Saturday, June 29, 2013

#BookChat THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria Andreu

COMING NEXT SPRING… The Secret Side of Empty

BOOK BLURB for “Secret Side of Empty”
You've heard the news stories.  Now hear the real story.
M.T. is starting her senior year with a lot going for her.  She gets great grades, has a best friend she met in kindergarten and a boyfriend who is sweet and into her.  But life – at least as she knows it – is about to end.
M.T. is what the news calls “illegal” – she came to the U.S. with her parents as a baby and never got the right papers that allowed her to stay.  She lives in fear of her family getting deported, in even more fear that she’ll have to go to the home country she doesn’t even remember, of people finding out her ugly secret and of the increasingly volatile situation at home.  When senior year is over, the protected world she’s found in her small parochial school will disappear.  Without a social security number, she won’t be able to go to college, get a job or, maybe worst of all, get a driver’s license.

But she’ll worry about all that later.  First, she’s got a senior year to take on.

A Note from the Author, Maria Andreu:
The fulfillment of great dreams feels best when shared, which is why I'm inviting people to Like my Facebook page and come along with me on the fabulous and improbable journey of publishing my first novel.

Why does it feel so unlikely to get to fulfill my dream?  Well, like M.T., the main character of my novel, I was once an undocumented immigrant, which means I spent my teenage years in fear of getting deported from the only country I've ever called home.  I grew up feeling totally American but knowing that a choice my parents had made for me when I was too young to have a say made me unwanted in my homeland.  Although I got my papers through amnesty when I was 18, for years I carried the shame and secrecy of that experience.  So going from little girl hiding in a Tijuana shack waiting to cross the border to published author living all my dreams feels incredibly lucky and nearly impossible.  But I am living proof that dreams do come true.

The Secret Side of Empty is a novel about a teen girl whose life, as she knows it, is going to end after senior year.  It's not just run-of-the-mill, end-of-high-school anxiety... it's really going to end.  Her parents brought her to the U.S. undocumented as a baby, so she's what the news calls "illegal," although she's an American teenager through and through. With no social security number, she'll have to watch as her friends go off to college, get after-school jobs and drivers' licenses and travel overseas on the senior trip, while her life goes into the dangerous shadow of the undocumented.  No one knows the big secret she's keeping, not her best friend Chelsea and not her super-cool boyfriend, Nate.  Things have gotten pretty bad at home too, so she can't turn to anyone there.

What's it like when you have nowhere left to turn and are stuck in circumstances you didn't create and which are beyond your control?  The Secret Side of Empty explores the fear, the hope and how the human spirit ultimately prevails.

Be the first to get updates on the cover, new tour stops, and fan-only content by liking the author's Facebook page here:
The book is already getting industry buzz and news coverage, so Like the FB page to get updates on that as well.


Maria Andreu is an author and immigration rights activist.  She lives in beautiful Bergen County, New Jersey with her two wonderful middle schoolers.  At the age of 12, she wrote in her diary, "Most of all, I want to be a writer."  Growing up undocumented and poor, she never imagined that dream might come true one day.  Her work has been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Star Ledger and her first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be published by Running Press in Spring, 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment