Friday, November 15, 2013

Author Feature Friday Aimee L. Salter

BLURB – Breakable
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy's secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark.

Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.

Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he's used her own artwork to humiliate her - and threaten her last chance with Mark.

She’s reached breaking point.


"Original. Authentic. Heart-breaking. BREAKABLE has officially become one of my favorites!" -New York Times Bestselling Author of Losing It, Cora Carmack

5 stars of Truth. Sometimes in life you read a book that not only touches your heart but reaches your soul this book is it!! This book was one of my favorite reads this year!! Aimee touches on a subject that most individuals have faced in life one time or another. Bullying has become a big problem in society . Breakable is a story about a teenage girl named Stacy whose the victim of being bullied by her peers. The thing is she communicates with the future her who helps her to deal with these things that are happening.  This book is amazing it emotionally tore at my heart  but it speaks the truth. This book has a meaning and a purpose. I loved every minute of it and can not push you enough to read it!!!

When I walked in the door at home that night after the dance, I was already composing a sketch in my head. Not one for my workbook. One for my personal collection. One in which a cartoon Karyn’s eyes were nothing but crosses due to the axe blade protruding from her skull. I was debating blood dripping off hair versus blood trailing down her nose when I walked into the kitchen to grab a glass of water to take to my room. The only light seeped in from the dining room. Mom must have left it on.
When I rounded the corner past the kitchen, I was treated to the sight of my mother in her robe, sitting at the table. That was odd enough to stop me in my tracks. She was usually in bed by eight.
Though she was already ready for bed, she was her usual, sleek self, with her near-black hair twisted into a perfect bun, her black-rimmed glasses on the end of her nose, the shape of the frame highlighting her cheekbones. I didn’t know where she found them. But they looked perfect on her. Then again, everything did.
She sat, rigid, at the dining table, staring at something.
My phone.
My heart dipped, bounced off my lower abdomen and returned to its rightful place where it sped off, thumping painfully.
“Mom, what are you doing up?”
“Who is sending these, Stacy?” Mom held up the phone, screen bright with a text message.
“You opened my messages?! Those were private!”
Mom’s face remained impassive. She turned the phone to herself and began to read. “Oh em gee. You’re so fat and stupid. Stop throwing yourself at guys. Everyone…h-eight…hates you.”
Mortification started at my hairline and cut through every nerve ending on its way to my toes. “Mom–”
“Bow wow. Go home dog.”
I swallowed. But she wasn’t finished.
“Hey, Fugly. If you really want some, you can have this.” Her eyes finally lifted to meet mine. “There’s a picture attached of a boy’s penis. At least, I think that’s what it is. He isn’t the best photographer. And frankly, in a year or two, he’ll realize what he’s got there isn’t really anything to be proud of.”
I knew I should laugh. She was mocking whoever had sent it. But she didn’t smile and I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t find any thought except, tell me they’re wrong. She was my mother. She should look at stuff like that and reassure me. Right?
“What is this, Stacy?” Her voice was cold. Any hope I’d had that she would make this easier curled up its toes and died.
“I…uh…it’s just. It’s joking stuff. I tripped at the dance and a guy fell on top of me. They’re…they’re just teasing me about it.”
One of her eyebrows slid higher. “Do teenagers routinely send photos of their genitals to each other? I thought that was just a Dateline special?”
I shook my head. I couldn’t answer that. My cheeks flamed. I’d learned a long time ago to set my phone not to automatically download images, and not to open any attachments.
Mom dropped the phone to the tabletop and sat back, chewing the inside of her lip. She sighed. “This is so…”
Awful. Undeserved. Unfair. Wrong.
“…disappointing. You have to learn to stand up for yourself, Stacy! I mean, life isn’t going to get easier out of high school. You know that right?”
I swallowed new tears and nodded.
“No one’s going to hand you respect. You have to earn it. Demand it! You can’t walk into a room of teenagers looking like last year’s leftovers and expect them to admire you.” She flipped a hand at my now bedraggled appearance. “It starts with how you look, then you tell them what to think of you, then you act like you own the world. That’s the only way to get through this life without being a loser. Do you want to be a loser? Like your father?”
I closed my eyes. “No.” I couldn’t make it sound strong.
Mom dropped her face into her hands. “It seems like everything I say goes in one ear and out the other. You think I just want to hear myself talk?”
Sometimes. “No.”
“So why do these kids feel like they can do this? Why aren’t you on that phone giving as good as you get? Why do they feel like it’s okay to do this to you? What did you do?” She indicated the phone and my jaw dropped.
“Me?! What did I do?” She thought I wanted this?
Her stubborn, questioning face didn’t change.
I couldn’t handle any more. I stormed over to the table, grabbed the phone and made for my room.
“Stacy, I’m not finished!”
“Well, I am.”
I slammed the door into the hallway over her frustrated growl and ran to my room. 

