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My guest today is Barbara Ehrentreu, and I am thrilled to have her visit my blog. I read her young adult book, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, a while back and loved it. Barbara takes you back to high school with all its roller coaster of emotions and does a great job of reminding us how hard it is to be a teenager. Let’s find out more about Barbara.

 

Barbara at Fairfield Bookstore signing headshot

 

Barbara Ehrentreu grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. She has lived and taught in Long Island, Buffalo, NY and Westchester, NY as well as a year in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and Writing. Currently she is retired from teaching and living in Stamford, CT with her family. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor won second prize in Preditors & Editors as Best Young Adult Book for 2011. It was inspired by Paula Danziger for her children’s writing workshop at Manhattanville College. Her second book, After, considers what can happen to a teen when her father becomes ill with a heart attack. It is based on her own experiences when her husband had a heart attack and the aftermath of what she and her family experienced. She is preparing the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Barbara also writes poetry and several of her poems are published in the anthologies, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. She has a blog, Barbara’s Meanderings, and she hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages once a month.

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 After

Lauren, fifteen, has her life change after a phone call from her father.
 
“After” is a story about the struggles Lauren Walstein, a fifteen-year-old girl, has to go through when her father suddenly has a heart attack and undergoes bypass surgery. In one phone call her life changes completely. Lauren is a character with whom most teens will relate. Her best friend since kindergarten, Joey, is going out with her enemy and they have grown apart. Before the phone call all she thought about was getting a scholarship for softball, and the Mets. Suddenly she must deal with both her father’s illness and being in school. The demands on her from both ends complicate the story. In the middle of all this, she finds she is developing feelings for her best friend that are more than friendly. Is he feeling the same or is he just comforting her? In addition there is Joey’s mean girl friend Amber, who doesn’t appreciate Lauren being in the picture. Will Lauren’s father recover? How will Lauren cope with her new feelings for Joey?

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/young-adult/after-detail

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/After-Barbara-Ehrentreu-ebook/dp/B00NDYDC3C/ref=la_B00J0URGVM_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418409175&sr=1-2

For Nook on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/after-barbara-ehrentreu/1120349821?ean=2940046242980

 

ICBLJT Cover

If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor: (print and ebook)

This was the review I posted on Amazon:

A very enjoyable read

By Susan A. Royal on July 29, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

High School Freshman Carolyn Samuels wants what every girl her age wants…to be accepted. She thinks being friends with the most popular girl in school, becoming a cheerleader and having the Junior hunk she’s been crushing on since middle school notice she’s alive will grant her wish, but she’s mistaken. However, she does learn some very important things.The author truly remembers what it’s like to leave the never-never land of childhood and forge blindly ahead into young adulthood, and she tells the story with such flair, I can visualize and empathize with every angst-filled scene. I especially love the way Carolyn matures during the book. She begins to realize what she can change and what she needs to learn to accept about herself.

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/if-i-could-be-like-jennifer-taylor-detail

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/If-Could-Like-Jennifer-Taylor-ebook/dp/B005NWRLL6/ref=la_B00J0URGVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418409175&sr=1-1

For Nook on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/If-I-Could-Be-Like-Jennifer-Taylor%2FBarbara-Ehrentreu/1105870667?csrfToken=7tl0EbMuS9kryS71CGU8jWQqfAkqgZfa&sort=3#reviews

 

Blog: http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEhrentreu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbehr
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4797564.Barbara_Ehrentreu

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/

What made you finally decide to get serious about writing?

When I was getting my Masters degree there I attended a one week Creative Writer’s workshop at Manhattanville College. My piece was chosen to be read to the entire group of workshop participants and afterward several of the authors who were there came up to me to say how they liked it. Seeing these authors made me realize that I felt very comfortable in their company and that I wanted to be an author too.

Name one of your all-time favorite movies, the one you instantly recognize when it flashes across the screen, the one you stop and watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it, the one where you find yourself mouthing the dialogue along with the characters.

My favorite all time movie is Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I have seen this movie so many times I can recognize it by any scene or even any piece of dialogue. The song that has stayed with me since I saw the movie as a young girl is “Moon River”. Coincidentally a week after I saw this movie I met my husband and we had our first date. Ever since then “Moon River” was my song for us.

Tell us about your current WIP.

I started my current WIP during NaNoWriMo and it is a sequel to my first novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor.  I had thought about writing a sequel, but I thought that I had tied up everything at the end of the novel. However, before NaNo I started thinking about what if Jennifer had problems the following year. How would she handle them? What would they be? Who would be there to help her? Would Carolyn and she remain friends? Would Brad remain her boyfriend?

All of these thoughts started gnawing at me and the characters from the book started speaking to me. I know it sounds a little strange, but many authors have their characters talk to them. So I started writing and they kept talking to me throughout the month making it easy to get it down on the screen. However, even though I got to the 50,000 word mark I didn’t finish it. So I am still not quite done with it and then, of course there is revision and hopefully submitting to my publisher. That is still not certain. I will need some readers when I am done.

What is the best compliment you ever received as an author?

Many of the reviews I have gotten say that I write as if I were a teen myself. But the one reviewer who said this got what I was trying to do as an author: “Ehrentreu’s strength lies in her ability to make you relate to the characters she is writing about.” I don’t think an author can hear anything better than that.

What is something we’ll never catch you doing? 

You will probably never see me eat a pepper of any kind, especially hot peppers. I am extremely sensitive to hot peppers. When I was younger I bit into a pickled hot pepper and started coughing so much that the wait staff came over to make sure I wasn’t choking. I never ate another one again.

If you met a genie, what 3 things would you wish for?

The first thing I would wish for would be to have enough money to not have to think about it for the rest of my life so that I could go wherever I wanted and buy whatever I needed to. The second thing I would wish for is for my children to have long and satisfying lives with people who love them. The third thing is for no one ever to go hungry in this world again creating world peace.

Thanks so much for joining me today, Barbara. I can’t wait to read your new book After. You guys stop by her blog, http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/2015/01/blog-swap-with-susan-royal.html#comment-form and get the details on my blog radio visit with her on February 27!

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