Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Giveaway and Author Spotlight: Shari Maurer, author of CHANGE OF HEART

I'm on a role this week with great authors. I'm pleased to introduce Shari Maurer. Change of Heart is her debut novel and she is part of The Tenners or Class of 2K10. This is a group of YA authors whose debut novels are being published in 2010. In years past, the group of 2K has included some of the hottest YA authors of today like Melissa Marr, Carrie Jones and Jay Ascher. Shari no doubt, ranks up there with the best of them.

Her book is a contemporary, realistic story that eschews the supernatural for real life struggles: A teenager's need for a heart transplant. Imagine being a typical teen girl, desiring that love that makes your heart beat faster, then discovering that heart may soon not beat at all. Just add that factor into the turmoil that makes up the average girls life and you know there's a compelling story here. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Shari Maurer and her story proved to be just as compelling as her novel; here, see for yourself.

1) This YA story deals with a rather serious subject matter, the need for a heart transplant. I'm aware that your daughter was born with a congenital heart problem. Did this play any part in your decision to pursue this subject matter? What was your inspiration?

Between my daughter being born with a heart defect and my husband being a cardiologist, heart health plays a big role in our house. The inspiration for Change of Heart came from watching a Discovery Health program on heart transplants. My husband and his patient were featured, but so was a young girl. I watched her being wheeled into the OR to get her new heart, fear, uncertainty and excitement filling her face and I was haunted by her. My writer wheels started turning and this evolved into Emmi's story.
2) What kind of research did you do to prepare for writing this story?

I spoke to many heart recipients. Each of their stories were different because some of them were acutely sick and received a heart within days and some had to wait much longer. In terms of medical facts, it as nice to have a cardiologist at the dinner table or an e-mail away. I'm sure I made my husband crazy as I would e-mail him an "urgent" question in the middle of his work day. That said, he was very patient with me and always willing to explain even the most minute details of a patient's care.
3) You've worked for the Children's Television Workshop on productions of Sesame Street. How much writing was involved in this? What exactly did you do there?
I worked on international versions of Sesame Street and other kids programs. While not doing any writing myself, I worked with the writers in other countries to improve their scripts as well as to train them in Sesame Street ideology. I was lucky to be able to travel all over the world, including Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Holland and even Nashville, Tennessee.

4) Is writing a novel something you've always wanted and planned to do?

Writing a novel was probably one of those distant dreams--it was something I always thought would be great to do, but I'm not sure if I ever really thought  I would do it. I have a Masters in Screenwriting and Playwriting, so I probably thought my writing might have taken me to film or the theatre.
5) Is this your first attempt at getting published? How long did it take you to complete this story and get it submission ready?

I have a non-fiction book that I co-wrote with my friend Gerri Freid Kramer, called The Parents' Guide To Children's Congenital Heart Defects.

I started writing Change of Heart in the Fall of 2006, so all the revisions, my agent search, editor submission and then the editorial process at WestSide Books took about 3 1/2 years.
6) Who is your agent and tell us about your experience in obtaining representation.

Marlene Stringer is my wonderful agent. My experience with her was a whirlwind. I queried her at about 4pm, had a request for a full at 6:30pm that night and got a phone call from her the next day. I'll never forget answering the phone and hearing  "Hi, Shari, this is Marlene Stringer and I love your book."
7) Much of YA has a romantic element. Does Change of Heart have any such elements? If so, without any spoilers, tell us about how this factors into the story.

The romance in YA is some of my favorite parts. There is definitely a lot of romance inChange of Heart. Despite everything Emmi is going through while waiting for her heart, she's still a normal teenage girl obsessing over boys. I can't tell you anything else without spoiling it! 

8) So much of YA today is paranormal or supernatural in content. What do you think about this? Is this something you will utilize in future endeavors?

I was never a big fan of paranormal or supernatural, but since I've been a part of the Class of 2K10 (a group of debut YA and MG authors), I've been reading their books. They've taken me into genres I never thought I'd enjoy, but I'm loving them. I doubt I have the imagination required to write one, but it sure has been fun reading them.

9) Do you have any works in progress that you can tell us about?

There are a couple of things in the works. One that Marlene and I are trying to find a home for and another that is very rough but very promising.
Thanks so much Shari for sharing yourself with readers and giving them a chance to learn of your rather amazing story! It, is without a doubt, unique.

You can learn more about Shari and her literary endeavors by visiting her site here 

If you would like the opportunity to get a copy of Shari's book, just become a  follower if you're not already and leave your email so you can be contacted if you win. That is all.

The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. It ends Monday, July 5th.
Winner will be selected randomly using RANDOM.ORG.



  1. Great interview June! :) I haven't been able to spot a copy of Change of Heart here.

  2. Thanks Precious. It is newly released.

  3. This sounds like a really great book. Thanks!


  4. Sounds good! Please enter me for the giveaway


  5. This book sound very interesting! I'd like to enter!


  6. The book sounds really good.

    I am a follower

  7. Enter me please for this awesome book!

    I am a follower on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  8. You are writing up a storm lately...this book sounds really wonderful.


  9. Please include me in your giveaway. I am a follower.

  10. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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