March 27, 2013

Diversity Through Many Eyes

This is me.

Average height.
Average weight.
Average hipster glasses.
Nerd alert.

And yet, because of who I am and what I look like, there are things in this world I will never understand completely. I do, however, understand what it’s like to feel human. We all do. I understand what it feels like to be an outsider. To be different. We are all different, each and every one of us, but it’s through these differences that we are most alike. No matter the color of our skin or our hipster glasses, we all have the ability to see. See difference. See life. See truth. And, most importantly, see beyond what we can see on the surface of things. See beyond the scars we all have. See beyond color and culture, and embrace these differences as parts of the diverse world we live in. Because as different as we all may seem, we all fit. 

“Imagine if, no matter how many books you read, you couldn’t find any main characters that you could see yourself in. Think of how alone you’d feel. Maybe you’d start to feel like something was wrong with you. Shameful. Or maybe you’d just feel not seen. Not having yourself represented in books is like being invisible. It’s like people are saying you don’t matter, you’re not good enough to appear in a book. I think it’s important that we all have reflections of ourselves in books. And including many diverse characters, not just straight, white, able-bodied characters, is a more complete representation of our real world. I also think that if we have diversity in YA novels, if we normalize it (as I believe we should), it may eventually help some readers to be less homophobic, less racist, more accepting of many different people–all without preaching, just because they read books they love with characters who aren’t like them,” said Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars

We all know what it’s like to feel human, and what it’s like to simply not

“Ironically, “diversity” is such a diverse term in itself, and most of the time is expressed in a negative light. Anything or anyone different sends up that little, nagging red flag in the back of our heads. Different is dangerous. Original is ostentatious and odd. I've dealt with the issue of diversity my whole life, for religious reasons, and it doesn't seem to be going away. As the human family, a species that’s made up of all the same stuff, we need to learn the language of oneness. When we do that, we’ll be able to experience benefits, not as separate “groups,” but as a species. If two sides think they are right and the other is wrong, perhaps they’re missing what’s going on in between. When we put aside and look passed the differences of others, we can find what truly is right for us as a whole. Don’t think, how are we different? Think, how are we the same?” said Gale Ryan, author of Unspeakable

Our differences do not have to define us, segregate us, or exile us. And yet it’s okay to understand these differences. Diversity does not mean that difference is gone. In fact, diversity is all about being different. It’s how we treat these differences that’s important. With respect. With equality in mind. With understanding, curiousty, and respect. 

“I had never known what it was like to be a minority until I lived in Japan. Suddenly, just by the color my hair, eyes, and skin, I was an outsider. No matter where I went, I stuck out. And it's not to say that the Japanese people were unkind about this, but they couldn't help but treat me differently. Japanese people often give foreigners a polite distance. And even when they don't, you can't help but be acutely aware how different you are. Also, not all Japanese act like this. I'm not trying to stereotype, but to say that this opinion is prevalent. Some of these are struggles I hoped to tackle in INK. My MC, Katie, moves to Japan from America and faces these kind of hurdles along the way. Experiencing it myself made me see for the first time from a minority perspective.The thing is, we have more in common than we have that is different. That's what Katie finds in INK. And that's what I've found in Japan. Being different in Japan has helped me appreciate what we have in common, and that's what we need to hold on to in our novels. Find the common ground, and don't let the story be about differences of culture, gender, language, sexual orientation, or anything else. These are details, not characters. It's so important to make sure everyone feels included, and no one feels stared at,” said Amanda Sun, author of INK

Here I am, a white male, and yet I think I can understand a little of what it’s like to be a different shade of male because I have other differences all my own. And it is through these differences that we can, if we choose to, see how much we are all alike. Picture what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes. Visualize what it might be like to look like someone else. Because the truth is this: It is possible to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to include everyone by remembering your own struggles. 

