I don't have any interviews scheduled at the moment, so I hope you won't mind if I blather on about a new favorite author I've discovered: Patricia McCormick. (She's not new... but new to me.)
I just finished reading her verse novel, SOLD, and have been sitting here in a bit of a daze. It left me feeling like I might hyperventilate, to be honest, that I'd been sucker-punched. It occurred to me that I was experiencing the true meaning of "gut-wrenching."
SOLD is the story of a 13-year-old Nepali girl who is sold into prostitution. It is beautifully written but at times very difficult to read, as the horrible story unfolds and you realize how many girls have suffered a similar fate. (Patricia notes that nearly 12,000 Nepali girls are sold into sexual slavery in the brothels of India each year.)
If you haven't read it, SOLD was published in 2007, and was a National Book Award finalist. So, too, is her latest novel: NEVER FALL DOWN. It is based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Khmer Rouge by playing music in the Killing Fields.
I love that Patricia is both journalist and novelist, that the two come together in her books in such a powerful way to educate her readers about issues they may never learn of otherwise. If you visit her website, you'll also find links to a number of organizations that are working on issues like child trafficking.
What new favorite authors have you discovered recently?