Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Spotlight: The Stellow Project by Shari Becker (Author Interview)

Title: The Stellow Project
Author: Shari Becker
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: June 23, 2015

Synopsis: When a killer storm unexpectedly hits Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Lilah Stellow’s dad insists that she and her younger sister, Flori, take refuge at their cabin in the mountains. But instead of joining them with the experimental drug that keeps Lilah alive, he disappears just as news reports name him as a prime suspect in an act of ecoterrorism.

As days pass without her medicine, Lilah finds herself teetering on the edge, caring for her sister, and growing increasingly certain they’re being watched. In her search for answers, Lilah is thrown into the center of a mystery involving an off-the-grid research facility and finds herself drawn in by Daniel, an intriguing boy who is the son of the lead scientist. As she dares to seek answers, Lilah slowly realizes that even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.

©2014 Bird on a Wire Photography
About the Author: Shari Becker was born in Montreal, Quebec, and was raised speaking both English and French. As a child, she spent her summers in the Adirondack Mountains catching fireflies, minnows, and toads. She has an MA from New York University and has worked for Nickelodeon, for Disney-owned companies, and even for an Emmy Award–winning puppeteer. She is the author of two picture books, including Maxwell’s Mountain, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book. She now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, their two daughters, and their dog. She loves lakes, but despises the bridges that run over them.

Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today! 

Thanks for having me!

1. Describe The Stellow Project as a tweet (140 characters or less)! 

Dependent teen finds inner grit when she becomes a pawn in a mystery involving her family, the government and a top-secret lab in the woods.

2. What inspired you to start writing? 

I was actually a pretty spacey kid. In elementary school I used to sit in the back of the classroom imagining that all the items in my pencil case were characters. The eraser was an evil dragon, the hole puncher was an innocent princess, the pen was the horse … you get the picture. My parents have all these notebooks filled with my drawings and stories. I even tried to sell a picture book to a publisher when I was in fifth grade-ish. They let me down gently, but I didn’t give up. I tried to submit a romance story to Seventeen Magazine when I was in 9th grade. They let me down gently, too. But clearly, I was a woman on a mission.

3. What kind of research, if any, did you do for The Stellow Project

At first, everything was just an idea in my head. But then I had to figure out if any of my crazy, sci-fi ideas would actually make sense. My friend is a pulmonary doc-tor, and he explained the basics of heart and lung surgery to me. My brother-in-law is a master tech guy who explained cell phone technology to me. My father-in-law used to be a liaison between the FDA and a pharmaceutical company, so I had him read over all my lab scenes.

I did a lot of the research about satellites, government organizations and weather, online. You’d be amazed at how many amazing tornado sky photos you can find using google. When I wasn’t sure if my ideas were credible, I would go online and just begin searching keywords.

4. Do you have a specific place where you write? 

Yes, I write in a sunroom / office off my family’s living room. There are lots of windows, but I have to keep the blinds closed or else I’ll get totally distracted by the people walking down the footpath that runs by my house.

An old friend of my mother’s gave me a beautiful antique roll down desk. The desk is small, which is a good thing, because I am not so organized, but there’s not enough room for a ton of mess. Sometimes, I’ll write on the couch in my living room at night. My dog will curl up beside me, which is sweet and cozy, but it is hard to be serious when a dog is licking your knee … or foot.

5. What are you reading right now?

I’m between books. I recently finished “All The Light We Cannot See,” “I’ll Give You The Sun” and “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”. I’ve been so busy launching “The Stellow Project” that I haven’t had time to pick out my next read. I’m open to suggestions! Do you have any?

I recently finished Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman and it was awesome!

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book?

Real, but audio is actually my favorite

Twitter or Facebook? 


Chocolate or Vanilla?


Past or Future? 


And just for fun - What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? (Pictures are more than welcome.) 

At the moment my desk is a place for all things lost. I pick up random objects in the house, intending to put them away, but I somehow end up back at my computer, writing, and just forget about them. There is a kitchen timer, an old flip video cam-era, a bag of knitting wool, a lint roller and a nail clipper. I can’t send a photo … it’s too embarrassing.

Thank you so much for answering my questions- I can't wait to read The Stellow Project!

-Kristen ♥

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