Tag Archives: Interview

Author Interview – Thomas Amo

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ForeverMEBlogTour

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Today, I have Thomas Amo with me who is going to answer some questions relating to his book Forever Me. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview!

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Q: I understand Forever ME is inspired by true events. Tell us how that came about?

A: I was just about to leave the house one morning when I caught a segment on morning television about a group of teen girls at a Texas high school who had organized a group called, “Redefining Beautiful.” They were trying to encourage fellow female students to go one day a week without makeup. They were stressing that you don’t need makeup to be beautiful. I was so amazed by their bravery and confidence to go against type, especially in high school and at an age where girls feel the most awkward with themselves. A close friend of mine who is a film producer had been asking me if I had anything I was working on I could share with him. By time the segment was over, I had the basic plot in my head and before I left the house, I already knew the ending of the story. I phoned my producer friend and told him I had something, we met that afternoon and I pitched the idea to him as a film. He loved the concept and told me he was interested. Could I write the screenplay? I went to work right away. But about 50 pages in, I found these characters were so lifelike, I felt it needed to be a book, it could always be a film later. I called my friend back, said, I have to write this as a novel. With his blessing and two years later. Forever ME was published.

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Q: How are teen girls responding to a book written by male?

A:  I was concerned about that. Would they relate to it? Would it seem real to them? Or would it come across as a guy giving his version of what he think teen girls are like today? Well, to my pleasant surprise, teen girls are sending me emails, tweets, and telling me, they completely relate to the situations, they’ve said, “OMG, that is so me!” “I’m just like Hannah!” Or they know girls like Shelby and the Stilettos. Or jerk guys who treat them like property. I got plenty of praise from some parents even grandparents on Forever ME, but the real vindication comes from the teens who love it. I couldn’t ask for better than that! (Plus I have a 19 year old daughter, so I wasn’t totally in the dark.) But I did do my research.

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Q: What did you learn about teen girls that you didn’t know?

A: A lot! I learned that some girls lose precious hours of sleep by getting up at sometimes between 3 and 4 a.m. to begin their daily regiment of getting ready for school to make themselves look “normal” or what they feel they must look like to their friends and fellow students. Girls are under tremendous pressure to always look a certain way, weigh a certain amount. Often it is self-imposed, even the prettiest girls feel insecure about their looks. Girls who are bullied often feel completely alone with no one to turn to. Even if schools have zero tolerance for bullying, there’s always an unspoken rule to not tell. Being bullied is embarrassing, especially when girls get publically humiliated in school and other students stand by, watching or laughing. School can more often than not, feel like prison instead of an educational institution.

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Q: Speaking of Bullying, there’s quite a lot of it in Forever ME. Were you attempting to send a message?

A: Actually no I wasn’t. Not consciously anyway. My wife pointed out to me that bullying wasn’t just limited to the students. Friends bullied each other and even parents bullied their teens. It made me realize, there are many different ways for kids to be bullied, like there are as many forms of abuse. It’s not always physical but it is always damaging.

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Q: I see in several past reviews Forever ME gets compared to the film, “Mean Girls.” Did that have any influence on your writing?

A: Not at all, I have not seen the film. So I’m always surprised when someone compares it to that film. I imagine since the subject matters are similar I can see how someone could draw that conclusion. It was important to me in the beginning that my main character, Hannah was not the new girl at a school. That’s always tough on a teen to be the new kid. I wanted her to have her own friends, a well-adjusted home life and content with her life as it was. It was only when she crossed the invisible line of mixing with the social elite did it present a problem in her life. Wichita Falls is a place where a girl from her side of town is often reminded it’s best if she stays there.

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About the author296174

Thomas Amo is the author over 20 comedies and farces for the live theatre. This former full time theatrical producer has spent the last thirty years writing in many different genres, from pilot scripts for television to screenplays on independent films. Outside acting, directing and producing, his first love has always been writing. Forever ME, marks his debut into YA fiction

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BBAW – Interview!

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Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week– 2012!

Here with me today is Suzanne (bibliosue). Before I get started with the questioning I would like Suzanne to tell us a little something about herself.

“I’ve been blogging for almost three years now.  I blog just as a hobby and for the opportunity to express my thoughts about what I’ve been reading.

