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Shari Maurer is the author of Change of Heart, a YA novel published by WestSide Books and now available.  She joins us as part of her “You Gotta Have HEART” blog tour.

In a world where the most stressful thing seems to be winning a soccer game or what to wear in the morning, you take some really basic things for granted.

Like the love of your parents.

Or hanging with your friends.

Or the beating of your heart.

When you’re 16 years old, it never occurs to you that you might die. Emmi Miller’s got a fabulous life. She has tons of friends, does great in school and is an all-star soccer player who played in Europe last summer. It even looks like Sam Hunter, a totally cute baseball player, might be interested in her. And then she gets a virus. No biggy, right? Until the virus goes to her heart and weakens it so much that, without a transplant, Emmi will die.

Will Emmi get a heart in time?  Is Sam too good to be true?  What about her new friend Abe, who has also had a transplant and guides her through these scary times — is he just being supportive or is there more going on between them?  And will Emmi realize it before it’s too late?



1.      At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up?  And at age eighteen?  And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

At eight, I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice.  I was very into the Women’s Lib Movement of the 70’s (yes, at eight).


At eighteen, I was still figuring it out.  It was the time I was morphing from being a pre-Law Political Science major to an English Major who had no idea what I wanted to do.


At twenty-eight, I had a one year old daughter and had decided to “retire” from my career in International Production for Sesame Street.  So at that point, I was just focused on being a mom and figured I’d worry about the future as the kids got older.


2.      Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self? 

(Clever Examples:  The Bad Ass, The Athlete, The Hottie, The Dork, The Genius, The Psycho, The Social Butterfly, The Band Geek, The Drama Queen/King, The I Wish I Were a Vampire, The Entirely Something Else.)
I just read through the list and crossed them off as I went.  Is there a “goodie goodie” choice?  I was an honors student, played volleyball, was a yearbook editor – that kind of stuff.


3.      What are some of your superstitions and/or phobias?

Huge snake phobia (yeah, don’t try to psychoanalyze that one).  When my husband and I were at camp when we were 17 he came back from the soccer field with his hands behind his back, telling me he had a surprise.  I thought ‘wow, he picked wildflowers, what a great guy.’  Until he pulled the dead snake out.  I screamed and sobbed and it took me about a half hour to recover.  He never did that again!


4.      Without giving away too much from your book, which character or scene are you the most pleased about having created, and why?

I like Abe, Emmi’s friend who has also had a heart transplant.  He’s a little geeky and a little cool and I’m not sure if he’s majorly insecure or has more self-esteem than all of us.


5.      Was there any certain music that inspired you while you were writing this book, or is there a song that could serve as your protagonist’s theme song?

“Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac.  You’ll have to read the book to see how it fits in.


6.      What’s up next for you as a writer?

Tweaking Book 2, “Ellie’s Sister” and creating a Book 3.


7.      And, now, the most important question of all:  Beatles or Elvis?  Please support your answer.  ;-)

My mom was a huge Elvis fan, but I’ll have to say the Beatles.  Lennon and McCartney were two of the greatest songwriters ever.


8.      Okay, your turn.  Do you have a question you’d like me to ask my Magic 8-Ball on your behalf?  (I’m telling you, this thing is scarily accurate!  Well, except for when it’s lying.)

Will BP find a solution to the oil spill before the end of the summer?


 Oh.  Outlook not so good.  That is disappointing news.  :-( 

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Shari!


Thanks, Mindi. I just wanted to throw in one more little thing: a plug for organ donation registration. I’ve been using my book tour to encourage people to register to become organ donors. There is a severe shortage of available organs and while I hope you never need it, if the unimaginable does happen, wouldn’t it be great to save several lives? For more information please go to



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