YAPC would like to welcome Shane Morales to the blog today. He is here to answer some of our questions and share some info about his book Scars of Youth. If this looks like something you would enjoy, please go grab a copy!
YAPC: Try to describe your book in one sentence.
Shane: Set at a boarding school in Switzerland during the eighties, Scars of Youth is the first part of a two-part series about the power of first love and second chances.
YAPC: How would my friends describe me in 20 words or less?
Shane: I think they’d say that I’m compassionate, rational, and dorky. They might also say that I’m my own worst enemy.
YAPC: State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Shane: I like to watch Shoujo anime series, which are sweet love stories about high-school kids in Japan, and are aimed at teen girls.
YAPC: Do you listen to music while writing?
Shane: Yes. I always have music playing when I’m at my computer desk. I find that soothing heavy metal from the early eighties helps me focus on my writing.
YAPC: Which scenes were the hardest to write?
Shane: In Scars of Youth, the scenes where Jessica struggles with her guilt and shame, and falls into a dark depression. It was hard to make her suffer.
YAPC: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Shane: From Scars of Youth, I see myself in both Jessica and Kyle. I’m similar to Kyle in terms of what he likes and the rational way he tends to think, but it’s Jessica that I relate to on an emotional level. Despite being told from both Kyle’s and Jessica’s point-of-view, Scars of Youth is really Jessica’s story. And I based that story on my own life experiences, so I have a deep connection with her that I don’t with Kyle.
YAPC: What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?
Shane: Shoujo anime series like Kimi ni Todoke, Lovely Complex, and Toradora first started the gears turning. It was while watching these anime series that I began to want to write a teen love story of my own. The more I thought about what sort of story I might write, the more I started to draw upon my own life experiences, until I had a burning need to tell the story that was developing within me.
YAPC: What is the one book that you think everyone should read?
Shane: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno. It’s awesome.
YAPC: How important do you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?
Shane: I think communication with my readers is very important. I always reply to their messages and I read all of the reviews, even the bad ones. I think it’s every writer’s desire to develop relationships with their readers from readers to fans to friends.
YAPC: Do you ever run into someone who says “You write WHAT?”
Shane: People are always surprised when they find out I write young adult romance, because I’m a middle-aged male with long hair, a beard, and tattoos, who wears all black clothing. Young adult romance is definitely not what my image projects.
YAPC: What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?
Shane: I’m currently working on a young adult tragedy. Like Scars of Youth, it is also set in the eighties, against the backdrop of A tiny American compound in Saudi Arabia. It highlights the unique and somewhat magical upbringing that my friends and I experienced as American kids growing up in Saudi. It’s a sad story, but hopefully will leave readers with a sense of hope. I think the famous saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” aptly summarizes the message of the story.
*****Content Warnings: Scars of Youth explores sexual themes and contains strong language. It is recommended for 16+ readers.
Twenty-five year old Jessica Fowler has lived with the regret of the love she abandoned. Her heart still belongs to the boy she fell in love with in high-school, but she’s come to accept that she can never regain the love she lost.
Kyle Andersen has moved to a new city and is determined to make a new life for himself, but he still feels incomplete. He’s never gotten over the girl who broke his heart when he was just fifteen, and the love he still feels for her anchors him to his past.
On the same night, the two remember each other, and they think back to that one year in high-school that came to define their lives.
This is their story.
Set at boarding school in Switzerland, Scars of Youth is the emotional first book in a unique series about the power of first love and second chances.
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About the Author: My name is Shane and I’m a young-at-heart romantic. I love to read young adult love stories, and watch shoujo anime about high-school kids falling in love. I’m inspired by these stories to write my own tales of young love.
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