Sia by Josh Grayson
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.
Follow your dreams, even if you’re afraid. And don’t be afraid to dream big.
What inspired you to write this story?Initially? Oprah. (laughs). I saw an interview she did on a man with fugue amnesia that impacted me. Fugue amnesia occurs when someone, usually in response to excessive stress, takes off on some unexpected travel. And during the travels, that person assumes either a partial or complete new identity. I found it both fascinating and frightening to think that stress alone can cause the human brain to demand a reset like that. I often wonder why I haven’t gotten fugue amnesia yet!Have you worked with an editor on this book?Sia has been professionally edited several times, as I want to give my readers the highest quality book possible. There is nothing wrong with a second set of eyes—or a third, fourth, or fifth—when it comes to getting a story just right.What qualities do you share with your main character?Sia—beneath her pre-amnesia plastic shell—is optimistic, compassionate, and has a strong desire to help others and make a positive difference in the world. I’d like to think these are the qualities she shares with the author who invented her.Who will like your book?If you enjoy anti-bully themed stories from the likes of Jay Asher and Lauren Oliver or romantic dramas from Sarah Dessen and Miranda Kenneally, you will probably like my book.Why did you decide to write a YA (teen) novel?Oh, I didn’t. It just so happened that my main characters appeared to me as teens. Also, I absolutely love YA fiction—it has always been my favorite genre. I think it’s because those stories carry universal themes we can all relate to and the characters are more intriguing and real and raw.Why did you decide to self-publish this book?I wanted to control the project in every way, from the editing, to the cover design, to the book trailer. Time was another factor, as traditional publishing can often take years from submission to publication, and I wanted Sia to be available to readers much quicker than that.When will readers be able to buy your book?November 20, 2013, is the projected release date.Is it true you wrote the screenplay adaptation as well?Yes! I wrote it as soon as the book was finished. I’m about to hire a seasoned Hollywood screenwriter to polish it. When it is up to industry standards, we’ll submit it to film companies and cross our fingers. I think Sia would translate wonderfully to film.Will your book be available in both digital and printed formats?Absolutely. I want it to be available to everyone.What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
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