Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Margie Gelbwasser Author Interview

Photo Content from Margie Gelbwasser

Margie Gelbwasser is the author of INCONVENIENT, published by Flux in November 2010. INCONVENIENT, named a 2011 Notable Book for Teens by the Sydney Taylor Awards Committee, tells the story of Alyssa Bondar. Alyssa must cope with an alcoholic mother, tuned-out dad, first boyfriend, and end of a long friendship. Margie's next novel, PIECES OF US, is told in 4 POV (one of them second) and deals with cyber-bullying, abuse, and how each teen's secrets affect the other 3. It will be published by Flux March 8, 2012.


Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer! I think my earliest memory of this was when I wrote a mystery story in second grade for a contest—that I lost.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think storytelling is both an escape and a comfort. For those days/months when your own life is difficult, a good story can provide the very needed laugh or departure from the everyday. Sometimes, though, you want to read about others who are going through hardships similar to yours. You want to know you're not alone. That's also where a great story comes in.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Just write.

In your book, Pieces of Us can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
Pieces of Us focuses on 4 teens (2 brothers, 2 sisters) and is told from each of their points of view. It addresses the difficult topics of cyberbullying, rape, physical and sexual abuse, and the impact each teen's secret has on the others. While the material is difficult and most appropriate for mature audiences (ages 15 and up), I hope this book helps give a voice to those experiencing these issues and helps them break their silence.

What part of Alex did you enjoy writing the most?
Certainly not the scenes where he is callous and abusive. The scenes I liked best were when he was changing into a better person because of Katie.

For those who are unfamiliar with Katie, how would you introduce her?
Katie is the popular girl who appears to have everything and then is stripped of it all. Her need to hide the terrible things that happen to her (due to fear and the need to keep up her image for her mother) forces her life to spiral out of control. It is very easy to see these “golden girls” and want to believe they have it all and are free of problems. The opposite is often true. No one ever knows what lies beneath someone's exterior.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I am working on a third novel that takes a break from the contemp genre. This one is a dystopian, and I'm about 2/3 of the way done. Planning on doing NanoWriMo in November and finally finishing it.

If you could introduce Alex to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I want Alex to meet Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He would be a good father figure and maybe help Alex become a better person and help rid him of his demons.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I left this question for last because I couldn't think of answer. I try to tell the truth, but I guess if someone asks me “How are you?” and I'm having a bad day/week/month/year, I won't answer honestly because no one really wants the truth when they ask that question. :-)

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Keep reading and writing. Through reading, you can pick up technique and make it your own. Through continuous writing, you can perfect your craft.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My husband or my brother-in-law. They're both really good with listening and giving advice and telling me if I'm worrying too much (as usual).

What is your favorite room in your home?
I love the family room. The walls are a light green, as is the furniture, and it's bright and comforting.

Who was your first boyfriend?
I kind of got into the dating thing a little late. The guy I would consider my first boyfriend was in my second year of college, but my first real, meaningful relationship came 2 years after that.

Who was the last person you hugged?
My son, who is lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep as I type. He's five, and the cutest boy in the whole, entire world. :-)

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Just one? I love too many. Sushi is AWESOME. Chocolate is AWESOME. Fruit is AWESOME. Sorry. Can't pick one. :-)

Thanks so much for having me!!

Two families. Four teens.
A summer full of secrets.

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.

The highly inspiring Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser touches on some of today’s important issues. Nothing is watered down as it delivers a very powerful story that includes rape, bullying, eating disorders, betrayal, and more. When pairs of siblings, Katie & Julie and Alex & Kyle, come together at the lake in the summer cottages, a story unfolds that is very real and will have a direct connection to any reader.

The raw honesty that Margie delivers in this book is absolutely marvelous. It is great to read a story that is not afraid to touch on very realistic situations that many teens and young adults face each day. It would not be as impactful without the skillful writing prose of the author. The characters that are tenderly crafted are the main draw for readers staying glued to this book. Written in the points of view of the four main characters, with the exception of Kyle, which is in second person, Margie takes her readers on an insightful account of real life issues that readers will forget it is a fictional story.

Pieces of Us is very edgy look into the minds of four different teens. It is one of those books that will have an instant grip on its readers once the first lines are read. Surrounded with amazing characters that drive the story along well, readers will be so invested in each one that they will feel all of their pain and hope for nothing but a happy ending for them. This is a remarkable book that will open up eyes with its powerful story.

You can purchase Pieces of Us at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MARGIE GELBWASSER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser.


  1. Thanks for the giveaway and thanks Margie for the donations!

  2. Thank you Margie & Jean for having this great giveaway! I'm fascinated with what these secrets are and would love the opportunity to read this.

  3. Thank you for your generous donation for this giveaway!!

  4. Thank you for the giveaway~~~ i really want to read the book!

  5. Thank you so much for your donation Margie! :D
    (Ileana A. - rafflecopter)

  6. Thank you Margie for the donation, I've been wanting to read this one!!

  7. Thanks Margie for this awesome donation! I've added your book to my to-read list on goodreads

  8. Thankyou for this giveway! can't wait to read your novel :)