“It is only natural for us to take in visual information about people and to recognize and use that information; as an evolutionary adaptation, we use physical differences to tell apart our friends, relatives, and allies from those who are unfamiliar to us. But the noticing of differences should not translate to judgment or discrimination in this day and age. So in my mind, this is a sharp and proverbial double-edged sword: categorizing and stereotyping is dismissive of those truly unique things about each person. I am not "unique" because of the fact that I am the only female Asian-American professor in my department -- I am unique because of the person that I am. However, without people taking the opportunity to actively seek out others who outwardly appear different than themselves, no one would ever know that. So my advice to all is to seek out others, regardless of what what exterior you see,” said Helen Boswell, author of Mythology

Diversity is about seeing everyone; it’s not black or white. 
Equality is about believing in everyone; it’s not gay or straight. 

“I grew up gay in an Appalachian coal town before any semblance of gay life had been introduced to us on a regular basis. We’re talking pre-Will & Grace and pre-Ellen here. Everyone’s notions about gay people were based largely on stereotype. It made for a tough adolescence, trying to reconcile my sexuality with what I thought was socially and religiously “normal.” But a funny thing happened. Once I began to accept myself and be open about it, the level of compassion I saw from the people important to me was overwhelming. It taught me the power of exposure in increasing understanding. Exposure to diversity can lead to fundamental change, and I think it’s happening right before us in the gay community. It’s that awareness that’s helping us reach a greater sense of understanding. Look at Senator Portman of Ohio and his reversal on the gay marriage issue because of his son. I mean, who’s left in society that doesn’t have a gay person in their life in some way? Nobody. I often get told I don’t seem like a product of the region in which I was raised. While I’m very proud of my upbringing, I secretly take it as a compliment. I wasn’t raised in a place known for embracing diversity, but my own struggles have opened my eyes to the need to do just that, be it race, sexuality, culture or religion. And those struggles have helped my family and friends in that little coal town do the same thing,” said Matthew Aaron Browning, author of the forthcoming novel, Straightville, U.S.A

In so many ways, hate comes down to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of others. Fear of what we see, and what we don’t. Fear of what is missing. Fear of difference. But when we fear, when we let these aspects of diversity scare us, we are only harming ourselves. 

“I was raised to believe that I was better than other kids by virtue of the fact that my dad was a doctor, the only one, in fact, in our small Texas town. But when I was twelve and at my most awkward preteen stage—gangly, bespectacled, and plagued by skin problems—that illusion was shattered. My school integrated, racial tensions flared, riots broke out, and without warning, my siblings and I were withdrawn from school and moved to another district where no one knew us or cared who my dad was. For the next five months I spent my evenings in a cramped camper in my grandparents’ backyard and my days in a school with strange and unfriendly faces. I endured daily harassment, name calling, disdain—the biting sting of being an outsider. My identity and my security had been shattered. I would take years to find myself again. In many ways, those five months made me who I am today. For I understand in my deepest heart of hearts that true worth comes not from our family tree or our circumstances or how we look or who we love, but from who we are inside. It’s a theme I’m compelled to explore again and again in my writing,” said J.H. Trumble, author of Don’t Let Me Go and Where You Are.  

The truth is that when we fear difference, or don’t accept it, we are only fearing ourselves. Because you and me? We are different. No one is exactly the same so no one deserves to get hurt for being unlike you. 

“I was an overweight kid and dealt with a great deal of taunting/teasing and general nastiness from people of all ages, especially within my own age group. In some ways in made me a much more caring person in the sense that I knew how awful it felt to be the brunt of someone's joke or looked upon with disgust. I never wanted to have anyone else experience those same feelings at my expense. As a man who also happens to be gay, I am well aware of how much harm bigotry and hatred cause to any segment of society and how much they can hurt an individual. I am a much stronger person now that I have learned to properly separate the rhetoric of hate-spewers from the opinions of the people I love and care about. Understanding that the people who hate truly only hate themselves (even though most wouldn't be able to understand this concept) makes me better appreciate the love and support of the people that stand up and refuse to let the voice of hatred ever overtake the power of love,” said Ross McCoubrey, author of One Boy’s Shadow

Minority is a label that claims a group of people to be less than. Less than what? Who? In reality, aren’t we all a part of some minority? And so, isn’t it right to say that the idea of change should come from everyone, instead of only those people who claim to be in the majority? And if we all, on some level, are part of a minority or a majority, doesn't that mean those labels are meaningless? This is our world, our change, our way of life, and yet there is room in it for everyone no matter what they look like. No matter what we look like, we all have something great to offer. All of us, together. We, however, need to see this. Diversity is already here. We just need to accept it.

