Brief synopsis of your book:
What happens when you lose the person most important to you and are left to pick up the pieces?
Mia Gerard had always wanted to be a trained dancer yet she has just lost the love of her life in a tragic accident. Leo Dancy was her best friend and soul mate. As she tries to deal with losing him, she finds his absence unbearable and she feels lost without him.
But then a great opportunity arises for Mia that she just can’t turn down.
She is accepted into the New York Dance Academy of performing arts.
At first she is overwhelmed but once she gets there she begins to allow herself to heal.
This is when she comes across Henry Watson a painter with aspirations of acquiring his own exhibit one day. While she ponders her feelings for Henry, will she be too late? or will she find the clarity she needs and chase after him?
My latest novel is a YA entitled Chasing Clarity.
Please share three interesting facts about the characters in your book.
1) Mia Gerard is a dancer.
2) Leo Dancy was her soul mate.
3) Mia gets accepted into the New York Academy of Performing Arts.
What was the most complex issue you dealt with in trying to bring realistic emotion into this story?
Well this story is my first YA and I wrote in First person point of view so that was challenging because I wanted to make sure I was able to capture the journey of where Mia Gerard my main character is when the story begins and where it leads up to. I wanted to make sure the reader had a connection with her and all she was doing.
Is any part of your story based on real events?
No, but I do know people who have lost a loved one and due to their loss I was able to build upon the character of Mia and help bring her story to life.
Do you know the ending when you start your book?
For this one yes I did. I normally build upon it and with Chasing Clarity I knew what type of ending I wanted.
If you could pick any well-known or famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
I wish that John Greene would review my novel since he has written quite a few amazing best sellers with The Fault in our stars and Paper Towns.
This story seems like it would contain a lot of complex human emotions. Does writing such an emotionally charged story affect you in your day-to-day life or can you step away and let it go easily? Yes this story did. It took so much out of me because of the journey Mia faces and her loss and how she must carry herself through it all.
What genre and age group does your book fall into?
This is a Young adult and I think this is a book that can be read from the ages of someone from 16 and up. It also can be classified as a Christian Young Adult with the characters faith and the discussion of it.
What is the first book you remember reading, that changed how you thought or felt about something?
The first book that I remember reading, that changed how I thought or felt about something oh my goodness there are quite a few of them. However if I had to choose just one I would say To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and the issue of Racism as it existed in the made of town of Macomb Alabama and how it affected one man and his children.
Did you have to do any research about dance and art to write this book?
Yes I did some research on both dance and art shows. I had to make sure I was able to capture the reality of the dance and art to each of the characters for example Mia, Sandy and Henry who is a painter.
What tips would you give writers on how to balance realistic love, drama, and emotions, when writing for young adults?
You must make sure to capture the characters first and foremost in this case Mia Gerard, Leo Dancy, and Henry Watson which are the main characters in my story. I also think you need to make sure you connect the reader with the characters. For me Mia is the one narrating her story and she is the one telling us the way things are and I needed to capture the background story of her love for Leo and then step into the story. This helped to shape the emotions when writing for young adults.
How many books have you written?
I have written several anthologies with my Writer’s 750 and for my solo work I have one novella Closure and my YA Novel Chasing Clarity.
Which book is your favorite and why?
Wow this is another hard one. I love all my books. I have to say each one of them our special so I can’t say I have a favorite.
Do you write everyday or only when the mood strikes you?
I try to write everyday and my best motivation is when I have music playing mainly classical.
What were three challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Writing it in first person point of view
2) Making sure I captured the theme of the story
3) Finding time to write within the day.
Life is hectic and busy. As a wife, mother, student, and author, what keeps you going and how do you manage your busy schedule?
Well thankfully I finished school. I earned my Master’s in July of this year. But yes as a mother my biggest challenge is being able to make the time to write.
Was there ever a time when you felt possessed by a character as you were writing?
If so from which book and which character?
Yes for this story of Chasing Clarity I felt very connected to Mia Gerard and I have a close friend of mine whom really h
What part of the writing process is your least favorite?
Editing is my least favorite part of it. I enjoy working on the story but the editing is my least favorite one.
What do you feel is the most important thing you’ve learned as an author?
I think the most important thing I have learned, as an author is to always remember to pave it forward to other authors, writers and readers. Stay grounded and never forget to thank them.
Do you have a writing process or do you just write?
I usually just write. I try to set up times but it is mostly when I can write. Since I am a mother and wife I need to either write early in the day or late at night.
Do you have any ideas for your book and Hollywood? Actors, directors, music.
Yes I have many ideas for my books and if they ever became a movie.
I would want to write the script and work closely with the director and actors and also be able to work on the music in collaboration with the director.
Which book to movie conversion is your favorite?
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
The Fault in Our Stars John Greene.
Is there anything you hope the reader will walk away with or “get” from your story?
I hope the reader is able to walk away from my books feeling very connected to my characters.
After writing a story about loss what how would you offer your support to someone who has suffered loss and is hesitant to love again?
Well I actually know of someone who went through this. My support in all of this for them is to listen to them be there for them and let them know that they can take as much time to heal as they need. I can’t even imagine it and I never presume to know how they feel. However with this book and the research I did feel like I did it justice. I hope the readers agree.
What, who, and when, first inspired you to write?
My mother inspired me to write. She saw me writing at a young age and always encouraged me to work on it. I can remember as young as 5 always writing and working on trying to create stories.
Personal favorite info:
Drink – Coffee
Food – Chicken (fried)
Vacation – New York City
TV show – Glee
Movie – The Great Gatsby with Leonardo Dicaprio
Animal – Dog
Sport – Football
Book – Among the Olive Groves
Comedy – Tommy Boy
Struggle – Not having enough time in the day
Addiction - Popcorn
How can people connect with you?
Where can readers find your book?
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/closure-sylvia-stein/1120141100?ean=9780615906942