Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Winner and April Henry

I apologize for posting this a day late. We've had all sorts of Internet weirdness going on and I finally gave up yesterday. To make it up to you, I'm bringing you a bonus GCC interview with YA author April Henry.

But first, the winner of Liz Funk's SUPERGIRLS SPEAK OUT is...


Please send your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get that sent out to you.

Meanwhile, be sure to come back here on Friday when we kick off the DEATH BY DENIM countdown with a special FREEBIE FRIDAY!

And now, please welcome GCC sister April Henry to the blog. April is the award winning author of six mysteries and thrillers, with many more to come. Her latest book, TORCHED, is filled with "Romance and big explosions … thrills and action (that) will keep readers interested," according to Kirkus reviews. Booklist praises its "thrilling action" and TeenReadsToo gave it five stars.

Here's the official blurb:

When Ellie’s parents are busted for growing marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover—particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can’t stop thinking about—the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family—even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

And now for the interview:

What inspired you to write TORCHED?
The Earth Liberation Front has long been active in the Northwest. The FBI considers them domestic terrorists. I was driving to work one morning, listening to the news, and the broadcaster said, “The FBI says they have been unable to infiltrate ELF.” And I thought, what else are they going to say? Yeah, we have someone who is working there undercover? And then I started thinking that most Elves are young, and FBI agents have to be at least 23, and they might need an informant.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
Just bits and pieces. I used to work in a natural food store, so all those old hippies helped me with the characters of Ellie’s parents. I don’t think you ever take a person wholesale. Maybe take someone’s appearance and combine it with another person’s personality and a third person’s verbal tics.

What excites you?
A cookbook full of recipes I really like. When I first get the idea for a book and I can see a million possibilities. Planning a vacation.

What turns you off?
Smoking. Crabby people. People who drive an inch away from your bumper – when you are already going 10 miles over the speed limit. Yelling.

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
In seventh grade, my best friend wanted to spend more time with me than I wanted to with her. So I told her that my mom and I spent Fridays helping my aunt, who had lost a leg to cancer, clean house. Eventually, I was caught in my lie, and I had to admit it wasn’t true. The worst part for me was that my friend thought I had only lied once. She didn’t realize I had lied week after week. Having to spell it out for her was awful.

All stories are built on suspense. What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
I was in the shower when a man forced the kitchen window to my apartment. The apartment was so old that it was out of true and the bathroom door didn’t even close all the way, let alone lock. So I’m standing there, naked and shivering, staring at the door with was ajar, and hearing footsteps in my apartment. I got very lucky and managed to escape before I was raped or killed. I used that idea in FACE OF BETRAYAL, a book I co-wrote with Lis Wiehl, which is coming out April 7.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Jesus. It would be fascinating to ask him questions, although part of me is afraid it would also be very challenging.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I used to be a pretty good belly dancer.

What's your favorite quote?
“A good laugh is as good as a prayer sometimes.” - LM Montgomery

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Yum, dark, preferably with nuts.

If you'd like to read more about April and her books, check out her website at