I wanted to announce the release of my first YA, MEMOIR OF DEATH (Etopia Press)!
Have you ever had no one to eat with in the cafeteria?
Have you ever latched on to boyfriends because of how empty you feel?
You're supposed to look forward to summer vacation, but have you ever been so bored, you would do anything, even if it was wrong, to make something happen?
These are the questions that MEMOIR OF DEATH deals with, so I hope teens can relate. The blurb is as follows: Can you change when you will die, or just the way you live?
Keira Alexander still hasn't made any friends in her new town of Cedar Heights, but at least she's snagged a summer community service gig at the Cedar Heights Police Department. Normally, all she does is busy work, but this time, she finds herself at the scene of an apparent suicide--Rhian Sullivan, a girl from Kiera's high school. But when Keira finds a trunk full of Rhian's diaries, she becomes obsessed with the life of the girl she barely knew--and with her death.
Because Rhian didn't kill herself. She was murdered. And the murderer does not want Keira to talk...
I wrote MEMOIR OF DEATH last summer with my initial inspiration Lauren Oliver's brilliant BEFORE I FALL. It was accepted by my publisher with a twist ending, but then when it went into edits, the editor made me change the ending because it wasn't realistic enough. I was happy to do it though since she has a good sense of things, so now it has turned into a straight mystery. I hope the new ending turned out just as well!
The publisher also made me change the name of the city. It was originally written as Austin, Texas, but she found out that they don't accept 18 year olds as police there, so I had to make it a fictional city. I put a poll up on my Facebook page, and asked what to rename Austin. I put a couple of suggestions together, and came up with Mesquite Falls first, which was dismissed by the editor as "too country," so Cedar Heights became my next choice.
If you couldn't already tell by the title and the cover, yes, it's dark. I know I used to enjoy reading morbid stuff as a teenager; I found it comforting in a strange way. So maybe teens will find the same morbid fascination in this, although it does have a fairly happy ending to round things out. Got to give them something to hope for!
If anyone wants to post a review for MEMOIR OF DEATH, please let me know, and I would be happy to give you an electronic copy. I also have an ongoing offer for my editing services. I will do 10 pages of line and substantive editing of your work-in-progress if one of my books is purchased.