Shari Maurer lives in New City, New York, where she grew up. This serves as a constant reminder of her teen years and enables her to write using very fresh memories. She went to undergrad at Duke University and grad school at NYU, studying English and Dramatic Writing and yelling loud at basketball games. For six years, Shari was at the Children’s Television Workshop, working on international productions of Sesame Street and is the co-author of The Parents’ Guide to Children’s Congenital Heart Defects. She married Mat, the boy she met at 17 (another source of fresh memories) and they have three children, Lissie, Josh and Eric. Mat is now a cardiologist, which came in very handy when she was writing CHANGE OF HEART, her YA novel published by West Side Books. For more info, visit her website. You can find her on Facebook too!
Let the conversation begin!
What advice would you give young writers?
Read as much as possible and write what you love.
What was the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
Cactus. I was in Mexico when I worked on international productions of Sesame Street.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
There’s no such thing as a bad first draft (or maybe all first drafts are bad, but it doesn’t matter). Just get something on the page and go from there.
What one word describes you? Why?
Obsessive. Because when I get a thought or idea, I grab a hold of it and don’t let go. This can be a negative thing, particularly if I obsess over something I can’t control, but more often it’s positive—obsessing over a story makes it better and obsessing over a project gets it done.
Do you let anyone read your work-in-progress? Or do you keep it a secret?
I have a critique group that is amazing. I rely on the thoughts and advice of these two talented writers. When I have a draft that I feel good about, I also seek the advice of my daughter and other teen readers.
In grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Everything from a cake decorator to a child psychologist. But when I wrote the sixth grade play (adapted from a favorite novel) and heard the applause, I was hooked.
Earliest childhood memory?
I stole Razzles (first it’s a candy, then it’s a gum) from a convenience store. My mother made me confess and return them. Not sure if this is my earliest memory, but it’s a strong one from that era.
If this was your last day on Earth, what would you do?
I think I would cuddle in bed with my family and watch movies and eat some really yummy food.