Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tour Stop & Giveaway: The Secret Side of Empty - Maria Andreu

The Secret Side of Empty, in bookstores Spring, 2014, is the story of a high school senior, M.T., who is hiding a big secret: she’s “illegal.” Her parents brought her over as a baby and overstayed their visas. She’s American in every way except one: on paper. No one knows, not even her best friend Chelsea and her sweet boyfriend, Nate. With senior year coming to a close, she has to figure out how she’ll build a life with no social security number, no college, no driver’s license and no way to get a real job. But first she’s got to make it through senior year.
Five things about my book that might surprise you:
1. There is a car chase. It doesn’t involve any cops, but it’s how the main character meets her boyfriend. It’s kind of fun. And loosely based on how I met my high school boyfriend.

2. The New York Daily News has already done a story on it! It’s pretty exciting to see the book getting such good buzz. 

3. It’s based on real life. I was an undocumented immigrant as a teenager (I got my citizenship through an amnesty when I was 18). 

4. I was an “overnight success” (that was 15 years in the making). I got writing rejection after rejection, the proverbial full wall of them. Then I was accepted by the first agency I pitched The Secret Side of Empty (they picked me out of the slush pile). And they sold the book to Running Press in the first round of submissions. It taught me a lot about perseverance.

5. I picked what agency to pitch by looking in the acknowledgement pages of the biggest YA novels I could find, like Twilight and Sarah Dessen’s books. I figured that when “the top” rejected me I could work my way down. But they took me! The email they sent is framed in my house.
From the author:
I would love for you to take this book-publishing journey with me, from cover reveal, to first galleys, to an inside peek of what it’s like to do a book signing (There will lots of fun giveaways along the way). When I was growing up poor and undocumented, I never believed I could make this dream come true. But here it is! 

Like my Facebook page for news on the book and also to enter to win a $250 gift card. https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books

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