Meet the Newbies: Kara Bietz – Author of Until I Break
Meet the Newbies is a blog event hosted by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts!
1. I noticed that you changed the name of your book. Why did you decide to change it from Slip to Until I Break?
The decision to change the title came from my editor. When an author finishes a book, we know that it may not stay completely in it’s original form. While sometimes it’s difficult to give up some things you may adore about your book, ultimately these decisions are for the best. A title change isn’t uncommon, and I knew it was a possibility. Thankfully, I absolutely love the new title and I think it captures the spirit of the novel beautifully.
2. In my opinion there aren’t enough YA books with male main characters, so thank you for doing that! What made you decide to have two guys as your main characters?
When the idea for this book first hit me, I immediately felt that the main character was a boy. Sam’s voice was so strong in my mind, I knew his was a story that was begging to be told. Ace’s voice came a bit later, but I knew the that the most effective voice for his character was going to be male also.
3. You deal with some heavy topics, what was your inspiration behind the book?
As a little boy, my own son dealt with some very minor bully issues. Many of my story ideas come from asking myself “what if?” questions. From there, the story grew. What would happen if a little boy continued to be bullied all through elementary and middle school and right through high school? What kind of effect would that have on a boy’s emotional growth? What if that boy also had trouble connecting with the adults in his life? What if this particular boy didn’t look like a typical bully victim? Inspiration comes in so many forms, but I truly believe that a story starts from the very smallest spark and can grow by leaps and bounds if you let your imagination wander just a little bit.
4. What do you hope readers will walk away with?
I’m hoping that my readers will walk away satisfied…but I also hope that I make readers understand that bullies and victims don’t always look how we imagine they should look. Everyone you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Be a friend. Be available.
5. What was the most difficult thing to write in your book? The most fun?
Many of the scenes in which Sam is bullied were incredibly difficult for me to write. These characters became very real to me, and it was difficult to put them into sticky situations! Some of the most enjoyable scenes for me to write were interactions between Sam and his best friend JC. Their banter and good-natured goofing came very easy to me and I loved coming up with silly “terms of endearment” for each of them.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Two boys: One, a star athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The other, a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High School, whose finger is on the trigger?
A year before the shooting, Sam North has a bright future as a well as a problem that nobody else seems to see—Ace Quinn, his neighbor and teammate. For years, Ace has been bullying and harassing Sam, yet he’s managed to deftly conceal his actions and threats from the rest of the world. As Ace’s secret rage intensifies, Sam becomes more desperate to stop him. But how far will he go? And what if Ace takes his threats even farther? ADD BOOK TO GOODREADS SHELF
ABOUT KARA BIETZ
Kara Bietz grew up in New England but now resides near Houston, Texas with her husband, two kiddos and three dogs. She’s been dreaming up stories as long as she can remember; sometimes she puts them on paper and sometimes they just live in her head. Her first literary credit was a poem about her Dad, published on Father’s Day in her hometown newspaper when she was 8.
1 Pre-Order or Finished Copy of Any Debut Novel Featured on Meet the Newbies
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NOTE: There will be a giveaway for Until I Break in August! Keep an eye out for it!