Friday, July 23, 2010
Guest Author Interview ~ Shari Maurer
DMc: Your debut novel, Change of Heart, released April 2010 by WestSide Books. Please share with our readers what or whom inspired you to write such a heartwarming story of organ donation.
SM: My husband is a cardiologist who cares for patients waiting for transplants. One night he and his patient were featured on a Discovery Health program. Also on the show was a little girl waiting for a heart transplant. I watched as they wheeled her into the OR for her transplant and was haunted by the look on her face. The more I thought about her, the more Emmi’s story evolved.
DMc: Please share with our readers your road to publication from inception of your manuscript to completed novel.
SM: It felt long, but after talking to many writers, I’d say it was average. I started writing Change of Heart in the Fall of 2006. Several revisions later, I found an agent. We were on submission for a year before we got the offer from WestSide. Edits went very quickly and less than a year after the offer, Change of Heart was published. Moral of the story: persistence and patience. I was always good at persistence, but I’m trying very hard to learn the patience part of the publishing industry.
DMc: What has been your most effective marketing tool to date? Why?
SM: I’m not sure I have one thing I can point to as the most effective. I kind of look at marketing like an investment portfolio, but instead of balancing your investments with stocks, bonds, CDs and real estate, I balance my marketing portfolio with blog interviews, bookstore signings, TV and newspaper interviews and social networking like Facebook and Twitter.
Though I have to say to anyone who is making their YA or MG debut, the best thing I did was join the Class of 2K10 and the Tenners. These are groups where debut authors have banded together both for support and for joint promotion opportunities. I didn’t know how important having this community of writers who were experiencing so many of the same things I was, would be to me. The Class of 2K10 can be found at http://www.classof2k10.com/ and the Tenners are at http://www.thetenners.com/.
SM: Right now it is in several Barnes and Noble stores (and if it’s not in your local store, ask them and they can get it for you), some Indies and on-line via Amazon, B&N.com, Borders and Indiebound.
DMc: What can we expect from you in the future?
SM: I have another YA book that my agent and I love and are trying to find a home. If you enjoyed Change of Heart, I think you’ll love my new one, too. And I’m in the middle of a book that is currently a mediocre first draft with a lot of potential (and now you know how I’ll be spending my summer!).
DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit form their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Shari, can you please share one with us?
SM: The other night my son was having trouble falling asleep. I told him to make up stories in his head and hopefully that would relax him enough to sleep. I confessed to him that when I was a kid, I used to do that every night. Suddenly, it occurred to me that this was probably a big part of why I became a writer—because every day I was creating stories and perhaps the natural next step was to start writing them down and sharing them (though most of mine were not for sharing—especially the ones featuring the Brady Bunch—enough said!).
To learn more about Shari Maurer visit: http://www.sharimaurer.com/.