“Who am I? I'm a Korean American and like so many other people of Asian descent living outside their motherlands, we are seen as the voiceless minority. How many times in my life have I heard someone yell out at me "Why don't you go back home to China, Japan or Vietnam, where you belong?" Why can't they understand that we are home? Ask a Korean American who has gone to visit Korea and ask them if they felt at home? How could they? They face a different type of discrimination. The kind that says you may look Asian but you can't speak the language and you can't really understand our culture. It's so hard to understand that this place I call home and that I’m so proud of, doesn’t necessarily share its pride and pleasure of having the world's most diverse community of different races and cultures. You won't see a lot of minorities gracing the covers of books, magazines or major movies. Not that there isn't any, just not a lot. And then there's the fact that there has been a history of whitewashing in publishing and in theater that continues to this very day. The question I can't help but ask is why? We are already the minority. Why marginalize us even more? And it always comes down to this. We people of color can't sell books or movies. But the thing is, do they even try? Or do they throw one token POC cover out there, give it barely any support, see that it doesn't do well, and call it a day. Change happens when we make what was once so different the norm. Representing diversity is especially important for publishers of children's books. Books are the gateways for the imagination. When we promote only a homogeneous view of society in our literature and our media and deem books or movies about minorities as unsuccessful, it harms everyone. But worse, we fail in our duty to educate and inspire the minds of the future generations,” said Ellen Oh, author of Prophecy.   

Diversity is about everyone. So is change and acceptance. So is learning from difference. So is making a difference. And just know that there are people fighting for you, for a better world. For love and peace. For equality and acceptance. For everyone. 

“No matter where we come from or the experiences we endure, at the end of the day, we all have blood running through our veins. It doesn't matter if we are human or animal, if we are Asian or American, if we are young or old. We are all the same, yet so beautifully unique. It's our happiness, our pride, our accomplishments, our passions that differentiate us. Not race, gender, or age. And that my friend is what makes the world a beautiful place to live,” said Priya Kanaparti, author of Dracian Legacy.  

Look beyond what you can't find in our words here. 

Look beyond what you don't see in our pictures. 

Look at what really matters. 

If we look at ourselves and look at our own struggles, maybe we do have the ability to see the struggles of others. Maybe, just maybe, we’re all not as different as we think. Or maybe we are different. And maybe that’s incredible. 

Maybe our differences are what make us so alike.

What do you think?

March 22, 2013

Guest Post by Christopher Waltz: “Out of the Closet and into the Pages: Gay Characters in YA Literature”

Guest Post: “Out of the Closet and into the Pages: Gay Characters in YA Literature” 
by Christopher Waltz 

