Title: Stealing Liberty
Author: Jennifer Froelich
Genre: Young Adult
A heist so monumental, it may cost them everything... When Reed Paine is sent to a secret detention school for teens whose parents are branded enemies of the state, he doesn’t expect to find friendship – especially after coming face to face with Riley Paca, a girl who has every reason to hate him.
But when Reed, Riley and a few others start reading the old books they find in tunnels under the school, they begin to question what they are taught about the last days of America and the government that has risen in its place. Then the government decides to sell the Liberty Bell and Reed and his friends risk everything to steal it – to take back their history and the liberty that has been stolen from them (Stealing Liberty/ Clean Reads).
About the Author
Jennifer Froelich published her debut novel, Dream of Me, in late 2011, which reviewers praised as "well-orchestrated with outstanding imagery." Her second novel, A Place Between Breaths, published in 2014, was called "a roller-coaster ride with enough twists and turns to keep everyone interested" and won an Honorable Mention in Writer's Digest's 23rd Annual Self Published Book competition. Jennifer is a frequent contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul. A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jennifer worked for many years as a freelance editor and writer before publishing her own work. She lives in beautiful Idaho with her husband, two teenage kids, and a rescue cat named Katniss.
Author Website: http://jenniferfroelich.com/
My escort pushes me. “Pick up the pace, kid.” I stumble on a sharp rock and cut my toe. It hurts more than it should and I pull up to face him, fists curled at my side. I’ve grown about a foot since my sixteenth birthday, which means I can stare him down, eye to eye. He just smirks. How about I smash your nose? For a minute the urge is so powerful, my pulse pounds against my throat and red spots blur my vision.
Don’t do anything stupid, Reed. Pick your battles. The voice in my head is my dad’s, so I listen. We climb aboard a rusty hybrid bus parked in front of the bombed-out terminal. “Welcome,” says the autopilot. It’s one of the retro models, formed like a human, with LED eyes and everything. When magnetic tracks were first installed, citizens didn’t trust computers to maneuver vehicles safely along roadways. At least that’s what my grandmother told me. Humanoid pilots were designed to make them feel safer. Pretty soon, people had more important things to worry about. My escort takes a seat behind the pilot, but I keep going. Only one other passenger is on the bus — a girl with long blond hair who sits in the fifth row, pressed against the window. Bruises swell on her left cheekbone and along her jaw. Her lip is crusted with blood and her right eyelid is swollen shut. Nausea washes over me, along with fresh anger. “Sit!” our escort barks. The girl flinches. I take a seat across from her and shift toward the window. The door squeaks closed and the bus lurches forward. We travel on an old freeway so desolate, we don’t encounter a single other transport. I wish I was calm enough to sleep — so numb to the government’s strong-arm tactics, they no longer get to me. Instead I stare past the landscape and try not to shake. Try not to relive my nightmare or think about how it felt to wake up with a gun to my head. I imagine a different outcome. Fighting back — or breaking out of the state home before they showed up. If only.
Questions answered by Jennifer Froelich, author of STEALING LIBERY
Describe your books in 3 words?
Monumental Future Heist.
If you could be any character from one of your books who would it be?
Xoey from STEALING LIBERTY. I love her quiet strength and gentle convictions. She does so much good for others, but doesn’t make a big deal about it. But she’s also flawed and angry underneath, and I can relate to that. I just think she handles it all so much better than I would.
What is your greatest fear about being an author/publishing your book(s)?
That readers won’t connect with what I’m trying to say. Coming up with a story and then crafting it into a novel takes so much time and thought and energy and passion – if the result of all of that was a big fat “No, we hate it” that would be devastating.
Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you've accomplished in life?
I got a typewriter for my tenth birthday, so I’m pretty sure she would be thrilled that I’m writing novels, but she would also be thoroughly disappointed that my success hasn’t translated into a mansion with servants and a pool with a water slide.
What do you do when you finish your book and turn it in to the editor?
Go to PF Chang’s with my family and then contemplate the impossibility of ever writing anything again.
What is your favorite Genre and why?
Suspense. I have always loved puzzles. Trying to follow the clues and figuring out how they fit together to create a complete picture is exhilarating.
What is one thing that would surprise us to know about you?
I went to seven high schools.
Was there an Author who inspired you to write?
So many, but I think I was most heavily influenced by M.M. Kaye and Mary Higgins Clark.
How did you come up with the characters in your books?
I wanted lots of different kinds of people to identify with my ensemble cast in STEALING LIBERTY, so I used something called “Multiple Intelligence Theory” to develop my characters. MI Theory says people can be intelligent in eight areas: language, interpersonal communication, intrapersonal communication, math/science/tech, spatial skills, kinesthetics, nature and music. All of us have intelligences in more than one of these areas, but not usually all of them. I made sure my characters covered all eight areas. Now my favorite thing to ask readers is “which character was your favorite?” To my delight, I’m getting lots of different answers.
Do you prefer to write alone or do you like to collaborate with other authors?
I prefer to write alone, but I rely heavily on my alpha readers (my two sisters and, for Stealing Liberty, my daughter) to give me input a few chapters at a time.
Everyone uses computers, tablets, phones and no one uses handwritten form or typewriters, what do you prefer to use?
I use my laptop, but I also keep notes in journals and on notecards. I even created what we called my “psycho wall” for Stealing Liberty, with maps and timelines and character sketches and yarn connecting ideas. It covered the entire wall in my writing loft and was quite scary.
Is there a ritual you do every time before you begin your book?
Not really. My ideas are typically marinating for several years before I start writing, so I have journals filled with cryptic (and usually overly-dramatic) scenes and notes. Putting all of that in order is necessary, but only takes on ritualistic qualities when I decide to burn the lot of it and start over.