Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kobo Kids and Teens Give a Top Ten Thumbs Up to SAY WHAT YOU WILL by Cammie McGovern.

Today's featured author is Cammie McGovern. On January 3rd, she hit the #4 spot in the Kids' and Teen section of the Kobo store with her book, Say What You Will.  This is Cammie's first young adult novel, after she wrote three books for adults.

Here's a description of Say What You Will:

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Tell us briefly about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?

I was a “literary suspense” writer for adults with three novels before I wrote Say What You Will, a young adult novel about two teenagers with disabilities who fall in love. (Eye Contact is probably the most well-known, about a nine-year old boy with autism who witnesses a murder). I got an MFA from the University of Michigan and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford so my journey was more on the typical path for a literary fiction writer. I also have three children, the eldest of whom is autistic which has made me particularly interested in writing stories about characters with disabilities. Now that I’ve discovered writing for young adults and children, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back!

Is your book available in print format? Which came first and why? How did your e-book come about?

All my books have been published in print simultaneous with their e-format. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with wonderful editors and go through fairly extensive re-writing before my books are sent out into the world. That said, I’m in awe of some of the amazing books I’ve read that have been originally self-published e-books. Clearly this is a huge part of the future of publishing.

Do you think e-publishing will eventually take over print publishing? Why or why not? How do you see the world of e-publishing for children within the next 5 years?

To me, it makes sense that publishing for middle-grade and younger children is primarily print based. I have a sixth grader who much prefers print and has only read a handful of books on my e-reader. What surprises me, though, is that I also have a very tech-savvy tenth grader who still prefers to read in print as well. He does everything else on computer, so you’d think he’d gravitate toward that for books as well, but not so. I don’t think print books are going away any time soon. My hunch is that e-books are doing a great job of widening the market for many books and writers that avid readers might not have tried otherwise. How many of us late-night readers have bought books for $1.99 to help us fall asleep and then fallen in love with a story and a writer we would never have found otherwise?

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

Say What You Will and my next book (A Step Toward Falling, due Oct. 2015) are both young adult novels featuring characters with disabilities, where the disability isn’t the central conflict of the story. As the parent of an 18-year old with autism, I’ve gotten to know many young adults with a wide range of disabilities and I feel like we need more stories about their lives—showing them in all their complexities. For all my son’s differences from his typically-aged peers, he’s more like them than many might assume. He wants friends, romantic relationships, a job, and some measure of future independence. Both are also realistic love stories, so my target audience is adults and young adults who appreciate those stories.

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?

I’m delighted that SAY WHAT YOU WILL has found an audience that goes beyond young adults and people with disabilities. I most love hearing from people who say how much they relate to the character’s struggles, even though they don’t have the same disabilities.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts you as an author? How?

Helps. By making books more accessible for all.

Do you believe the e-format helps or hurts your readers, specifically children and/or young adults? How?

I’m thrilled that e-format is making my book more accessible for everyone. 

Learn more about Cammie and her books at her website or by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning. Check back next week when my featured author will be Joseph Delaney.

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