Book Nerd Interview
Myra McEntire knows the words to every R&B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in Nashville, the country music capital of America, her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated. She’s chosen, instead, to channel her “mad word skills” into creating stories infused with her love of music. Hourglass is her first novel.
Showers of Books Hop
What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
I’ve always wanted to write in this genre. I devoured the Trixie Belden series as a kid, and I’ve always liked the idea of a group of kids coming together and using their combined skills to solve problems.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I didn’t start writing with the intent for publication until after my second child was born. And I was … older.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Inappropriate, well-intentioned, and real.
When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I always knew I wanted to write, but the minute I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I hit the ground on my knees and surrendered to it. Succeed or fail, I was going to finish a book.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Stubbornness. That’s the biggest one. There are so many times it would be easier to quit than persist, at every point in the process. You have to want it. Also, a willingness to take constructive criticism and to revise is paramount.
For those who are unfamiliar with Emerson Cole, how would you introduce her?
Hopeful, broken, strong, weak, sarcastic, sad.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
Hourglass actually started as a prompt for a writing club I attended one time. The prompt was a woman’s name, Ann Something I Can’t Remember, and the first chapter of Hourglass came out. I was writing another book at the time, but I couldn’t stop wondering why the man in Ann’s (Emerson’s) room knew her name.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Michael?
How responsible he was! He takes on a lot of responsibility that he doesn’t necessarily want. This makes him seem emo sometimes, but he’s really carrying a lot of weight, not just for himself, but for Emerson, too.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
One of my college professors, Sandra Ballard. (Yes, Kaleb has her last name on purpose.) I went through four years of school CONVINCED she hated me, but she didn’t. She saw talent I was wasting, and she wanted me to grow up. Eventually, I did. Sort of.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on a book with a Welsh back story. That’s all you’re getting. J
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?
As a teen, I never felt like I measured up to the rest of my friends. I never felt good enough. I think a lot of teens feel this way, and it’s a LIE. You are precious and special and have a purpose only you can fulfill. When you’re older, you’ll have days when you still feel bad about yourself. But you’ll have days when you own who you are and how you got there. Hang on for those days. They’re awesome.
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Coffee. Right now with Almond Joy creamer.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
How old are you?
Do you have any fun experiences you can tell us?
I did a LOT of things before I became a writer. One of them was working as the general manager for a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets. I have stories for DAYS.
Where can readers stalk you?
I’m on Facebook rarely, but I’m a big fan of Twitter!
One hour to rewrite the past . . .
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?
Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.
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