Val: What’s your elevator pitch (quick, catchy description of your book & why it should matter to me)?
Deb: Forced to leave their home villages, a group of Alaska Native kids from diverse tribal backgrounds travel hundreds of miles to attend Sacred Heart, a parochial boarding school in the heart of Alaska’s wilderness. Once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School –and the wider world--- will never be the same.
Val: Who would be your ideal media interviewer and why?
Deb: Scott Simon or Daniel Pinkwater because NPR sells books! (And because I met Scott Simon a 25 years ago when I was a young radio reporter)
Val: If I were that person, what 3 things could you say to me to make me want to get you on my show or featured in my publication or site?
Deb: This is a story that has not been told. Period. It’s a side of the Native American/Alaska Native boarding school experience that you have not heard. It will tear at your heart strings and, ultimately, reaffirm your faith in the human spirit.
Val: Is there an interesting back story to your book and/or your writing career that might be of particular interest to the press?
Deb: My Name is Not Easy is based on the real story of three real brothers—three Inupiaq Eskimo boys who were sent to a parochial boarding school nearly 1000 miles from their home community of Barrow, Alaska. I know the story of these brothers, well, because I married the oldest brother. Barrow is the northernmost community on the North American continent and although I was not born into the Inupiaq culture, I have lived in Barrow (nicknamed “the Top of the World”) for over 30 years.
Val: How good is your online and social media presence, and what could you do to make it better?
Deb: I try to do all the right things: I host a website, a blog, am on Facebook and Twitter. I have email lists of reviewers, book people, writers and friends. I need to be more regular and purposeful about blogging.