Friday, November 21, 2008

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!



27 fresh comments:

Janie Emaus said...

Tina -
Great interview! And this book sounds wonderful.

Janie

Carol(ina) said...

Great interview! I really want to read this book. It sounds really great. :)

Gottawrite Girl said...

Coolio! I'll be featuring Deborah soon, as well, close to the date of her Amazon book-release!

Sara said...

YES, we all love forbidden romances! (at least I do). Sounds like a great book! :D


Sara

Kimberly Lynn said...

Great interview with Deborah, and her book sounds very exciting. I popped by her new website, too. Very cool!

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Deborah! Thanks so much for joining us on YA Fresh! Can't wait to read your book!

MelodyJM/Is Me! Is PENGUIN! said...

Oh my gosh I SO WANT THIS BOOK! IT sounds awesome!
if I win you can contact me on myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/flashyfranfine

Here's hoping,
MelodyJM/Is Me! Is PENGUIN!

Emma said...

I love forbidden romances! Sounds like a great book :)

Liviania said...

I've spent this semester learning more about the Middle East and how it's represented in Western literature so this book sounds really interesting to me. Plus, romance!

Debbie said...

This sounds like something my high school students (and I) would enjoy. I would love a copy for my classroom library.

cindy said...

oh, i'm intrigued. i want to win! thank you for a great interview and congrats on your success!

Anonymous said...

I would like to be entered in the contest! Is this what you mean by leave a comment?

TinaFerraro said...

Yes, anonymous, but you have to at least leave us your first name, so if you win, we can shout out to you!

Thanks for entering!

Meredith said...

This book sounds really good. and the interview was great, too!!

~Meredith

Deborah said...

Wow! Thanks for all the great comments! I wish I had a book to give away to all of you! But, since I don't, I hope you'll still pick up a copy at the bookstore if you're not the winner tomorrow. I LOVE hearing from readers so please stay in touch!

One more thing, I'm not sure how to reply individually, but I wanted to let Debbie (and any other teachers reading this) know that my publisher will have a website up in early 2009 with teachers resources to use with this book, in case any of you want to use it in your classrooms.

Thanks again and good luck!

Anonymous said...

HI! I was Anonymous. My name is Katie P. from PA.
Thanks!

TinaFerraro said...

Hi, Katie P., thanks for coming back and giving us your name.

And Deborah, that's exciting that your publisher is setting up a website for teachers, and good information to have.

Paradox said...

This sounds like a really cool book! And unique too! So I'd love to win it!

Sarahbear9789 said...

This book looks amazing.
Great interview.

Liz said...

I'm looking forward to reading this.

bamabelle said...

Wow, the book sounds original and wonderful! Your next YA book sounds great too. I'm going to go check out your website. :)

Book Spot said...

Oh, I think this is a book I could just love...*hopes she wins*

Miss Annemarie said...

What a great interview Tina! Sounds like a good book. :)

freewriter said...

The book sounds great and as a teacher I love the idea of the website because it gets students involved.

TruBlu93 said...

Great Questions. I'd like to read this.

=)
TruBlu

TinaFerraro said...

Thank you, everyone, this contest is now closed.

Deborah said...

Thank you everyone for your fantastic comments! This was a lot of fun!

Whether you won or not, I really hope you all get a chance to read Mackenzie -- this story and the characters really moved me (I still cry when I read certain pages) and I hope they move you in the same way.

*Hugs*
Deborah