Tuesday, April 12, 2011

INTERVIEW with Amber Kizer and GIVEAWAY!

Having recently read 7 Kinds Of Ordinary Chatastrophes, which I loooved, I was lucky enough to interview the lovely and awfully talented Amber Kizer.
Guys, if you haven't read 7 Kinds...yet, buy it and read it NOW! It's incredible!
Check out my review here: 7 Kinds Of Ordinary Catastrophes 

As a person:
Amber Kizer is not one of those authors who wrote complete books at the age of three and always knew she wanted to be a writer. When she faced a rare chronic pain disorder her freshman year of college, she knew she was going to have to learn to live outside the box. After one writing workshop, she fell in love with telling stores and she’s still going strong. Her characters tend to be opinionated, outspoken, and stubborn—she has no idea where that comes from.

A food lover, she plans trips around menus, wishes cookbooks were scratch and sniff, and loves to make complicated recipes—especially desserts. When she’s not reading from a huge stack, she’s coaxing rose bushes to bloom, watching delightful teen angst on television, or quilting with more joy than skill. She takes her tea black, her custard frozen, and her men witty. She lives in the Seattle area with a menagerie of animals that seems ever changing.

Her work:
Amber Kizer writes two very different young adult series for Delacorte Press/Random House. The Gert Garibaldi series is contemporary, frank and funny following an American high school student through the perils of growing up. Her debut novel ONE BUTT CHEEK AT A TIME was included in the prestigious NYPL Best Books for the Teen Age 2008 list. The next book in the series 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES will be released April 2011.

The Fenestra series is paranormal, dark and follows a girl who shepherds dying souls to the afterlife. MERIDIAN has been translated in German, Spanish, Turkish and will be available in Australia, Malaysia, and New Zealand within the next year. The next book in the series, WILDCAT FIREFLIES, will be published in August 2011.
In addition to these series titles, the spring of 2012 will see the release of a stand alone dystopian, young adult novel also from Delacorte Press/Random House.

Amber has toured nationally, speaking at writers’ conferences, on television and radio, to educators, and to teenage readers. Recently, she was selected to present one of a few breakout sessions at the NCTE Assembly on Adolescent Literature at the Philadelphia 2009 Conference.

More about MERIDIAN can be found at www.MeridianSozu.com. Gert can be found at www.OneButtCheek.com

For more info on Amber, visit:

Also, readers can always request signed bookplates and bookmarks for free by emailing their mailing addy to Amber@AmberKizer.com (regardless of where you are in the world!)

*Bio information taken both from her GoodReads page and her website.


Your upcoming novel, 7 Kinds Of Ordinary Catastrophes, is coming out April 5th, 2011. Would you like to tell us a little bit about it?

I love Gert, she’s funny and frank and very real. 7 KINDS…invites readers into the second semester of Gert’s sophomore year of high school. She’s got a boyfriend (who isn’t her ideal and raises lots of questions). She gets roped into soccer tryouts, even though she’s never considered herself an athlete. She wants to be friends with Maggie and Clarice but learning how to do that and stay true to herself pose problems. Her family changes and they face a crisis that will either pull them apart or closer together. She finds out what the work world is like and meddles in her best friend Adam’s love life. All with a sense of humor. As she says, “Okay, so here’s the deal: there are books about volcanoes erupting and meteorites hitting Earth and plane crashes where the survivors have to eat people—those are extraordinary crises. That’s not what this book is about. I’m more the ordinary catastrophe type: high school, boys, heartbreak, family, job, friends and future. Everyone’s life is full of ordinary catastrophes. There are mine…”

Gert has a very unique voice and she is not afraid to use it. Do you find similarities between Gert's teen years and yours?

I’ve never been afraid to stand up and use my voice. But I was a very serious, very singularly driven teen. Gert’s life is vastly funnier than mine ever was!

Something terrible happened in Gert's life towards the end of the book. Did you find that part hard to write?

Yes and no. The hard parts are always emotionally tough to write—because if I’m not feeling it, the reader won’t either. So on some level I have to draw from my own experiences and emotions to put those on the page. But I think in lots of ways we get caught up in the minutiae and details of our world and then wham—we get hit with something that puts it all in perspective. Right now I’d say Japan’s triple catastrophes make everything else pale in comparison—it can be something that big or something like what Gert’s family faced. So it’s important to go there with the characters and be present as the writer—that part is hard, deciding to do it—that’s easy!

Gert Garibaldi's Rants And Raves series is quite different from your other series, Fenestra. What triggered this change of pace?

Yeah, sometimes I’d like to put Gert and Meridian in the same room and see where the conversation takes them! I juggle lots of characters and books in my head so nothing triggered it per se, my job is about telling the right story at the right time, and I think there’s room in the world for funny books that deal with reality too. I hope readers agree! Especially those readers who insist they only like books with paranormal or fantasy elements—try a new flavor! I dare you!

What should your readers expect from you in the future?

The next book in the Meridian series, WILDCAT FIREFLIES comes out July 12, 2011 and I’m working on books 3 and 4 in that series for 2012/2013. I’m also writing a stand-alone survival story called ECHOES OF 1492 that will be out in 2013. I’d love to write more books following Gert to adulthood and I have several adult projects in the works too. Busy, busy, busy!


And now for the GIVEAWAY!!
One lucky winner will get 1 finished hardback copy of 7 Kinds Of Ordinary Catastrophes!
Contest is INTERNATIONAL, open to everyone, and will end April 25th.
You don't have to be a follower to enter, but it would be much appreciated :)
You can enter here:

WINNER: Kai @ Amaterasu Reads  


  1. Wish I could still read the Greek effortlessly here and even more wish I knew what it meant.
    Thanks for the contest. It sounds as if Amber made lemon meringue pie out of the lemons she was handed in life!
    Thanks for hosting the contest!Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
    email: steph@fangswandsandfairydust.com
    twitter: @fangswandsfairy

  2. Thanks for the chance! And of course, great interview! :)

    I was also wondering some parts of your blog are in Greek... I'm from Greece, but I don't think my blog does that... Hmmm...

  3. Thank you for the chance to win! And thank you for the interview, it was fun to read!

  4. I have no idea why blogger shows some parts in greek :/
    I think I fixed it now, though.At least I hope I did...


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