Tuesday, June 22, 2010

YA interview: Shari Maurer

I am very excited to welcome debut author Shari Maurer to the blog today.  Her release, Change Of Heart, is now available.  Visit her blog to find out about her "You Gotta Have HEART" blog tour and a chance to win a signed copy of her debut.  So congrats Shari and welcome!

 1. Please tell us about your debut, Change Of Heart.
SM: Change of Heart is about Emmi, a 16 year old soccer player who struggles to maintain a normal life while waiting for a heart transplant and learns about love and loss and the meaning of true friendship in the process.

2. A strong heroine makes a story worth reading. Please describe your heroine Emmi.
SM: Emmi's got a great life: she's an elite soccer player with prospects for a college scholarship, she's got a bunch of good friends and it even looks like Sam, a really cute baseball player, might like her. All of this is ripped out from under her when she gets sick and is told she needs a heart transplant. Unfortunately, it's a long and lonely wait. As Emmi goes through this all, she comes to realize that although she needs her people, she's really able to cope on her own because ultimately when you go through something like this, it's all about you.

Emmi's certainly not perfect. Even she admits that she wasn't one of those cheerful sick kids you always read about in newspaper articles. But I think she finds a greater well of patience than she ever thought she had. It's a strange thing she's wishing for: someone else to die so she can live. And as she says "How do you wish for that? How do you not?

3. In Change Of Heart, you did a brilliant job of capturing the emotions of ALL the characters, not just Emmi. Did you interview any patients or families while writing? Any extra research?
SM: Thank you. Yes, I spoke with many patients and their families. It was amazing how resilient and positive they all were. Most of them felt so grateful for the second chance they had been given.

4. After reading, the story left a huge impression on me. Is there any particular message you want readers to take with them after reading?
SM: Two things: one is to appreciate your health and the value of your life and never take it for granted and the other is to consider becoming an organ donor. You have to be eighteen to register, so if you're not, maybe you could gently nudge someone else that you know is old enough. Too many people are dying or waiting far longer than they should because of a lack of available organs. For more information, you can go to www.donatelife.net.

5. Once upon a time, you worked for Children's Television Network (now known as Sesame Street). Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Answer wisely, this will reveal a lot about you!
SM: I think it was always Cookie Monster. I loved the passion he had as he went through life. And he was really very sweet, under all that monster fur and cookie crumbs.

6. You are a Little House On The Prairie fan! Are you more like Laura or Mary?
SM: No doubt about it--I always related to Laura. She was so spunky and adventurous and questioning. Laura didn't let anything get by her. That said, Mary had really great blond hair that I wanted so badly. But in personality--it was Laura.

7. Lastly, what's next? Are you working on any projects you would like to share with us?
SM: I've got two books that I'm working on right now. I love both of them and hope that they'll each find a home one day so I can share them with everyone.

Shari, thank you for visiting us today and congratulations on your new release. 

For more information, including links to order Change Of Heart, visit Shari at her website.  You can read my review of this powerful story by following this link!


Margaret said...

Great interview! Another Cookie Monster fan here.

Dawn said...

Sounds like a great book!

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