Told in the vein of Susan Pfeiffer’s LIFE AS WE KNOW IT and Courtney Summers’ THIS IS NOT A TEST, this new YA novel will appeal to fans of Sci-Fi both young and old. END OF NORMAL is now available at Amazon and Champagne Books. Get to know more about Susan in this exclusive letter to readers...
16-year-old Olivia Richards’ last day of normal is simply that, normal. She spends her entire pre-school morning dressing to impress gorgeous guy Sawyer Rising, the hottest guy in high school. She argues with her mother about her skinny jeans being too tight, which Olivia considers ridiculous because isn’t that the point of skinny jeans? Sometimes her mother makes no sense. Olivia’s normal world also includes her gentle astrophysicist father and her twin brother Charlie, who is deaf. Despite proclaiming that his deafness is no big deal, deep inside Olivia feels it is a big deal and that it’s her duty to protect him.
Olivia’s normal ends that night when strange lights shoot out of the sky and turn into stinging drones, killing their parents, or at least they think their parents die, but do they? Forced to flee, the twins join forces with friends Axel, Clara, and Sawyer, to search for answers to the strange invasion. Discovering a conspiracy to hide the location of a second earth, they search for a way to stop the destruction of their world.Susan worked as a high school teacher until she thought her head would explode from all the ideas and questions her students asked. Thinking it would be easier; she foolishly switched from teaching to the ridiculous job of professional fundraiser. After spending more years than she wants to admit begging strangers for money, she gathered what pride she had left and enrolled in Spalding University’s MFA program where she became blissfully happy working with other writers and improving her writing. She currently lives and writes in Seabrook, Texas with her husband Mike, Vlad the cat, and their deaf dog Chester.
My first YA novel, END OF NORMAL, will be available October 6, 2014 by Champagne Books and can be purchased through any online bookstore. I am in the process of developing a new, and much better website, but until it’s ready, you can check out my current, rather pitiful site. It has my bi-weekly blog and books I’m working on. My new site will be much better, so bookmark my web address and check back in a few weeks.
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What was it about the science fiction genre that drew you to write in it? Was there a certain book that captured your imagination and led you to think you could do it or did it come to you naturally?
I’m an equal opportunity reader and read all genres including plain old literary fiction, so there was no overall love of science fiction that compelled me to write End of Normal, its inspiration came about in a flash. It was the first semester of my MFA in Writing program at Spalding University and I was trying to decide what to write.
Picture a rainy, cold (for us on the Texas Gulf Coast) afternoon and I was listening to my favorite Sci-Fi in-an-apocalyptic-way novel, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which if you haven't read it, you should. Anyway, there I was surrounded both outside and in my head in a chilly, dreary world as I pulled into the Walgreens parking lot near my home. Standing on the sidewalk, mere inches from my car, were two deaf men arguing. They used no words, only grunts, violent gestures, and angry facial expressions. It was captivating and I was drawn in, thinking about deafness and the inability to speak with words. This idea intermingled with the cold, empty world around me and I knew right then I wanted to write a YA or MG book about the end-of-the-world and have one of the main characters be deaf. So I did. The story stayed with me through my time at Spalding, changing from dark and brooding, to light and funny, to sort of mixture of both with a lot of action, a smidge of romance of the PG kind, and sci-fi thrown in for good measure, including the discovery of a second earth and moon landing hoax. How fun is that?
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Throughout the tour, Susan is giving away a $20 giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winners choice)
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