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Author Interview - Suzanne Young + Giveaway

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Today, I'm excited to be interviewing with Suzanne Young about A Want So Wicked, the sequel to A Need So Beautiful.

Book synopsis
Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

Author Bio
Suzanne Young is a brilliant scientist. Not really. But she is a former middle school teacher turned zookeeper (mother). When not fending off zombie squirrels, Suzanne can be found in Arizona writing novels for teens.


I saw that you used to be a middle school teacher. How did you go from being a middle school teacher to writer? What was the transition like?
I’m actually a high school teacher now! But I did take some time off when I first started writing. I’ve been writing since *I* was in middle school. On a long break, I started yet another short story. Only this time it kept going, and going, and going. When the novel was done, I had no idea what to do with it—it hadn’t occurred to me to try to publish my work. But thanks to some friends, I figured out the business side of things and ended up selling my first book in 2008. Been writing novels ever since.

And coming up with brilliant ideas! How did you come up with the idea of the Forgotten and the Shadows? Did you draw from any previously existing myths and legends while working on it?
I didn’t. I drew on an experience I had with a stranger who helped me through a tough time. She only spoke to me for a few minutes, but it was exactly what I needed to hear at the exact right moment. She could have been a Forgotten. From there, I knew I’d have to balance out the good with some sort of evil (even if it’s not that simple). And so the Shadows were created.


It's really cool how that one moment led to your books. How is writing the sequel different from writing the first book?
Sequels are always more difficult. You have to figure out exactly how much back story to sprinkle in because people forget between books. And then you have to make sure the story is different enough so that you don’t just repeat the first one.


You did a great job with that in A Want So Wicked. I felt as though while we learned more about the Forgotten in A Need So Beautiful, the second book is about the Shadows. What do you feel are the most important characteristics in a Forgotten?
The Forgotten are like regular people. They can be selfish, sweet, or desperate. But it’s their love for others—a love that builds as they help people—that sets them apart. They are true sacrifice.

Both Elise and Charlotte showcase this trait. Yet both are from very different backgrounds. What was is like balancing the two personalities of Elise and Charlotte?
The characters are so different in their mannerisms that it helped me to keep them separate. Elise is very sweet, and not nearly as street smart as Charlotte. But it’s nice to see Elise grow stronger through this book, where with Charlotte we had to watch her breakdown first.

I saw in an interview that Abe was a complicated character to write about. How has he changed since you first envisioned him?
In my original version, Abe was just a poor guy who got caught up in the middle of all this. He fell for the wrong girl. Once I started to evolve him, I knew he wasn’t so innocent after all. But the balance of making someone do terrible things, and yet showing their motivations at the end is a tough trick to pull off.

What can readers expect from you next? Will there be a third book to A Need So Beautiful?
There's no word yet, but I'm hoping! If there is a third, it'll be called A Desire So Deadly and it'll be about the Seers. In April 2013 I have The Program coming out from SimonPulse. It’s about a suicide epidemic and the cure—which is The Program. It erases all of your bad memories, but it also erases your life. No one wants to go into The Program, and one couple will fight like hell to stay out of it.

I'll be waiting and hoping for a third book. Thanks for interviewing with me!



I know I mentioned earlier that you were only going to get a chance to win A Want So Wicked, but things have changed since. If you haven't read A Want So Wicked yet, you may enter to win a copy of A Need So Beautiful. I'll even throw in a signed ANSB bookmark for the winner along with his or her choice of the two books. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents. International entries welcome if willing to pay for shipping and handling.

The giveaway is open through July 16th.

To enter, follow Imaginary Reads and leave a meaningful comment on the interview. Extra entries for tweeting about the giveaway, commenting on my review of A Need So Beautiful, and commenting on my review of A Want so Wicked. Then fill out the form below. Do not leave your email in the comments section.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

61 comments on "Author Interview - Suzanne Young + Giveaway"
  1. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I think it's so awesome that Suzanne is still teaching. Love those teachers!