My reading tastes are rather eclectic – I enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction; about topics ranging from history and current affairs to food and pop culture and everything in between.
My dream job would be something that would allow me to be paid to read and travel.”
Now I shall continue on with my questioning!
  1. What is your favorite author? YA & Adult and why?   YA is a genre that I know little about so I can’t claim to have a favorite author there, but my favorite “Adult” authors include Margaret Atwood (because she is just amazing), Nick Hornby (because he writes simply yet powerfully), and A.J. Jacobs (who is funny and always teaches me something).  I will read anything that these authors write.
  2. Your favorite stand alone novel & series? And why?   Stand-alone novel:  This changes regularly, but right now I’m singing the praises of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.  It is an original story and packs such an emotional wallop.  I don’t read many series, but I have enjoyed the 44 Scotland Street novels by Alexander McCall Smith, though I think I’m a few books behind.
  3. Book/Series you wish you could live in?   I wish I could live in any book that is set in Paris.
  4. Book/Series that got you into reading?   This is going to date me, but the Bobbsey Twins mysteries were candy to my 6 year-old brain. I don’t even know if they are around any more, but they were great.
  5. Paperback or Hardback or Audiobook or E-book?   Yes.  Though I have trouble with fiction in audiobook format.
  6. Who are your favorite bloggers or vloggers and why? (Up to 5)   Leeswammes, because she and I have similar reading tastes and I have learned of some great books thanks to her; Dead White Guys, because it is an accessible and witty guide to the classics of literature.
  7. If you were trapped on an island and could only bring five books with you, which would you bring?   The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, The Diary of Anne Frank, and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (only because if I am trapped on an island it will give me the time and solitude required to properly read it

And that’s it! Thanks so much Suzanne for sharing your time with me, and thanks to everyone who has taken the time to organize the event and the many readers who give their time as well.

Blogger/Vlogger Spotlight (1) The Book Rat

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My first Blogger/Vlogger spotlight! Today I have with me Misty from The Book Rat. She was kind enough to agree to my interroga err… questioning for my meme.

She blogs & vlogs and tells it like it is. She is pretty eclectic in her reading and doesn’t sugarcoat things. Has awesome video’s and book chats and keeps book news interesting. You can check her out by clicking her links. Website / Youtube / GoodReads

On with the questioning!

  1. What is your favorite author? YA & Adult and why? I try not to pick “favorites” of things because it’s all very mood-based (which is funny because I ask people who friend request me on Goodreads what their favorite book is – but mostly it’s to watch them squirm…)  If forced to choose, I normally choose in categories: favorite dead author = Jane Austen; favorite living adult author = David Mitchell (most of the time. Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison are often named, too); favorite YA author is a toss-up.  Could be anybody, depending on what I’m reading and loving at the moment.
  2. Your favorite stand alone novel & series? And why? I’m going to give you adult and YA: Adult stand-alone = number9dream by David Mitchell (with Cloud Atlas a close 2nd) – both books just blew me away in their scope and creativity; YA stand-alone = Anne of Green Gables. I know it’s a series, but I love it on its own.  I don’t necessarily have a favorite series, though there are many I love.  But honorable mention to the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce.
  3. Favorite characters male & female? Female: Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennet, Katniss Everdeen, Alexia Tarabotti, Alanna of Trebond, Cassandra Mortmain, Sunshine, The Lass, Sorcha, Eff Rothmer, Merrikat Blackwood, Daphne the demon – there are so many!
    Male: Gilbert Blythe, Fitzwilliam Darcy (and a number of Austen men), Todd Hewitt, Kvothe, Valek, Eiji Miyake, Stefan Uccello, Mackie Doyle, any Weasley male except Percy – again, there are many more!
  4. Who would your book boyfriend be? Oh man. Can I be polygamous?  I’m going to plead the 5th on this, because I have to keep my options open in case one of them calls…
  5. Book/Series you wish you could live in?  So many! But maybe just visit, not live…
  6. Book/Series that got you into reading? I have always been into reading. Even before I could.  I am a language person, I love words and started talking really early, so I guess it was unavoidable. But the first 2 books I remember being inseparable from were The Velveteen Rabbit and Where the Wild Things Are.
  7. Paperback or Hardback or Audiobook or E-book? I’ve come to find I like hardback more, which didn’t use to be the case.
  8. What do you like to do besides reading? General nerdy things. I like making cards for people and getting all crafty, and I love to cook.
  9. Who are your favorite bloggers or vloggers and why? (Up to 5) Oh, this just isn’t fair.  There are many more than this, but I’m going with the ones I’ve loved longest and/or know more personally: Allison from The Allure of Books, Liz from Consumed by Books, April from Good Books and Good Wine, everyone from Forever Young Adult, The Readables, Danny Marks – the list could go on and on. (Ooops, that was 6. Too late!)
  10. If you were trapped on an island and could only bring five books with you, which would you bring? These are mean questions. The Complete Works of Jane Austen (not cheating, since it is 1 volume), Anne of Green Gables, Annotated Works of Shakespeare (good variety, and all the notes would keep me entertained forever), Daughter of the Forest, and I don’t know about the last one. It would be a gamble, and something I haven’t read.

That’s it for today’s spotlight. If you have someone you would like to be spotlighted be sure to comment with their link of if you yourself would like to be spotlighted send me an email at hellokittymailbox@aol.com.