Monday, July 2, 2012

Class of 2k12 Interview with Jennifer Shaw Wolf, Author of Breaking Beautiful

Throughout the year I'll be bringing you some interviews with the authors over at the Class of 2K12! I hope you will enjoy getting to know these authors and thoughts on their books better. Today I'm bringing you an interview with Jennifer Shaw Wolf. Her book, Breaking Beautiful, is out now!

How has your personal history influenced your writing of your book?

My personal history inspired the character, Andrew, in BREAKING BEAUTIFUL. When I was
seventeen I did home health care for a seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. He had big brown eyes, long eyelashes, and an infectious giggle. His spirit far outstretched the limits of his physical body.

When I wrote BREAKING BEAUTIFUL, I needed to give Allie someone who would be there for her no matter what happened and who would understand her better than anyone else, so I gave her Andrew. Andrew is Allie’s twin brother with cerebral palsy. He’s smart and brave and he loves his sister more than anything. Like Jason, his spirit far outweighs his physical body.

How did you react when you saw the cover of your book?

I was thrilled when I saw the cover of my book because my husband took the picture! I was very lucky to have so much say in what went on the cover. The art department at Walker showed me a few ideas, and said they were trying to find a stock photo that would work. Since my husband is a photographer I asked them if he could try to get what they were looking for. They said, “Yes.”

A few trips to the coast later we had several pictures that I liked, but I wasn’t sure if Walker would agree to use them. It wasn’t until my editor sent me the cover that would go in Walker’s catalog that I knew my husband’s photo would be used.

What was your favorite book as a young person?

The first chapter book I remember adoring was A WRINKLE IN TIME, by Madeline L’Engle. It was read to my third grade class by our teacher. Mrs. O’Connor. For me, that story opened up endless possibilities for adventure.

How do you feel about book blogs and using social media?

I love book blogs! What a fantastic way to get the word out about great books and reading in general. I like to go through blogs to find book recommendations for me and for my kids.

Social media is great. I recently reconnected with my long-lost best friend from grade school through facebook and I know what my high school friends are doing almost daily. How cool is that? It both scares and excites me that everyone seems to know so much about what is going on in each other’s lives.

As I writer I love using social media. There has never been a time when authors could connect so closely and so immediately with their readers. It’s a great marketing tool, and honestly, a great research tool as well.

Would you rather deal with an alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse?

It has to be alien invasion. I’m a closet Trekkie through marriage and I love technology. The whole idea of the living dead kind of freaks me out. The smell alone would kill me. Give me a good laser gun and a shiny spaceship over rotting flesh any day. Besides, I still have bad memories of a slumber party and “One Dark Night” when I was like thirteen.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure food?

CANDY. Although I’m as much of a chocolate fanatic as the next woman, my favorite is strawberry Twizzlers. I also have holiday addictions. Candy corn, Peeps, and Conversation Hearts are a few of the nasty candies that I devour when they’re in season.

About Breaking Beautiful: Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free?

Available now!

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