Mackenzie, Lost and Found GIVEAWAY
Everyone please welcome Deborah Kerbel here to YA Fresh. Born in London, she grew up in Toronto, where she still lives today. When not running around after her husband and two little kids, she escapes to her home office to write.
Hello, Deborah! Could you please tell us about your first sale?
My first sale was huge! I was just starting out as a writer and my agent sold my (as yet un-written) series of four middle-grade novels to a European book-club publisher with plans to translate the series into three different languages. Exciting, huh? Well, as it turned out, not so much. By the time I finished writing the final book in the series, the publisher had begun to encounter financial difficulties and was shutting down their book clubs. In the end, only the first book in the series saw publication (in Germany). The other three books never saw the light of day. When I can clear some time in my schedule, I plan to revise the series (titled Kendra’s Chronicles) and try shopping it around again.
What's your writing routine like?
Routine? What routine? I’m the mother of a 6 year old son and a 3 year old daughter so all of my writing happens during tiny creative bursts that inevitably coincide with their naptime, cartoon time, bedtime, or school. Basically, I write any time of day when I get a few minutes of silence in the house. It’s a rather chaotic system, but it seems to work so far. Needless to say, the day my daughter gives up her afternoon nap is the day I might have to find a new career!
Please tell us about your latest novel.
With pleasure! Mackenzie, Lost and Found is my debut YA. I like to think of it as part modern-day Romeo and Juliet, part archaeological thriller. The story, set in Jerusalem, follows the adventures of 15 year-old Mackenzie Hill as she relocates to Israel with her father (an archaeology professor) for the school year. A forbidden romance ensues (don’t we all love those?) The book also touches lightly on some of the intricacies of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This subject matter was quite tricky to handle at times and the manuscript took more than a few drafts to get right. Hopefully my readers will let me know if I’ve succeeded.
I’m looking forward to reading it. What's up next for you?
My next manuscript is also YA and it’s a story I’m really excited about telling. The working title is Sticks and Stones and it’s about two girls who exist on the opposite ends of their school’s social ladder. Through a series of strange events, their lives come crashing together in a way neither could ever have imagined.
Sounds terrific! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Absolutely! If you want to be a writer, keep reading, reading, reading! It’s the best way possible to zero-in on your personal style and hone your own distinct writer’s ‘voice’.
Thanks, Deborah! And I wanted to add that Deborah’s characters and stories are inspired by everyday people and events. If you ever meet her -- watch out, you might show up as a character in one of her books!
You can learn more about Deborah at her brand new Website.
And Deborah has been generous enough to offer up a copy to one lucky reader. So please, leave a comment to be entered. The contest will close on Sunday night, November 23rd at 6:00 PM PST, with the winner’s name posted thereafter. Good luck to you all!