"When David James asked me to write a guest blog post about diversity in YA lit, not only was I excited and honored, but it also got me thinking. I did internet research, dug through my own collection of Young Adult novels (which is pretty hefty), and had discussions with groups of my friends and fellow writers. We all ended up with the same question: Where are all the gay characters in YA lit? Fans of Young Adult fiction read these stories and witness the inevitable, blossoming love between the main characters. Katniss must choose between Peeta and Gail in The Hunger Games. Bella must choose between Edward and Jacob in The Twilight Saga. Vlad must choose between Meredith and Snow in the lesser-known, but still amazing The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. We hardly (if ever) see characters dating or even acknowledging feelings for other characters of the same sex. Katniss doesn’t unexpectedly fall for Glimmer, the District One tribute. Bella doesn’t start having feelings for one of the female Cullens, such as Alice. Vlad doesn’t wrestle with emotions involving his sworn enemy, Joss the vampire slayer. But why not? One of the many answer to this question, unfortunately, is because it makes people uncomfortable. Over the past few days, I’ve read several articles, from blog posts, to pieces in The New York Times claiming gay characters in YA lit simply just aren’t wanted, and generally make people feel “weird.” Some of these articles even chronicle real-life experiences of authors trying to get their work published, only to be rejected for having gay characters, or at the least, asked to “straighten them out” to reach a broader span of readers. The only thing I could find myself thinking as I read these stories was “What a load of bull!” In fact, I’m still trying to wrap my head around how making all the characters the same (i.e. straight) opens the story up to more readers. In my apparently skewed opinion, having a wider range of characters, with varying sexualities, would inevitably open the story up to a wider audience. And then it hit me. Having gay characters in stories, writing gay characters into stories; it can be tough. Members of the gay community, like most other minorities (and even some majorities) face certain unfavorable stereotypes. One struggle, I would assume, for many authors, is how to organically insert a proud, realistic gay character into their story without creating a “I’m here! I’m queer!” character parading about during the apocalypse. This was something I particularly faced while writing Ivy League. I knew one of my two main characters, Gabe, was gay, I just didn’t know how to say it. I drafted out ideas, considered dropping subtle hints, and came up with countless ways for my readers to know his sexuality without making it the main point of the novel. By the time I’d finished writing, editing, and was getting ready to publish, there was really nothing in the story solidifying Gabe’s sexuality: he was just a normal guy. But that was it. That was what I had been searching for the whole time. Gabe was just a normal guy… who happens to be gay. He didn’t need a huge coming out party. He didn’t need to remind other characters of his sexuality every chapter; it was just a part of who he was. In the end, it may be a long time before we begin seeing Young Adult bestsellers with openly gay characters that haven’t been “straightened out” by the publishers and editors, but like recent events in real life, I feel like big changes are coming, and hopefully one of those changes is acceptance."

Christopher Waltz was born in Indiana in 1987 and promptly began writing once leaving the womb. While this is a complete lie, Christopher did begin writing around age eight at which point he penned and illustrated a sequel to the film "Jumanji." Since that time, Christopher has continued writing and obtained a degree in secondary education from Indiana University's School of Education. He currently works with a non-profit organization and writes. His novel, Ivy League, was recently published.

March 18, 2013

Interview with Priya Kanaparti, author of Dracian Legacy

1) Morning, Priya! Welcome to the blog and thanks for being here. I'm so glad we got the chance to talk with each other and finally sit down to an interview! Dracian Legacy is your debut novel. What made you want to write about the supernatural?
I’ve always been very interested in Supernatural stuff. It’s my favorite genre in t.v. shows and reading books, so it only seemed natural that I write in that genre. 
 2) Do you have a favorite character in Dracian Legacy? 
Yes I do. I know many authors say they can’t pick on, as it’s kinda like asking a mom to pick your favorite kid. And I guess I like playing favorites. Lol. But my favorite is Dean. 

3) For you, what was the most difficult part of writing Dracian Legacy? 
I think writing was the difficult part. I had never written anything in my entire life, I mean apart from the thesis, presentations, school papers. So over the past year, it took me quite a bit of learning to show Dracian Legacy instead of telling it! 

4) Did you have any specific songs or movies you listened to or watched while writing? 
No, not while I was writing. Most of the times, I just write in silence. But when I’m editing, I like to listen to music. For some really odd reason, if I’m listening to music while editing and finding issues, I tend to make the story better. Werid. I know! 

5) What comes after Dracian Legacy? 
I’ve got a book 2 planned into the series. It’s called Dracian Origins – Sarajeha Levetri. And then the third and final book in the trilogy. 

6) I love your cover for Dracian Legacy! Can you tell us who designed it and how you came up with the concept? 
The amazing, ridiculously talented Regina Wamba is my cover designer. She pretty much came up with concepts based on what I had told her about the book. We worked through nearly 7 different cover design concepts and about 4 revisions of this cover, before we were satisfied. 

7) What book are you reading right now? 
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski 

8) I have an addiction to gummy worms while I'm writing. Do you have any crazy habits? 
Lol. Funny, I’ve mentioned Gummy Bears in Dracian Legacy. You should totally check out this song: and as for crazy habits, I’m just one crazy person, so everything people consider crazy is quite normal for me. Lol. 

