If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
It’s about three girls, that are connected through the series, going through a kidnapping. The main character’s are typically normal teenage girls ripped from their daily lives and forced to fight for their lives. The last girl, the main character of the third and final book, has had her life controlled by being taken at a young age and now she’s fighting for other girls not to go through what she and the other two girls did.
What made you write about a kidnapping?
Well, it’s an uncomfortable topic, very few people discuss it, and I think that’s an issue. We never talk about it until it’s too late. Someone goes missing, and if they aren’t seen or no one knows what happens to them, then we don’t know if we will ever see them again. I hope that people will read the book and know that they have to think about it, but they can’t let it take over their lives. Some people prepare for the apocalypse, but what about a danger that’s here right now? I don’t know what I would do if I was taken, but I wanted to raise awareness so people can learn that they have to take a few precautions.
What made you have the characters interact the way they do?
I made Steve creepy because I thought, what person would take a girl, much less thirteen of them? Then you have to think of a reason why he did it, and whether logical or not to readers, it had to make sense to him. No one likes him as a character, but he was a driving force of the story. He needed a reason, he needed something to live for, and I gave that to him. Garrett was raised with Steve, so he does what he feels will protect him, but he also wants to protect the girls that come into the house. It’s just how he is, he knows it’s dangerous, but he wants to help them. Anna is this empty shell basically, when you think about her she isn’t dynamic, she’s flat in a way until the middle of the book. She’s been torn away from her family, trying to figure out what happened, why it happened and her feelings. She feels the only way to live through this is to play along. She feels defeated until she has something to fight for and that’s when you see her change.
How was it to write the book?
It was both exciting and complicated. You have to touch on a lot of sensitive topics. The families affected by these things, the girls and boys themselves, and the possibilities that the individual could go through. No one wants to think about it, but sometimes I believe it’s better have a worse case scenario and work to prevent it instead of pretending it doesn’t happen or ignoring it.
What do you think people will think of the book?
I had my work on a website for a few years, and I got a lot of mixed reviews. There were mostly good words said, and it became very popular and I had a few readers tell me that they were going to be more cautious when going out at night. I’m not telling you to be suspicious of everyone, just be cautious about your surroundings. Keep yourself safe and learn what looks dangerous, or even what looks harmless, but could cause trouble. Then there were a few people that had the opposite opinion, they told me that I was basically the devil and that I didn’t deserve the book to become popular, that I was against religion and many other things. While those were the minority of the readers I had, I realize the book is an uncomfortable topic and few people want to think about it. I don’t apologize for starting the topic, and I just hope people who read will understand that I just want them to be vigilant.
What made you make it a trilogy?
It got really well known on the site, and I felt like I had more to say. The second books talks about what would happen if we took too many precautions, those same rules we made to protect people would cause them to act out and in some causes worse things would happen. It’s just a balance like everything else in life. The topic should be known, and we should take precautions, but it shouldn’t be the sole focus. We can’t stop bad things from happening completely, but we can raise awareness of them.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It was complicated, the characters, the setting and even just the story. It’s uncomfortable to write, and even uncomfortable to discuss with friends because they think it’s so strange that I choose this topic to write about.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
You learn a lot about yourself when you write a book, and I mean more than just if you can finish or not. I learned with this book that the stories on the news are very real, they aren’t characters in a story that I can control and work with to give a happy ending to. They are real stories, and they don’t always end happily, and the ones that do are very lucky. It’s difficult to think about it like that, but it’s true. I wish we didn’t have to experience those stories, and attempt to understand the pain the families feel. I learned that it’s impossible to know them, and what they went through. All we can do is think we understand, when really we have no idea what it’s like, and that’s what scary to us.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I hope to get a few more topics out into the open, and even a few stories that I’m just excited to share. I still go to college, so school comes first and writing will be a hobby until then.
What else have you written?
I have dipped into a lot of genres, but I really enjoy Thrillers and Suspense the best. It’s exciting to write and I hope it’s just as exciting to read for those that read my books.
What’s the best compliment you got on the work?
A few people told me that if it became a movie they would pay money to go see it. It’s fantastic as an author to hear that, because you rarely think someone will like the book after being turned down by so many publishing companies, but that one person just keeps you going.
Can we expect to hear more from you?
A lot more, like I said I have so many stories I can’t wait to share with fans, friends and family. It’s exciting to find someone that wanted to work with me on the series and I hope they like working with me because I love working with them.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It has to do with one of my favorite characters, I don’t want to give too much away since I’m still working on planning the second book. It’s another series; three books with about three stand alone books that go with the series. I hope to have it out by next year, after I finish the Amber Alert series. So I really hope this launch goes off well because I’m really excited to share that story with everyone. It’s my personal favorite.
Where can people find you to keep up with you?
Twitter at SaraNSchoen, facebook (look up Sara Schoen and look for the Amber Alert banner), wattpad (xxnightstripexx) and goodreads, just look for Amber Alert by Sara Schoen, or https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/18275-new-ya-author