Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blog Tour/Author Interview: Forte by J.D. Spero

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 Johannah Davies (JD) Spero was born near a pristine lake in the Adirondacks and has lived in various cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Indianapolis, Dallas, and Boston. She has pursued her love of narrative through degrees in English, Russian, and teaching—and has worked as an actress, a yoga instructor, a web design entrepreneur, freelance writer, and a high school English teacher. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and three young sons.

Drawing on her experience as a high school teacher—this time with a social concern, Spero infuses the rites of passage for the teenager—cliques, first kisses, peer pressure, and bullying—with magic. This stresses how tenuous and critical this time is for young people in a new, fascinating way. Written from Sami’s point of view, Spero’s narrative puts the reader into the mind of a fifteen-year-old who must navigate the tumultuous waters of being the new girl—the underdog who starts to win and is intoxicated by it. Truly a page-turner, this action-packed story will have readers of all ages eager to see what happens next. 

Spero’s debut novel, Catcher’s Keeper, was chosen as a Finalist in the 2014 Indie Excellence Book Awards contest and also made the top 5% out of 10,000 entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  

The Author Visits

Author Interview:

1. Advice for writers?

Keep writing. Don’t accept your excuses. There is always time.

Also…you can’t do it alone. There will always be something you’re not seeing. Once you have a piece you believe in and love, get a good editor you trust. Together, make it great.

2. What's up next for you?

My favorite part of writing is creating the story from scratch, so I always have a project going in that phase. Currently, I just finished my very first draft of another novel (adult fiction) with the working title HENRY TROUT SAVES A HEDGEHOG which has an element of mystery…and a very cute hedgehog. Henry Trout is a six-year-old boy who loves nocturnal animals so much, he sneaks outside in the middle of the night to catch one for a pet. Through the darkness of his backyard, he witnesses a crime being committed against his neighbor and beloved babysitter. Turns out, the attacker is none other than his teenage brother. Henry Trout must figure out what to do with this knowledge, and whether or not he can find forgiveness in his heart.

3. Please provide some insight, a secret or two about your book / story.

In FORTE, my main character is the hero of the story, but she is also the victim of peer pressure, bullying, and drug abuse. Even though FORTE has an element of fantasy, it deals with very real issues teens are dealing with today. Its message is not new or unusual, but the way it’s told might take you by surprise.

4. Name one entity that you feel supported your writing, outside of family members?

I’ve taken several online writing courses at Writing Academy with Steve Alcorn. They were invaluable.

There’s also a great network of writers and editors online that I’ve connected with throughout the years. It’s a very rich and rewarding community to be a part of.

5. What is your favorite snack while writing?

Grand Marnier (That’s kind of a joke. Kind of.)

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