9) If you had to pick one piece of advice to give to an aspiring author, what would it be? 
Um… This is tough. There’s the usual keep writing and write for yourself advise or there’s keep your regular job and write for your pleasure advise. But really, I’m not sure what I would give an aspiring writer. I guess do what best works for you? Because, that’s what I’m doing. I write when I want to write. I read when I want to read and heck If I spend a week or so not writing, I try not to panic. But the important thing was for me to do what best works for me. 

10) And finally, do you have any secret projects you can tell us about? 
Why YES I Do! I’m working on a NA Contemporary romance and a Special surprise for all fans of a character from Dracian Legacy. That’s all I can say for now!

 Priya Kanaparti was born in India, grew up in Detroit, and is now settled in Boise, ID. She attended Wayne State University for her undergrad degree in Bachelor of Science in Biology, and University of Phoenix for her Masters in Business Administration. Priya works as a project manager in software field during the day and lives in the world of her characters during the nights and weekends. She had found the love for reading and writing in 2012, when she stayed home with her son and needed something to occupy those ‘downtime’ hours. She loves playing tennis on a good summer day and chess during the cold winters, but reading and writing has become a year round hobby. She lives in Boise with her husband, son and a Yorkie. Dracian Legacy is her debut novel. 

Feel free to visit her blog 

March 11, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Dave Ferraro, author of Dark Genesis

1) Your new YA novel, Dark Genesis, sounds like the best kind of fantasy! What made you decide to focus on witches for this novel? 
I really enjoyed books featuring witches, like L.J. Smith's "The Secret Circle" and Cate Tiernan's "Sweep," when I was growing up, and I think magic is just really fun to work with. I think it's interesting reading about different types of magical practices (astral projection, using familiars, utilizing runes, seeing the future with tarot cards, etc) and I thought that it would be cool to have a world of witches, where the covens are separated by these magical characteristics. 

2) Do you have a favorite character in Dark Genesis? 
I'm known for writing female characters, so I was really happy with the strong male voices in this book, especially Eric, who is really a confident, honorable warrior, who's also really funny. He had some of the best lines of the book, easily. But I really, really liked writing the villains. I like more sympathetic villains generally, but writing a really vicious, evil character like The Ice Queen, who has no feelings, and only craves power, is just great to cut loose with. Yeah, I think writing The Ice Queen was the best, especially with the cool things I got to do with her powers. 

3) If you had to, absolutely had to pick a favorite scene from Dark Genesis which one would it be? 
This is a really hard one!! But I think I'm going to have to go with a the scene featuring the Ticks later in the book. Ticks are vampires, but alien, insect-like vampires. At one point, there's a swarm of them that Alyssa and her friends try to hide from, and it just gets worse from there. 

4) A lot of authors create playlists to go with their novels. I tend to watch different movies for inspiration. Is there anything you did for inspiration for Dark Genesis? 
Music probably inspires me more than anything else when I'm writing. I do definitely get inspired by film and books, but something about the mood music can create just speaks to me. It makes me more emotional, I think, and when you can inject writing with real emotion, it becomes more vivid and makes you identify with the protagonist more. I have some classical stand-bys that I'm always playing, like "Bella's Lullaby" and "Blood Theme" from Dexter, but I tend to play more singer/songwriter material. I listened to a lot of Lana Del Rey and Kate Tucker while writing this, but Brooke Fraser's "Crows + Locusts" was probably the song I played the most. 

5) Generally speaking, do you have a favorite author or book? 
Growing up, I was a huge L.J. Smith and Christopher Pike fan. I still have a lot of respect for both of them, but my favorite author now is probably Jane Austen. I was an English major in college and read tons of classics, and I try to keep up on that since I graduated, because I think the more you read of the classics, the better your writing. It's funny, but I don't think I actually read Jane Austen at all while in college, even though I was assigned to read her books. It wasn't until after college that I really got into her work and devoured her novels. And it was through her that I discovered my favorite book ever, Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho." The protagonist of "Northanger Abbey" was obsessed with the book, so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. "The Mysteries of Udolpho" is kind of a pioneer of Gothic literature, and is just oozing atmosphere. Lots of mystery, suspense, action, and of course, star-crossed lovers. It's epic. I still read a lot of YA however, and some of my current favorites are Veronica Rossi's "Under the Never Sky," Elizabeth C. Bunce's "Star Crossed," and Rick Yancey's "The Monstrumologist." 

