Wednesday, December 14, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR Samantha Williams
Hi, my name is Samantha, I am 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I am also a stroke survivor. I had a stroke when I was six months old and my family and I lived in Germany. It affects a lot of things I do, because I can’t use my right hand and foot very well. When I grow up I want to be a radiologist (x-ray doctor). Big Like Me is my first book.
I like to hang out with my friends. I like to have breakfast for dinner on Sunday. I like to read YA novels, especially the paranormal ones. I especially like things from the eighties: movies, music and television shows. I love to go shopping, because I am a girlie-girl on some things and a tomboy on others.
I love my family and I have a Chihuahua, her name is Daisy. My dad is funny and crazy if you ask me. My mom is a romance writer but let’s talk about me. I like new shoes. My favorite foods are ice cream, cheese burgers, salad and ravioli from Olive Garden.
How did you start out your writing career?
I started writing because my mother made me. For real. She wanted me to work on my writing and sentences, so she said ‘think about a story you want to write’. I first thought that she was joking. Then I looked at her face and realized she was serious. I then thought about if I was going to write a story the only thing I really knew about was my life. So, I thought about myself as a character and I came up with Denise Wilson.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that when you write it can bring out emotions in you as a writer. For example there is a part in this book that was really hard for me to write because I had to remember a sad experience in my life to write about what the character was feeling. I didn’t expect that sometimes writing a book could make you cry or laugh out loud.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I hoped that people would see how special needs people can be the same as regular people. I also hope that friends can learn to understand each other better. I want other kids to know that if they are being bullied they can learn to stand up for themselves.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
There are two characters in the story Madeline and Jamar. They are both best friends to Denise. Even though Madeline and Denise’s friendship kind of changed, Madeline was still there when Denise needed her. Jamar he is cool, funny and is a good friend.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
It’s hard work. You have to first figure out how the characters are feeling in one moment, then you have to make the character actual go and do things. Like if they are talking you have to say where they are or if they are eating or what they are wearing. Well finding clothes for them to wear was fun. I also had to try and keep up with posting on my blog, some days I just wanted to watch TV.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
What I love the most is looking on the internet and finding pictures of what I think the characters look like. You know find famous people who may have the same color hair or might act like the person I see in my mind.
The one thing I hate the most is that I had to draft what was going to happen in the story. I just wanted to write the story and let it go where ever.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
The first thing I wish I knew was how hard it would be to write a book. The second thing was how important it would be for me to write in a journal or a note book about the characters and different things I wanted to happen in the story. The third thing is that I would have liked to know that after I finished the book it would take so long to get the book together, processed and published.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do the best you can on your writing and don’t give up just because you don’t think you can do it.
That’s how I felt, like maybe it was too much and I couldn’t get it done.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
I would have to say Sarah from “Shadow Walker” by LA Banks, because she had special powers that she had to learn how to use and overcome her fears. That’s how I feel sometimes like I know there’s something special about me but I don’t know what it is and I get scared at times.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to hang out with my friends, listen to my IPOD or play with the things in my room or watch television, especially old sitcoms.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I have a blog where I post about things in the book and things going on with me.
Our theme for this month is CHILDREN BOOKS. What inspired you to make children’s literature the focus of your career?
Because I’m a child. I will be eleven soon and I like to read young adult books, so I wanted to write books about things and feelings that young adults go through.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
What I know is that special needs people out there can write and be just as active and do big things just like everyone else.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next book is called “I Bite” and it is about a girl that is a half-blood vampire who finds out that there is paranormal mischief going on at her middle school and she has to discover a way to stop it before another cheerleader gets changed.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Ms. LaShaunda, I would like to thank you very much for taking time with me to talk about my book. This was my first interview and it was fun.
Big Like Me
Denise Wilson, a stroke survivor, has always been tall for her age. Too tall in fact. At nine she was a giraffe among cats. All of her friends were shorter than her and she could even see the top of most of the guys’ heads. But, that didn’t stop her from falling for Taylor Young. In the fourth grade the Puerto Rican heartthrob had taken her breath away every time he looked at her. However, when her father gets a job in Germany and they move halfway around the world to strange people and even stranger places; all seems lost.
Now, it’s her eighth grade year and she is back in North Carolina--to old friends, old places and an old crush. But, things have changed in a major way. More students are looking her eye-to-eye now, but there are other unexpected situations for Denise and her friends at Pramar Academy. The pressures of her last year in middle school are piling up. The cruel trio is meaner than ever and if she is not careful everything she is afraid of happening… will happen.
Note: This story is for young adults written by a young adult.
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