Monday, August 11, 2014

PUYB Chats with 'I Wish' E.B. Tatby

E.B. Tatby was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. She is living her life-long dream of being an Author and is passionate about inspiring others (especially teens) to follow their dreams. Above all, she wants to remind them of the power to wish.

I Wish, a YA story, is her first published novel. She is currently working on a sequel.

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About the Book:

All her life, sixteen-year-old Kenza Atlas has heard the stories, but she never believed them. She never expected the allure of power or, worse, how far the dark shadows could cast. Genies and wishing are for fairy tales, not teenage girls, and especially not in Omaha.

But when a Moroccan jinn with undulating tattoos and mysterious black eyes whisks her 500 years back in time, she witnesses the death of her powerful ancestor and the gorgeous slave she loved. They sacrificed themselves to escape the Caliph, a tyrant named Mazin.

And now he’s after Kenza.

He’s tracked her to her present time. Now she spends her days stealing paranoid glances over her shoulder, obsessing over a slave who died hundreds of years ago, and praying her family will survive.

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Thanks for joining us at the book club, E.B.!  We are so excited about your new release, I Wish.  How did you end up in the YA fantasy genre?

E.B.: YA books tend to move very fast and introduce new ways of looking at the world, and YA readers know what they want. They are very selective about where they spend their time reading. For me, that makes it more challenging because the bar is high, but I love writing for this genre and can't imagine writing for any other.
When it comes to fantasy, we don't know what we don't know. Technology has opened a lot of doors, making the impossible possible. Fantasy allows us to open our minds to unknown possibilities in that way, too. 

Was it hard writing from the viewpoint of a sixteen-year-old?  Did you have to do any research to find the right voice?

E.B.: My daughters, 11 and 19, have been my inspiration for writing I Wish and writing in the YA genre in general. I'll never forget the day my oldest said, "Mom, let's write a book." I had no idea what we were getting into when I said yes because writing a book is a huge commitment, but it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Needless to say, the girls have contributed plot ideas, character names, and also helped make sure the teens in I Wish have an authentic voice. 

Can you give us a few of Kenza Atlas’ loves and hates?

E.B.: I'll start with hates. Those always seem more interesting. Kenza is a strong intelligent down-to-earth person. She detests small talk and overly emotional needy people. She also refuses to hear her dad's story about Moroccan jinns, until one of them visits her and whisks her 500 years back in time.

On the flip side, Kenza loves learning new things and exploring her world. She is very loyal to her family and friends.

They say that every book has a few pivotal points (or should) where the reader just can’t put the book down.  What’s one of yours?

E.B.: My favorite moment (and a favorite for many teen readers, from what I hear) is when Kenza finds out she is going to get to spend a lot of time with a handsome gentle soul that she met through very unusual circumstances. In fact, she never expected to get to spend more time with him and she still can't believe it will really happen.

What’s next for you, E.B.?  More YA fantasies?

E.B.: I am currently working on a sequel to I Wish called I Could that will be released in late 2015. I am also working on a futuristic science fiction story with no announced release date at this time. This story is really interesting to me because these kinds of stories have not traditionally been written in the YA genre, especially not with a female protagonist.

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