It’s time for my favorite day of the week, Author Tuesday!
This week we are featuring an interview with Amber Smith author of The Way I Used to Be (see my review here). It currently has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon and a 4.09 on Goodreads. In addition to her interview Amber is giving away one copy of the hardcover and one copy of the audiobook (CD version) (US) of The Way I Used to Be. So please enter away, using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway will be open till 11:59 pm MST Tuesday, October 18, 2016.
Hi, I’m Amber and I write contemporary YA. I’ve always been drawn to the “coming-of-age” story, both as a reader and a writer. In my own writing, I try to peel back the layers of difficult issues, like abuse, violence, and emotional trauma, to uncover the people underneath—their voices and their struggles. Dealing with trauma, and particularly the trauma of abuse or violence, can be such an alienating experience, and that’s why I think it’s important to both read and write these stories. These are voices that are too often silenced in our society, yet they are also the ones that ask us to question our understanding and expand our experience of the world around us.
1) Why should people read your book?
This book addresses sexual assault, rape culture, and one girl’s journey to become a survivor, rather than a victim. But it is also a book about finding your voice, learning to speak your truth, and ultimately, finding the inner strength to stand up for yourself. So I think there is something here that most everyone can relate to, those who have experienced sexual assault, and those who haven’t. For those who have, it can be extremely empowering, validating, and healing to see parts of your own experience reflected back at you through a book. And for those who haven’t, reading this story may bring about a deeper understanding of rape culture, what it means to be a survivor of sexual violence, and the importance of creating change.
2) Where is your favorite place to write?
My answer is for this one is boring: at home in my writing room! I do nothing in this room other than creative work, so it has a really positive, productive vibe that helps me to think clearly and write without getting distracted (most of the time, anyway).
3) What are you currently working on (new book, remodeling your home…)?
I am currently finishing up edits on my next book, another contemporary YA slated for publication in the fall of 2017. The title is still in development, but I can tell you that it deals with domestic violence, sibling relationships, and rebuilding a life from nothing after an unthinkable tragedy.
4) What is your favorite comfort book (the book you re-read because of how it makes you think/feel)?
I’d have to say The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I pick this book up often, even to read just a poem or two at random. I’ve always loved her voice. Her words are so haunting and beautiful and inspiring to me. When I read her poems, they make me think about language in a different way, which is sometimes the exact motivation I need to keep on writing.
5) What is the next book in your TBR (to be read) pile?
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (it is sitting here on the corner of my desk as I write this).
6) Turn on your music player and hit shuffle – what song/artist comes up first?
“Jumpers” by Sleater-Kinney
7) What’s your random talent (balancing a spoon on your nose, saying the alphabet backwards…)?
Hmm…I’m not sure if this qualifies as a random talent or not, but I can draw a perfectly straight line and a perfectly even circle freehand. 🙂
8) Ask the reviewer – what question have you always wanted to ask a book reviewer?
I have such admiration for bloggers and reviewers; you spend so much time and energy not only reading books, but also thinking and writing about them, and sharing them with others. What is it that motivates you to contribute so much to the dialogue surrounding books?
Laura – Reading has always been my go-to comfort. I read when I’m happy and sad and bored and excited. I wanted a way to be able to share what I love and talk to others who are just as passionate. For me this was a perfect way to mesh the two. It is an amazing community and the fact that I get to also interact with authors makes this so very exciting to me.