Author Bio 

Aimee L. Salter is a Pacific North-Westerner who spent much of her young (and not-so-young) life in New Zealand. After picking up a Kiwi husband and son, she’s recently returned to Oregon.

She writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, are still in touch with their inner-high schooler.
Aimee is the author behind Seeking the Write Life, a popular blog for writers at You can also find her on Twitter ( and Facebook (
Aimee’s debut novel, Breakable, releases November 4th for Kindle, Nook and in paperback. You can add Breakable to your to-read list on Goodreads at


What inspired you to write your first book?

Technically I’ve been “inspired” to write books since I was a child – I loved reading so much, I wanted to be a storyteller myself.
But in terms of sitting down at the laptop and writing something to try and get published, I was really inspired by the influx of YA urban fantasy, back when Twilight held everyone in thrall. I loved those stories (Twilight, Hush Hush, Shiver, etc) and wanted to write something with my own twist.
Unfortunately it took me a few years of writing to really get the hang of how to structure a story and develop characters. In the process of learning the craft, and my own “voice”, I turned to a genre that’s more realistic.
My debut, Breakable, is considered “magical realism” – it’s contemporary, with one impossible element. And that feels good to me. I suspect I’ll write in this genre for a long time.

What was the hardest part in writing your book?

The first draft of Breakable was almost autobiographical. I had to relive a lot of painful and embarrassing feelings from when I was in high school. It was tough. At the time I thought I’d gotten past all that, but it raised a lot of anger for me.
Luckily, real life doesn’t really work as a novel. And even I could see that. The book I released is very different to the first draft, but it holds on to the core premise and plot. So it isn’t my story anymore. It’s fiction. But I’ll never forget those initial months of working through a lot of what happened to me as a kid. It stank – but was very therapeutic.
Now the only hard part of reading or working on Breakable is knowing that there are people out there experiencing bullying and social isolation every day. Still breaks my heart.

How did you come up with the title?

The book was originally called Listen to Me. But that title had been used a number of times and since this was my first book and readers wouldn’t know me well, I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle.
I chose Breakable because it aligns with the emotional tone of the book (the protagonist, Stacy, is experiencing a lot of pain and heartbreak) and it reflects some of the imagery and themes of the book. But I can’t really explain that without giving it all away!

How much of the book is realistic?

It depends how you define “realistic”. My goal was to write a book that felt like it could really happen, despite the magical element of a girl who can talk to her future-self in the mirror. Based on the reviews, I think I’ve achieved that.
As I mentioned earlier, the original draft of this story ran very close to ‘real life’ for me. But dramatic re-writes have since eradicated that. Now, the only thing I really have in common with Stacy are feelings, and the fact that we were bullied in high school. That said, while the actual events that happen to Stacy haven’t occurred in my life (with one exception – my answer to your “Most Embarrassing Moment” question runs close to an event in the book), I feel like I’ve maintained the tone and the kind of things that happen in high school when you’re in that position. So the book should feel “real” to readers.

What books have most influenced your life most?

That’s a hard question for me. There aren’t any individual books out there that I feel like I’ve emulated, or tried to replicate. But I read so much for so many years, that I feel like I kind of absorbed phrasings and ways to depict certain emotions from a lot of different writers.
In terms of books I wish I’d written – my first choice is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Closely followed by The Duff by Kody Keplinger. In very different ways, both of those books have a wit and cut-to-the-core kind of narration that I love. I don’t feel like I’d ever be able to write anything like them, because I have a very different voice to those authors. But I admire them greatly.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Without a doubt, Dwight V. Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer. That book is literally my guidebook when it comes to writing a novel. (And I can thank J. R. Lankford, author of The Jesus Thief, for pointing me to it).
In terms of fiction, I have literally been mentored by Brittany Howard, aka: NYT Bestselling author, Cora Carmack. She was my agent before she was “Cora”. I wouldn’t have been able to get this book to a publishable standard without her.

What book are you reading now?

Currently reading The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Didn’t Have To, by DC Pierson, and when I need to “escape” I’m re-reading favorite regency romances (my “vice”).

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I still consider Katja Millay to be a new author, and I don’t think there’s anyone better out there in the YA / NA genres (there seems to be some conjecture as to which of those categories she belongs to). Though her book came out a year ago, she’s only just now receiving (I believe) the recognition that The Sea of Tranquility deserves. That book is amazing.

What are your current projects?

