January 22nd, 2009

Read My Lips

Teri Brown and I have never met, but we have a lot in common. She lives in Portland. I live in Portland. She works for Community Partnership for Affordable Housing, and I’ve been of their fundraising event for 10 years. And she’s written a book about a deaf teenager, and I have a book coming out in 2010 about a blind teenager. Her book is called Read My Lips.

About the book
Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well—even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there’s no turning back.

From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena’s identity has done a 180…almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she’s not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school’s most exclusive clique.

With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop….

I asked, Teri answered
A. What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?
T. Okay, I have had quite a few scary things happen to me, but one of the worst scares I’ve ever had was also the funniest. It was right after Independence Day came out on video. We watched it with the kids and a couple of days later I walked out onto our back deck to relax and enjoy the evening. I heard this odd noise above me and looking up saw a huge cigar shaped thing with what looked like running lights circling around it right above me. My heart leapt out of my chest and I just got this massive adrenaline rush, before my reasoning mind realized it was the Goodyear blimp.

A. Mystery writers often give their characters an unreasoning fear - and then make them face it. Do you have any phobias, like fear of spiders or enclosed spaces?
T. Driving. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 26 and it took me a long time before I would merge onto a freeway. I have a fear of driving into big cities and always take mass transit or have my husband drive me. Talk about anxiety attack!

A. Do you have a favorite mystery book, author, or movie?
T. Miss Marple. I’m kind of old school that wayJ

A At its heart, every story is a mystery. It asks why someone acts the way they did - or maybe what will happen next. What question does your book ask?
A. Oh, wow, April, you’re making me think here! I think it asks just how far a girl who has never fit in (my MC is profoundly deaf) will go to be accepted. And I think that something all of us can relate to!

A. Is there a mystery in life that you are still trying to figure out?
T. I wanna know where the socks go when you put them in the washer. And why, in a house that has five pairs of scissors, I can never find them when I want them. I got a lot of the big stuff figured out. It’s the little things that confound me.

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Lincoln's Bible - how far we've come

I knew that Barack Obama was sworn in on the same Bible used to swear in Lincoln. But this morning I read this in Newsweek: "Lincoln was sworn in by the then Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. This means that when Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office, Obama will lay his hand on the same Bible once used in a ceremony by the author of Dred Scott v. Sanford. ... Taney, in writing Dred Scott in 1857, concluded that blacks could never even be citizens. Taney ranted that blacks were "beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.""

Wow. Just ... wow.

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Torched gets its first review

I am pathetically nervous about looking at reviews of my books. I read them with face squinched up, waiting for the bad news. Even starred reviews make me nervous. And don’t get me started on Kirkus!

But TeenReadToo.com has reviewed my next release, Torched, and they like it. They really like it! Five stars like it! You can read what they think here.

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