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ASK THE EXPERT INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY OF RADIANCE

Today I’m excited to interview Jonah, a 14 year old in 9th grade. His mom is Hillary Homzie. I interviewed her earlier this year when her middle grade book THE HOT LIST came out.

Hi Jonah. Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.

I go to Napa High School, and I am part of the Track and Cross Country teams and the school orchestra. I enjoy reading many different types of books, but my favorite genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy.

2. My favorite genre is definitely fantasy too. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?

We have a lot of books lying around the house, so when I want to read something new I often search for a book that looks interesting. Sometimes my mom or my friends will introduce me to a new book or series of books and I will check it out from the library.

3. We have a lot of books too, though I try to give them away on my blog. How has having a mom who is an author influenced the books you read or how you find out about new books?

I think for one thing she makes it a lot easier to find new books. For example, just a few days ago I needed help finding a choice book for a school assignment. I told her what type of books I was interested in reading, and she came back a little while later with a stack of a dozen or so books. I also think I’ve read books I never would have read otherwise, such as a book written for tween girls, to help her with her writing.

4. My daughter finds out about a lot of books from me too. I really enjoy that we often read the same books, though she’s not a fan of fantasy so doesn’t read those. What are you reading now? What books are you waiting to be released?

I am currently finishing up The Book Thief, by Marcus Zuzak, and I’m excited about the release of the last book in the Inheritance Series, by Christopher Paolini. I am also waiting for the release of the next book in the White Cat series by Holly Black.

5. I need to read all those books. Do you buy most of your book or get them at the library? How often do go to a bookstore?

As I said earlier, I mostly get my books from the library or from around the house (my mom buys a lot of books). When I do go to a bookstore, it is usually to buy books for school or just look around.

6. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?

I don’t regularly read any blogs, but I will occasionally look at one when I’m reading a book and I want to know what other people think of it. While I don’t think I’m a fan of any authors on Facebook, I do have a list of some of my favorite books on my profile.

7. I don’t think you’re alone in not reading blogs. Most kids I interview don’t unless they have their own blog or are an aspiring author. Has your teacher or mom recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?

Yes. She is actually part of a group blog, From Mixed-up Files of Middle Grade Authors. She has definitely shown me that blog, and I think I it’s awesome for fans of middle grade fiction.

8. Ooh, I really like that blog. Guys, you should check it out. Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?

I would like to see them promote their websites or Facebook pages in their books. I think there isn’t enough connection between recent books and the internet, considering all the options the internet opens up. Just a small reference to their website at the back of the book would be great.

9. That’s a great idea to list the Facebook connection in their biography because that might be the place most kids who search would check them out. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?

So far there hasn’t been any author visits at my school, which makes sense in a school of 2600 people. Unless it was part of a class, it would be very hard to organize. If there were an author visit, I would love it if they had an interactive approach to their presentation. It would be a lot of fun to talk and work with the author rather than just hear them talk.

Thanks Jonah for all your advice. We appreciate it with your busy schedule.

Today I’m also giving away a copy of my ARC of RADIANCE. Here’s a description from Goodreads:

Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .

I don’t usually read books about the afterlife, but I did enjoy RADIANCE. Even though Riley’s life mostly picks up where she left off, she struggles with longings for her life when she was alive. And her new job and her relationship with Bodhi kept me reading.

I’m giving away my ARC for a giveaway. All you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment about Jonah's interview by midnight on January 7th. I’ll announce the winner on January 9th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

If you mention this contest on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook, please let me know in the comments and I’ll give you an extra entry.

Don't forget to enter the rest of my giveaways listed at the top of our blog.

Here’s what’s coming up. I’m taking a two week break for the holidays until January 9th. We’re going to Dallas to spend the holidays with my husband’s family and I’ll be offline for a week. Casey may post an agent spotlight but will otherwise be off for two weeks too.

On January 9th, I’m super excited to interview debut author Marie Lu and will be giving away a copy of LEGEND. You won’t want to miss that! I LOVED her book.

On January 16th, I'll be interviewing Caroline Starr Rose with a giveaway an ARC of MAY B. Can’t wait to get my ARC!

2000 Followers Giveaway coming in January. Details to follow. It will be awesome!

Have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! I’m wishing you all a wonderful year with lots of happy news about agents and new book deals.

Hope to see you on January 9th!

34 comments:

  1. Great to meet you, Jonah. I loved reading your answers and hearing your voice through them. Nice job! :)

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  2. What a great interview! I enjoyed getting to know you, Jonah.

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  3. Have a great break and see in you January! Nice to meet you Jonah!

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  4. Thanks so much Jonah for sharing your advice. And everyone, have a great holiday.

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  5. This is great! I write MG for boys and it's so awesome to read an interview from Jonah, someone who is in the midst of it all. Thanks so much!