Currently swinging back and forth between the sequel to Breakable (called Broken), and a new, standalone novel called Skin to Skin in which a young woman named Tia is shunned by her peers and abused by her father because whenever her hands come in contact with someone else’s skin, they literally feel what she feels. That’s freaky for everyone involved. Then she meets Chris (who turns out to be that guy we always wished we’d met in high school). Chris tries to help, but his efforts will eventually put Tia in danger of losing her life.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Now, whether I can follow that up with enough sales to make a living out of this career…well, I guess we’ll see!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. Here’s the first page or two from Skin to Skin. Keep in mind that it’s still in draft form:
Shoulders hunched against the cold that always seemed to settle under my skin, I shoved through the door in the main school building. Ignoring the thunk of the handle as I let it go, I kept my eyes on my feet and marched down the hall, letting the door clang close behind me. I had twenty minutes until the first bell of my last semester of high school.
Over Christmas break I’d turned eighteen. As a legal adult, I no longer needed a parent’s signature on my forms. I was on my way to find Ms. Cooper and sign myself out of the mutual torture that was the mandatory counseling she and I had had to endure for the past six months.
No doubt she’d be as relieved as I was.
I passed the glass partitions that surrounded the main office and turned the corner to Ms. Cooper’s office at the end of the hall. Her door was closed. But I knocked.
“Come in!” she chirped from behind the door.
I pushed the door open and stepped inside, closing it behind me.
Inside, I tried to ignore the walls, but they screamed at me; bright motivational slogans sidled up next to college advertisements, crammed between the Watch for Warning Signs educational posters. In one, a girl – dimly lit and grainy – stared out from under heavy bangs, her sleeves pulled tight over her fists. One shoulder hunched.
Sally is Scared.
I shuddered.
“Oh…Tulia,” said Ms. Cooper from the other side of her desk.
I turned, nodded, despite the fact that she used my real name.
I hate my name.
It’s the product of my rotting prick of a father.
Apparently when I was born he wanted to call me Tulip, Mom wanted to call me Julia. Dad claimed Tulia was a “compromise”. I’m pretty sure he was just punishing both of us. If I had any friends, I’d insist they call me “Tia”.
“How can I h-help this morning?”
Don’t sound so excited, Ms. Cooper. “I need a waiver form.”
Her too-wide eyes brightened a little. “Waiver?”
I waited a second, just to watch her swallow. “Yeah, for the counseling. I’m eighteen now. I can sign myself out.”
“Oh. R-right. Of course. I me-an…” Ms. Cooper’s voice was a good deal shakier than it had been. She bit her lip and leaned over to dig through a deep drawer at the bottom of her desk. I could see the desire to be rid of me warring with her moral high-ground which insisted it was more important that she try to help me, than that she feel comfortable every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon.
And I could also see the moment she squelched the high ground under her metaphorical heel.
I tended to have that effect on people.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love hearing from anyone who’s read Breakable! Don’t hesitate to tweet me (@AimeeLSalter) or to message me on facebook ( And I’m happy to answer questions if you have them.

What is the most embarrassing moment you've had?
I’m kind of a goofy person, so I have a lot to choose from.  But whenever anyone asks me that, I always come back to my worst moment in high school: When I was a sophomore I was in love with a friend of mine. As a vent for my unrequited feelings, I wrote several detailed, melodramatic notes that I never intended for him, or anyone else to see. (I was a writer, even back then).
One day, a girl in my class got angry with me and decided to go through my things. She found the notes in a little, zip-up pocket in one of my bags. She photocopied them (we didn’t have scanners or smartphones back then, thank the Lord) and distributed them amongst the freshman and sophomore classes.
It was mortifying.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character in my book is “Older Me”, Stacy’s future-self whom she speaks to in the mirror. She’s desperately misunderstood (and underestimated) by Stacy in the first three-quarters of the book. I love that she has more to offer than Stacy (or the reader) realizes until late in the story.

Whats your favorite sex position and why?
That’s a new question for me in an author interview! Ha!
To be honest, that changes, depending on my mood. And since a lot of my readers are teenagers, I feel like I probably shouldn’t expand on that here. *Wink*
Happy to have that conversation face-to-face, though!

What’s your favorite snack?
The crunchie, cheesy goodness that are “Rashuns” – a kind of chip similar to Cheetos, except WAY better, and only available in New Zealand.
Failing that, homemade popcorn – using white corn, olive oil, and salt.

What do you do for fun?
Apart from the usual (reading, writing, talking about reading and / or writing), I love to play board games. Especially strategy games like Stone Age.
And I may or may not be a closet geek. My very favorite game to play is “Magic: The Gathering”. But you didn’t hear it from me….

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the generous review and having me on your site today!