Interviews

Saturday Night Author Fever #19 with Alex Whitehall

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Alex Whitehall. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Alex, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

My name is Alex Whitehall (they/them), and I grew up in a small rural/suburban southeastern Pennsylvania area. When I’m not working and writing (also known as “checking Twitter and Tumblr obsessively”), I’m watching anime and playing tabletop role-playing games with my friends. I am the epitome of cool. I currently have one novel out (Sharing a Pond) and two novellas (A Christmas for Oscar and Second Skin).

Music from the seventies is, well, classic. It’s the stuff that comes on the radio and I can sing almost every word (or hum the parts I don’t know…) and happily feel a little ridiculous as a rock out to it in my car. It’s not my primary music, but there are very few songs (that have survived on the radio to today) that I wouldn’t let play. I guess time weeds out the bad ones.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #18 with Melissa Sarno

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Melissa Sarno. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Melissa, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

My debut middle grade novel JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS is due out from Knopf Books for Young Readers in summer of 2018. It’s about a homeless girl who tries to figure out where she belongs by tracking all the trees, plants, and growing things around Brooklyn. But it’s also about new friendships and sisters and what it truly means to have a home.

When I think of 70’s music, I always think of Anita Ward and, especially, “Ring My Bell”. When I was a kid, I danced all around the house to that song and her albums. But I also think of Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, and Carole King, who sing the words of my soul.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #17 with Zoë Sumra

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Zoë Sumra. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Zoë, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I’m a child of the 80s and, as such, a lot of my favourite bands or soloists started their careers in the 70s and continued into the 80s – particularly I’d like to single out Queen and Meat Loaf.  My first published book, Sailor to a Siren, is named after a Meat Loaf song (from 1984… my favourite Meat Loaf periods are probably the 70s/earliest 80s and the 90s, but this one song from the mid 80s always stood out to me).  Sailor to a Siren is a space opera novel: it’s a gangland thriller set on an alien planet, with magic, explosions, and quite a lot of shouting.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #16 with Miri Castor

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Miri Castor. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Miri, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

Hey there! My name’s Miri and I’m a YA SFF author for the Opal Charm series. It follows Opal Charm, a young bisexual black girl through her destiny to save Earth and an alternate world from a mysterious overlord. My books tend to be about self-discovery, love, and the power of friendship!

This is what I think of 70s music: Saturday Night Fever! Disco parties! Black people with the huge fros! 70s music made the 70s a time to be alive.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #15 with Hayley Chewins

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Hayley Chewins. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Hayley, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

Sure! My debut is called THE TURNAWAY GIRLS and it’s a middle grade fantasy about girls who are trained to turn boys’ songs into gold but who aren’t permitted to make any music themselves. The main character, Delphernia Undersea, sings in secret—and discovers a new kind of magic that changes her whole world. It’s coming out in September 2018 from Candlewick in the US and Walker Books in the UK and Australia.

Music is a huge part of my life. In fact, until I was eighteen I wanted to be a professional singer. I really connected with the singer-songwriter tradition of the 70s when I was a teenager. I loved Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. I also listened to a lot of ABBA growing up, because my mum loves them. That music is pure happiness to me.

I hardly ever perform, but I still love singing. I’m writing some songs as an accompaniment to THE TURNAWAY GIRLS—hopefully I’ll be brave enough to share them closer to my release date.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #14 with Kim Turrisi

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Kim Turrisi. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Kim, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I’m an Air Force brat, dog lover, die hard Florida State fan and have a killer sock collection. JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY is my debut and quite close to me. It deals with the aftermath of suicide, something I experienced first-hand. After spiraling out of control, fifteen-year-old Kai Sheehan lands at Grief Camp. JANT offers a roadmap for anyone who has been touched by loss and anyone who is looking for hope in a broken world.

What do you think about 70s music? I love it!! I write to music so often times, it’s 70’s music that inspires me. I’m listening to it right now.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #13 with Ines Bautista-Yao

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Ines Bautista. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Ines, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

First of all, I love 70s music. When we were teenagers, my friends and I used to follow this 70s band called The Groove. We would attend their gigs and dance the night away. The drummer even had an afro. My favorite song was “Dancing Queen” by Abba. I was around 17 when this happened, I felt like the song was written for me. Ha ha!

