Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Notes to Self by Laura Schaefer

Notes to Self
Notes to Self by Laura Schaefer
Two climbed up. Two fell down.

One woke up.
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed.
About Laura (from her site)

Laura loves to write almost as much as she likes to drink tea. She got her start as a contributor to the University of Wisconsin’s student paper The Daily Cardinal and went on to write regularly for The Princeton Review and Laura is the author of The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2008), and Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). Writing as Avery Sawyer, Laura recently released the YA novel Notes to Self. She is also the author and publisher of Planet Explorers travel guides for kids. Laura lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her fiance and enormous cat Ramona.

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is & find out what happened the night everything changed

--How did you get the idea for the story?

The book’s first title was 25 THINGS ABOUT ME. It started when my boyfriend, now fiancé (yay!), remarked that the 2009 Facebook meme would make a good novel. My eyes lit up and I began thinking about a reason someone would want to write or revisit a list like this. Almost right away, I landed on the idea that my main character didn’t know who she was anymore, and the concept of a traumatic brain injury grew from that. The interesting thing is, most 15 year olds don’t experience TBIs, but most of them struggle with identity anyway. That’s why I think the book’s concept will resonate. It is essentially about one girl deciding who she is and what really matters.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Reno. He’s Robin’s oldest friend and a bit of a wise soul. Sometimes, you meet people who seem to have the big stuff figured out, and Reno is that person in my book.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I read all the time, sometimes as many as three books a week. Here are some recent favs:

OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt
WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
THE HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins (I cannot wait for the movie...squeee!)
GIRLS DON’T FLY by Kristen Chandler
THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
LIESL & PO by Lauren Oliver

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

I am revising a YA novel I wrote a couple years ago called THE HOLLYWOOD SCOOP. It takes place during World War II and it's about a clever cub reporter who falls in love with a mysterious boy. I'm really excited about it! It should be available in early 2012.

I’m also gearing up to begin writing a new novel about a girl exploring her past lives and the epic romance that spans all of them. I’m just starting the research on this one now.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which
book would you pick and why?

I’d pick Pride & Prejudice. Don’t we all want to be Elizabeth Bennet after she lands Darcy? Delicious!

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your
playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

I usually write in silence, or amidst the quiet chatter of my favorite coffee shop. Sometimes said coffee shop plays Adele or Motown or old-timey jazz, and I dig that. Coffee does indeed help my writing. I’m a full on addict—I’ll go ahead and admit that. I’ve even started drinking Americanos instead of coffee sometimes, which upped my caffeine intake about 100%.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

To be invisible. Imagine the interesting things I could see and write about!

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love food, so I like eating out and trying new recipes a lot. I also enjoy visiting art museums, taking walks and reading.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Thank you for being awesome. Readers allow people like me to make a living writing, and we love them for it.

Lightning round: this or that?

Vanilla or chocolate?  Chocolate
Edward or Jacob?  Jacob
Hockey or soccer?  Soccer
Ebook or paper?  Ebook
Salty or sweet?  Salty
Beach or mountains?  Beach
Phone call or email?  Email
Early bird or night owl?  Night owl
Dog or cat?  Cat
Messy or neat?  Super messy
Ninjas or pirates?  Ninjas

And now for the giveaway:
-Open internationally
-Ebook in preferred format


  1. Cute interview! I love reading about where authors get their inspiration from, and yay for internet memes! Notes To Self definitely sounds like a good read--I'm kind of a sucker for stories dealing with amnesia or identity issues.

    Thanks for the giveaway op!


  2. I have heard of this book. Nice to read your interview:D

    I have Amber Frost to read as well, glad you loved it!


  3. Great interview! I'm going to be reading Notes to Self soon, and now I'm even more excited for it.


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