#Interview: K.A. Barson author of 45 pounds (more or less)

The Author: K.A. Barson
Website * Facebook * @kabarson
I've been writing professionally for about nine years, and I earned my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. This is my first novel. I live in Jackson, Michigan (USA), have four kids, four dogs, but only one husband. I love shoes and purple, and I really love purple shoes.
I've always liked to write, but it wasn't until 2004 when a friend told me about SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Highlights Foundation workshops that I started taking it seriously. Before that, I dabbled. I wrote poetry, short stories, and even a novel. None of that is published, but it was good practice and lots of fun.
The book: 45 pounds (more or less) by K.A Barson
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up
I wanted to write a story about a girl who was overweight, but her struggle was more internal than external. She knows how to diet, but she doesn't know how to battle emotional eating. She has a problem with self-esteem, but it's more in her own head than actually being an outcast. I wrote and re-wrote the story several times over a five-year period.
Why should we pick up 45 pounds (more or less) ?
It's a fun, easy read with serious undertones. Anyone who's ever felt like he or she didn't fit in will relate to the main character. It's funny and there's also a bit of romance.
Bookie questions:
2013 read so far?
I've read a lot of 2013 releases, since I'm part of two debut groups. The Class of 2k13 http://classof2k13.com/ and The Lucky 13s http://thelucky13s.blogspot.com/
Some that really have stood out are: ACID by Emma Pass (UK); NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis (US); THE COLOR OF RAIN by Cori McCarthy (US); IN THE AFTER by Demitria Lunetta (US)

Fave YA author?
John Green and Chris Lynch and Tim Wynne-Jones and Martine Leavitt and M.T. Anderson (Sorry. I have lots of faves.)

YA book series?
I usually stand-alone novels, but the last series I read and loved was THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins.

#Interview: Imogen Lunetta author of Linked

Today is the release of Linked by Imogen Lunetta in the UK so I thought why not celebrate with an interview with the author!
The Author: Imogen Lunetta


The first book I ever wrote was when I was about 8. It was called The Dragon in the Teapot and I lost the only copy on a family day out. The first book I ever completed as an adult was called Within the Darkness. I lost the whole 120,000 words when I made a mistake in saving the computer file—and found out my backup disc had corrupted. Both times, there may have been tears. (For all the writers having sympathetic panic attacks, I did piece together the book again from the chapters I’d sent my beta reader.)
When I’m not busy making multiple backups of my current work, I read, cook, watch Game of Thrones and True Blood, go out running in the Nottinghamshire countryside, and hang out with my family (one partner, two teenage daughters, three cats).
I used to tell my younger sister stories when we got bored on outings—the fairies who lived in the woods and the “people who live inside your body” were particular favourites. I also used to draw endless comic-strip-type stories, and spent several happy weeks recording an entire radio play on my little tape recorder. I had a cast of ten, including a magic bird who sang, rather than speaking, all his lines, and I played every part myself. Artistically, it may have been a little lacking. 
Eventually all that desire to tell stories turned into simply writing them. Which is, for me, much easier than drawing or acting in a one-woman radio play!
The Book: Linked by Imogen Lenetta
Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. Now, all she has is nightmarish visions and unexplained bruises. Finally, she’s promised a cure, and a surgery is scheduled. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the truth behind her visions: She’s seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. A world filled with pain and wires and weird machines. Elissa follows her visions, only to find a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. A twin she never knew existed.
Elissa helps Lin evade the government agents who are ruthlessly tracking her down, but they’re struggling to avoid capture, and soon Elissa is forced to turn to the only person who can help: Cadan, her brother’s infuriating, arrogant best friend, and new graduate of the SFI space flight academy. Cadan is their one chance at safety. But Lin is too valuable to let go, and Elissa has knowledge that is too dangerous. The government will stop at nothing to get them back.

Linked is about Elissa, who discovers she has a telepathic link with the twin she never knew she had. The first spark of the idea came from an article I read in a teen magazine, about twins who had some kind of psychic link. I wanted to set it in a science-fiction world, and include space travel (and space pirates) just for the fun of it, and its working title—before my older daughter thought up Linked—was Telepathic Twins in Space.
Why should we pick up Linked?
Because it’s about telepathic twins in space! Also it’s got some really fun bits of made-up futuristic technology, lots of action and a bit of romance.
Some bookie questions
Your fave:
2013 read so far?
Pretty Girl 13 by Liz Coley. A fabulously well crafted, spooky read. I and my two daughters all stayed up way too late because we just had to finish it!
YA book series?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. My older daughter and I judge every book by this series. “It was good, but not as good as The Hunger Games/ This was nearly as good as The Hunger Games.”
YA book boyfriend?
Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. First you think he’s the villain, then you think he’s kind of the antihero, but you really want him to be the hero. Then...but everyone should find that out for themselves!
Perfect summer read?
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s so beautifully written, and so gripping—the perfect holiday read.