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Author Bio  

Amanda Maciel has worked in book publishing since graduating from Mount Holyoke College and is currently a senior editor at Scholastic. She spends her free time writing, running, or riding the subway with her young son. She lives with him, her husband, and their cat, Ruby, in Brooklyn, New York. Tease is her first novel.

Author: Amanda Maciel
Publishing Date: April 29th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.

Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

Check out my review of TEASE here

1. How did you get into writing?

I started keeping a diary in 1st grade, and my teacher that year (along with my parents) was convinced I’d be a writer someday. In school and college I wrote poetry, newspaper articles, and a little fiction, but it wasn’t until the last five years or so that I figured out how to finish a novel.

2. When starting a book how much of it comes straight from your imagination and how much is research?

Maybe because of my journalism experience (or despite it?), I tend to avoid research until whatever I’m working on is well underway. I’ll noodle around online a little, but I never want to accidentally steal real-life details when I’m trying to create characters, you know? I want my story to feel real, but that has to come from the story itself. And then when I have a draft, or most of a draft, I’ll go back through to follow up on the details.

3. Who is your favourite character you have written and why?

I loved writing about Sara’s little brothers in Tease. They were just so fun to hang out with, and not having any younger siblings of my own, I was immediately very attached to them both.

4. Do you go into a book knowing how you want it to end?

I prefer to, yes. It’s easier to have a goal in mind—a place for the emotional arc to end, at least—before I even start writing. How exactly that plays out tends to change as I go, but I need a sense of where the character needs to learn, or what they need to accomplish, in order to shape the story along the way.

5. What 5 books would you recommend for your readers?

  1. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy is a great contemporary novel where the protagonist has a lot of growing and thinking to do. I loved it.
  2. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale is brilliant—it’s a murder mystery/thriller, with this very Fargo-esque satirical tone, and I could not put it down.
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell doesn’t need my recommendation, but if you haven’t read it, come on! It deserves every single word of praise it’s gotten and then some.
  4. Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens broke my heart, and it was completely worth it.
  5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver—again, you don’t need me to tell you, because even if you haven’t read this book I’m sure you’ve heard about it. There’s a good reason for that; it’s amazing.

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