Saturday, July 02, 2011

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Tour - Suzanne Young and A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL

Happy [insert applicable national holiday here] to my Canadian friends and fellow Americans! I'm off to see some amaze-tastic fireworks at Oregon Ridge Park in Hunt Valley (yes, that Hunt Valley, home of the Keeley family. The fireworks and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performance just might be the setting for a scene from SHINE.) Fingers crossed it doesn't storm--our poor dog is afraid of thunder, which makes every summer social activity "tentative" for us.

Last week's winner of a copy of Elana Johnson's Possession, courtesy of Simon Pulse, was...commenter #5, Julie! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented.

This week's guest is Suzanne Young, author of the just-released A Need So Beautiful, which just yesterday was named one of Amazon's five Best Books of the Month. Woo-hoo!

So what's it about?

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be Forgotten…

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

WOW! I love books where the characters question fate and fight to choose what's right for them. Another must-read for me. *glares at TBR pile*

Read the first 50 pages of A Need So Beautiful.

Booklist gave it a starred review, calling it, "A clever and well-written fantasy. Whether Charlotte is an angel or a being less freighted by religious tradition is left up to the reader, but the dilemma of how we can make a lasting impression is a very human concern. Young offers an elegant solution that is well worth consideration."

And the very awesome Carrie Ryan (author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series) said it was, “A beautiful, poignant, and gripping tale of love and sacrifice.”

A bit about Suzanne:

Suzanne Young currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she uses the rainy weather as an excuse to stay inside and write obsessively. After earning her degree in creative writing, Suzanne spent several years teaching middle school language arts. Now she can be found at home chasing after her two children and poorly behaved dog and writing novels for teens. You can visit her online or follow her on Twitter.

And now, my interview with the lovely lady herself!

Which moment(s) during the writing/rewriting/editing of this book made you tear your hair out?

Trying to explain the mythology. It wasn’t based in any particular faith, so I had to make it up as I went. So there were times when I wanted to bang my head on the keyboard.

Which moment(s) made you think, "ah, THIS is what carries me through the hair-tearing bits"?

I had the ending written before most of the book. And knowing I was going to get there was a real motivator.

We're told we have to "kill our darlings" when we edit. Can you share a deleted line or paragraph you would've loved to have kept? Bonus question: tell us why you decided to cut it.

I cut this quick paragraph, but honestly, I think it was just trimming and not for any huge reason.

“I yelled and tried to help him, but it was no use. He was dead. And when I looked back over my shoulder at Onika… she was smiling. She was smiling and for second, I saw her face. Her true face. And it was horrible.”

Turn to page 99 of your latest novel. Which word on that page best evokes your story or main character? (Side note to writers: feel free to use a different page if 99 is only a few sentences long.)


Which book/movie/TV show have you recently discovered that made you want to kick yourself for not reading/watching sooner?

The Killing

If your house was on fire, what object (not including living creatures, human or non-human) would you grab on the way out?

Picture of me with my grandmother.

Is there anything most people are able to do (such as drive a car, swim, ride a bike) that you can't?

I’m a terrible swimmer. I don’t really like water all that much.

Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?

When I was a server I’d have a reoccurring dream of trying to get the order of a table, but being too busy. It was horrible!


Argh, I still have that dream, and I haven't waited tables in ten years!

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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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