First off I'd like to thank Maria for agreeing to do this interview with me on her Edgy YA novel October Breezes...
October Breezes is available at Maria's Website, Amazon.com, Kindle, and Nook.
Skye Williams knows everything there is to know about mistrust. Dad skipped out when she was five. And now Warren Jacobsen tries to sweep her Mom off her feet. But Warren's not the only concern rocking Skye's world. Devin Abbott, a guy she's known since kindergarten, has changed. He's become a tall, broad-shouldered guy she might date-if he wasn't her best friend. Skye swears there's nothing between them, but everyone else thinks differently. Devin doesn't act the way he used to, especially when Kellin Morgan, senior quarterback, asks Skye out. Flattered, she accepts, and, Devin sulls up-and he isn't the only one. Kellin's best friend, Tyler Rutherford, gets bent out of shape, too, as he's always wanted Skye for himself. When Kellin and Skye attend one of Tyler's famous parties, neither senses the impending disaster that will change not only her life but also that of everyone who loves her.
Sometimes nothing is as it seems. That's what I remember thinking last October--six months that might as well have been a lifetime ago. That was before I lost my best friend. The night everything changed, Devin and I sprawled across a round concrete picnic table long enough for me, but his feet dangled over the edge. Although I lay with arms propped behind my head, Devin rested on his side, an elbow supporting him.
The small town of West Martin was barely a dot on the Illinois map—a dot trying hard to fashion a bed-and-breakfast image instead of a boring lakefront community with two high schools, ten churches, and a handful of fast food restaurants, none of which offered much entertainment. As such, most teens like us, hung out in Lucy Park. Tonight, however, a cold front had lowered the temperature to 25 degrees, and most people had stayed inside. Still, we preferred the cold and liked the way the lights barely illuminated the darkness.
"Is your mom going to kill you? It's already after 11."
“She’s out with her fiancé, remember?” I lifted my hands to my mouth and blew on my fingers.
“Cold?” He scooted closer.
More on the inside than the outside, I thought. The wind carried a distant burning smell--firewood--and I inhaled deeply, savoring the remembered warmth. “I don't know why she's agreed to marry the jerk.” I shook my head. “He’s going to leave her—maybe not tonight, but some time.”
“Well, maybe you should lighten up.” Devin tickled me. “Maybe he'll hang around.”
“Right. My dad didn’t. He left years ago, and the other guys my mom dates haven’t bothered, either. Why would this one be any different?” Cold air brushed my stomach where my shirt had pulled up. I tugged it down.
“He’s a different person. Maybe you should get to know him and stop growling.”
“Easy for you to say,” I snorted. “Both your parents live under the same roof.” I rolled my shoulders, trying to move from the unforgiving concrete cooling my back. “You never wonder which state you’re going to see on the post card your dad sends. That ‘See you soon’ is quite a closing, don’t you think? It’s not ‘I love you.’ It’s ‘I’ll see you soon.’” Tears seasoned my voice, deepening it.
Devin leaned over me, his fingers dabbing the tears. “Sorry--I should’ve kept my big mouth shut.”
“Yeah, you should have. But since you’re my best friend, I’ll let you live.” I swallowed hard, rubbing the concrete to take my mind off Devin's frown.
About Maria Rachel Hooley:
Maria Rachel Hooley has written over thirty novels, including New Life Incorporated and When Angels Cry. Her first chapbook of poetry was published by Rose Rock Press in 1999. While her novels typically venture into different genres, the one constant is the theme of redemption. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children. If she's not writing, she probably teaching English to high school or college students.
Interview With Maria Rachel Hooley:
Jennifer: What inspired you to write this novel?
Maria Rachel Hooley: October Breezes tackles a subject that most novels don't--abortion, and I didn't want it to be a typical pro/con take. My inspiration for the novel is actually for the problems girls/women develop after having an abortion. There are actually lots of psychological affects for women if their value system doesn't really include abortion but they choose to have one anyway. While it seems that Skye's reaction may be a bit dramatic to some readers, the research is really out to prove it.
Jennifer: What is your writing process like?
Maria Rachel Hooley: Typically, I use The Snowflake Method. It's a ten-step process that starts out with a one-line sentence about the plot. Then it expands until you actually write the book. It really works well for me.
Jennifer: What does your family think of your writing?
Maria Rachel Hooley: My kids usually roll their eyes and say, "Another book?" My husband is my editor so he usually reads everything I write and offers great feedback.
Jennifer: What were the last five books you read?
Maria Rachel Hooley:
In the Arms of Stone Angels--Jordan Dane
Before I Die--Jenny Downham
Check out Maria's site www.mariarachelhooley.com to see more about October Breezes and other novels!