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Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: OakTara Publishers
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Author: Susan Miura
Located in: Schaumburg
Submitted: October 19, 2014
Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in an Italian-Catholic family where Sundays meant church, a big spaghetti and meatballs midday dinner, and quiet time. I often spent that time reading books by Marguarite Henry, Walter Farley, and Anna Sewell, then daydreaming of my fantasy life on a ranch with my own Arabian horse (which never happened, but thats okay). After attaining my goal of becoming a newspaper reporter, I headed for the wide-open spaces of New Mexico, where I worked for a television station and waitressed at a mountaintop restaurant. Two years later, my heart led me back home to Illinois. Love and marriage followed, along with a career in public relations. I currently work for a large library and have freelance jobs as a book reviewer for The Book Report, and as a travel presenter. Im a member of Willow Creek Community Church and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Additionally, I help promote human trafficking rescue and rehabilitation efforts. In addition to my young adult novel, Show Me a Sign (OakTara), Ive had short stories published in Falling in Love with You (OakTara); The Spirit of Christmas: With a Foreword by Debbie Macomber (St. Martins Press); and Missing (Echelon Press).
What was your motivation behind this project? I knew someone who was falsely accused of a crime, and I thought it would make a great premise for a young adult novel. My husband, who is a police sergeant, was a valuable asset for the police scenes and dialogue. My motivation for making Haylie deaf came from the school near my house, which is attended by deaf and hearing kids, all of whom learn sign language. Our world is composed of all kinds of people with various abilities and disabilities, and it felt right to feature a strong character who happened to be deaf. My other main character, Nathan, is Peruvian, which is just a by-product of me being part of a large, multicultural family.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope readers will find Show Me a Sign to provide clean teen entertainment, and come away understanding its subtle message that God is always with us, even when were in a dark place and cant feel his presence. I also hope my heroine, Haylie, will show them that people with hearing and other disabilities are just people, with the same strengths and weaknesses, fears, insecurities, desires, and dreams as anyone else.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Like most books, Show Me a Sign involved a lot research, which almost always leads to some eye-opening moments. I was probably impacted most when delving into the issue of human trafficking for the scenes where Haylie fears she will be forced into the sex trade. This is not heavily dwelt upon in the book, but its an issue in which Im becoming more involved.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? There are so many, so Ill just list a few. Youll see they are very different types of writers, but all bring a lot to my table. Im a big fan of John Stienbeck and think hes amazing at character development and storytelling. Same goes for Michael Creighton. Lisa Samson and Patti Lacy are two of my favorite Christian fiction authors, and both played much-appreciated roles in helping me improve my craft. Im definitely a Hunger Games enthusiast and love the way Suzanne Collins captivates her readers. Jenny B. Jones did an awesome job with her young adult novels, which my daughter and I both enjoyed. And one of my all time favorite books is Catching Moondrops, part of an awesome series by Jennifer Erin Valent.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I love God, appreciate and respect his creation, savor the blessings of family and friends, and enjoy photography, traveling and cooking. I try to incorporate all of these into my writing.