Harmony Book Reviews

Interview with Deborah Reber

Posted on: September 26, 2008

Deborah Reber is the author of Chill, a book about teens and stress, which I reviewed here. If you’ve ever had to deal with any type of stress, then I definitely recommend reading Chill.  

What gave you the idea for Chill? Why did you decide to write a book on stress for teens?
I had just finished writing my book for teen girls, In Their Shoes, and was talking with my amazing editor at Simon Pulse about what we could do together next. She mentioned to me that they were interested in publishing a book dealing with the stressed out lives of teens, and wanted to know if I’d be interested in taking it on—I jumped at the opportunity. My passion is helping girls live their best lives and understand how to take charge of one’s life to ultimately have more peace and balance (which means less stress). I knew writing a book on stress reduction would give me the opportunity to present the exact kind of information I desperately wanted to share with girls everywhere. I’d also noticed in the past several years a huge jump in the stress levels of teens, and so I knew the timing of this book was important and could have a seriously big impact.

Growing up, did you face a lot of stress? Do you think reading Chill would have helped you deal with it better?
Yes, and yes! Honestly, I think that everything I write I do in part because I want to share information that I desperately needed and wanted as a teen, but didn’t have access to. When I was a teen, most of my stress revolved around social issues…I don’t think the academic pressure back then was as intense as it is for teens today. But I was a very emotional person and definitely struggled to keep my out-of-control and irrational emotions from getting the best of me. Chill would have helped me immensely.

Chill is filled with tons of stress-management tips. If you could only pick one, which do you think is the most important to remember? Why?
Tough question. There’s a chapter in the book called Getting Perspective, and it’s all about keeping the problems and stresses in our lives in perspective so they don’t take over our lives. It involves little things, like realizing that we’ve overcome challenges in the past and come through them okay, putting our personal problems in perspective with global issues, and focusing on the things in our lives that we are thankful for (we’ve all got them!).

Describe your ideal writing location. Where is it? Why does it work best?
I move around a lot when I write, but I would say that I do my best work while sitting in my living room with laptop, legs propped up on the coffee table, sunlight pouring in through my windows, the front door open to let the breeze in, my white German Shepherd by my side, and the sound of peace and quiet all around me.

What are you working on now? What can we expect from you next?
I’m actually working on a cool new publishing projectI I’m creating and editing a series of nonfiction, memoir-type books that will be written exclusively by teens for teens. You can find out more on my blog Smart Girls Know (www. smartgirlsknow. com).

Do you listen to music while you write? What are some of your favorite bands?
I’m one of those people who needs absolute quiet to write, although sometimes I use music to get me “in the mood” or shift my frame of mind to a time that connects with the material before I sit down to write. Favorite bands? I’m all over the place musically. Here are a few: Indigo Girls, Imogen Heap, Badly Drawn Boy, Swell Season, Frou Frou, Moby, just to name a few!

What are three movies that you can watch over and over and not get tired of?
Great question! Broadcast News, When Harry Met Sally, and A Room with a View.

What advice do you have for your teen readers?
You will survive teenhood, no matter how unlikely that seems today. Believe in yourself and trust that you are capable of reaching your goals and becoming the person you want to be!

And finally, as yourself a question and answer it!
Okay…here’s my question for myself: What is your favorite sugary treat? My answer: Peeps! I have a thing for those marshmallow bunnies and chicks, and every year around Easter, friends from all over the country send me packages of Peeps to let me know they’re thinking of me (and my sugar addiction).

Thanks Deborah!

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