Google+ Reading Teen: Author Interview and Giveaway: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062085484
ISBN-13: 978-0062085481
Buy the book: Amazon
Visit the site:
Follow Tahereh Mafi on Twitter

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing (my all time favorite author) Tahereh Mafi.
And giving away a signed copy of Shatter Me to one lucky follower!
 form below
I absolutely loved Shatter Me.

RT: Who was your favorite character to write and why?
TM: Warner, the central antagonist, is by far my absolute favorite character to write. I find him fascinating. He does some truly terrible things in the book, but I think it’s clear that he’s a very tortured, very complicated, and incredibly complex person. I never know what he’s going to do.
RT: Warner is completely insane. 
How in the world did you create his character?
TM: Haha! Yes, he is definitely insane in his own way -- but he’s also a product of his environment. I can’t say too much here without giving away a lot of the story, but Warner came to life for me as I wrote the novel – I never sat down to imagine him before I started. It was only after I got deep into the story that I began to wonder what made him the way he is. You’ll also learn a ton more about him in book 2.

RT: Juliette is definitely the strongest character I have ever read about. And yet, she is so broken. How did you write her character with such a perfect balance?
TM: This is absolutely subjective, but I’ve always understood strength to be a silent sort of thing; I don’t know that expertise in throwing an excellent punch or shooting a gun automatically makes for a “strong” character. And while there’s definitely a lot of physical strength in Juliette’s life, I’ve always admired those with great inner strength, and I’ve often thought that we can never really know our true selves until we’ve been tested outside of our comfort zones. Juliette has been tested quite a bit. Given all that she’s been through, she has every reason to be angry and vicious and vengeful – but she’s not. She still hopes for something more, something better. She manages to hold onto her humanity in a world that’s locked her up and branded her a monster. Her quiet, internal struggle is definitely the hardest fight she’s ever fought. And she’ll continue to fight it for a long time, I think.
RT: If Juliette were to get into a time machine 
and come to this present year 2011, what would be her favorite band?
TM: Oh wow very interesting question. I’m not even sure how to answer this, because I think, based on the sheer fact that Juliette has been cut off from any form of sensory pleasure for so long, she’d probably be blown away by just about anything. That being said, I think there are so many words caught in her own head already that she’d probably prefer pure music unaccompanied by lyrics. She’d probably fall in love with a lot of deep, rich classical pieces.
RT: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what are some of your inspirations for the book?

TM: I don’t actually listen to music while I’m writing, but I do often listen to a lot of it while I’m scribbling down notes and thinking about writing. For this particular book, I listened to several albums over and over and over again, all at different points throughout the book. These are a few of them:
1. Brendan James – The Day is Brave
2. Ingrid Michaelson – Everybody
3. Seawolf – Leaves in the River
4. The Inception Soundtrack
5. Ludovico Einaudi – Divenire
6. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No more

RT: Who is your all time favorite author and why?
TM: I think it’s a tie between Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein for me. I still read their books over and over again; I’m forever blown away by how brilliantly they tackled not only the world of rhyme, but how they never talked down to children. Their books are full of humor, beauty, inspiration, and deeper meaning that doesn’t coddle or preach. The work of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein is so much more than what it appears to be and I love that. I often flip to a favorite poem or reread Oh! The Places You’ll Go if I’m ever searching for a little encouragement.
RT: Do you have any plans for celebration on the release day of Shatter Me?
TM: Yes! I’m having a launch party at my alma mater on the 16th – which is the day after the release – and you’re all invited! (Really!)

On the actual day of the release, however, I will probably spend the morning mustering up enough courage to get myself to a bookstore. And then I will probably spend a few hours just staring at my book on the shelf. (Maybe I will even touch it! I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet.) And then I will leave the store as surreptitiously as possible.
RT: For this last question could you tell us a little bit about yourself? I know you're not much older than I am, how did you become a writer?
TM: So, I’ve always been a huge reader, but I never once thought I could actually write a book. I wasn’t the kid who won awards for short stories or spent years dreaming up imaginary worlds; I never thought I could accomplish anything as monumental as writing a book, so I never even tried.

Over the years it became harder and harder for me to read like I used to; high school and college were full of mandatory texts and assignments that swallowed up my time and tricked me into believing that reading anything other than dense, complicated literary works was an insult to my intelligence. It wasn’t until I graduated and started working that I finally had enough spare hours to start reading for fun again. I enjoyed the serious, often cryptic volumes of philosophy and fiction I’d studied for so many years, but I wanted to remember what it was like to read for the sake of reading; reading not because I had to analyze a book, or write a paper on it, or take a test on it, or underline every literary device in every chapter and be able to recite, from memory, the entire biography of the author. I wanted to really enjoy it.

So I went back to what I used to love. I started reading YA and I fell fast for that world all over again. And for the first time in my life, I thought maybe – maybe – I could try writing something for myself. So… I did.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I just want to give a HUGE thank you (and hugs) to Tahereh Mafi for doing this interview with me, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Also, thank you to Marisa from Harper Collins for setting up the awesome interview giving us at Reading Teen a signed copy of Shatter Me to giveaway!

Thank you all for entering into this giveaway! The winner of the signed Shatter Me was...

Yamile M.


  1. Great interview :) And thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I've been following Mafi's interviews on this tour and I've enjoyed her responses so much. She seems so great and Shatter Me was such a FANTASTIC BOOK...such a JOY to read. I am ill with want for Book #2. Seriously.

  3. This makes me look forward to reading Shatter Me EVEN MORE!

    Sadly, I can't enter the giveaway- I'm in Canada :(

  4. This interview is great! Very insightful! Unfortunately I can't enter the giveaway as I live in England but I think it's great that you're doing one!

    Reading is my cup of tea

  5. Great interview! I can't wait to read this one!

  6. Awesome interview! I cannot wait to read Shatter Me.

  7. Good luck with the release! I wish I could come to the party :D

  8. Awesome interview! I read this in the email I get, but had to comment.

    I find Warner absolutely fascinating too. He is a sympathetic character in a lot of ways.

    Ooh, and the Inception soundtrack. Great note-taking music.

    This book was so amazing. It will definitely be one of my most memorable reads just for its beauty and unique style of writing.

  9. Beautiful interview! Mafi's responses are so honest and show that she's REAL. Loved SHATTER ME. Warner is just such a surreal character - he must be one of my favourite characters ever, actually. Or at least my favourite villain.

  10. Great interview ^^ Thanks for the opportunity to enter a giveaway!

  11. Great interview Thank you for sharing I can't wait to read this book sounds really good! Thank you for the great giveaway!


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