5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, November 20, 2015
In this gripping legal drama, rising Denver prosecutor Jaime Munroe resigns her post to represent Ashleigh Roberts, a mentally challenged young woman whose mother and legal guardian is seeking to have forcibly sterilized. Although she comes across as strong and confident, the case opens old wounds for Jamie, who is struggling with tragic events from her past. The passionate arguments from both sides of this complex situation keeps readers guessing at the outcome until the last page.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) Thinking back to the way beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
Write about what you know. Bad advice. A writer once told me that and I couldn’t disagree more. I like to say write about what you’re interested in. I have been curious and interested in many things. Being a reporter for more than 25 years has helped to satisfy my curiosity and interest. The more interest I have in something, the more likely I am to want to research and then write about it, whether it is a book or a newspaper article.
2) When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Have you had other jobs along the way?
I have known I wanted to be a writer since I was in the seventh grade when I wrote a poem about the rain standing at my mother’s bedroom window. I have been blessed to be a journalist since 1989, which is what I went to college to study. I have worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque. I did work at JC Penney to pay my way through college. It was a great job! I also worked as a gate agent for Continental Airlines my first year out of college, as I thought it might work into a position at the corporate offices in their public relations department. But I worked a flight from Denver to Boise one snowy day November in 1987 that crashed on the runway, killing 28 on board, including a 12-year-old boy travelling alone. As the gate agent for that flight, I was one of the agents who went out to the wreckage on the runway to help the “walking wounded” get away from the airplane. I decided that doing PR for an airline wasn’t something I wanted to do. I was also a disc jockey for a country and western radio station in Southern Colorado for two years. I really enjoyed playing music and being on air, but decided then (as I was also working as a reporter at my first newspaper) that I loved the written word more than I liked hearing the sound of my voice going out over the airwaves. The written word has a much more lasting impact.
3) Do you follow any specific rules or guidelines while writing?
The only rule I can say I follow with any conviction when writing is just to write, write, write. I read that in Stephen King’s book “On Writing Well” yeas ago. He said just keep writing. I have found that to be true — as it is always a lot easier to go back and rewrite and edit once you have something down on paper. I have found that even if I am not pleased with how my writing is going at that particular moment, I just keep writing. When I return later to write, edit and revise, I can always find many ways to improve what I’ve written.
4) How did you get the idea for the novel?
I was working at a newspaper in New Mexico when I met a woman, Brenda, who had a severally handicapped daughter, Jenny. In addition to being severally disabled, Jenny had an extremely bad and rare form of epilepsy. I became friends with Brenda and became Jenny’s Special Olympics coach. One day Brenda and I were having a conversation about sterilization of people with disabilities and Brenda told me that when Jenny was old enough, she was going to her sterilized. I remember thinking at the time, “you can’t do that.” I started to think of a storyline that involved forcibly sterilizing a young woman, who had a mild disability, and what could possibly happen because of it. “An Invincible Summer” is that story.
5) Which came first, the title or the novel?
In this case, the book. “An Invincible Summer” had many working titles —all bad— before I finally settled on the title. The title comes from the quote by Camus, “In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was within me an invincible summer.” I have always loved that quote. The more I wrote, revised and edited AIS, I found that my main character, Jaime Monroe, was all of that saying and more.
About the author:
Betta Ferrendelli is the award-winning author of the Samantha Church Mystery Series featuring reporter Samantha Church. Many of Church’s adventures come from Ferrendelli’s own experience since 1989 as a prize-winning journalist for newspapers in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque. Visit Betta online at BettaFerrendelliBooks.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, Nov 20, 2015
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