Shanna Swendson (shanna_s) wrote,
Shanna Swendson

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Presents April Henry

It's really, really windy -- like, Mary Poppins weather. If you had a sturdy enough umbrella, you could probably go places. However, where you went would be entirely out of your control, as the wind doesn't seem to be going in any particular direction. The birds seem to be having to fight it. A little while ago, one was almost stationary in the air while furiously flapping its wings because it was trying to fly against the wind. And then one came by going with the wind, and I'm not sure it meant to be flying. It was just tumbling around. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a small, furry thing go flying by. Or maybe a mean old lady on a bicycle. It's also really, really loud on my roof, with tiles rattling and lots of gusty sounds. In other words, a good day to stay indoors. I'm afraid my little car might go airborne.

If I don't post tomorrow, I may be in Oz. Fortunately, I already have my own pair of ruby red slippers (though they were silver in the book, and I don't have any silver slippers).

While I'm developing my trapped-in-Oz contingency plan, I've got another Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest, April Henry, who writes both adult mysteries and young adult thrillers. Her latest release is the YA thriller Torched.

When Ellie’s parents are busted for growing marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover—particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can’t stop thinking about—the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family—even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

And now, the interview:
Was there any particular inspiration behind this book?
The Earth Liberation Front has long been active in the Northwest. The FBI considers them domestic terrorists. I was driving to work one morning, listening to the news, and the broadcaster said, “The FBI says they have been unable to infiltrate ELF.” And I thought, what else are they going to say? Yeah, we have someone who is working there undercover? And then I started thinking that most Elves are young, and FBI agents have to be at least 23, and they might need an informant.

What, if anything, do you have in common with your heroine?
Ellie is a little shy, a little uncertain. We have that in common. She is much more creative than I am. I'm kind of jealous.

What do you see as the biggest differences between writing for teens and writing for adults?
The writing itself is not much different. The publshing world is completely different. You have a lot longer to succeed, and the measures of success are completley different. There are no state awards, for example, with adult books, and librarians aren't nearly as important.

Chocolate: milk or dark? (question back by popular demand!)
Dark, dark, dark! Preferably with cashews and sea salt.

(Oh, man, that sounds good!)

What are you working on now?
In 2010 I'll have two books out: an adult mystery called Hand of Fate, and a YA thiller that was to be called Shadows Walking Backward but now is in the process of having its name changed. I'm also working on a new YA thriller called The Girl in the Mini Cooper and another adult mystery called either Blood of Innocents or Heart of Stone.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about this book or the process of writing it?
I have terrible luck with YA titles. Shock Point was originally going to be called Point & Shoot, but then marketing decided it sounded like school violence. Torched was originally called Fire, Kiss, Electric Chair, but they didn't like "electric chair."

For more info, check out April's web site. Or order the book from Amazon.

And now I may have to close my blinds because the movement of the tall ornamental grasses across the street in this wind is making me seasick.
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