6) Who or what inspired you to being writing? 
I read hundreds of YA books growing up, when almost the entire category consisted of "teen thrillers," which were almost all slasher stories, with a few supernatural stories mixed in. I got to the point where I would pick up a book and after reading the synopsis on the back cover, I would sort of make up a story as to what the book would be like, and sometimes, I was left disappointed and thought that my story had been better. So I started to create my own stories. 

7) What was the last best book you read? 
The last book I read was "Hidden" by Sophie Jordan, the final installment in the "Firelight" trilogy. It's a paranormal romance about draki, descendants of dragons. I find that a lot of trilogies start out strong, but sort of lose their steam as they go along. I thought that that was the case for "Hidden," unfortunately.

 8) Coffee or tea or neither? 
I'm addicted to a drink called a London Fog. It's Earl Grey Tea, mixed with milk and vanilla flavoring. I like my drinks sweet. Like me ;)

Click to enter!
Twitter: @Dave_Ferraro 


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March 7, 2013

Book Review: Lauren Oliver's Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem


In Delirium love is found.

In Pandemonium love is lost, and found again.

In Requiem we see the depth of the world Lauren Oliver created. This: a love song that sometimes is nothing more than a whisper of what you think it should be until you realize the entire time you’ve been listening to love screaming at you so loud it was only pretending to be quiet. We see love between friends, between strangers. Between people who think they are in love but aren’t. Between lovers and parents. Different kinds of loves layer Requiem, so deeply woven together the pieces are sometimes difficult to spot. As it is for so many of Oliver’s characters, sometimes we don’t even see what love is until it’s too late. 

But it’s there. Waiting for the walls to fall, love is there. 

This trilogy has always been about love. In Delirium Lena finds love. In Pandemonium she finds it again, though a different love is lost. In Requiem she resists. Oliver creates a quiet kind of war built on the platform of a louder one - love upon hate, cured upon uncured. She takes the political and very real aspect of a resistance and layers on love until we are left with a war between those who love and those who don’t. Though we get tastes of loudness in Pandemonium and Requiem, Oliver’s is a quiet kind of war where the casualties number even more - because they forget. They love and leave and are gone. And underneath this war Oliver has created between the loveless and the lovers, there is this: Lena and Alex and Julian. First loves, second loves, all tied together as one because love is rarely a simple thing. It’s never so black and white as we make it. And this trilogy focuses on that, how love is not made up of firsts or seconds or even thirds, but just is

Love stirs jealousy, envy. Happiness and faith and greatness. Love seems unstoppable, and yet it stops from time to time just to breathe, to change. To mold into something different than what it was. And then it’s back to this: Love is a force of nature, and in this trilogy it is a character just as real as Lena or Alex. Perhaps even more real. 

Still, we must remember that this is Lena’s story. It is about war, but a different kind of fight. At times, like in Pandemonium, we get the feeling that circumstances and other characters are much bigger than they seem, that we are only seeing a tiny picture in this harsh world of forbidden love. But really, isn’t that the point? This is Lena’s story. Her loves, her hates. Her eyes seeing her world. And although we hear Hana’s voice in the end, it still comes down to this: Lena and the loves she has and doesn’t. Her love for Hana and Julian. Her mother. Alex. 

Her beginning. Her end. 

But maybe the beginning isn’t a place where things just start, but a place where things end and begin again differently than before. Like time, love is deprived of boundaries and borders. It is endless in so many ways. Oliver knows this. She writes this. Which is why Delirium begins in Portland and Requiem ends in Portland. 

“Direction, like time, is a general thing, deprived of boundaries and borders. It is an endless process of interpretation and reinterpretation, doubling back and adjusting.”-Requiem 

Some things never change, some always do. Some even change like whispers on the wind so they’re different without even meaning to be. That whisper is what moves the Delirium trilogy along. 