But today, I am no longer 17 and I don’t have time to go dancing anymore. The only dancing I do is to Hi-5 whenever my daughters want to watch and dance together. I’m a mom to two little girls, one is 9 and the other is 3. They are my life and I have devoted my days to raising them. I write on the side, whenever I find the time.

I used to teach high school and freshman college English and literature and I used to be the editor in chief of a children’s magazine, then later, a teen magazine. I was also the editor of the chick lit books published by the same magazine company. I also used to and still write lots of feature articles. Today, I do all my writing and editing from home, in school, in Starbucks waiting for my kids while they’re in school, or on my bedroom floor while the kids are asleep.

I wrote my first book, One Crazy Summer, when my eldest daughter was three years old and took three-hour naps. I had actually started it when I was pregnant but shelved it because I thought it sucked (after thinking it was awesome haha). Then three years later, I stumbled across it again and wanted to know what was going to happen next. So I tried typing a few words and didn’t stop till I had a novella that I pitched to my publisher. They accepted it and published it and I came out with my second book, What’s in your Heart, two years later. I now also indie publish. It’s the best way to come out with books quickly. It takes a while for publishers to come out with books, and when you do it yourself, you’re in control.

The books I write are mostly sweet young or new adult romances. I love that age because everything is fresh and new but covered in so much angst and pain and confusion. I love having my main character figure her life out and grow up alongside an adorable boy who is usually hopelessly in love with her.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #12 with Tif Marcelo

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Tif Marcelo. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Tif, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

Thank you for having me, Olivia! I’m the forthcoming debut romance author of the Journey to the Heart series (Pocket Star), with three books to be published this year. I’m a military spouse, a mom of four, a U.S. Army veteran and registered nurse. Which basically sums up why I’m shackled to my coffee pot and Passion Planner.

And, without giving my age (though I’m so blessed to have reached this point in my life), I am a lover of 70’s music, due to my mother’s extensive vinyl collection, which I continued to play through to my teen years in the 90’s.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #11 with Charlotte Hamilton

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Charlotte Hamilton. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Charlotte, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

Well, I’m 21, Scottish, part unicorn, mermaid and firebender. As for my books they can be summed up with one phrase: queer, magic ladies. Sometimes I step away from SFF but most of the time, there’s an element of magic in my stories. LAMBS CAN ALWAYS BECOME LIONS is a f/f Robin Hood retelling novella that I’m super proud of! And I love 70s music, even if I am more of an 80s gal.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #10 with Sharon Roat

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Sharon Roat. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Sharon, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

About Me: I grew up in Lancaster County, Pa., and now live in northern Delaware with my husband and two kids. I started writing young adult novels after spending 20+ years working in public relations, and I feel so fortunate to be constantly learning (about the world, the lives of others, myself) from the writing process and the YA community. I grow vegetables. I take naps. I read a lot. I also co-chair the Delaware Festival of Words which is an annual event for teens, teachers, and librarians that features diverse authors and ideas.

About My Books: My contemporary YA novels feature characters who are faced with difficult changes in their lives:

  • In Between the Notes, Ivy’s family loses their home and her beloved piano (due in part to medical costs for her disabled little brother). She tries to keep it a secret from her friends and a new boy she likes, so they won’t treat her differently. But a bad-boy-next-door threatens to ruin everything, and Ivy’s lies start to unravel.
  • In How to Disappear, Vicky’s best friend moves away, leaving her isolated due to severe social anxiety. Her mother pressures her to make new friends, but even the prospect of saying “hi” to people in the hall at school is terrifying. So, she creates a new identity on Instagram, and lives vicariously by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures.

How I feel about 70s music: I was alive in the 70s, and my first album was the Bee Gees’ Stayin Alive and OMG I just watched the music video and it is epic. (I still believe my crush on Barry Gibb was warranted, because he was pretty freaking cute, even with those tight, high-waisted, white pants!)

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