What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in a small Midwestern town just outside of Chicago. My husband and I live outside of Atlanta, in Suwanee, Georgia.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
It was about two years from when I started writing to the release date of my novel.
What is the name of your latest book and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite is an unusual young adult coming-of-age novel about an intersex teen.To become the man his parents expect, Jamie must leave behind the hopes and dreams of a little girl.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I am privileged to have contracted with MuseItUp Publishing, a progressive traditional publisher from Canada.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
My heart is set on writing young adult fantasy that deals with social issues.
Do you have a favourite character form your books? and why are they your favourite?
When I wrote Confessions, I had to become Jamie the hermaphrodite, to experience her heartache. She really touched my life.
Where do you get your plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
I have several intersex friends.We shared stories of issues we face growing up between the sexes in a world that expects male and female.
Do you have anybody read your book and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have several wonderful critique partners who cut me no slack. I also sent my manuscript out to several editors for manuscript evaluations. One was instrumental in getting me to rewrite my entire manuscript in first person, making the story my own, and sharing from the heart.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Certainly. It would be rude to expect a reviewer to pay for my book.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
`No. I would be tempted to try to explain something if they misunderstood. But any misunderstanding reflects a shortcoming in my writing. Although reviewers come to different conclusions, I don't expect everyone to feel the same way about my book. What good would that be? It wouldn't give me any real feedback.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the cover of your books?
I started with the title Faie, which means enchanted. Nobody seemed to understand that, so I added a subtitle Growing Up Intersex.I got no responses to my query, so I changed to the more provocative title Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite. That resulted in three contract offers. I came up with the cover concepts and my publisher accepted the one they felt best represented the genre.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
The characters were based on people I know, but modified a bit for the story. They determine the plot and the plot changes the characters somewhat.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
Strong characters what the reader can latch on to. A plot that fits the character and keeps the readers' attention. And depth of emotion that changes the readers' lives.
Have you ever base characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
All the time, although I try to change enough that nobody recognizes them.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is your favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think imagination is lost in the process. I liked A Little Princess. I think Blade Runner lost something in the translation.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I think some people will always collect old books. I have a book that was published in 1650 in Edinburgh. There is something special about just holding it. On the other hand, when 'smart paper' becomes available and one book can be any one you want, ebooks will rule.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I'm afraid the goal of school isn't to encourage imagination, but the conformity necessary for the work force.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
My mother taught me to love reading before sending me off to school, but writing is something I picked up as an adult.
Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
I have a set of books call My Book House. It starts with simple nursery rhymes and builds up to complex stories. The illustrations are beautiful. I often browse through the stories I learned to love.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Let yourself be vulnerable. Bleed onto the paper. Share your innermost being in your characters.
Where can readers follow you?
My Blog/Website is at www.liannesimon.com
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