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  6. I loved this interview with Jonah--great insight!!

    And Jonah has good taste in books (and how cool that his mom and teacher are both authors--win win)!!

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  7. Such a wonderful interview with Johah.

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  8. what a fun interview! Jonah is very smart, and I learned about two "new" books--The Book Thief and the White Cat books. (Actually, I already knew about them, but this was a great reminder.)

    Merry Christmas! :o) <3

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  9. Great interview, and very insightful about teens reading book blogs. No wonder writers write posts geared toward other writers. :)

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  10. First of all, I love the name Jonah! It reminds me of Weezer, one of my favorite bands. And also, a really cute guy I knew. So you had me at hello Jonah! Great interview. Thanks for the insight.

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  11. Having an author mom is so cool ! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway !
    GwenEe95(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Off to read the interview.
    Email:bookandmoviedimensionblogger(at) yahoo (dot) com

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  13. Wow--great interview! And that's a great idea about more openly connecting the book to a writer's online presence. I especially like that idea with ebooks, because a hyperlink can take a reader right to that FB page.

    Thanks so much Natalie & Jonah!

    Nat and Casey--Have a great holiday--hope you all have a wonderful time with family and friends and get lots of R & R in--you ladies deserve it!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  14. The Book Thief is one of my favorite books . . . how do you like it?

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  15. Thanks so much to Jonah for this insider's view into what a teen guy reads and why. Priceless!

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  16. Not entering to win, just found Jonah's answers interesting. Shame no authors have come to his school for a while. And if I had a son, I wonder if I'd be a good influence on his reading? (And would he even want to read my book?)

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  17. Nice to get to know Jonah! Super smart! And a guy point of view is alwasy welcome!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

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  18. A great interview with Jonah. A smart idea I think.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  19. Congratulations on hitting 2k!! Way to go, guys!

    Great interview, by the way. It's interesting to see the POV of someone whose mom is an author. I know my own daughter has a much different perspective on books and writing than most of her friends. She often will get to read books before they're released too, and now ARCs are like "eh, whatever" to her. Ha!

    Good luck to Jonah--I hope he gets his author visit at school!

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  20. Thank you for great interview!
    Rathouska(dot)jana(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. That was a very nice interview Natalie and Jonah. It is always refreshing to see a younger reader’s perspective and Jonah brings up an excellent point about accessing an author through technology. Physical appearances at schools I can see being logistically difficult, but I wonder how open authors would be to teleconferencing which would still allow the interaction Jonah mentioned – especially if the author’s work was used as a class assignment.

    Good luck Jonah with your Track and Cross Country! I’m sure you’re much better than I ever was at it!

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  22. trekking your superb blog! keep blogging and inspiring people! happy holidays!

    cheers!
    ...TREK...

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  23. Thanks for the giveaway and interview
    blogmicia(at)yahoo(dot)it
    https://twitter.com/#!/micia18/status/151662853332541440

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  24. I love Alyson Noel. Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!!!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

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  25. Oh! Oh! I'm waiting for the release of the next book in the White Cat series too! Entitled Black Heart. Can't wait till April 3rd 2012 !
    follower
    thebookish96(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. Good interview, especially the title.

    As a writer trying to break into the YA market, it's nice to get some other perspectives from the people I'm actually writing for (other than my kids and their friends). I especially liked the comment about adding links for an author's blog or Facebook in the book. I think it's even better with ebooks, since it can be a direct link.


    Anyway, thanks again, and thanks to Jonah for doing the interview.

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  27. I really enjoyed Jonah's interview and agree that he sounds like a very intelligent and insightful guy. Of course, I'm majorly biased since he's my son lol. But you know, he made some great points about how authors could do a better job of promoting their FB accounts. Hmm, I think I know of at least one author who could do that.

    Natalie thanks so much for interviewing Jonah. I know he really enjoyed it. And as for what it's like to have an author as a mom. I'm afraid the poor kid doesn't know any other reality. This means he's forced to read every re-write of my current tween girl work-in-progress (WIP) and is well read in girl culture.

    Congrats to Natalie and Casey on reaching the over 2000 mark in members!!! Happy 2012 everyone!!!

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  28. Thanks for the interview. Can't wait to read Radiance.

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  29. Great interview, Jonah. Have you read Fanny Billingsley's latest? How about the Last Apprentice Series ( I know it's horror vs. fantasy), but I love it.

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  30. Thanks everyone for your comments. I really enjoyed getting interviewed. Happy New Year!

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  31. To Cathe: I really enjoyed The Book Thief. I loved Death as a narrator, and all the vivid imagery in the story. It gave me a new perspective of what it was like to live in Germany in World War II as a Nazi Youth.

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