Hello everyone! :)
Today I have the pleasure of being part of the Forever Me Blog Tour. Author Thomas Amo has written a compelling novel called Forever Me. Forever Me is considered YA and NA and is inspired by True Events.
I will be sharing all about the author and his book. Also there will be a author interview and Thomas will be hosting a giveaway on my blog for a ecopy of Forever ME. Be sure to enter below. :)
Publisher: GothicTwist Publishing; 2 edition (October 10, 2012)
Reading Level: YA or NA
Hannah Richards isn't your typical 16 year-old at Wichita Falls High. Fashions, trends, cosmetics and style are unimportant to her. An avid reader, guitar player, classic movie and television buff, Hannah marches to the beat of her own drum. Visible only to her Father the town Sheriff, and her two best friends. Hannah lives a simple, un-pampered life as an "Eastie."After coming to the aide of Taylor Monroe, a popular member of the ultra snobby "Stilettos" at school, Hannah's life beings spiraling out of control. As she starts spending more time with Taylor, her best friends abandon her, after a series of misunderstandings, causing Hannah to re-invent herself.Hannah quickly gets caught up in a life much different than the one she knows, where status, glamour, makeup, appearance and acceptance become her masters. And what of the dark secret that haunts the streets of Wichita Falls?Can Hannah survive the lies, deceit, jealousy and rage that are now waiting for her behind every corner? Will she succumb to the pressures of popularity? Or will she be crushed under the heels of the "Stilettos"?~High school is hard enough just being yourself, let alone being someone you're not~
Hannah gave a look of confidence as she pushed her head through a fresh t-shirt. After a lighting fast washing of her young face, and brushing of teeth, she looked into the mirror, grinned and then stuck her tongue out at herself. Reaching into her backpack she retrieved her flip-flops, hair ties and hairbrush. She quickly ran it through her long shoulder length brunette hair and grabbed a hair tie. After a couple of twists she had it into a ponytail and ready for the day, with flip-flops in one hand and backpack in the other she opened the bathroom door. Her father stood with arms crossed looking at his wristwatch. Hannah tapped the crystal and smiled. “See dad, barely thirty-seconds.”
Jacob nodded as he took note of his daughter’s bare feet. “So you don’t wear shoes to school now?”
“I’m not going barefoot, I’ve got my flip-flops.”
“You know in my day we called those thongs.”
Hannah gave her father a long stare of disbelief. “Yeah, dad—don’t,” she said curtly as she quickly grabbed some coffee, poured it into a travel mug and shouted bye to Dude. She then hoisted her backpack over her shoulder, kissed her dad on the cheek before he went inside the bathroom, and made her way out the front door still barefoot.
“Hippie!” called Jacob as he laughed to himself.
Hannah raised her hand, popped up two fingers, and gave her dad the peace sign as she left the house and took in a breath of fresh morning air. She tossed her backpack into the rear seat of her 1996 Jeep Wrangler. Sure it was sixteen-years old but it was the same age as her and she loved it. She loved its square headlights and half doors. It was bright yellow and showed plenty of wear and tear. Two large grey strips of duct tape in the shape of the letter “X” covered the well-worn driver’s seat. No matter how cold it was Hannah always insisted on never putting on the canvas top. This was a Jeep, it was supposed to be rugged, plus there just wasn’t enough duct tape to cover all the cracks and tears in it.
- Q: I understand Forever ME is inspired by true events. Tell us how that came about?
A: I was just about to leave the house one morning when I caught a segment on morning television about a group of teen girls at a Texas high school who had organized a group called, “Redefining Beautiful.” They were trying to encourage fellow female students to go one day a week without makeup. They were stressing that you don’t need makeup to be beautiful. I was so amazed by their bravery and confidence to go against type, especially in high school and at an age where girls feel the most awkward with themselves. A close friend of mine who is a film producer had been asking me if I had anything I was working on I could share with him. By time the segment was over, I had the basic plot in my head and before I left the house, I already knew the ending of the story. I phoned my producer friend and told him I had something, we met that afternoon and I pitched the idea to him as a film. He loved the concept and told me he was interested. Could I write the screenplay? I went to work right away. But about 50 pages in, I found these characters were so lifelike, I felt it needed to be a book, it could always be a film later. I called my friend back, said, I have to write this as a novel. With his blessing and two years later. Forever ME was published.
- Q: How are teen girls responding to a book written by male?
A: I was concerned about that. Would they relate to it? Would it seem real to them? Or would it come across as a guy giving his version of what he think teen girls are like today? Well, to my pleasant surprise, teen girls are sending me emails, tweets, and telling me, they completely relate to the situations, they’ve said, “OMG, that is so me!” “I’m just like Hannah!” Or they know girls like Shelby and the Stilettos. Or jerk guys who treat them like property. I got plenty of praise from some parents even grandparents on Forever ME, but the real vindication comes from the teens who love it. I couldn’t ask for better than that! (Plus I have a 19 year old daughter, so I wasn’t totally in the dark.) But I did do my research.
- Q: What did you learn about teen girls that you didn’t know?
A: A lot! I learned that some girls lose precious hours of sleep by getting up at sometimes between 3 and 4 a.m. to begin their daily regiment of getting ready for school to make themselves look “normal” or what they feel they must look like to their friends and fellow students. Girls are under tremendous pressure to always look a certain way, weigh a certain amount. Often it is self-imposed, even the prettiest girls feel insecure about their looks. Girls who are bullied often feel completely alone with no one to turn to. Even if schools have zero tolerance for bullying, there’s always an unspoken rule to not tell. Being bullied is embarrassing, especially when girls get publically humiliated in school and other students stand by, watching or laughing. School can more often than not, feel like prison instead of an educational institution.
- Q: Speaking of Bullying, there’s quite a lot of it in Forever ME. Were you attempting to send a message?
A: Actually no I wasn’t. Not consciously anyway. My wife pointed out to me that bullying wasn’t just limited to the students. Friends bullied each other and even parents bullied their teens. It made me realize, there are many different ways for kids to be bullied, like there are as many forms of abuse. It’s not always physical but it is always damaging.
- Q: I see in several past reviews Forever ME gets compared to the film, “Mean Girls.” Did that have any influence on your writing?
Not at all, I have not seen the film. So I’m always surprised when someone compares it to that film. I imagine since the subject matters are similar I can see how someone could draw that conclusion. It was important to me in the beginning that my main character, Hannah was not the new girl at a school. That’s always tough on a teen to be the new kid. I wanted her to have her own friends, a well-adjusted home life and content with her life as it was. It was only when she crossed the invisible line of mixing with the social elite did it present a problem in her life. Wichita Falls is a place where a girl from her side of town is often reminded it’s best if she stays there.
About The Author: Thomas Amo
Find Thomas @
Thomas Amo is the author over 20 comedies and farces for the live theatre. This former full time theatrical producer has spent the last thirty years writing in many different genres, from pilot scripts for television to screenplays on independent films. Outside acting, directing and producing, his first love has always been writing. Forever ME, marks his debut into YA fiction.
To enter please use the rafflecopter form below.