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  2. I think what I'm taking away from this is that I need to be prepared to find inspiration in everything - even the random stranger who says just the right thing. Thank you for that insight! (and thank you much for the giveaway!)

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  3. Suzanne is still teaching...where does she find the time to write! My nephew is a High School teacher and his time seems to be divided between teaching and spending time with his family and little else. Good for you, Suzanne! A Want So Wicked sounds like a must read.
    mom1248(at)att(dot)net

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  4. I cant' wait for The Program to come out. And both of your characters sounds incredible. I have yet to read the books, but I'm getting close. :D

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  5. Great interview! I agree with Catie - it's great that Suzanne's a teacher! Other than my family, the adults that affect me the most are my teachers - they've always been so kind, generous, and knowledgeable! I can't wait for The Program - it kind of sounds like a dystopian novel and I'm in a dystopian fix right now :D

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  6. Interesting interview! I love this series and can't wait for The Program >:)

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  7. Great interview! I can't wait for The Program! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  8. Great answers! I love learning more about authors, and their plans:)

    Thanks so much:)

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  9. I loved the interview. I learned so much about Suzanne that I didn't know, like that she works at another too. I'm always so inspired to see successful authors who also have a full-time job. It gives me hope.

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  10. Wonderful interview! I think it's so cool that Suzanne is also a high school teacher -- what lucky kids! I look forward to reading more from her!

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  11. Hi Kris and Suzanne!
    A zoo-keeper?! That's a very exotic job :) But being a high school teacher sounds like great fun. And it helps if you've written young adult novels :D
    I haven't read A Need So Beautiful, but I'd really like to. And The Program sounds bloody good (I'll have to wait for that one, haha)

    Great interview and thank you so much for the generous giveaway!
    -Kirthi

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  12. Great interview! I have a lot of respect for her for still teaching. A lot of authors just drop everything and focus on writing. She must have a huge passion for her students! The program sounds awesome!

    Thank you for the giveaway.

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  13. Great interview! I think it's really cool that one encounter with a stranger led her to write her books! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. It's awesome that Suzanne is still teaching! Great interview and thank you for the giveaway!

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  15. The book sounds wonderful and intriguing. Suzanne is an inspiration as a writer, mother (zookeeper) and High School teacher.

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  16. I'm so excited to read The Program next year. The cover is amazing. Thank for the giveaway and great interview.

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  17. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

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  18. Great interview! I loved how her idea about the Forgotten and Shadows came about by a random meeting with a stranger - you never know where you get your inspiration!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Leanne

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  19. Awesome interview! I can't wait to read this book!
    -JennyC

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  20. Yeah I would expect the sequels to be different! Great interview!!!

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  21. first time i saw this cover, omy, i thought i would have this book and then shared to my friend at fb and she is excited too.

    and i really curious with A Desire So Deadly, The Program and The Cure, wow.. that will be great :)

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  22. I love the covers for this book, and I've heard really good things about A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL

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  23. I love the interview! And her new book called The Program sounds awesome. I'm going to keep my eye on that one. That kind of book is right up my alley.

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  24. thanks for the great interview! i love that the idea came from a random encounter with a stranger who just happened to say the right thing to the right person in the right place at the right time. that's pretty awesome! also thanks for the giveaway : )

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  25. Enjoyed the fist book, looking forward to the second one!

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  26. The Program sounds interesting - I will have to keep an eye out for it.

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  27. I was interested to read she went from teaching middle school to high school. As a former middle school teacher myself, I have found I much prefer working at a high school now. It takes special people to teach middle school, that is for sure. I'm happy she has time to both write and teach! What a great role model for students.

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  28. I have heard mixed reviews about these books...so I appreciate the interview!

