Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What's Fresh with Teri Brown's Read My Lips

Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well-even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there's no turning back.

From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena's identity has done a 180...almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she's not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school's most exclusive clique.

With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop...

Hi Teri, it's great of you to chat with us! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Teri: Read My Lips is my first sale. I’ve always loved books and I have always written, but it wasn’t until I got online that I found the support I needed to really go for it and try to write professionally. I started in nonfiction and wrote articles and essays for magazines and websites, but I kept writing fiction because that is where my heart is. I wrote a horrible nano chicklit book and tried to get it published. Soon after that I was invited to join a critique group. That was the real beginning of my education, both writing-wise and industry-wise. I made the switch to young adult during that time realizing that my voice was best suited for that genre. Because I have teens and really enjoy that age, that is probably where I’ll stay. Soon after, I signed with Jenny Bent from Trident and she subbed my first YA which didn’t end up selling. Then she subbed Read my Lips. It took eight months before selling to Caroline Abby at Simon Pulse. (Caroline moved and is currently with Bloomsbury),

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Teri: Do I have one? No, sorry! LOL. My life is so busy right now that I am wondering where my writing fits. I write when I can. Let’s put it that way!

I know what you mean! Please tell us about your latest novel Read My Lips and what we can expect from your characters.

Teri: The one liner pitch for Read My Lips is: A deaf skater chick uses her ability to read lips to infiltrate the popular crowd, take down a secret sorority and tame the school rebel. Read My Lips came out last summer from Simon Pulse. And my characters are fairly typical teenagers. What I wanted to show was that a teen with a disability worries about the same things as teens who don’t have the same challenges.

Awesome! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Teri: I do have another project in the works. I have several proposals started but at the moment, I’m working on a book that’s very different and very special. I don’t think I’m going to say anything about it right now except that it is really stretching me as a writer. Which is a good thing…sometimes.

We are in the same boat, Teri! Good luck with your latest project. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Teri: Get to know your characters. Sometimes what I think should happen doesn’t end up fitting with the people I’m playing with. They always let me know!

Teri Brown turned to writing in a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds. Fortunately, she's been successful, and her debut young adult novel, Read My Lips (Simon Pulse), came out June, 2008. She is also a contributing editor for iParenting Media, and her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, Women’s Health and Fitness, Dog Fancy, and Oregon Coast Magazine, among others. Teri lives with her husband and children in a dilapidated 1969 ranch style house in Portland, Oregon. Visit her website, www.teribrownwrites.com/.

5 fresh comments:

Mitzy said...

I loved this book - it was so cute! Can't wait to read more of her books =)

Thao said...

This is the second interview with Teri I read this week. Makes me wanna read her book more. It seems different.

cecilia said...

Wow! What an interesting and highly original story idea! Now I have to add this to my to-read list.

TinaFerraro said...

I agree! This book sounds great...I will definitely check it out!

Leigh said...

Great interview. Sounds like a great book with characters we haven't seen before. Cheers and good wishes, Teri!