This: a whisper of the hope of love. 

This: a requiem of love. 

This ending is just the beginning. Of life. Of freedom. Of love. 

Of life beyond the walls.

March 6, 2013

Interview with Emma Hart, author of the New Adult novel Never Forget

Never Forget
A city girl. A small town boy. A summer they'll never forget. Spending the summer at her Grammy's in Lilac Bay, Devon, is city girl Alexis 'Lexy' Edwards' idea of hell. That is, until she reconnects with her childhood friend, Jen, and meets Alec Johnson. Alec is the kind of guy Lexy knows she needs to stay away from. He's the village flirt, ridiculously hot and very dangerous to her self control. But there's a problem – she can't seem to keep him out, even though she knows he'll break her heart. As Alec slowly strips away Lexy's defences and the two embark on a summer romance she never wanted, their feelings grow to more than either expected. But nothing lasts forever, and reality intrudes. As her world is shaken to it's core, Lexy's self made prediction comes true when she discovers she's spent six weeks surrounded by secrets. Kept out by her family and the only guy she's ever trusted, she falls apart. And when Grammy tells her that 'you might not end up where you wanted to be, but you'll always end up where you're meant to be,' she has to figure out if her meant to be is back home in London, or if it's been in Devon the whole time.

1) What gave you the idea for your newest novel, Never Forget? 
 I was cooking dinner and had Don't Stop Believin' by Journey stuck in my head. *pauses to hum* I don't know why, but it was. From there the first three lines of the synopsis formed, followed by the story. 

 2) Never Forget is a New Adult novel. What made you decide to write NA? 
 My characters did. When I started writing Never Forget, there was no doubt in my mind it would be a Young Adult contemporary romance. They naturally evolved into something more and I went with it. I'm glad I did – after all, they know their story better than I do! 

 3) Do you think there's much difference between NA and YA? 
 Absolutely. There are a lot of differences, from the age, setting, behaviour, racier scenes and stronger language, to deeper and darker pasts. But for me, the outstanding factor is how the characters respond to love. In Young Adult, the characters dive in head first. There are no qualms about it, no worries about the future and no thoughts as to how it will affect the rest of their life. In New Adult, the characters are more hesitant. It makes sense. After all, they're out in the big bad world on their own for the first time and the only person that can make their decisions is them. I think they over-analyse things a little more. Things are more... Real to them. I think it's an accurate portrayal. If I met my partner now I'd be a little more hesitant than I was when we met at sixteen. 

 4) Who is your favorite character in Never Forget and why? 
 Jen. God, always Jen. She's an absolute ball of sunshine, isn't she? I laughed out loud for most of her lines and her sarcasm level breaks the meter. 

 5) I have to ask. Will there be a sequel to Never Forget?  
A sequel as in an Alec and Lexy sequel? You never know what's going to happen. 

 6) What book are you reading now? 
 I'm not. *slaps hand* but I have a few (okay, a lot) on my TBR list. 

 7) Do you have any deleted scenes from Never Forget that you're keeping secret? 
 None at all. But there are two exclusive scenes in Alec's POV posted on CrazyBookChicks here and Danielle Sibarium's blog here. It's the only places you'll ever see them. (I hope.) 

 8) Coffee or tea or neither? 
 Neither. Tropical juice. That's an option, right?

Purchase Never Forget

Author Bio: By day, Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and cooking baby, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of wine – well, tropical juice now – and writes books. She likes to write about magic, kisses and whatever else she can fit into the story. Sarcastic, witty characters are a must. As are hot guys. She's working on the companion novel to her latest release and NA debut, Never Forget (Memories #1), and The Love Game (The Game, #1) will release on March 29th. She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes. Ironically, that's where most of her ideas come from. Her debut YA series, The Mauve Legacy, is an Apple iBooks Bestseller - and this makes Emma excited. 

Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor 

March 2, 2013

Light of the Moon character profiles

Curious to see what everyone in Light of the Moon looks like? Well - be curious no more. Check out these character profiles for most of the Light of the Moon cast. 
What do you think? Who is your favorite?