A Matter of Heartby Amy Fellner Dominy
Release Date: May 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports
Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl's Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.
Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that's defined her entire life.
Amazon paperback: http://tinyurl.com/mr8nntz
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Amy Fellner Dominy worked as a copywriter in the advertising business before leaving to earn her MFA in playwriting. Her plays for adults and children have been staged in various cities around the country. Amy's novels for teens include OyMG (Walker, 2011) and AUDITION & SUBTRACTION (Walker, 2012.) Amy's next book is a contemporary YA coming Spring, 2015 from Random House. It's called A MATTER OF HEART.
What gave me the inspiration to write this book:
It started with an email.
The high school my kids attended was holding a special heart test for student athletes. At the time my daughter played tennis and my son played baseball so I read on. And I discovered that a football player from their school had died of an enlarged heart (the medical name is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) and his mom had started a foundation to bring heart tests to schools across the country. She never wanted the same thing to happen to another student athlete.
On the day of the heart test, I met the mom, Sharon Bates. The story of her son, Anthony, really affected me. It started me thinking and imagining and questioning. That was the day Heart came to life. And it’s why a portion of the proceeds from this book is going to the Anthony Bates Foundation.
Who is my favorite character in the book?
They’re all my kids—how can I play favorites? ☺ But I will say that the best person in the book is Jen, Abby’s best friend. In a book about heart, she’s got hers in the right place.
Which came first the title or the novel?
Definitely the novel. For the first year it was called Swimmer Girl. I also toyed with the title of Heart Broken before settling on A Matter of Heart.
What scene in the book are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of the scene where Abby gets on her bike and heads to the state swim meet. I won’t tell you what happens, but I will say that when I first wrote the book, Abby thought things through and did what I would have done. But I had to remind myself that Abby is not me. I had to let her push her own limits—and that pushed the story to a place I hadn’t gone before. Now, looking back, I know it’s the absolutely right thing because of who Abby is as a person. So I’m proud that I didn’t settle for a perfectly nice ending and instead went for a perfectly right ending.
What’s the most important thing I’ve learned as a writer?
Don’t to be perfect when you’re starting a story. Your fingers will turn to ice on the keyboard and you’ll get nothing written. Also, there isn’t just ONE way to tell a story. There are many ways and you have to be bad before you can be good.
What do I like most about the cover?
I love the perspective of Abby from the back, looking out…maybe into the future. (At least, that’s how it seems to me.)
What new release book are you most looking forward to in 2015?
I’d really like the next Game of Thrones. I’ve discovered some new chapters on George R R Martin’s website so I hope that means the book will come sooner rather than later.
What was your favorite book in 2014?
I think my favorite YA was The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu. I also really loved Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
What’s up next for me?
My next book takes a turn for the darker. Die for You is the story of Emma and Dillon, both seniors in high school, both very much in love. Then Emma gets an opportunity to study abroad and Dillon say he can’t live without her. Emma thinks it’s only words…but is it? Die for You is coming fall, 2016 from Random House/Delacorte.