Author: Danielle Sibarium
Publish Date: October 27th, 2011 ; KFR Comunications, LLC
You never really get over your first love. Such is the case for fourteen-year-old Stephanie Barrano, self-proclaimed misfit and death magnet. A freshman in high school, Stephanie is befriended by Jordan Brewer, a hot, in-demand senior, who pulls her from the outer circle of obscurity into the realm of acceptance. Jordan quickly works his way into Stephanie’s heart. He’s her everything. And the only person she trusts with the truth about her father’s death. But he won’t act on the strong feelings he has for her. Stephanie vows to wait for him, knowing in time she’ll win his heart.
Two months before her eighteenth birthday, Jordan serves as an impromptu prom date. After sharing a magical evening, Jordan leaves Stephanie with the promise of a future together. Then tragedy strikes. Jordan not only shuts Stephanie out, he also blames her for what happened. Feeling broken and beaten, will she try one last time to get through to Jordan or will she lose him forever?
From the very beginning, I knew that I was going to like this book. The synopsis kind of won me over, it was so interesting and made me hyped for the book. It definitely didn't fail my expectations. Plus, I thought there'd wind up being a twist and some supernatural thing got thrown into the story. I'm kind of happy that that didn't happen. I'm tired of cliched stories, so For Always was definitely a relief for me.
Not only was the plot of this book good, the writing was well-done. Sometimes, the things that took place made me burst out laughing, or made me crack a smile. It was like an emotional roller coaster (I know, a phrase used a lot but it's true). I really enjoy when authors are able to portray those emotions. The chemistry between Stephanie and Jordan is something people can relate too, so that's another perk. You can tell how much Stephanie really felt for Jordan, it showed well in this novel.
Definitely recommend you guys check this book out. I know I have now become a fan of Ms. Sibarium and her future work.
-What made you write For Always?
I dealt with a lot of death growing up and I wanted to write about someone like that, a protagonist that must overcome obstacles of chance and her own self-doubt. A girl who doesn’t see her true potential, but uses the experiences she has gone through to find a reserve of perseverance and strength.
-What is your most rewarding experience since being published?
When readers contact me to tell me they loved the book and could really relate to Stephanie.
-Do you do anything besides writing? Like job-wise?
I stay home and take care of all the household chores along with my three children 10 and under.
-One sentence summary of your book?
A freshman in high school, Stephanie’s misfit status could easily lead her on a path of self-destruction, instead she allows herself to be inspired by Jordan, a hot in demand senior, who helps her discover what it means to believe in herself, as well as true love.
-What was your favorite book to read while growing up?
Growing up I had favorite authors, Dr Seuss, Judy Blume, and Beverly Clearly. My all-time favorite book was one I read while in college. I didn’t expect to like it at all, but I couldn’t put it down. Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
-Was English your favorite subject in school?
Yes. Not the grammatical part, but reading, interpreting literature, plays, and of course writing.
-What’s your favorite quote?
Live, love, dream!
-What book are currently reading at the moment? Are you liking it?
I am reading Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I found it in the “tough stuff” section, and I am hooked!
-Does writing help you through stressful times in life? In my opinion, I write to vent about things. I just change names around and places, but the situations are the same as in real life.
I do use my writing as a tool for release. When I was a teenager, if I was upset about something, I’d write about the situation and change the outcome to a more desirable one. That way I made sure I got my say. Now I just escape into another world when I write.
-What is your favorite movie?
I love Ever After, and the Twilight movies.
-What something you love but feel embarrassed by it?
My beliefs about love. I am a hopeless romantic, I believe in love at first sight and soul mates!
-What do you do in your free-time?
Free time? What’s that? That would be when I write.
-A piece of advice to give to aspiring authors?
Read incessantly, write daily, and revise, revise, revise. Write what you are passionate about, not what you think the market is currently dictating, markets change. Be open to the ever fluid times. The publishing industry has and will continue to transform. We have not seen the finished product, so don’t get hung up on the traditional ideals.
-How much of your book is realistic?
While there are shadows of truth in everything I write, they don’t necessarily happen with one particular person, or have the same meaning as they do in my books. For example, I really did start a fire with a candle when I was six years old, but luckily no animals or people died, or were physically maimed as a result. And the smoky bus incident did happen on the way to school, but the person who jumped out the window was a very close friend of mine, and he didn’t even go to my high school. So everything relating to that incident after the bus ride was completely fictional.
-Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I am very excited about the new voices out there. Over the last six months I have read first books by a few authors that I have really enjoyed, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Hate List by Jennifer Brown, Wither by Lauren Destefano and Hourglass by Myra McEntyre. I think each of these books were riveting. They were all different, but the writer’s voices were powerful in the images and messages coming through.
-Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. Don’t put off saying or doing anything you would regret if tomorrow never came. Tomorrow is a hope, a prayer, not a promise. If someone is important to you, tell them. If you have a dream, go after it! Too many times we let opportunities pass us by and then look back with regret. Regret is a sad lonely road to nowhere.
-If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book? Or keep it the same?
Every time I read it, I always find something I would add or say differently, but in the end I am very proud of the finished product.
-Why do you continue to write?
I write because if I didn’t, my soul would shrivel up and die.
-Who designs your book covers?
Andrew Gioulis from KFR Communications.
-What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Originally I wrote this in the perspective as an adult retelling it, kind of like A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks, I used the neighborhood I grew up in as the backdrop, but once I changed it to YA I could no longer use Canarsie Brooklyn because many of my references no longer existed or are still there but are not quite the same.
-Do you have any special things you do while writing? As in listening to music, eating something, etc?
I usually listen to music when I write. I have specific playlists depending on what I am working on. While writing For Always I listened to a lot of songs about love that’s been there all along, A lot of old songs, like I Can’t Fight This Feeling Reo Speedwagon, The Search is Over Foreigner, Crazy For You Madonna. And of course most importantly the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera.
-What are three things not very many people know about you?
1. As a teenager I attended an Anthony Robbins seminar and did the Firewalk- what an amazing experience!
2. In high school I was an extra on the Cosby Show.
3. I met Derek Jeter.