Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meet YA/Women's Fiction Author T. M. Souders

I came across T. M Souders on the USA Book Awards site late in December. When I contacted her, she graciously consented to an interview on my blog. If you work with high school students, recommend Souders' 2012 USA Book Award Finalist YA novel Freedom Road.

First a bit about T.M. Souders

T.M. Souders was born in Johnstown, PA and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh. She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women's Studies. She is the author of bestselling women's fiction novel, Waiting on Hope, the USA Book Award-winning Finalist, Freedom Road, and the novelette Dashing Through The Snow. She is the founder of The Serious Reader, a site dedicated to connecting with book-lovers one book at a time. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children. When she is not writing or spending time with her family, T.M. volunteers for the World Literary Cafe, a site dedicated to helping authors and uniting authors and readers.

What types of books do you like to read? 

I’m a fairly eclectic reader. I enjoy everything from Mystery to Literary Fiction. The genres I enjoy most though are YA, Romance, and Women’s Fiction.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I’d love to say that I do something really exciting, but I’m afraid most of my free time is spent wrangling my two young children (ages 2 and 4), breaking up fights, and doing other normal everyday things. Lately, finding writing time is like pulling teeth, but I manage.
 Why did you pick to write books for Young Adults?

I love the idea of creating an amazing book for teenagers' impressionable minds to read. Freedom Road, my YA novel was a book that just called to me. If I can inspire even one young adult with this book, I’d be a happy woman.

Tell us about Freedom Road and how the story came to be.

Freedom Road is a story about overcoming adversity. Honestly, the idea for the book first presented itself over two years ago. Since then, however, I rewrote it completely three times. In the last rewrite I knew that my main character, Samantha, needed a larger obstacle to achieving her dreams. Samantha’s one true love is the guitar. Music is her solace and the only thing that keeps her sane in a dysfunctional family. So when she permanently injures her hand (she loses a finger), she’s devastated and thinks she will never play the guitar again. But overcoming adversity is only one of the life lessons Sam learns throughout the book.

Enjoy this blurb from Freedom Road 
For most of her life, music has been eighteen-year-old Samantha Becker’s only expressive outlet against her dysfunctional family. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” Sam’s ability to play the guitar dies along with her dreams of attending Juilliard.
Just when Sam has given up, a budding friendship and an unexpected love force her to evaluate all she’s ever known. Armed with a new-found confidence, Sam battles her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury. But will it be enough? Julliard auditions are almost here. Time’s running out, and Sam must re-learn to play the guitar or give up her dreams forever.

Tell us a bit about the other books you have written.

I also have another novel, Waiting On Hope, which is women’s fiction and focuses on a woman in the aftermath of rape and how she must cope when she discovers she is pregnant. It is a book about loss, love, hope, healing, and second chances. I also have a novelette Dashing Through the Snow, which is a holiday romance and a nice, light read.

What's next for your writing? Are you working on working on a new story?

Yes, I am! It’s coming along slooowly, but I am loving it. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it is written from two perspectives. A 40 year-old woman who is still grieving the death of her husband after an accident involving gang violence, and 20 year-old Latino boy who joined a gang to save his brother. The two cross paths and the woman takes the boy under her wing.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I’ve made many mistakes along the way, and I’m sure you will too. The key is to learn from them, but here is the best advice I can give. Take your time. Be patient. Write the best book you can, then take all of the proper steps to ensure that it’s fabulous (Beta readers, editing etc). Then, only release it or query agents when it’s polished and shining.

Where can readers find your books?

Amazon for paperback and ebook. (Barnes & Noble soon)
Freedom Road: http://amzn.to/V1Sl0N
Waiting On Hope: http://amzn.to/wwCWDq
Dashing Through the Snow:  http://amzn.to/JuFL5f

Anything else you want readers to know?

I’d love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch! I can be found here:

I am on Wattpad, as well as my work: http://wattpad.com/TmSouders
I also have a site for readers at: http://theseriousreader.org
I’m also on Pinterest (LOVE!), Goodreads & LinkedIn – all those links can be found on my site


  1. I want to thank T.M. Souders for coming by today.

  2. Wow! Reading the summaries of the three stories above, I'm left feeling very impressed that this author is tackling some really tough issues! All these stories sound fantastic. I can't imagine how she finds the time to write with TWO young children! Yikes! She's a super-mama! :D Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop Cheryl. :)