YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

I reviewed In A Heartbeat and now we have Loretta to chat with us! 🙂

How did you get the idea for In A Heartbeat?
The idea came out of personal tragedy. My nephew died in a motorcycle accident – we were surprised to learn that he’d designated himself as an organ donor on his license because he hadn’t told his parents, but they honored his wishes. I couldn’t write for many months, but when I did start writing again, I wanted to write a story about a transplant, a story that included the voices of both the donor and recipient.

What was your first reaction when you saw the cover for In A Heartbeat?
It was stunning and perfect – I’ve had so many compliments about the cover, which I had nothing to do with, but it’s a great draw for readers. Many people thought my daughter was on the cover because it resembles her, but it isn’t her.

Ice skating played a big role in the book. What was your skating experience?
I live in Minnesota so of course I know how to skate, but I was never a great skater. I interviewed competitive skaters and coaches and moms of skaters, and I watched a lot of skating in order to get the lingo down. I also had a mom and two competitive skaters read my manuscript.

Where do you usually write?
I write in a front room of my house that gets a lot of sun, or I write at a local coffee shop, or the library. I don’t need a special place to write, just time to myself.

If someone told you 10 years ago that you would be a published author, what would your reaction be?
Ten years ago I had just sold my first book, The Shrouding Woman. I’ve been working at writing for twenty-five years, getting short articles published and learning my craft. I’ve had lots of rejection, so if someone had told me years ago that I’d be a published author, it would have been a great boost and would have helped me through all those times of self doubt.

Will there be any foreign editions of your book being published?
The Korean rights have been sold – I’d love to see it in Polish, which is where my daughter-in-law is from.

Do you have any advice you like to give to aspiring teen authors?
Don’t give up. It’s hard when success doesn’t come quickly, but if you continue to write and learn your craft, you will someday be published.

And lastly, In A Heartbeat is a touching story about two girls sharing a heart. What would you like people to take away from your book?
That life is a gift. I hope it encourages organ donation, to share the gift of life as a final act of love.

Thanks, Kate, for being part of my blog tour!

For more information about organ donation, visit www.donatelife.net.

And for more information about Loretta’s other books, visit her website at: www.lorettaellsworth.com. The full blog tour schedule can be found on Loretta’s website. Read This Book is the last tour stop.

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