Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Showcase: Dark Before Dawn and Face-Off by Stacy Juba

Dark Before Dawn - When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents, she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends may be tied to freak "accidents" in town, Dawn has an important choice to make—continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her. The book has been praised by reviewers such as Fresh Fiction and the Midwest Book Review.

Face-Off - Brad’s twin brother T.J. has gotten himself out of the fancy prep school his father picked for him and into the public high school Brad attends. Now T.J. is a shining new star on the hockey team where Brad once held the spotlight. And he’s testing his popularity with Brad’s friends, eyeing Brad’s girl and competing to be captain of the team. The whole school is rooting for a big double-strength win…not knowing that their twin hockey stars are heating up the ice for a winner takes all face-off. This book was originally published when I was a teenager and I have brought it back for a new generation of readers. It was originally recommended by the Hockey Hall of Fame Junior Education Program and Booklist and listed in Best Books for Young Teen Readers: Grades 7-10.

Stacy Juba has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag: she pursues whatever story ideas won’t leave her alone. Stacy’s titles include the adult mystery novels Sink or Swim and Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, the children’s picture books The Flag Keeper and the Teddy Bear Town Children’s Bundle (Three Complete Picture Books), and the young adult novels Face-Off and Dark Before Dawn. She is also the editor of the essay anthology 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back. She is a former journalist with more than a dozen writing awards to her credit.
Stacy Juba - One Stop Reading: Books for Adults, Teens & Children
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http://ow.ly/99G6J * Facebook: http://ow.ly/99G8i

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  I love to write about subjects that interest me or that I'd like to know more about. For example, I've always been interested in psychics and chakras, so it was fun for me to research those topics even further in my young adult book Dark Before Dawn. Once in awhile, I'm inspired by a setting. My current work-in-progress was inspired by a trip to a theme park and it triggered an idea for a fun and sparkly romantic comedy.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  My favorite thing is having the opportunity to work from home and set my own hours while doing something that I love - making up stories and playing pretend. 

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  The toughest part when I was starting out was the rejection. It was really hard to maintain a thick skin in the face of rejection and criticism. Now the toughest parts are balancing writing with book promotion tasks, and wincing at the occasional one or two star review. 

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A.  I'm a former journalist and I also do some marketing writing for a few clients on the side, writing and editing newsletters. Even if I wasn't an author, I'd still be writing or editing in some capacity. My college major was exercise science, and I thought I wanted to go into physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation, but I found that science wasn't my strength and it didn't seem, the right path for me. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  I'm a big believer in positive thinking, so Happily Ever After!

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Love, love, love that book! I must have read it twenty times in high school.  

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  Strangely enough, I always identified with Ponyboy from The Outsiders even though he was a greaser from the wrong side of the tracks. I was on the quiet side like him, and I much prefer being with a small group of close friends than being in a more crowded environment like a party. He was viewed as an outcast by the rich kids in town, and I felt that I didn't fit in at school as I was so quiet. Ponyboy was also a writer like me and he observed the world around him through a writer's eyes. I haven't read the book in quite a while, but he was the first character that jumped to mind.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A.  I'm probably most like Jaine, the character in the romantic comedy that I'm finishing up right now. She's a publicist, she's a go-getter, and she's determined, yet she also has a vulnerable introverted side. I once had the same job as Kris from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today (newspaper editorial assistant) and as Cassidy from Sink or Swim (health club trainer), however we don't have much in common beyond that.    

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.   Summer!  I hate cold weather!

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. My favorite cover is Face-Off. I like the artwork of the hockey players facing off, as well as the icy title font with a hockey puck serving as the letter O in Off. The cover sells books as parents see it and know their kids will read it because of the sports premise. One time my aunt was carrying a copy of the book at a local fair that I was selling books at, and a woman followed her down three aisles to ask her where she had gotten the book.  

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. One time I was a conference panelist and was assigned to do critiques with writers attending the conference. I noticed that my appointment was a few minutes late. A woman had popped in and out of the room a few times before finally approaching me. She hadn't recognized me from my website picture as I'd recently had blonde highlights done and I was blonder than usual!  

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  I'm finishing up a romantic comedy inspired by the Cinderella theme, and I plan to follow that up with some spin-off short stories that I'll release as e-book singles and eventually follow up with a collection. I also have the sequel to Face-Off on my desk, awaiting rewrites.  

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read this interview and learn more about my books. I hope you'll visit me at www.stacyjuba.com to find out more about my paperbacks, e-books, and audiobooks for adults, teens and children. You can visit my Contact page to sign up for my newsletter. http://stacyjuba.com/blog/contact/

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  1. Hi Stacy! I loved Face-Off. It's a great story about the competitive nature of brothers and you did an excellent job with the voice and attitude of teen boys.

    You and I have several things in common...the physical therapy/exercise physiology back ground, fascination with psychic abilities and chakras, our love of hockey, and of course...writing:-)

  2. What a wonderful showcase, Emily, thank you for hosting me! Thanks for visiting, PJ! Wow, I knew we had the love of hockey in common, but I didn't realize there were so many other things. And thanks so much for the nice words on Face-Off.


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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