Yes, the Class of 2k7 has started a new feature: Author-to-Author Interviews.
Are you intrigued by what one debut author might ask another? Or maybe you're just wondering what a debut author is like.
The Class intends to feature authors and interviews throughout the rest of the year.
Class of 2K7 member S.A. Harazin, author of BLOOD BROTHERS (Delacorte/Random House, 2007) gets the honors this week.
We'll start off with Julie Bowe's terrific interview and later on we'll post a summary of S.A.'s book, and a couple of reviews or blurbs.
S.A. Harazin’s debut young adult novel, Blood Brothers, is described by Kirkus Reviews as a story that “will grab readers from the first sentence.” Richie Partington of richiespicks.com notes that the novel is “a gritty mystery which is relentless in its pacing” and TeensReadToo.com comments that “teens will appreciate that S. A. Harazin writes on a realistic level and doesn't try to baby them. The direct, honest approach will…have them recommending this one to their friends.”
Please welcome, S.A. Harazin.
You mention on your website (www.saharazin.com) that you began writing poems and stories at an early age, typing them on an old-fashioned typewriter. What’s your writing process like today?
I usually use the computer, but I have been known to scratch out a scene on a paper plate or whatever I can find. For fine tuning, I print out the draft and make changes with a pen.
Clay, the main character in Blood Brothers, is a seventeen-year-old high school graduate who dreams of becoming a doctor someday. What did you dream of becoming when you were a teen?
I wanted to be a writer and a nurse.
Blood Brothers is your first young adult novel. Much of the novel takes place in a hospital where Clay works as an orderly and where his best friend, Joey, is hospitalized after apparently abusing drugs. What was the inspiration for writing the book?
The first inspiration came from a visual of a boy frantically riding his bike to the hospital. When I started writing the story, I had no idea where I was going with it. For many years I had thought about writing a story based loosely on my experience with a young patient. This experience came to life as I wrote about the kid on the bike.
What is one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a nurse? As a debut author?
I think all those years working in a hospital before I became a nurse kept me from getting surprised when I became a nurse. I was always learning.
As a debut author I was surprised when reviews did not come in as I expected. I have learned that all books do not get reviewed by all the print journals.
Blood Brothers is described by your publisher as a “powerful story (that) takes the reader into the emergency room, the world of teenage parties and drug use, and the lives of two friends who are as close as brothers." The novel includes many highly believable scenes and characters. Are there scenes/characters in the novel that were inspired by real-life events or people?
The scenes were inspired by real life events, but I fictionalized everything.
Each chapter in the book is divided into short sections that are dated (often right down to the minute) giving the story a sense of order and urgency. How does this layout reflect what’s going on in Clay’s life?
Each day Clay is trying to find out what happened to Joey, go to work, and do what he can to help Joey in ICU. Clay is afraid that time may be running out so he is relentless in his pursuit of answers.
Clay narrates the story with a matter-of-fact voice and “dead-on” dry sense of humor. From intense hospital scenes, to conversations with his detached dad, to ponderings about his drug abusing girlfriend, Clay’s voice rings true throughout the novel. How were you able to get inside the mind (and world) of this teenage boy so effectively?
I know many teen guys, and I have two sons. But I’ve also known several teens—as patients—during bad times. I’ve always been a good listener.
What do you hope readers will gain from Blood Brothers?
I’ve always hoped that readers would experience a good story and maybe have an “aha” feeling when it’s over. I never planned on having an anti-drug message or teaching anybody anything. I do hope there will be teens who decide on health care as a career.
Other than writing, what interests keep you busy?
My kids and my day job helping my husband with his business.
What can fans of Blood Brothers look forward to next?
I’m working on a young adult novel about a kid with a rare genetic condition.
Read more about S.A. Harazin and Blood Brothers at the author’s website: www.saharzin.com
Interviewer: Class of 2K7 member, Julie Bowe, author of My Last Best Friend (Harcourt, April 2007) Visit Julie at www.juliebowe.com