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Released: October 30,2012 by Dreamwell Publishing
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.
When did you decide that you wanted to write Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four? How did you choose which characters would be the focus?
Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four started as an idea for a movie. So, I set out to write the screenplay. I had a hard time capturing the paranormal elements of the story in that format. And because I loved the characters so much, I decided to write the book instead. Maybe one day someone else will write the screenplay version! My lead character choices were clear to me from the beginning. It was the side characters that took some time to figure out.
Are any characters based on people you know (or yourself)?
I definitely borrowed the names of people I know, but not their personalities. However, one friend did request that I make her character smart and funny.
Did you have to do any type of research for your book?
Part of my research involved remembering my own experience as a boarding school student. My brother currently teaches at a New England boarding school and so I had him give me a teacher's perspective on day-to-day life there. I also interviewed an ex-Army Special Forces friend of mine to get a sense of his training and experience - that was intense! And to immerse myself in the celebrity world, I watched many hours of entertainment news and read a lot of tabloid magazines.
What drew you to the Paranormal Genre?
It's amazing! There's absolutely no limit to what an author can come up with in this genre. I wanted to create a new world with its own rules and mythology. The experience was a lot of fun.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I've been told that my writing process takes too long. That a glacier could beat me! It's kinda tough to hear that I'm a “slow” writer. Not sure how to speed up my process, but I'm working on it! I feel complimented every time someone comes across my book and decides to give it a try. I appreciate the opportunity to entertain!
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers trying to get published?
Fall in love with your characters and your story. If you're truly in love, you'll want to get feedback from a professional editor. Constructive criticism can be hard to hear, but it will help your characters and your story really shine. Want the best for your book.
One last question. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
Sure! I'm working on new music – that part of my brain has been calling for attention. I'm also working on the next installment of Phoebe Pope's adventure. And I hope to try my hand at writing a graphic novel at some point. Thank you so much for having me here today. I appreciate your time and questions. xoxo Nya
Author Bio + Links
Nya Jade is a singer-songwriter and author based in San Francisco. Her music videos have aired on the VH1, BET, and MTV networks. USA Today hailed Nya as a “young female troubadour worth keeping your eyes and ears on,” in an entertainment feature on up-and-coming singer-songwriters. “Her cool singing voice recalls Sade,” said the LA Times.
Between writing and performing new music, Nya took a musical sabbatical to focus on writing a novel—an endeavor she found quite daunting, until she began looking at each chapter as a verse in a very long song. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.
In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes.
Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology, both from Stanford University.
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