Friday, March 11, 2011

Meet Author Anne Riley - Feature Friday

Today on our first "Feature Friday" we're meeting with author, Anne Riley, to talk about her debut YA novel, The Clearing.
RB: Thanks so much for stopping by, Anne. What can you tell us about your new book?
Anne: It’s about a girl named Natalie Watson who doesn't believe
the reports about the way her parents died. In fact, she’s not sure she believes in much of anything these days. But after moving from her home in Georgia to her aunt’s boarding school in Maine, solving the mystery of her parents’ deaths is just one of several things on her mind. When she’s not fending off attacks from the popular kids or taking refuge in the pages of a novel, she ponders the rumors circulating about a certain boy in her math class… a boy with fiery red hair who never speaks to anyone.

Despite suspicions that he may have murdered his sister a year earlier, Natalie finds it impossible to stay away from Liam Abernathy – especially when he confesses to knowing something about her parents. Soon she’s following him into the forest, where things happen she doesn’t understand… things that shouldn’t be possible….

As Liam’s story unfolds, Natalie realizes she’s more connected to him than she ever thought – and not everyone she counts as a friend can be trusted.

RB: Sounds exciting! Is there a character you’ve created that has special meaning for you?

Anne: The main character, Natalie, is so much like myself when I was a teenager! I was such a nerd and never felt like I shared the same interests as my classmates. Unfortunately, I don’t have nearly as good a reason as Natalie does for my weirdness. 

RB: So did your background as teenager who felt like this help you tell your main character's story?

Anne: My background totally helped because Natalie and I are both southern. This helped me identify with her point of view and it also made her southern dialect flawless.

RB: Now that you're a published author with all the experiences that come with that journey, do you have any advice for struggling writers out there?

Anne: Oh, man. It's tough, creating worlds and people out of thin air and then hoping someone else likes what you've created enough to publish it. I would say to always keep working, keep creating, and don't let the challenges of the industry stop you!

RB: That's encouraging advice, Anne. What do you have to say about those of us struggling with writer's block...any secrets?

Anne: I walk. I walk a lot. Always by myself. I've been known to break through a plot hole or two at our local gym too. Also, letting other people read helps. They can give you a fresh perspective on the story.

RB: What's coming up for you in terms of your career? Is there a sequel on its way?

Anne: Now that The Clearing is published, I am doing a couple of small, local author events. My agent has just sent me her comment on my second novel, Synthesis, and I'm trying to find an opportunity to dive into them!  After Synthesis goes out for submission, I hope to write a sequel to The Clearing.

RB: Wow, you sound super busy. We're so glad you came to visit. Congratulations on your new release!

Anne Riley is an author of young adult fiction disguised as a high school Spanish teacher. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband and their daughter. You can get to know her better at


Laura Marcella said...

"The Clearing" sounds exciting! I'll add it to my to-read list. Congrats to Anne!

Anne Riley said...

Thanks so much Raquel :)

Patti said...

Sounds like a great book, and I love the cover.

Lydia K said...

I love the cover. I love the layers. Great interview!

J.L. Campbell said...

Wishing you everything good for The Clearing!

Diane said...

Sounds like a really good read. I love the hints of sci-fi and the what if's that could take place.... :O)

Erin Kane Spock said...

Awkward teenage girl, reclusive hot boy with secrets... what's not to love? Great review. Sounds like an intriguing book.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thank you all so much for supporting Anne's debut novel. =0

AllMyPosts said...

All this was about a laptop??

My goodness, awesome!!!

with warm regards