Don’t forget to enter the contest by posting a comment, tweeting, posting on FB or your blog! Contest ends August 5! What contest you ask? We’re giving away a copy of Meridian and One Butt Cheek At At Time! More details can be found by clicking here along with part I of my interview with Amber!
7. OK, I MUST get a little tidbit about Gert.
Thanks, I love Gert. She cracks me up. She’s a realistic teen–not a black Amex or a LV bag in sight. She’s opinionated and strong and not everyone’s cup of tea-which I take pride in. You either love her or hate her. And she’s totally controversial–Gert tackles mature, but age appropriate, topics. It’s the fan mail where girls no longer feel like freaks or alone in the world that makes me feel satisfied. I’m very proud of this series. Readers can check out the first 50 pages of both books at http://www.OneButtCheek.com
10. The cover is gorgeous. How did it come about?
There’s a fantastic team at Delacorte Press/Random House who design and agonize over covers. My job is the inside of the book!
11. Will there be a book trailer? Is there? Where can we see it?
All I can say right now is that there will be many book trailers and they’ll be interactive with readers and artists. Details will be in my August newsletter and up on MeridianSozu.com on August 15th, 2009! (sign up for the newsletter at AmberKizer.com for exclusive contests, prizes and sneak peeks!)
12. Is this a series or a stand-alone book?
The idea and development is that of a series but there’s no solid release date on the next book yet!
13. How did you come up with the story-line?
This book is very close to my heart–the idea came from sitting vigil as my
Grandparents died (about 18 months apart). They both had very different dying experiences, though in both cases, as a family, we chose to work with a wonderful hospice organization (St. Vincent’s Inpatient Hospice Care, in Indianapolis, IN).
With everything in life, I like to know as much as possible, so I read and did a bunch of research on dying, the physical process itself, the psychological process, and people’s near-death experiences.
What if everyday of a person’s life was that of being a window to beyond? I wanted to give a face to death that wasn’t the Reaper’s, wasn’t something out of nightmares. And saying “God” is there in death doesn’t say much–what does that mean really? How does that look?
And from a science aspect we’re all energy. Where does that energy go? And isn’t a soul of any animal or plant worthy energy? How does that look? How does that fit with the major religions and cultural norms?
And I also wanted to explore some organized religion as fear based–the idea that people hide behind religion because they’re afraid or upset or angry. How does that fear twist what can be profound, and comforting, in faith? The mob mentality is so easy to manipulate if you’re good at it–I wanted a character (Perimo) who was good at it and used it.
15. What do you want your readers to come away with after reading this book?
I hope every reader finds something in my stories that speaks to them personally. Readers bring their own experiences to a book which is what makes it such a subjective art form, and so satisfying as the creator. I hope readers have a good time, ideally can’t put it down, and are sad when it’s over!
16. Big plans for release day?
Actually every year with the Persied Meteor Shower we troop outside (usually with hot chocolate around here!), blankets and pillows and watch the best summer show anywhere! All you need is clear sky and patience and you too can take in all the amazing lights! This year it corresponds perfectly with Meridian’s August 11th release date-so it’ll be a perfect “party” to celebrate! And anyone–anywhere can see the show too!
17. How long did it take you to write Meridian?
My process as a writer is that stories are continually stewing in my head. So when I tell you the first draft took 10 weeks and then six more months working with the team at Delacorte Press to make the book what you’re now reading-that doesn’t count the minutes, hours and months that these characters took shape inside me before getting down on paper.18. Congratulations on the book. I cannot wait to read it and wish you MUCH success.
Thank you so much!
Sixteen-year-old Meridian has always been surrounded by death. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders burrowed into her bedclothes to die. As she grew, the animals got bigger, and soon they were finding her at school to die in her presence. Meridian became an outcast, labeled by her classmates as Reaper, Gravedigger, and Witch. Each death she witnesses weakens her body, and loneliness weakens her spirit.
On her sixteenth birthday, she witnesses a deadly car crash. Though she’s untouched, Meridian’s body explodes with the victims’ pain.
Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and rushed to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns the secret her mother has been hiding her entire life: that she is a Fenestra, the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. It’s crucial that she learn how to transition human souls to the afterlife and preserve the balance between good and evil on earth. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos. Dark, lovely, and lushly romantic, MERIDIAN introduces a powerful heroine who will entrance readers.
Available from Delacorte Press, August 11, 2009