Book Nerd Interview
What was the defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I’ll never forget the day I got my first chapter book. My family was going on vacation, and my mom told me she had a gift for me when we got there. I was around seven at the time. I have no memory of where we went (a beach, maybe?), or what we did (fun things, I’m sure?), but the gift—that I remember.
It was a chapter book. I’d read chapter books with my parents, of course, ones much longer than this one. But here was the difference: this one was for me to read alone.
It was one of The Baby-sitter’s Little Sister books. I’m sure it was a fun, sweet read, but it isn’t even the book itself I remember most. It’s how I felt while I was reading it.
Here was this whole other world, coming to life just for me.
I remember squirreling away in our hotel room, my nose buried in my new book, letting the words carry me away. That’s what it felt like: flying.
There was a freedom to reading a chapter book on my own that I’d never experienced before. I could go anywhere now—travel to any locale, meet any character. I would never have to feel bored, or lonely, or trapped. All I had to do was open a book, and fly away.
My poor family. All I did that vacation was read my new book. They might have been at some wonderful beach somewhere, but I was inside Karen Brewer’s world, getting lost in her adventures. “This is the best!” I told anyone who would listen.
“Maybe one day, you’ll write a book of your own,” my mom replied.
That stopped me in my tracks.
Could I really do that, create a whole other world for people to escape to? Create characters that made people laugh, or cry, or jump up and down with excitement?
“You can,” my mom assured me. “You can start right now.”
People often ask me what inspired me to start writing, and my answer is always: reading. But in truth, it’s more specific than that. It was that very first chapter book. It was how the words carried me away. It was the moment when my mom said, “You can.”
I did. I started writing about other worlds and other characters, and I never stopped. To this day when I write, it’s not just another world I want to capture, but that feeling: when someone realizes that books—mine, others, any—have the power to carry you away. To let you fly.
Tenley Reed and Sydney Morgan have never seen eye to eye -- until now. United by a common goal, they are determined to find out who was behind their friend's murder. Joined by Emerson Cunningham, a gorgeous but troubled teen model, the girls start their own investigation. But in the isolated beach town of Echo Bay, it's hard to know who's a friend and who's an enemy.
Secrets and Lies is the second book in the Truth or Dare series -- and will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.