesson or perspective you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

5) Who is your favorite character in FOR ALWAYS or HEART WAVES?
Ooh this is such a tough question. Of all my characters Stephanie from For Always is most like me, and I love Jordan. I wanted him to be wonderful and perfect while being flawed and broken in his own right. I think those traits came through pretty well. But I had the most fun writing Reece from Heart Waves so far. I guess you can say all three are favorites for different reasons.  

6) Are experiences of your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There is a shadow of truth in everything I write, especially in For Always. Most of the crazy situations Stephanie found herself in like the smoke filled bus scene, or getting caught by a teacher somewhere she shouldn’t have really happened to me. Just not in the exact way I wrote about or with the same person.

7) What books/characters have most influenced your life most?
Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables consumed my life for a very long time! Yes they are Broadway plays as well, but I did read both books and fell in love with the score, plays, and characters. I think both of these taught me about finding hope in heart wrenching situations, character layering and love. I most identified with the Phantom and Eponine. They influenced me greatly.  

8) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Although I hope that I learn from all the authors I come into contact with, especially those in writing groups I have been a part of, I guess mentor in the truest sense of the word would have to go to my college advisor, Harvey Flaxman. He taught me more about writing, how to develop whole characters by really knowing them, how to work through writer’s block, and most importantly to never give up. 

9) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Hmm. There’s this new guy on the scene maybe you’ve heard of him, David James ring a bell? (Thanks, Danielle!) Just joking, there are many new authors out there that have infused excitement and talent in the industry and have pretty much turned things upside down, in a good way of course.

10) Can you tell us any information about any future books you’re working on?
I’ve been busy with preparations for the release of Breaking Waves, the second book of the Heart Waves trilogy. Jenna is going to have to deal with some tough stuff. We’ve been waiting for the moment when her prediction from the night she met Reece comes true, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. And there’s only one person who understands what she’s dealing with, the one person she doesn’t want to turn to, the ever volatile, incredibly good looking Tyler. Can she put aside everything she knows about him and her promise to Reece to never trust Tyler in order to deal with her heartbreak? You’ll just have to read to find out!

11) Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read incessantly, write daily, and revise, revise, revise. Write what you are passionate about, not what you think the market is currently dictating. Markets change. Be open to the ever fluid times. The publishing industry has and will continue to transform. We have not seen the finished product, so don’t get hung up on the traditional ideals. 

Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarves, or Cinderella waiting for the prince. In 2007 Danielle collaborated with Charlotte Doreen Small to write songs for her CD More. Danielle wrote the lyrics for Take My Hand, and Goodbye, while Charlotte contributed the melody. Danielle graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with honors, and currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

Be sure to check out Danielle's blog for a chance to win an ecopy of LIGHT OF THE MOON.
Enter to win an ecopy of HEART WAVES below.
Giveaways ends Wednesday 11/14/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is a new to me author. Your interview was great. I am now adding these books to my wish list.

    Thank you

  2. Thanks, Cathy! Glad you enjoyed it! The rafflecopter is now working.

  3. I'm excited for Heart Waves. I already read For Always and fell in love :)

  4. Wow, this is a PNR with a twist - no actual monsters! It sounds really interesting, and I will definitely keep it on my TBR list! Thank you for the opportunity, and forthe great interview.

  5. Great interview! I agree to go with what you're passionate about. By the time you try to write what is "in," it will have already moved on to the next big thing. And one day your idea could be that big thing! ;) Thanks for offering the giveaway, Danielle!

  6. Hey ladies, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for stopping by and taking the time to read the interview and enter the contest! Your support is so greatly appreciated! Good luck!

  7. Thanks for the giveaway. Cant wait to read this book!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway. Cant wait to read this book!

  9. Reece!!! Noooooooooooo! I honestly was hoping Jenna's feeling was just her being scared to open up to love and that it would be nothing. I'm soo sad! I love Reece! :'( and have a terrible feeling about his fate :( I can't wait to read Breaking Waves!