Thursday, April 16, 2009

Interview with Deborah Kerbel + Bookmark GIVEAWAY!

Deborah Kerbel is the author of Mackenzie, Lost and Found. It was released in November of last year. Click here for my review. Deborah has donated some bookmarks to be given away so read on for more information!

Did any of your inspiration for Mackenzie, Lost and Found come from real life experiences?

Absolutely! I draw on real-life experiences for all my books. The main idea for Mackenzie, Lost and Found came from a good friend of mine whose own move to Israel as a teenager changed her life forever. One day over lunch she told me a bit about it – and I went home and started writing.

If you had to create a soundtrack to ML&F what would be on it?

Definitely some love songs – because, at its core this book is a love story. And also something fast-paced and rocking to match the intensity of the final scenes. And …I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil the story.

What are you reading right now?

I just finished Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (fabulous!) and now I’m reading Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay -- it came highly recommended by my mother-in-law who’s always really good at picking great books.

How did you decide on the title of Mackenzie, Lost and Found?

The title was something that came pretty easily. The first title I came up with was Finding Mackenzie – I liked it because addressed the main character’s biggest issues (feeling lost, alone, different). But after a week or two, I changed it to Mackenzie, Lost and Found which felt just right. And when my publisher accepted the manuscript, they never suggested I change the title.

Which character in Mackenzie, Lost and Found are you most like?

I’m definitely most like Mackenzie. Both of us avoid conflict and neither of us can get a tan!

What sets Mackenzie, Lost and Found apart from other YA novels?

A lot!

Although the main character is North American, the story is entirely set in the Middle East and doesn’t shy away from tackling some of the issues that affect that part of the world. I’ve never seen another YA book that’s done that.

Also, with Mackenzie, Lost and Found, readers will get a glimpse into a real-life world that many of them never imagined before – a world that’s teeming with passionate people and hot-button issues. Also, I think readers will get swept up in a heart-wrenching romantic adventure that could only take place in this conflicted corner of the globe.

If Mackenzie, Lost and Found were made into a movie, who would play the characters?

I love this game! Okay, how about:
Dakota Fanning for Mackenzie
Olivia Thirlby (from Juno) for Marla
Shia LeBoeuf for Nasir
and Russell Crowe for Professor Hill

How long did it take you to write Mackenzie, Lost and Found?

From the first word on the page (May 2005) to finishing the final draft (December 2007), it took about 2 and a half years. But I took at least a full year of that time off from writing and revising to be a full-time mom to my daughter Dahlia (who was born in July 2005).

Why did you choose to write for young adults?

It wasn’t actually a choice at all. Once I decided I wanted to be a writer, I picked up my pen, and teenagers flowed out onto the page. And like real teenagers, there was no holding my characters back after that!

What advice do you have for aspiring novelists?

Believe in yourself and develop a thick skin -- because a certain amount of rejection is hard-wired into this business. The writers who can rise above the rejection and keep moving forward are the ones who turn into authors!

The YA book blogging community?

Keep up the fantastic work! I truly believe that what you’re doing is changing the traditional (and by that I mean out-dated and elitist) approach to book reviews and promotion!


Thanks, Deborah, for doing this interview!


Five lucky commenters will win a bookmark signed by Deborah Kerbel.

One will be chosen out of every five comments, so for her to give all five there must be 25 comments minimum.

The deadline will be April 23, one week from today.

So what are you waiting for? Get commenting!


  1. Another great interview with Deborah Kerbel! (:

  2. Great interview! I'll be keeping my eye out for this book now. :)

    Also, I've nominated you for an award at my blog. :D

  3. Wow, 2 years to write a book...I didn't think it would take so long.


  4. Great interview and I've seen a ton of great reviews for this book!

  5. yay! Amazing!

  6. Sounds like a great book!If I don't win the giveaway I'm sure I'd still buy it!


  7. great interview! please enter me! -)

  8. Ooh, I like the "made into a movie" game too. Awesome interview! :)

  9. Loved the interview! Especially the tip about developing a thick skin because rejection is a part of the writing business. I look forward to reading this book.

  10. I've never read a book set in the Middle East. It would be an interesting read.

  11. Great Interview. Oh a bookmark.