The Debut Club: An interview with Valynne E. Maetani, author of INK AND ASHES

Sweet Sixteener Christian McKay Heidicker recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Valynne E. Maetani about her YA mystery/thriller INK AND ASHES (June 1, 2015 from Tu Books/Lee and Low).

Author PicAbout the Author:

Valynne E. Maetani grew up in Utah and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She was once a project manager, developing educational software for children with learning disabilities, and is currently a member of the We Need Diverse Books team. Valynne is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because all children should grow up believing their stories deserve to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a spring 2015 Junior Library Guild selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015.

Find Valynne on her Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.



Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met. Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life.

INK AND ASHES is available for purchase from Amazon, Powell’s, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

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The Debut Club: An interview with Lynn Lindquist, author of SECRET OF THE SEVENS

Sweet Sixteener Janet B Taylor recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Lynn Lindquist about her debut YA contemporary thriller, SECRET OF THE SEVENS (June 8, 2015 from Flux Publishing).

About the Author: 

Lynn LindquistLynn Lindquist lives in a suburb of Chicago with two overly social sons and a mutt named Slugger who wisely hides under the bed most days. The hordes of teenagers that regularly frequent her house (think Panama City Beach during spring break) provide fodder for her young adult novels and growing anxiety disorder. Ever since her sons broke the Guinness Record for Largest-Rager-Thrown-While-a-Parent-Was-Out-for-the-Night, she enjoys spending her free time at home entertaining friends, cooking, reading, and writing. Thankfully, her favorite things in life are her sons, words, and kids, so she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is represented by Katherine Boyle at Veritas Literary Agency. You can find Lynn on her Website, Goodreads, or Twitter.


SECRET OF THE SEVENSEveryone at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged kids, knows the urban legend of the Society of Seven. Decades ago, the original members of the secret guild for elite students murdered the school’s founder and then perished in the fire they lit to hide the evidence. Or so the story goes. Talan Michaels doesn’t care about Singer’s past. He’s too focused on his future and the fact that he’ll be homeless after he graduates in May. To take his mind off it, he accepts a mysterious invitation to join a group calling itself the Sevens. He expects pranks, parties, and perks. Instead, he finds himself neck-deep in a conspiracy involving secret passages and cryptic riddles about the school’s history. Even worse, he’s now tangled in web of lies someone will kill to keep hidden.

SECRET OF THE SEVENS is available for purchase at: Amazon, Powells, Books A Million, Barnes &Noble, FLUX, and IndieBound. 
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Meet the Author: Brittany Cavallaro


Brittany CavallaroBrittany Cavallaro is a poet, YA writer, and avid Sherlockian. She’s received fellowships and scholarships from the National Endowment from the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her first book of poems, GIRL-KING, is forthcoming from the University of Akron Press in early 2015. If she’s not writing, she’s probably re-reading Jane Eyre.

Brittany’s debut novel, A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, Winter 2016), is a young adult mystery. In this Sherlock Holmes redux, the master detective’s great-granddaughter and John Watson’s great-grandson must unravel the mystery of why they’re being framed for a murder at their American boarding school – while he fights to understand the brilliant and damaged girl beneath her barbed-wire facade.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY by Karen Cushman (she broke the spine on her copy)
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Between 1 and 3pm is her sweet spot
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Karaoke
  • Surprising personal fact: She was a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire when she was fifteen–but she didn’t even get into the hot seat (so much for being a trivia queen!)
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: To be in the company of so many writers whose books sound so amazing!

Where to find her:

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The Debut Club: An interview with Mary McCoy, author of DEAD TO ME

Sweet Sixteener Brittany Cavallaro recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Mary McCoy about her YA detective mystery DEAD TO ME (March 3, 2015 from Disney-Hyperion).

marymccoypicAbout the author:

Mary McCoy is a writer and a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles’s notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Find Mary on: her websiteFacebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



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The Debut Club: An interview with Courtney Alameda, author of SHUTTER

Sweet Sixteener Randi Pink recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Courtney Alameda about her YA thriller/horror debut novel, SHUTTER (February 3, 2015 Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan).

Courtney PhotoAbout the Author:

Courtney Alameda’s spent her entire career trying to con and cajole people into reading great books. A veteran of the big-box bookstore trenches, Courtney now works as a librarian for the prettiest library you’ve ever seen, where she spends her time ordering large stacks of YA books, doing readers’ advisory, and dressing up as various mythical creatures for a variety of library events.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She is represented by the amazing and talented John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah.


Find Courtney on her website, FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Shutter Cover PhotoAbout SHUTTER:

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying. Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.



SHUTTER is available for purchase at Amazon, Powell’s, Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Randi: The concept of SHUTTER is incredibly unique! How did you conceive the idea?

Courtney: Thank you! All my novels generally start with the wisp of a character—in SHUTTER’s case, I saw a girl fighting a massive ultraviolet ghost, armed only with a camera. She piqued my curiosity, and the more I followed her around on the page, the more I came to know about her world of tetrachromats, necrotic monsters, and ghosts. 

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The Debut Club: An interview with Susan Adrian, author of TUNNEL VISION

Sweet Sixteener Marisa Reichardt recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Susan Adrian about her YA science fiction/thriller debut novel, TUNNEL VISION (January 20, 2015 from St. Martin’s Griffin). Fun fact: Susan and Marisa are agency sisters at kt literary.

SusanAdrianMay2013Smaller About the Author:

Susan Adrian is a 4th-generation Californian who somehow stumbled into living in Montana. As a child she danced in a ballet company and read plays dramatically to blackberry bushes. Later she got a degree in English from the University of California Davis and worked in the fields of exotic pet-sitting, clothes-schlepping, and bookstore management. She’s settled in, mostly, as a scientific editor. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and daughter, she keeps busy researching spy stuff, traveling, and writing more books.

Find Susan on her websiteFacebookTwitter, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

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