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  29. Owww I love this giveaway The covers look amazing :D

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  30. Great Interview! I loved a Need So Beautiful...and I can't wait to read A Want So Wicked, Thanks for the chance to win:)

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  31. Love the covers. I think its so amazing that one moment with one random person can have a huge effect like that!

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  32. I'm so excited to get to read these books and I loved the insightful interview

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  33. I'm crossing my fingers for a third book :)

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  34. I've been wanting to read this one for quite some time!

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  35. It's really interesting hearing about the difference between writing the first book and the sequel. Both sound like great reads!

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  36. Wow, I'm inspired to start writing (getting ideas from a conversation with a stranger - I could do that!). I haven't read these books yet but the covers are awesome and they are on my Wish List.

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  37. I have heard such great things about this series. Awesome interview!

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  38. I love that Suzanne got her inspiration and ideas from a short encounter with a stranger who helped her! I think it's amazing how everyone we meet - even if it's only for a brief time - can have such an influence on us! Thanks for this great interview!

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  39. Congrats to her on balancing all the out. Being a high school teacher is hard enough, but to write the books in addition to that plus a family. Impressive.

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  40. I agree that there is an art to sprinking in sequels. I hate it when the author tells too much from previous novels.

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  41. I liked what Suzanne had to say about her character [Abe] evolving from a poor boy to one who wasn't quite so innocent after all ... isn't it amazing how our creative minds can actually do these things? <3

    Thank you for the enjoyable interview & giveaway :)
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

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  42. Awesome interview! I so want to read this book now!

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  43. It's weird, because I always imagines sequels would be easier to write, but it's cool to see a different opinion on them! (obviously, i'm not a writer so mine doesn't really count :P) anyway, great interview and thanks for the amazing giveaway!

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  44. It is amazing how one moment can change your life! I would imagine there is more pressure in for a sequel to do as well as the first book did which would make the stress of writing it that much harder.

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  45. Thanks for the interview/giveaway,

    Its really great how you broke down the whole atmosphere in the book, since I was really confused about the book as a whole.

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  46. Can't wait to read this book! Great interview. I always like hearing about writing processes for authors and how writing sequels are different than the original books

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  47. sounds like the two characters balanced well!

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  48. I really want to become a teacher and writer, they both seem to me, to be the perfect careers! I've heard nothing but good things, thanks for the giveaway!

    Lisa
    @turningpages94.blogspot.com

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  49. A desire so deadly. That's a great title. I hope there's a 3rd book as well. Great interview!

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  50. It's cool that she used to be a teacher. Great interview.

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  51. I've heard just awesome things about these books. Thanks, Suzanne, for the interview!

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  52. This is awesome! I'm really excited for THE PROGRAM. I haven't read these books yet, but my friends who have constantly rave about the fantastic way in which Suzanne handled the angel mythology, so I'm excited. :)

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  53. Wow, awesome interview. I felt like I learned a lot about Suzanne Young and her novels. I love the name of the 3rd book, A Desire So Deadly. Too cool!

    - Beckie

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  54. This interview is the push I needed to start writing again. Thanks for the inspiration and giveaway!
    margiem315@yahoo.com

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  55. I've been wanting to read this for so long but I've been put off by mixed reviews.
    The fact that the author is planning a third book in the series seems like the first two are definitely hits with quite a few people! Now I don't know whether I should go ahead and read the first two or just wait for the third!!

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  56. I've wanted to read the first in this series for a while now, but I've been putting other books ahead of it on my book priorities list and haven't had the money to clear my wishlist. This one doesn't intrigue me as much, but the title is certainly very good. Stick in the mind and all.

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  57. Great interview. The book sounds wonderful and I am looking forward to reading this.

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  58. Wow. I wonder where does she find the time to write and then teach? That's awesome time management there. I hope we get a third book! But The Program sounds equally awesome. Great interview!

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  59. What a great interview! I'm really excited about this series and about The Program!

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  60. Great interview! I've been so curious about these books. I have to check them out!

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