Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ann Herrick, Snowed In Together




AUTHOR:  Ann Herrick
BOOK TITLE:  Snowed In Together
PUBLISHER:  Books We Love, Ltd.


Tell me a little about your book. 

Six teens get trapped at school on a Saturday.

Wes and his best buds, Tony and Jeff, have enough brain power to fuel the entire sophomore class, but when it comes to their social lives, they are totally inept. So they volunteer to organize the art room on Saturday knowing three certain cheerleaders will be there for practice. Trouble is, none of the guys can come up with a plan to take advantage of the opportunity to be the only six students in the building.

Then, thanks to a freak snowstorm, they're snowed in, which isn't so bad when the girls of their dreams are there, too. Maybe it could give Wes the chance to make his fantasies about Ellyce come true! However, the last thing Wes expects is to be caught in a game that forces everyone to share his deepest secret. He fears if Ellyce discovers his secrets, she'll never want anything to do with him.

What gave you the idea for this particular story? 

I was talking to a group of boys in a classroom after an author visit at Lowell High School and asked what kind of story they'd be interested in. They suggested one about a bunch of kids getting snowed in at school.

Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it. 

Some of the events in art class come from stories from an art teacher, and the setting and results of snow are very much like what could happen here in the Willamette Valley.

Why did you choose to write a story with a Christmas or winter theme? 

Because of the suggestion of some students and because I miss the snowy winters I grew up with in CT.

Do you see special challenges to marketing a book with a seasonal theme?  If so, what are they? 

I do think it's easier to market and promote a book with a season theme during the particular season, but it can be done year round. For example, on a hot summer day I might suggest cooling off by reading my story set in winter.

How long before December did you submit to your publisher?  

I think it was about 8 months, but the book came out in the month of September.

How and why did you choose this publisher? 

A friend recommended Books We Love, Ltd.

What about your book makes it special? 

It's told from a boy's point of view and while the ending is upbeat it is not all nice and tidy.

What does Christmas and/or winter mean to you? 

Winter means burrowing in and enjoying the quieter aspects of life. Christmas means love and family.

What is your favorite Christmas or winter memory? 

For winter, as a kid I loved to go out sledding, skating, building snow forts, etc., then coming in and warming up with a mug of hot chocolate. For Christmas, I love everything about it. Such a beautiful festive time in so many ways.

What was your favorite stocking stuffer? 

I can't remember a favorite, but I do remember always getting an orange in the toe of the stocking. 

What was your favorite Christmas present? 

I don't think I could pick one present as my favorite. I've received so many nice, thoughtful gifts.

Where can people learn more about you and your work? 

They can visit my website at http://annherrickauthor.com and my Author Page at http://amazon.com/author/annherrick



EXCERPT:

I checked the clock. Eleven more minutes. The time really dragged on Friday afternoons.

"Attention, class." Korman rapped his desk with a ruler. He noticed Tony's "moustache," but chose to ignore it. "I'd like you to clean up early today and then I'd like to ask for some volunteers to help me do inventory in the art room tomorrow morning."

I was more than happy to knock off early, but some other sucker would have to volunteer to help Korman. Saturday mornings were for sleeping in, not slaving away in a sweltering dungeon.
Just as I finished putting everything away and wiping the last of the charcoal off my hands, Korman continued his pitch. "It'll take about three to four hours, so I'd like you here at eight a.m.”

Eight a.m.? Good luck. At eight, I hoped to still be having wild dreams about Ellyce.

"I can't pay you, but there could be some extra credit." As Korman smiled, his chubby cheeks dimpled. "Now, who'd like to volunteer?"

My eyes almost rolled out of my head when Jeff's and Tony's hands shot up.

"Very good!" Korman said. "Anyone else?"

"Wes volunteers too," Tony announced.

"He does?" Korman eyeballed me.

"I do?" I said.

Tony and Jeff bobbed their heads so fast I was sure one of them would fall off, roll across the floor and land at my feet. Fascinated, I found myself nodding in unison with them.

"Very good!" Korman said. "I'll see you three tomorrow morning at eight sharp."

I was still mindlessly nodding when the bell rang.

"Class dismissed," Korman said.

Tony and Jeff each grabbed an arm and escorted me out of the room.

"You can stop nodding now," Jeff said.

I snapped out of my trance. "Why was I nodding in the first place?" I shrieked. "Why did I 'volunteer?' Why"

"Whoa. Easy," Tony said. "You're getting hysterical."

"Yeah." Jeff looked around as if he expected men in white coats to show up and haul me away.

As if anyone in this school cared how we acted! I mean, Tony still had his charcoal eyebrows and moustache, but nobody even blinked. We might as well have been invisible for all the attention we were not getting.

"I'll cool down," I said, "when you give me one good reason for giving up several hours of dreamland!"

"One? Ha!" Tony said. "We'll give you three."

"Three?"

"Cari. Tiffany. Ellyce," Jeff and Tony said simultaneously.

Suddenly, I was interested. Worried, but interested.




7 comments:

  1. Hi Ann,
    Sounds like a great story, loved the excerpt. I can really visualize something like this happening. A friend and I got locked in the library at school once, we weren't snowed in and the caretaker/cleaner eventually let us out after an hour or so, but the situation is very plausible.

    Regards

    Margaret.

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  2. Nice excerpt! Sounds like a great story!

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  3. Ahhh, Ann! Winters in CT; they do have their pros and cons. Lovely that you chose to tell the story through boys' POV. Must have been a stretch.

    Just wishing you all the best for the holidays and for "Snowed In Together." Great premise. Great excerpt. And what a nice interview :-)

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  4. Ann Herrick writes such great YA novels. I've read a couple, and this looks like another I'd like to read.

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  5. Thanks, everyone, and thank you to Penny for featuring Snowed In Together. :)

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  6. Nice interview. The book sounds interesting. I like how you got the initial idea to write this story. Thanks for sharing the excerpt.

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